If you want to know about the importance of zakat, this detailed guide is for you.
Here’s something I want you to know.
If a Muslim withholds Zakat, he usurps (takes over) another’s property.
I will explain all this to you in detail. But first, let’s start with a simple introduction.
What is Zakat?
Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. Can you recall the pillars of Islam?
Shahada, Salah, Sawm, Zakat and Hajj are five key practices that a Muslim is required to fulfil throughout their lifetime.
Zakat is derived from the word, ‘Zaka‘, which means to increase, bless or purify.
If you want to know about the importance of zakat, remember that it is discussed 32 times in the Holy Quran (only 6 times without the reference to Salat).
Amazing, isn’t it? Zakat was made compulsory for Muslims in 2 A.H in the following words:
“Spend in the cause of Allah and do not let your own hands throw you into destruction ˹by withholding˺. And do good, for Allah certainly loves the good-doers.” (2:195 Al Baqarah)
So here’s the takeaway.
Zakat is the provision of wealth to the (financially) weak and unstable people.
The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) commands:
“It (Zakat) should be collected from the well-to-do and distributed among the poor.”
This sums it up.
With this, let’s talk about the importance of zakat.
The importance of zakat:
Overview: Zakat is important as it is a true attribute of a believer. It cleans the wealth and the heart from selfishness and envy. Zakat is the welfare tax. It is the backbone of a society.
Here’s what you should know. We can understand the significance of Zakat by recognizing the fact that it is the third pillar of Islam.
This means that it is compulsory for all those Muslims who possess a certain amount of money, uninterruptedly for a complete year.
Zakat is important as it is a true attribute of a believer. This is because the Holy Quran and Hadith have repeatedly stressed almsgiving.
As I mentioned earlier, an individual cleans his wealth through the payment of Zakat.
This is because, when an individual spends in the way of Allah, he acknowledges Him as the provider of all sustenance, and prays for further bounties.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Zakat cleans the heart of both the giver and the receiver. It purifies the heart of the giver from the love of wealth, selfishness, envy and comfort with wealth.
In the same way, it cleans the heart of the receiver from jealousy and ill will from all those that are well-off than him.
The best part?
Zakat is the welfare tax. It is the backbone of a society.
It prevents the accumulation of wealth in a few hands due to a uniform distribution of wealth.
Due to this, a society can enjoy the bounties. In simple words, this act transforms our entire society.
Zakat magnifies the wealth of a believer. Allah almighty promises that when someone spends generously in His way, He provides him more than his imagination.
This means that Allah provides His grace and mercy.
The Holy Quran says:
“The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: It grows seven ears and each ear has a hundred grains…” (2:261)
Now, let’s talk about the rate of zakat.
Rate of zakat (Nisab):
A Muslim is only required to pay zakat if he has a certain amount of wealth.
This is what we call “Nisab” in Islam. Let’s talk about it now.
- On Cash, Gold and Silver: It is to be paid at a rate of 2.5%.
If a person possesses seven and a half Tola of Gold and fifty-two and a half Tola of Silver, he is liable to pay Zakat. On cash, it is liable if the money is equal to that on silver!
- Production of Mines: It is paid at a rate of one-fifth (20 per cent) of the produce in mines.
This is known as khums.
- Land Tax: If the land is irrigated by natural showers, then Zakat is to be paid at a rate of one-tenth of the produce.
However, if the land is artificially irrigated, then it is at the rate of one-twentieth of the produce. This is known as Ushr.
- On all articles of faith exceeding 200 Dirhams.
- On sheep and Goats: For every forty sheep or goats, one sheep or goat.
From 121 to 200, 2 goats or sheep. For over it, for every hundred, a sheep or goat is to be given!
- On thirty to forty castles, one calf of one year and on every forty cattle, a two-year-old calf.
- On camels: For every five camels, one goat or sheep. From ten to fourteen camels, three goats and from twenty-five to thirty-five, a female camel is to be given.
Recipients of Zakat:
They are the people who do not reach the “nisab threshold“.
Let me explain.
This means that they are poor and needy.
The Holy Quran guides Muslims in every aspect of life.
Today, the Muslims have the flexibility of giving zakat to organizations that distirbute it properly.
According to the Quran (9:60), the recipients of Zakat are the people who do not possess wealth equal to Nisab.
They can be extremely poor people who are forced to beg. The people who are appointed by the government to collect Zakat, and those who have recently accepted Islam can also receive Zakat.
Remember that Zakat can be given to slaves, people who are unable to fulfil an obligation, those who are unable to pay loans, and to some other people can also receive zakat.
To whom Zakat cannot be Given?
To one’s parents, father, mother, daughter and to the descendants of the Prophet (S.A.W), Zakat cannot be given!
With this, our article about the importance of zakat has come to an end.
To recap, zakat is extremely important as it purifies your wealth. It transforms our society by empowering the weak and poor people.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for reading.
Stay tuned for more.
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