Monday 25 April 2022

The Barakah of paying Zakat - the Mandatory Charitable Contribution

No two men are born equal, whether in position, possession of wealth and health. The have not always looked upon those who are blessed to live their lives in some level of comfort. And are thus dependent on the charity of the rich for which they have to really beg for alms and charity. This may be for some, but many due to their inborn dignity may not extend their hand in front of others. 

Islam however has established the concept of Zakat, a mandatory charitable contribution from those who have more than enough of their needs to give out to those in needs. In an Islamic state, such contributions are collected under the arrangements of state and then given out to the needy regularly so that they live comfortably.  

Before we move on, let us first see what does Barakah mean: [4]
Barakah is a term that means an “increase” and “growth”- and also, happiness.  It is the establishment of divine goodness in something; from whence it exudes cannot be sensed by people, nor can it be outwardly quantified, nor is it limited by anything, but rather, something with barakah in it is called mubaarak, and has an unexplainable increase and benefit in it from Allah. [al-Isfahani, Mufradaat al-Qur’an]

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Charity does not reduce wealth.” [Muslim, Sahih] The physical amount outwardly decreases, but the remaining amount attracts barakah so that the actual benefit from it is not less. [al-Nawawi, Sharh Muslim]
Now coming over to the question: How Zakat adds Barakah: At many places in Qur'an, believers have been instructed to pay Zakat so that a true welfare Islamic state could be established.  Zakat is found in the early Medinan surahs and described as obligatory for Muslims. For example, the 177th verse of Surah 2. Al Baqarah comprehensively explains the giving of Zakat by those who have enough for their Muslim brethren:

لَيۡسَ الۡبِرَّ اَنۡ تُوَلُّوۡا وُجُوۡهَكُمۡ قِبَلَ الۡمَشۡرِقِ وَ الۡمَغۡرِبِ وَلٰـكِنَّ الۡبِرَّ مَنۡ اٰمَنَ بِاللّٰهِ وَالۡيَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ وَالۡمَلٰٓـئِکَةِ وَالۡكِتٰبِ وَالنَّبِيّٖنَ​ۚ وَاٰتَى الۡمَالَ عَلٰى حُبِّهٖ ذَوِى الۡقُرۡبٰى وَالۡيَتٰمٰى وَالۡمَسٰكِيۡنَ وَابۡنَ السَّبِيۡلِۙ وَالسَّآئِلِيۡنَ وَفِى الرِّقَابِ​ۚ وَاَقَامَ الصَّلٰوةَ وَاٰتَى الزَّکٰوةَ ​ ۚ وَالۡمُوۡفُوۡنَ بِعَهۡدِهِمۡ اِذَا عٰهَدُوۡا ۚ وَالصّٰبِرِيۡنَ فِى الۡبَاۡسَآءِ وَالضَّرَّآءِ وَحِيۡنَ الۡبَاۡسِؕ اُولٰٓـئِكَ الَّذِيۡنَ صَدَقُوۡا ؕ وَاُولٰٓـئِكَ هُمُ الۡمُتَّقُوۡنَ‏ 
(2:177) Righteousness does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or towards the west;175 true righteousness consists in believing in Allah and the Last Day, the angels, the Book and the Prophets, and in giving away one’s property in love of Him to one’s kinsmen, the orphans, the poor and the wayfarer, and to those who ask for help, and in freeing the necks of slaves, and in establishing Prayer and dispensing the Zakah. True righteousness is attained by those who are faithful to their promise once they have made it and by those who remain steadfast in adversity and affliction and at the time of battle (between Truth and falsehood). Such are the truthful ones; such are the God-fearing.

The mention of Zakat is also found at other places such as mentioned below:
And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakat; and they were worshippers of Us. (Surah 21 Al Anbiya:73)

“Zakat is for the poor and the needy; and those employed to administer the funds; for those whose hearts have been recently reconciled to Truth; for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer. It is ordained by Allah and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. "(Surah 9. Tawba, verse 60

Zakat means increase and barakah: That is to say that whoever pays Zakat will have his wealth multiplied not only in this world, but his rewards will be multiplied in life in the hereafter. In fact, Zakat is given for the sake of salvation. Muslims believe those who give zakat can expect reward from God in the afterlife, while neglecting to give zakat can result in damnation. Zakat is considered part of the covenant between God and a Muslim. 

Zakat is a means of compulsory redistribution of wealth in a way that reduces differences between classes and groups, thus preventing the many social disorders from which Communist and Western societies alike suffer, no less than contemporary Muslim societies that have neglected zakat. Moreover, zakat is a means of establishing justice indirectly. It rectifies whatever wrongs, injustices or means of exploitation in trading and industrial relations that have arisen. This may explain the fact that it is called a "right" rather than "charity", or an act of beneficence. Zakah also facilitates the proper direction of purchasing power in society. It transfers part of the power of consumption, which may be used extravagantly to fulfill a proper function in the lives of those who need it. [3]

Generally, it is observed that we are prone to extravagance (Israf), that is spending more than needed. If we analyze, the extra money spent which could have been curtailed could mean a whole day meal for a poor family. Instead, this money should be paid as Zakat for it will not only fulfill the needs of the needy but will also add to our Barakah.

Many Muslim philanthropists and even ordinary men make the Zakat contribution individually, due to which equal distribution of Zakat cannot be ensured nor it reaches all needy believers. Islamic states must ensure central collection of Zakat so that equal and just distribution can be ensured'. So let us give Zakat and help the needy. This will not only bring Barakah to us but would also earn us prayers of the needy and would help us when the scales will be set up on the Day of Judgement. But remember, while paying Zakat and alms, one's intention should be to please Allah and not to show off one's wealth to others, for it would nullify the noble act.

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is our duty to convey only to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

For more Scholarly views and videos, please read our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on Important Issues Related to Islam.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or any means on social media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More