Zakat from Our Income (Part. 1)

Prologue

All praises be to Allah, peace and prayer may always be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his devoted companions.

Brother, I believe you already knew that this beloved religion of us is established upon five basic principals. These five principals serve as the pillars of our religion, as pillars of a building. Is it possible for a building to stand still, without one of it’s pillars? You can imagine, if one day one of your house’s pillars crumbled, will you still stay in it?

That is the description of zakat for your religion.

عن عبد الله بن عمر رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال: بُنِىَ الإِسْلاَمُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ إِيمَانٍ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ، وَالصَّلاَةِ الْخَمْسِ ، وَصِيَامِ رَمَضَانَ ، وَأَدَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ ، وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ. متفق عليه

“Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar -may Allah be pleased with him- narrated from the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- , he said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles): 1. To testify that Lâ ilâha illallâh wa anna Muhammad-ar-Rasul Allâh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). 2. Iqâmat-as-Salât [to perform the (compulsory congregational) Salat (prayers)]. 3. To pay Zakat. 4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. pilgrimage to Mecca).5. To observe fasts (according to Islamic teachings)] during the month of Ramadan.” (Muttafaqun ‘alayh)

I am sure you’re knowledgeable about the ruling of zakat, thus I think it is inappropriate to use this chance to discuss about it.

Ibn Hajar Al Asqalaani said: Zakat is a must in Islamic sharia, thus we don’t have to work vigorously to establish indications that support it’s ruling. The scholars merely differed in it’s details, but the main ruling is already agreed, that it is compulsory, thus whoever denies it, becomes infidel (disbeliever).” (Fathul Bari by Ibn Hajar 3/262)

For us to know that the term ‘zakat’ and ‘alms/charity’ in Islamic sharia contain similar meaning. Both are classified into two:

– The compulsory one
– The voluntary one

As for assumptions of some people that zakat is the compulsory part while charity is the voluntary, are not based upon valid and strong indications.

Zakat from Our Income

The Benefits of Paying The Zakat

You might think, why does Islam obliging zakat to it’s followers and suggesting them to spend in zakat abundantly? Doesn’t it make some of it’s followers becoming idle?

Know, O Brother! The teachings of Islam never intend to make even one of it’s followers become an idle, and clung his living onto aids from others.

Islam admonishes you to pay zakat since Islam wishes you to feel the usage and benefits of your wealth. Below are several benefits that you can get by paying your zakat obligation:

The first benefit: Purifying your soul from sins

خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِم بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ صَلاَتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَّهُمْ وَاللّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“(O Prophet)! “Take alms out of their riches and thereby cleanse them and bring about their growth (in righteousness), and pray for them. Indeed your prayer is a source of tranquillity for them.” Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (Qs. At Taubah/The Repentance: 103)

The experts in tafseer, such as Ibn Jarir At Thabary explained that by paying your zakat, you already cleansed yourself from taints of wickedness.” (Tafseer Ibn Jarir, 14/454)

All of us must have realized that we often did wickedness and sins, hence, this is a very good chance for us to purify our soul back. Will us just let this chance slip away?

The second benefit: Freeing your soul from slavery of wealth and riches.

Ibn Jarir At Thabari also explained, interpreting the previous verse, that by paying your zakat obligation, you are free from various shameful attitude, as the characters of the hypocrites, and it will lead you to reach the level of the sincere men.” (Tafseer At Thabari 14/454)

Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Shalih Al Uthaymeen further explained the meaning of ‘cleanse’ from the verse, saying that: “Zakat cleanses the manner, beliefs, and also purify those who pay it from various shameful attitudes. That is because zakat will free him from the chain of stinginess and put him into the expansion of generosity. As zakat will purify him from various taints of wickedness.”

How beautiful that statement of Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Shaleh Al Uthaymeen is! It is a fact that every human being loves riches and wealths. It is very luring and appealing for us.

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاء وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ذَلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاللّهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآبِ

“People are naturally tempted by the lure of women, children, treasures of gold and silver, horses of mark, cattle and plantations. These are the enjoyments in the life of this world; but with Allah lies a goodly abode to return to.” (Qs. Ali Imran/The Family of ‘Imran: 14)

And even more than a mere love or fondness, our love towards riches will be increased along with the piling of our ages.

يَكْبَرُ ابْنُ آدَمَ وَيَكْبَرُ مَعَهُ اثْنَانِ حُبُّ الْمَالِ ، وَطُولُ الْعُمُرِ. رواه البخاري

“By the day, the sons of Adam will become older, and will increase in his love for riches and longevity.” (Narrated by Bukhari)

Thus, if such love comes without good manners, it will certainly torture and plunge you to the mud of humiliation.Umar Ibn Al Khatthab once said:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا لَا نَسْتَطِيع إِلَّا أَنْ نَفْرَح بِمَا زَيَّنْته لَنَا ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلك أَنْ أُنْفِقهُ فِي حَقّه

“O Allah, indeed we have no power to do anything but to be happy with thing that You have made it beautiful in our eyes (that is wealth). O Allah, indeed I beg You so that I can spend it in the rightful ways.” (Narrated by Bukhari)

No wonder that since long ago, the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- had warned his followers not to fall into the love for riches and wealth. Since if it is already happened, you’ll certainly go against all odds to obtain it, and after you got it, you’ll be too greedy to spend it in Allah’s cause.

اتَّقُوا الظُّلْمَ فَإِنَّ الظُّلْمَ ظُلُمَاتٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَاتَّقُوا الشُّحَّ فَإِنَّ الشُّحَّ أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ حَمَلَهُمْ عَلَى أَنْ سَفَكُوا دِمَاءَهُمْ وَاسْتَحَلُّوا مَحَارِمَهُمْ. رواه مسلم

“Beware of oppression, for oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection. Beware of stinginess for stinginess destroyed those who came before you and caused them to shed their blood and regard as permissible that which had been forbidden to them.” (Narrated by Muslim)

Al Munaawi said: “Stinginess may cause that horrible effect, since by giving alms and aids, love and brotherhood will emerge. While by stinginess, relationship will be loosen, and family ties will be broken, and following that, clashes and betrayals by blood shedding and confiscating others’ honors couldn’t be prevented. From the structure of this hadith, it is understood that warning from oppression is just a prologue for warning from stinginess. This is meant to strengthen the terrible effect of stinginess that causes the owner to be plunged into the worst of wickedness. Stinginess might cause the owner to kill others, whereas killing is the most terrible and humiliated of bad acts.” (Faidhul Qadir 1/175)

Allah the Exalted decreed:

إِنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ {15} فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ وَاسْمَعُوا وَأَطِيعُوا وَأَنفِقُوا خَيْرًا لِّأَنفُسِكُمْ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ {16} إِن تُقْرِضُوا اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا يُضَاعِفْهُ لَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ شَكُورٌ حَلِيمٌ

“Your possessions and your offspring are nothing but a trial for you. And there awaits a great reward for you with Allah. So hold Allah in awe as much as you can, and listen and obey, and be charitable. This is for your own good. And whoever remains safe from his own greediness, it is such that will prosper. If you give Allah a goodly loan, He will increase it for you several fold and will forgive you. Allah is Most Appreciative, Most Forbearing.” (Qs. At Taghabun/The Mutual Disillusion: 15-17)

One day, the war booty from the wealth of Kisra (King of Persia) was brought to the caliph Umar Ibn Al Khattab -may Allah be pleased with him- , and he immediately ordered for the wealth to be poured from it’s bags. After it was poured, it was covered with several covering fabrics, and he summoned his people to come. When they have gathered around, he ordered to open the cover of the booty. There were plenty of jewelries, gems, and other riches. Seeing that wealth, Umar cried and kept on praising Allah. Seeing him crying, people gathered around him and asked, “What makes you cry, O the chief of the believers, whereas these riches has be taken by Allah from the owners, and He has given it to us?” Upon hearing such question, he replied, “No riches as these given to a nation, but it will make them shed the blood and violate the honors of one another.” (Narrated by Ad Daruquthni)

Brother! What shall we do to avoid the calamity bring by the riches and wealth? Because leaving it totally is impossible, since wealth is the main supporter of our living. The only way to protect ourselves from it is by spending it in Allah’s cause, by paying our zakat obligation, giving alms, and other form of spending it in Allah’s cause.

Thus, zakat becomes a trial for your faith, and you should pass it well.

لَن تَنَالُواْ الْبِرَّ حَتَّى تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَيْءٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ

“You shall not attain righteousness until you spend (for the sake of Allah) out of what you love. Allah knows whatever you spend.” (Qs. Ali Imran/The Family of Imran: 92)

Sheikh Abdurrahman Ibn Nashir As Sa’dy said: “This verse is an admonition of Allah to His slaves, to spend their wealth in righteous ways. Allah justified that you wont be able to achieve the level of goodness that might lead you to enter His paradise, until you willingly give your valuable and beloved wealth. Because indeed, if you prefer your love to Allah to your love for your wealth, by spending it in the ways that He pleases upon, it will be a real proof of your faith, beliefs, and your decency… It may inferred that the amount of wealth spent will be equal to his decency, and vice versa, the level of his decency will be decreased equal to the amount of wealth that he withhold. ” (Tafseer As Sa’di 138)

No wonder that the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- labelled charity/alms as “a proof”:

الصَّدَقَةُ بُرْهَانٌ. رواه مسلم

“Charity is a proof.” (Narrated by Muslim)

Al Quzwaini said: “Charity is a “proof” of the belief of one who spend of it in the life of the Hereafter and all the rewards in it. Because the soul of a mere mortal must have loved wealths, thus no one might be able to give charity from it but the believers of the rewards of that charity. Only the faithful souls in the returns of better rewards, and salvation from various odds that halt his life, that will be able to sincerely give charities.” (Faidhul Qadir by Al Munawi 4/290)

The third benefit: It will double fold your wealth.

Sheikh Muhammad Amin Asy Syinqithi said that among the meaning of:

وَتُزَكِّيهِم

is: to profusely grow the wealth that zakat was spent from it, since one of the meaning of zakat is ‘growth’. (See: Adhwa’ul Bayan, 9/203)

Sheikh’s explanation is in accordance with Allah’s decree:

يَمْحَقُ اللّهُ الْرِّبَا وَيُرْبِي الصَّدَقَاتِ وَاللّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ

“Allah deprives interest of all blessing, whereas He blesses charity with growth. Allah loves none who is ungrateful and persists in sin.” (Qs. Al Baqarah/The Cow: 276)

The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,

مَا نَقَصَتْ صَدَقَةٌ مِنْ مَالٍ وَمَا زَادَ اللَّهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلاَّ عِزًّا وَمَا تَوَاضَعَ أَحَدٌ لِلَّهِ إِلَّا رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ. رواه مسلم

“Alms will not lessen one’s wealth, and Allah will not increase for a slave, who forgives other, but nobility, and who is being modest because of Allah, but (elevate) his degree.” (Narrated by Muslim).

The scholars explained that there are two interpretation of this hadith:

It means that Allah will bless his wealth, keep it away from damages thus the decreasing amount of the wealth will be covered by this blessing. This meaning may be directly feel, or by examples in society.
This interpretation is in accordance with the following hadith:

لَمْ يَمْنَعُوا زَكَاةَ أَمْوَالِهِمْ إِلاَّ مُنِعُوا الْقَطْرَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَلَوْلاَ الْبَهَائِمُ لَمْ يُمْطَرُوا. رواه ابن ماجة والحاكم والبيهقي وحسنه الألباني

“If human beings are reluctant to pay their zakat from their wealth, but they will be prevented from rains from the sky. If it’s not for the cattle, they will not get the rain. “ (Narrated by Ibn Maja, A Hakim, Al Baihaqi, and classed hasan by al Albani).

In several atsar, it is said that:

ما تلف مال في بحر ولا بر إلا بمنع الزكاة فحرزوا أموالكم بالزكاة.

“Wealth would be destroyed, in the sea, or in the land, if the owner refuse to pay his zakat. Thus, keep your wealth by paying your zakat obligation.” (Ath Thabrani narrated it as a hadith from the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-, but it is classed as weak by Al Haitsami and Al Albani).

2. Although the amount seems to be decreased, but the double fold rewards for the zakat will be able to cover that loss, even exceed it. (See: Sharh Muslim by An Nawawi, 8/399, and Faidhul Qadir, 5/642)

This second meaning is in accordance with the hadith below:

يقول ابن آدَمَ: مَالِي مَالِي قال: وَهَلْ لك يا بن آدَمَ من مَالِكَ إلاَّ ما أَكَلْتَ فَأَفْنَيْتَ أو لَبِسْتَ فَأَبْلَيْتَ أو تَصَدَّقْتَ فَأَمْضَيْتَ . رواه مسلم

“Children of Adam (always) say: “My wealth! My wealth!”. Do you, O children of Adam, get any part of your wealth but the part you eat thus you finish it, or the part you wear thus you break it, or part that you spend in charity thus you leave it (for the Hereafter)” (Narrated by Muslim).

However, both interpretations are correct, and complementing each other.

In another verse, Allah the Exalted decreed:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَنفِقُواْ مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ وَمِمَّا أَخْرَجْنَا لَكُم مِّنَ الأَرْضِ وَلاَ تَيَمَّمُواْ الْخَبِيثَ مِنْهُ تُنفِقُونَ وَلَسْتُم بِآخِذِيهِ إِلاَّ أَن تُغْمِضُواْ فِيهِ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ {267}الشَّيْطَانُ يَعِدُكُمُ الْفَقْرَ وَيَأْمُرُكُم بِالْفَحْشَاء وَاللّهُ يَعِدُكُم مَّغْفِرَةً مِّنْهُ وَفَضْلاً وَاللّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“Believers! Spend (in the Way of Allah) out of the good things you have earned and out of what We have produced for you from the earth, and choose not for your spending the bad things such as you yourselves would not accept or accept only by overlooking its defects. Know well that Allah is All-Munificent, Most Praiseworthy. Satan frightens you with poverty and bids you to commit indecency whereas Allah promises you His forgiveness and bounty. Allah is Munificent, All-Knowing.” (Qs. Al Baqarah/The Cow: 267-268)

Ibn Jarir -may Allah have mercy on him- said, explaining this verse, “O human, indeed, if you want to spend in Allah’s way and pay the zakat for your wealth, Satan will frighten you with poverty. Satan will also lure you to do wickedness, and evade the obedience to Allah The Great and Noble. While Allah The Great and Noble, by your charity, promise you – O believers – His forgiven for your sins, thus you wont be tortured because of it. As Allah The Great and Noble also promise to replace, for every charity you spend. Thus, you’ll achieve the generosity and abundance sustenance from Allah. ” (See: Tafseer Ath Thabari, 5/571)

The Fourth benefit: It will be a fort that protects you from calamity.

Brother! If I asked you to mention the form of calamities and disasters that become the causes of other’s death, the ones that you’ve witnessed or you knew, I am sure you’ll be difficult to name it all, due to it’s huge number.

But have you ever think about the way to avoid those calamities and disasters?

Would you like me to tell you about a righteous deed, which, if you perform it, by Allah’s permission, will hinder you from any calamities and disasters that afflict and kill other people? This is the answer from the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-,

إِنَّ صَدَقَةَ السِّرِّ تُطْفِىُء غَضَبَ الرَّبِّ وَإِنَّ صَنَائِعَ المَعْرُوفِ تَقِي مَصَارِعَ السُّوءِ. رواه الطبراني والبيهقي وغيرهما وبمجموع طرقه صححه الألباني.

“Indeed, charity that being given secretly, will cease the Lord’s wrath, and righteous deeds will protect one who perform it from calamities.” (Narrated by Ath Thabrani, A, Baihaqi, and classed sahih by Al Albani based on the numerous path of narrational chain.)

Ibrahim An Nakha’i said, “The past scholars stated that every charity will be a defender for the transgressed, cease the wrath, guard the wealth, invoke sustenance, creating happiness, raise the trust and good prejudice to Allah. ” (Narrated by Al Baihaqi).

Brother! Death will come to you, but who, among us, that will be ready if it comes in a terrible way? If you do not want your death come to you through horrible disasters that make your heirs sad, you should increase your righteous deeds, help others, and multiply the amount of your charity.

Brother! You might often hear, read, or even teach about the story of the Prophet – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- with his wife, Khadija, when he returned from the cave of Hira’. He went back trembling with fear. He entered his house, to meet his beloved wife Khadija bint Khuwailid, may Allah be pleased with her, and said, “Cover me! Cover me!”. Khadija immediately covered him, until his fear subsided. After that, he said to Khadîjah: “O Khadîjah, what has happened to me (being unable to handle the responsibility)?” And he told her what had happened. He said: “I fear for myself.” Khadîjah said to him: “No, be of good cheer, for by Allâh! Allâh will never humiliate you. By Allâh! You uphold the ties of kinship, speak the truth, bear people’s burdens, help the destitute, honor your guests and help people when calamity strikes.” (Muttafaqun ‘alayh)

Imam An Nawawi said: “The scholars -may Allah be pleased with them- said, that the meaning of Khadija’s words -may Allah be pleased with her – is: ‘Indeed, you wont be afflicted by wicked things, since Allah has bestowed upon you noble manners and nice attitudes, which she mentioned some of it. This is an indication that the noble manners and nice attitudes are among the causal that hinder people from disaster.'” (Sharh Shahih Muslim by Imam An Nawawee, 2/202)

Such are the roles of charity and alms in human’s life. Is there any doubt left after you learn these benefits, to spend some of your wealth in charity, to reach Allah’s please?

The fifth benefit: A true reward for your strive

Brother! Since you’ve spent much energies and strength to obtain wealth, you deserve to enjoy the pay-offs of your strive.

What do you think, and feel, if you don’t have any chance to enjoy your work, or even worse, are not allowed to enjoy it? How cruel those that prevent you from enjoying your work results ?

Now, think again, what is the best way to truly enjoy the result of your works?

You might said, “I’ll buy delicious foods, a luxurious house, an expensive car, fine garments, and live prosperously. ”

Think about the answer above, is it true, that by loving your life that way, you’ll be able to enjoy your wealth, the result of your strive?

Too much eating will lead you to diseases such as hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, cancer, and so on. Having a luxurious house will make you become a target of the robbers, just as the car, if it’s not becoming the target of the robbers, it will be enjoyed most by your driver. And the joy it gives will stay a bit, but it will disappear soon.

Brother! One day, the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him – visited his companion and asked them:

أَيُّكُمْ مَالُ وَارِثِهِ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ مَالِهِ

“Who amongst you that love the wealth of his heir, rather than his own wealth?”

The companions spontaneously answered the messenger of Allah peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- , saying:

يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَا مِنَّا أَحَدٌ إِلاَّ مَالُهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْهِ .

“O Allah’s messenger! Every one of us certainly loves his own wealth rather than his heir’s wealth.”

Hearing their answer, the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- replied:

فَإِنَّ مَالَهُ مَا قَدَّمَ ، وَمَالُ وَارِثِهِ مَا أَخَّرَ

“Indeed, your wealth is the wealth that you’ve spent in charity, and the wealth of your heir is the wealth you leave behind (save).” (Narrated by Al Bukhari)

In another hadith, the Prophet – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- depicted the fact between human being and their wealth:

يقول ابن آدَمَ: مَالِي مَالِي قال: وَهَلْ لك يا بن آدَمَ من مَالِكَ إلاَّ ما أَكَلْتَ فَأَفْنَيْتَ أو لَبِسْتَ فَأَبْلَيْتَ أو تَصَدَّقْتَ فَأَمْضَيْتَ . رواه مسلم

“Children of Adam (always) say: ‘My wealth! My wealth!’. Do you, O children of Adam, get any part of your wealth but the part you eat thus you finish it, or the part you wear thus you break it, or part that you spend in charity thus you leave it (for the Hereafter)” (Narrated by Muslim).

To be continued…

Author: Ustadz Dr. Muhammad Arifin Badri, M.A.
Article of www.whatisquran.com

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