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ZAKAAH THE THIRD PILLAR OF ISLAM


Just as Allaah has created people with different colours, attitudes and levels of knowledge, so too their deeds and provision vary. He has made some of them rich and some poor, to test the rich as to whether they show gratitude, and to test the poor as to whether they are patient. Because the believers are a brotherhood, and brotherhood is based on compassion, kindness, love and mercy, Allaah has enjoined upon the Muslims zakaah which is taken from the rich and given to the poor. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

"Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allaah for them. Verily, your invocations are a source of security for them"[al-Tawbah 9:103]

Zakaah purifies and cleanses wealth, and purifies the soul from stinginess and miserliness. It strengthens the love between the rich and poor, takes away hatred, makes security prevail and brings happiness to the ummah.

"And perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and gi Zakaah, and whatever of good (deeds that Allaah loves) you send forth for yourselves before you, you shall find it with Allaah. Certainly, Allaah is All-Seer of what you do"[al-Baqarah 2:110]

"O you who believe! Verily, there are many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks who devour the wealth of mankind in falsehood, and hinder (them) from the way of Allaah (i.e. Allaah's religion of Islamic Monotheism). And those who hoard up gold and silver (Al-Kanz: the money, the Zakaah of which has not been paid) and spend them not in the way of Allaah, announce unto them a painful torment.

On the Day when that (Al-Kanz: money, gold and silver, the Zakaah of which has not been paid) will be heated in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (and it will be said unto them:) This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard

[al-Tawbah 9:34-35]

Concealing one's zakaah is better than paying it openly in front of people, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "If you disclose your Sadaqaat (almsgiving), it is well; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, that is better for you. (Allaah) will expiate you some of your sins. And Allaah is Well-Acquainted with what you do [al-Baqarah 2:271]

When a Muslim pays his zakaah, it is not permissible for him to give it to anyone except those whom Allaah mentions in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

"As-Sadaqaat (here it means Zakaah) are only for the Fuqaraa' (poor), and Al-Masaakeen (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allaah's Cause (i.e. for Mujahidoon – those fighting in a holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allaah. And Allaah is All Knower, All-Wise"[al-Tawbah 9:60]


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