Sunday, 19 April 2009

Zakat: one of the four pillars of Islam

How Muhammad exonerated himself, and for what purposes it is utilized nowadays

Zakat, the origins, and how Muhammad refused to pay

Muslims who migrated from Mecca to Medina, were very poor and hence Mumammad asked his followers in Medina to spend a portion of their income, called Sadqa, for helping those immigrants. Later on Allah approved Sadqa (Surah 9:60). Later on, this Sadqa turned into Zaqat and Allah said in Surah 2,272-274 that Zaqat, which Allah ordained would be compulsory practice for every believer. Nut Muhammad refused to pay it. He used to say:

There is no Zaqat for my family and the families of my kin” (Muslim: 2340).

The well known proverb says: “Charity should begin at home” and Muhammad, as he was the prophet to establish Insaaf, should have been the first person to offer Zaqat. But his refusal to pay Zaqat was grossly unfair and by such an act he terribly violated the command of Allah.

How can he be called a flawless man?

For what purposes Zakat is utilized today

The eligible receivers of Zakat are explained in 9:60:

“The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and for those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah and for the wayfarer.”

Those whose hearts are to be reconciled”. It means to use the Zakat money as a tool for creating loyalty, for those who have recently converted to Islam or those who might be about to do so.

For the cause of Allah”, maily means : for jihadists purposes.

different problem of Zakat: While bringing immediate relief for the needy, it does not by itself eradicate poverty, for the mere giving of alms does not teach how to become economically self-reliant. On the contrary, unconditional giving to the poor can be seen as a kind of reward for poverty more than a tool for getting out of the situation. Giving alms, while charitable, in most cases apart from emergencies, is the wrong cure for the problem of poverty. If Zakat really was a workable remedy against poverty, the Islamic countries should have less poverty than others. The opposite is very obviously the case. The Zakat is to be given to eight categories:

the poor
those short of money
administrative costs
those whose hearts are to be reconciled
slaves to buy their freedom
those in debt
  travellers who need assistance

A kafir (non-believer) is forbidden to receive zakat money.


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