Deep down, you may think of zakat as a tiresome once-a-year event that simply involves a quick online payment of 2.5% of your cash and a bunch of gold weighed on scales in your kitchen! But there is a lot more to it. Fully understanding and practising this beautiful pillar of Islam can lead to a more productive and successful existence at both an individual and community level. How? Paying your zakat correctly triggers some marvellous productivity boosters that you probably have never thought of! Here’s what actually happens to you and your
1. Purifies Your Soul
Nothing prevents us more from reaching the heights of productivity than our sins. Day and night, we disobey Allah (glorified and exalted be He) in all sorts of ways, knowingly and unknowingly, blotting our hearts and blocking the light of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) from entering them. One critical way of clearing out the junk from our hearts is to pay zakat.
Linguistically, zakat carries meanings of cleansing and purification, originating from the same root as the word Tazkiyah. In fact, when Allah (glorified and exalted be He) commanded the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to collect zakat, He (glorified and exalted be He) specifically mentioned its purifying power:
“Take from their wealth a charity to cleanse and purify them through it and pray for them. Indeed your prayer gives them tranquility. And indeed Allah is All Hearing, All Knowing.” [Qur’an: Chapter 9, Verse 103]
2. Blesses Your Wealth
Apart from purification, zakat also carries meanings of growth and enhancement. Paying your zakat means that what is left of your money will be more blessed and more productive for you. Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) emphasised this by warning against delaying the payment of Zakat or not paying it at all:
“Zakat is never intermingled with any amount of wealth without destroying and rotting it.” [Bukhari]
It is said that zakat represents the ‘filth’ within our wealth, i.e. an amount that we may have incurred through some form of sin or dishonesty, however small or great. For our money to remain blessed, it is vital to get rid of the ‘filth’ as soon as possible. This is akin to the dross that is filtered from a blast furnace, leaving a pure, pristine metal behind.
Allah describes the characteristics of generations that became losers.
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