Dr. Muhammad Salah discusses the benefit of doing business with Allah.
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.
By: Mufti Faraz ibn Adam
The great Hanafi faqih (jurist) Imam Ibn al-Humam mentions: “Sadaqat al-Fitr is compulsory upon every free Muslim.” (Sharh Fath al-Qadir, 2:285)
All the scholars base their opinion on the following ahadith:
‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) enjoined the payment of one sa’ of dates or one sa’ of barley as Zakat al-Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the ‘Id prayer.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:409)
‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) declared the payment of Sadaqat al-Fitr as obligatory; it purifies the fasting person from any indecent act or speech, and is a source of feeding the poor. If one pays Sadaqat al-Fitr before the salah (i.e. the ‘Id prayer), it is considered an accepted charity, if he pays it after the salah, it is considered an ordinary charity.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, p. 263)
There are many similar narrations establishing the same ruling.
The Pre-Requisites of Sadaqat al-Fitr Being Compulsory
- Islam: According to the four schools of thought (madhahib), being a Muslim is a pre-requisite. (Sharh Fath al-Qadir, 2:286)
- Free (not being enslaved): All the scholars agree that a slave will not be obliged to dispense of Sadaqat al-Fitr. (Ibid.)
- Possessing the quantum (nisab) for Sadaqat al-Fitr: This condition is deduced from the hadith: “Sadaqat isn’t compulsory except for he who is well-off.” (Musnad Ahmad, 10:7)
What is meant by quantum (nisab) is: that threshold of wealth one must have for Sadaqat al-Fitr to be compulsory. If somebody possesses less than that amount, he will not be obliged to pay Sadaqat al-Fitr.
The Hanafi madhhab is solitary in specifying a set quantum. According to the Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali madhahib, one who possesses surplus provisions for the night and day of ‘Id for himself and his dependants, will be obliged to discharge Sadaqat al-Fitr. (Mawahib al-Jalil, 3:257;Mughni al-Muhtaj, 1:594; al-Mughni, 4:301)
The specifying of a quantum is based upon the fact that in many places, Sadaqat al-Fitr has been termed as Zakat al-Fitr. For example, the narration of ‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Umar in Sahih al-Bukhari has the wording Zakat al-Fitr. Also, the report of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri in Sahih Muslimbears the same terminology. Hence, by way of analogy and the alluded meaning (isharah an-nass), we can conclude that Sadaqat al-Fitr enjoys the same threshold and quantum as that of Zakat.
In principle, there are three types of quanta (nisab) in the Hanafi madhhab, each quantum results in different rulings.
- That which obligates Zakat: to possess assets of a productive nature equivalent to the value of 612.36 g of silver.
In this quantum, it is a requirement that the wealth one possesses has the capacity to grow and develop (numuw). Zakat is only compulsory in that asset which is of a productive nature; the asset has the capacity to increase. For example, in the animals which are regarded as zakatable, namely camels, cows and sheep, they grow and increase in reality by reproduction. These assets in reality are of a productive nature, it is witnessed by the eye. Hence, Zakat is obligatory on them. Another form of assets being of a productive nature is innately (hukman); in such assets, the actual asset doesn’t multiply or increase, but it inherently possesses the characteristic of being productive; they have the potential to result in a profitable return. Thus, gold and silver fall under this category, likewise cash.
- The second type of quantum is to possess any asset beyond ones necessities equivalent to the value of 612.36 g of silver. One who has this will be liable for the following rulings:
- Sadaqat al-Fitr becomes compulsory
- The receiving of Zakat is impermissible
- Animal sacrifice (udhiyyah) becomes compulsory
- The financial maintenance of one’s family becomes obligatory
For this quantum, it isn’t necessary to possess wealth which is of a productive nature, nor is it necessary to be trading in a commodity. Likewise it isn’t a condition to possess these commodities for a full lunar year, unlike the first quantum. Whoever possesses this quantum will not be obliged to discharge Zakat, however, he will have to dispense of Sadaqat al-Fitr.
- The final quantum is to be in possession of one day’s provision. According to some, it is to possess 50 dirhams (153.09 g of silver). This quantum results in:
- The impermissiblity of begging
- The permissibility of receiving Zakat
In addition, the possessor of this quantum will not be obliged to pay Sadaqat al-Fitr, nor will he have to perform animal sacrifice in the days of Hajj. (Ashraf al-Hidayah, 3:161)
In short, according to the Hanafi madhhab, for Sadaqat al-Fitr to be obligatory, one must possess any asset surplus of one’s basic needs which are equivalent to the value of 612.36 g of silver.
Who Has to Pay
According to the four schools of fiqh, one will have to pay Sadaqat al-Fitr on behalf of himself and his minor dependants when the above conditions are met.
Imam al-Haskafi mentions that a Muslim who meets all the above criteria is required to pay Sadaqat al-Fitr for himself and on behalf of his minor children who do not possess the required quantum. The same ruling applies for those suffering from dementia. (al-Durr al-Mukhtar, p.140)
If one’s children who haven’t reached the age of puberty possess the quantum, it will be permissible for their guardian to dispense of Sadaqat al-Fitr from their wealth. (Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, 1:211)
By: Abdullah Hakim Quick
Did you know? “• In the 9th Century AD, The Caliph Mamun of the Abbasid Dynasty in Baghdad, needed a means of solving problems of inheritance, land divisions, finances, Zakat, construction, agriculture, navigation and booty distribution. So the great Muslim Scholar Muhammad ibn Musa, Al-Khawarizmi, wrote a book called “Kitab al-Mukhtasar fi Hisab Al-Jabr (Algebra) wa al-Muqabalah” (The Abbreviated Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing”. This was the basis of Modern Algebra and is still studied today. Muslims need to return to positive, broad minded thinking that connects us with the Creator and enables us to handle the challenges around us. Look at this design that was part of a Mosque in Cairo, Egypt. SubhaanAllah, Focus your eyes on it and see the different levels of design. This is how life is!!! Allahu Akbar (Allah Is the Greatest).
By: Jasmin Ghandour
Only a few days ago, I read a Facebook post by our friends at Islamic Relief Palestine that reminded me how easy it really is to forget how fortunate we are.
With some of us having so much to do in what seems like so little time, we sometimes find it difficult to take a moment to appreciate the things in our lives that we’re most thankful for like the people that make you smile, our homes, the food on our table, living in a country where we can execute our right to an education, our jobs and of course the generous supporters that make our life changing work possible.
Ensure your charity is accepted by not making these common mistakes.
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