At Peace

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Sunday, August 23, 2009


All Muslims know that we have 5 pillars of Islam.

1. Shahadah... everybody knows how to utter it and hopefully means it.
2. Salah... 5 times a day.
3. Zakat... yap, during Ramadhan.
4. Fasting... err, actually this one is during Ramadhan.
5. Hajj... to Mecca, but probably not enough money to go there yet.

Back to Zakat. It is not only during Ramadhan we pay Zakat, we should pay zakat EVERY YEAR.
Most of us would be afraid not to fast during Ramadhan, but how many would not pay zakat? Out of the 5 pillars, zakat is the least understood pillar. Out of 30 places al-zakat were mentioned in the quran, 27 of them were mentioned together with salat. Historically, Abu Bakr r.a fought those who refuse to pay zakat, even though they ‘presumably’ still utter shahadah.

Zakat is not a charity that we have the choice when to pay, whenever we have the time. Zakat is a right of the poor from the rich. When the time has come for one to pay zakat, it become compulsory for him to pay - to the extent that if he died before paying zakat, a portion from his wealth needs to be taken for zakat before distribution to the heir. That brings us into another important point – that zakat is one serious business. One should not feel comfortable with any zakat amount that has not been distributed.

When we calculate zakat, there will be time when we feel that probably we should deduct more for our necessity (in order to pay less zakat). It is a difficult thing to overcome. But remember, we prepare to pay thousands for hajj, and we want to make sure we have good hotels, good food etc; so why not we do the same with zakat. Let it be plentiful to be in the side of caution. Plus, zakat is the 3rd pillar of Islam, while Hajj is the last pillar.

If we are still in doubt, then listen to what Allah and His Messenger had promised us regarding charity; that giving charity WILL NEVER decrease your wealth. It has never been so clear in the quran and hadith.

And that which you give in gift, in order that it may increase from other people’s property, has no increase with Allah; but that which you give in Zakat seeking Allah’s Countenance then those, they shall have manifold increase. (Quran 30:39)

Rasulullah said: I swear upon 3 things and ask you to memorize my words: charity taken from a property never decreases it; a man who suffers injustice and is patient with it, Allah will grant him strength; a man who starts begging, Allah will cause him to be poor. (Hadith Al-Tirmidhi)

May Allah accept our deeds.

Pay our zakat, now!


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