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Why pay Zakat?

Video: Why pay Zakat? - Imam Zaid Shakir

Zakat: An act of devotion and worship

The objective of Zakat, as emphasised in the Qur'an, is a glorious objective of purification and upliftment (Surah Al-Taubah 9:103). In this sense Zakat washes away our sins in the same way prayer does. In fact, it is mentioned in the sayings that Zakat carries the “dirt” (awsakh) of people.

When giving Zakat, the intention of the individual should be based on fulfilling Allah’s commandments. Giving Zakat with pure and sincere intentions will ensure rewards in the hereafter; Surah Al-Baqarah (2:276) tells us that: “Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He does not love the one who is ungrateful and wicked.”

The Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) reinforces this concept very beautifully: When a slave of Allah pays Zakat, the Angels of Allah pray for him in these words: "O Allah! Grant abundance to him who spends (in Your cause) and destroy him who does not spend and restricts to himself his wealth.” (Bukhari)

Abdullah bin Abi Aufa narrated: When the people brought Sadaqah to the Prophet (peace be upon him) he used to say, "O Allah! Bless them with Your Mercy." (Bukhari)

When a Muslim pays Zakat, Allah increases his sustenance. Although at a human level it may seem that giving charity means reduction of wealth, in reality this is not the case. At a metaphysical level, Allah blesses the giver of Zakat to an extent that is beyond human perception. This is very well-defined by the following Hadith: “Charity does not diminish wealth.” (Muslim)

Zakat: Brotherhood in Islam

Video: Zakat and Brotherhood - Shaykh Musleh Khan

The benefits of Zakat for the individual and society

  • Prove the faith and belief of the Muslims
  • Show the truthfulness of faith of the one who gives away Zakat because man love's money, so when he gives it for the cause of Allah, he proves that he sacrifices his love for the sake of Allah
  • To purify the character of the person by training he or she to be generous and kind
  • To fulfil the needs of the poor in the society
  • Protect the society from crimes and social class clashes (which will happen when the poor understand that they have a portion of the finances of the rich) – this in turn leads to better social cohesion and societal stability
  • It drives a Muslim to learn about their duties to Allah – by reading this, that is what you’re doing right now masha’Allah! – and in doing so increasing religious knowledge
  • Blesses the properties by the will of Allah and increases and protects them.
  • Circulates wealth in the society so nobody can hold and monopolize it against the social interest of the people

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