What are the punishments for not paying Zakat?
Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him), of the companions of Prophet Muhammad, reports:
Allah’s Messenger (Allah’s blessings and salutations upon him) said, “Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure.’ “Then the Prophet recited the verses: — ‘Let not those who withhold…’ (to the end of the verse). (3.180). (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī)
This narration explains the severe punishment of not paying Zakat. The verse which the Prophet recited was:“And let not those who covetously withhold of that which God has bestowed on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that it is good for them. Nay, it will be worse for them. The things which they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection. And to God belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth, and God is Well-Acquainted with all that you do” (Quran 3:180).
On the other hand, there are numerous benefits of paying Zakat mentioned in the Qur’an.
And Allah knows best!
Mufti Faraz Adam