Zakat: One of the important pillars of Islam
The word “Zakat” gives two meanings. One is purification and the other one is growth. Zakat is one of the most important pillars of Islam. In Quran E Hakeem the word “Zakat” is mentioned with “Namaz”. In Surah E Baqarah Allah says that:-
“And be steadfast in prayer; give Zakat, and bow down your heads with those who bow down”.
Quran E Hakeem tells us that what “Zakat” is actually. It is said by Allah Almighty in Quaran E Hakeem that Zakat is that payment which is obligatory to pay. But the people who have specific income it is obligatory to them.
At another place it is said that:-
“Believers! Surely, many of the priests and monks devour people's wealth by false means and hinder from the way of Allah. As for those who treasure up gold and silver and do not expend in Allah's cause, give them glad tidings of a painful chastisement. The Day when it will be heated up on the Fire of Jahannum, then their foreheads, sides and backs stamped therewith. ‘This is what you hoarded for yourselves. Taste then what you were hoarding”.
In Quran E Hakeem it is told that to whom Zakat was firstly decreed. It is said that:-
“And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them doing of good deeds, proper performance of Prayer and giving of charity. And they were devoted to Us”.
This verse of Quran tells that Zakat was decreed from as far back as the time of Abraham.
Benefits of paying Zakat
• When a person pay Zakat he reminds that whatever he has is in the possession of Allah Almighty.
• Zakat gives the social security to all the people. It distributes the money among all the people.
• Zakat helps to increase production and stimulate supply.
Zakat is obligatory to whom?
• He must be adult, sane and Muslim.
• He must have excessive wealth according to Nisab excluding his personal needs.
• The possession should have productive nature.
On which type of wealth Zakat is imposed?
• It is imposed on silver and gold in any form.
• It is imposed on cash.
• It is imposed on income derived from rental business.
Recipients of Zakat
According to Quran E Hakeem the recipients of Zakat are:-
إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ فَرِيضَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
"Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer (the funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to truth); for those in bondage and in debt; and for the wayfarer: (Thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom."
So according to Quran the recipients of Zakat are 8 in numbers:-
1. Fuqrah: - The needy people who can fulfill daily needs but do not possess enough wealth.
2. Masakeen: - The poor people who cannot fulfill even the basic needs.
3. Al-Amileen: - People appointed by an Islamic Government to collect Zakat.
4. Mu-allafatul-qulub: - The person who enters in Islam and do not have wealth.
5. Ar- Riqaab:- Slaves
6. Al Gahrimeen:- The person who have debt.
7. Fi Sabilillah: - People who have to carry out an obligatory deed which has become obligatory on them and subsequently (due to loss of wealth) are unable to complete that obligation.
8. Ibne Us Sabeel:- The person who does not have basic needs while travelling.
Pay Zakat if you have wealth according to Nisab and save yourselves from the fire of Jahanum.