The Spirit of Zakat

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The spirit of Zakat

By Dr Aboobakar Thwahir

The Milli Gazette Online, 29 October 2005

Zakat is the most powerful tool for social justice and poverty alleviation. Islam had it compulsory on all Muslims who have balance of money in cash or kind after one year and after all expenditures are met. Ramadan is the best month for taking stock of the wealth and distribute amongst the deserving people as prescribed in the Qur’aan: 

"By no means shall you attain goodness (piety, righteousness and paradise) unless you spend (in the cause of Allah) of which you love; and whatever good you spend, Allah knows it well". (3:92)

"Take (give out) alms from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it…" (9:103)

"O, you who believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, not intercession. And is the disbelievers, who are wrong doers" (2:254)

"And there are those who hoard gold and silver, and do not spend it in the way of Allah, announce to them a most grievous penalty (when) on the day of Qiyamath heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of jahannam, then with it they will be branded on their foreheads and their flanks and backs. (It will be aid to them) This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves, taste then the treasure that you had been hoarding" (9:34)

"This is the book (Al Quran) whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al Muttaqoon (pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained), who believe in the gaib (unseen) and perform salah (iqamat salah) and spend out of what we have provided for them (give zakat, spend on themselves, their parents, wife and children and also give charity to the poor and also in the cause of Islam) (2:3-4)

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