Ramadan 2022: Zakat eliminates greed, creates love and kindness

Zakat is obligatory for every Muslim who has money in excess of a certain threshold and 12 months have passed on it



File photo
File photo

By Aftab H. Kola

Published: Wed 13 Apr 2022, 8:38 PM

The spirit of giving and sacrifice is an important component of Ramadan. This is the month when we experience the pain of those who find it difficult to make both ends meet.

When we keep away from food and drink, we realise what it means to go hungry and thirsty. Islam offers a solution to this by commanding the affluent to pay a certain amount of money to the poor so that they can live a life of subsistence and dignity.

Allah says in the Holy Quran: “And whatsoever you spend of anything (in the cause of Allah), He will replace it. He is the best of those who grant sustenance.” He further exhorts: “Establish worship, pay the poor dues (zakah), and bow your heads with those who bow (in worship).”

Zakat is obligatory for every Muslim, male or female, who has money in excess of a certain threshold and 12 months have passed on it. It is collected at specified rates, and its beneficiaries are clearly defined. The Holy Quran has identified eight groups of people who are entitled to receiving zakat. They include fuqara (the destitute), masakin (the needy), mu’allafatu‘l qulub (converts), Fi’r riquab (slaves), algharimin (overburdened debtors), fisabilillah (those striving in the way of Allah), Ibnu’s sabil (travellers) and aamileena alaiha (zakat collectors).

Muslims qualified to pay it must donate at least 2.5 per cent of their annual savings and goods in trade to deserving fellow beings. It is one of the largest forms of wealth transfer to the poor in existence today.

Zakat is the minimum, and voluntary charity is wide open. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not allow his companions to give charitable bequests amounting to more than one-third of the total of their property, in order not to jeopardise the rights of their legal heirs.

Zakat purifies the human personality by removing selfishness, greed and materialism. It creates compassion, care, love and kindness among Muslims and makes a person more thankful to Allah. It is the wealth given in the way of Allah to secure the purity of heart and obtain the blessings of Allah. The root of the word ‘Zakat’ in Arabic has two meanings: purity and growth. It aims to ensure full social security in an Islamic society.

Although Zakat can be distributed at any time of the year, Muslims all over the world prefer Ramadan for its distribution. Thus, we see Ramadan as the time when Muslims look forward to sharing their possessions with the less fortunate.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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