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Don't Forget to Purify Your Wealth!

Taken from As-Sunnah Islamic Newsletter

Compiled by Shawana A. Aziz


Wealth is a Trial...

From the weaknesses of human beings pointed out by Allah in the Qur'aan, is the love for wealth. He said: "And you love wealth with excessive love." [Soorah al-Fajr (89): 20] And: "Verily he (man) is violent in the love of wealth." [Soorah al-Aadiyat (100): 8] He also warned, saying: "Your wealth and your children may be but a trial." [Soorah Taghabun (64): 15]

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Every Ummah (nation) has a test to undergo, my Ummah (nation) will be tried through wealth." [at-Tirmidhee no: 481]

The Qur'aan narrates a parable of a virtuous man, whom Allah had granted abundance in wealth. He owned a valuable garden; after d edu cing the household and agricultural expenses from his income, he would spend the remaining money in charity. When he died, his sons considered their father to be a simpleton for giving away such large amount of money in charity and thus decided to hold back the entire profit. When the garden was ready to be harvested, they planned to secretly carry all the produce to their homes without anybody knowing. The next day, as they approached the garden, they were astonished to see the fresh and blooming garden completely laid waste and it was only their garden which was in ruins!! "They said: 'Alas for us! We have indeed transgressed!" [Soorah al-Qalam (68): 31] and Allah declares: "Such is the punishment (in this life); but greater is the punishment in the Hereafter!" [Soorah al-Qalam (68): 33]

Similarly, many people ruin their faith and fidelity merely due to the greed of wealth. This love of wealth creates in man evil instincts, miserliness, selfishness and arrogance, which in turn involve him in sins, falsehood, deceit, cruelty and robbery. This causes disorder and destruction in the world and the Hereafter is lost too!!

The concept of Zakaah is to decrease the love of wealth and inculcate justice, generosity, brotherhood, affection and sacrifice among the Muslims and thus Allah says: "By no means shall you attain righteousness (and reward) unless you spend of that which you love." [Soorah al-Imraan (3): 92]


Zakaat is… Completion of Islaam:

Zakaat is a fundamental pillar of Islam. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Pay the Zakaat so that your Islam becomes complete." [Al-Bazzar].

In other words, he who refuses to pay the Zakaat holds feeble faith and has not accepted Islam with full sincerity. Therefore, during his caliphate, Abu Bakr (radhi allahu anhu) declared war against those who refused to pay Zakaat, although they believed in the Oneness of Allah, performed the Salaah and observed fasts.

Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported that on the death of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), when Abu Bakr became the Caliph, some Arabs became apostates and refused to pay Zakaat. Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: "How can you wage a holy war against them when the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) had declared that he would fight until they acknowledge 'La Ilaha illa Allah" Abu Bakr (radhi allahu anhu) said: "By Allah, whoever makes a distinction between Prayer and Zakaat, I will fight against him. If you own wealth, you owe Zakaat. Even if they withhold a lamb which they were giving in Zakaat to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) I will fight." Umar (radhi allahu anhu) remarked: "Allah has given Abu Bakr true insight and I instantly realized that he was right." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol: 2, no: 483)]

... a sign of Belief:
Allah says: "Who establish Salaah and spend out of that which We have provided them. It is they who are believers of truth" [Soorah al-Anfal (8): 3-4]

...Purifying and increasing one's Wealth: The literal meaning of Zakaat is 'purity and enhancement'. By paying Zakaat one purifies his wealth and also obtains religious sanctions for his possession. Allah said to His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): "Take alms from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it..." [Soorah at-Tawbah (9): 103] And: "That which you give in gifts (to others), in order that it may increase (your wealth by expecting to get a better one in return) from other people's property, has no increase with Allah, but that which you give in Zakaat seeking Allah's Countenance, then they shall have manifold increase." [Soorah ar-Room (30): 39]

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "By spending in charity, the wealth does not decrease; one who forgives, receives more honor from Allah and he who adapts humility rises higher in position." [Saheeh Muslim (vol: 4, no: 6264)]

... Strengthening Brotherhood:
Zakaat is a true and practical expression of Islamic brotherhood, since it is a social security for the weak and a protection for the society against destructions. When people learn about the wealthy paying Zakaat and their willingness to help others, they genuinely increase in love and compassion. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "The relationship of a believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) building, each strengthens the other." [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

… a Model of Economic Order
Some 200 years back phrases like individual freedom and freedom of thought were raised, which resulted in a capitalist ideology. It was supported by the philosophy that every man was the owner of his wealth, he can utilize it in any manner without any concern for the society, whether his character is ruined or his greed of wealth is destroying the peace and prosperity of the society. In this cruel and selfish system wealth, accumulated in the hands of a few capitalists and a large number of people were crushed under the burden of debts.

When this economic order was found inadequate, a new doctrine called 'communism' was introduced under the guise of equality and justice. In this system, the government holds exclusive rights to own all the resources of the country, land property, factories and all the produce, while the individual is deprived of it all. Practically, the life of servitude is slapped on him, while everything is controlled by a handful of people who exercise absolute authority over both man and matters.

Both these systems carried oppression and exploitation to the extreme limit. People discarded these unjust systems in a very short time, even in
Russia , where communism had a strong hold, dissidents raised the banner of revolt. Thus, experience shows that man-made laws have never been infallible and have always lead mankind to downfall and destruction.

Unlike capitalism and socialism, the economic order of Islam rests on the principle that the Universe and everything therein belongs to Allah, the All Mighty. He is the real Owner of all kinds of wealth and all its sources. Therefore, we read in the Qur'aan: "Give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given you." [Soorah an-Noor (24): 33] And: "Spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs." [Soorah al-Hadid (57): 7]

Thus, man is merely a trustee and it is binding on him to utilize and spend all the wealth given to him by Allah as He commands.

Allah has set limits in matter of earning and spending wealth. He has forbidden the income which arises from bribery and extortion [(2): 188], breach of trust [(3): 61], making and selling of idols, gambling, wine, divination of arrows [(5): 90], theft [(5): 38], fraudulent dealings on weights and measures [(83): 2-3], depriving the orphan of his property [(4): 2-3], spreading of obscene matters [(24): 19], prostitution [(24): 33] and dealings of interest (Usury) [(2): 278].

Additionally, Allah has explicitly cited praiseworthy expenditures:
- to spend the wealth on parents, relatives, orphans, destitute and neighbors. [Soorah an- Nisa (4): 36]
- to give to those who ask and those who abstain from asking. [Soorah ad-Dhariyaat (51): 19]
- to give loans [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 261 and Soorah at-Taghabun (64): 17]
- to pay Zakaat [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 277]
- to give in charity [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 271]
- to help the traveler [Soorah at-Tawbah (9): 34]

While the Muslim law strictly controls individual conduct, both in private and in public life, it does not place any restraint on the personal ownership of property. Any person could own millions; there would be no objection on his acquiring such wealth, provided the means are lawful.

In light of the above, one can confidently say that Islam safeguards the economic status of an individual, and all abominable acts of surpassing of rights and looting of wealth are barred in Islam. Allah has provided mankind the ultimate solution to all money crises - "Zakaat" - He has prohibited the hoarding of wealth and has secured the rights of the poor.

Goods on Which Zakaah is Binding

= Zakaat is binding on gold, which reaches 87 grams (7.5 tolas) at the rate of 2.5% either in gold itself or its value.

Previously, in the time of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) people used gold coins as Deenar and silver coins as Dirham. One Deenar weighed 87 grams (7.5 tolas).

Ibn Umar and Aa'ishah (radhi allahu anhum) both transmitted that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to take Zakaat at the rate of half Deenar on 20 Deenar or more and one Deenar on forty Deenars, i.e. 2.5% or the fortieth part. [(saheeh) Authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majah lil Albanee (vol: 1, no: 1448)]

= Zakaat is binding on silver when the quantity of silver reaches 612 grams (52.5 tolas) at the rate of 2.5% in silver itself or its value.

Ali (radhi allahu anhu) said: "You will have to pay a fortieth part of silver as Zakaat, i.e. the rate of one Dirham on every forty Dirhams (2.5%)." [(saheeh) Authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee in Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood Lil al-Albanee (vol: 1, no: 1390)]

= Zakaat is binding on ornaments made of gold and silver:
Amr bin Shoaib (radhi allahu anhu) records from his father and grandfather that once a woman came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) along with her daughter, who was wearing two gold bracelet. She was asked whether Zakaat was being paid on the bracelets, and she replied in the negative. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Will you chose to wear two bracelets of Fire on the Day of Judgement?" The woman immediately discarded the gold bracelets and gave it in alms. [(hasan) by Shaikh al-Albanee in Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood lil al-Albanee (vol: 1, no: 1382)]

This is the view of Imaam Abu Hanifa, but majority of the scholars do not agree with him. The difference is merely on the jewellery of general use, since all items of general use are exempted from Zakaat. However, all the scholars agree that Zakaat is obligatory on those ornaments purchased with the intention of investments.

NOTE: It is incorrect to combine the quantity of gold with the quantity of silver and value them for Zakaat.

Money: Currency is interchangeable with gold and silver. To find out the changeability of Zakaat on money, the amount should be compared with the price of 87 grams of gold or 612 grams of silver (whichever is lower) and if the conditions of Zakaat are liable then 2.5% of the money has to be given as Zakaat.


Zakaat on the Stock in trade:
Amr bin Hamas from his father, narrates that he used to sell plain leather and quiver, (case for arrows). Umar (radhi allahu anhu) happened to pass by and remarked that Zakaat was required to be paid. [Musnad Ahmad, al-Bayhaqee, Daraqutni (vol: 2, p: 215) and others]

Zakaat has to be calculated with reference to the trading stock together with the profit at the end of the year. It should be calculated as explained earlier in the case of money. The value of the goods at the close of the year is to calculated, whether it exceeds 87 grams of gold or 612 grams of silver. Goods like buildings, furniture or transport means used in trading are excluded in calculating Zakaat.

Goods Exempted from the obligation of Zakaat.
Articles of personal Use: Items of personal use like residential houses, plots of land for house construction, cars, furniture, fridge, personal weapons or animals are exempted from Zakaat, regardless of their value. Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) relates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) states: "There is no Zakaat in respect of houses and the slaves." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol: 2, no: 542)]

Animals meant for agriculture:
Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) narrates in a lengthy hadeeth that no Zakaat is payable in respect of animals which are put to some use or other. [(saheeh) - Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah lil Daktoor Mustafa al-Azmi (vol: 4, no: 292)]

Ali (radhi allahu anhu) relates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "There is no Zakaat on (a) Vegetables, (b) Aariyat trees , (c) Grains less than 5 wasaq (725 kg), (d) Animals kept for personal us and (e) Jabah." [Daraqutni (vol: 2, p: 95)]

Aariyat trees are such fruit-bearing trees which a rich man may temporarily give at the disposal of a poor man to obtain benefit from.
Jabah refers to a horse or even a donkey GOLD and SILVER

Conditions for the payment of Zakaat
Every Muslim man or woman, major or minor *, sane or insane * who is a free citizen and holds total wealth exceeding the prescribed minimum limit for one full year is obliged to pay Zakaat from his lawful earnings.

Saheb al- Nisa ab: (complete possession of the wealth): Saheb al- Nisa ab means that complete wealth should be held by one particular person. The wealth should be free from the rights of other people and the owner enjoys full right to dispose and use his wealth as he wills, since Allah says: "Take from their wealth a Sadaqah …" [(9): 103]

Completion of One full year: Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) explains that Zakaat is payable on property (in nature of wealth) which has remained in the hands of the person for one full year from the time it was acquired by him." [(saheeh) Authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee in Sunan at-Tirmidhee (vol: 2, no: 515)]

Allah is only pleased with the Zakaat which is paid from lawful earnings:
Usama bin Umar (radhi allahu anhu) transmits from his father who said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying: "Prayers without cleanliness are not accepted by Allah, similarly any charity from ill-gotten wealth is not accepted." [(saheeh) - Authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee Saheeh Sunan an- Nisa 'ee (vol: 2, no: 2364)]

* The Zakaat on behalf of minor or insane will be paid out of his wealth by the guardian.


People entitled to take Zakaat

Fuqarah and al-Masakeen:
are those poor people who do not beg. They may have money but not sufficient for their basic needs.
Masaakeen are those people who beg because they do not have food and clothing or may have something for their basic needs. Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) refers to a long communication to Mu'adh ton his way to Yemen, wherein he mentions that Allah has made Zakaat compulsory, it has to be extracted from the rich and given to the poor. [Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol: 2, no: 271) and Saheeh Muslim]

Those employed to collect (the funds): Ibn Sa'eed (radhi allahu anhu) states the he was appointed recovery officer by Umar (radhi allahu anhu) and after doing his job, when he went to hand over the recoveries, Umar (radhi allahu anhu) issued orders that he be compensated for his services. Ibn Sa'eed (radhi allahu anhu) said he had done the job for the cause of Allah and he would be rewarded for it by Allah. Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: "You may take what you are given. I too had done this job and was awarded compensation by the Messenger of Allah r. Like you I was hesitant but the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) advised me to accept what is given unsolicited and to eat it and also spend in charity." [Authenticated by Shaikh Albanee - Sunan Abu Dawood (2/1643)]

Debtors, who cannot pay their debts:
Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri (radhi allahu anhu) relates that a trader of fruits suffered immense loss due to damage on his fruits and he became heavily indebted. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Spend charity on him" The people came forward with their offerings, yet the debts could not be rendered in full. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) urged the creditors to take whatever was given to them and write off the balance. [Saheeh Muslim]

To attract the hearts of those are inclined towards Islam)
Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri (radhi allahu anhu) said: "Ali sent some freshly mined gold particles which were not yet sifted from earth to the Messenger of Allah r. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) distributed it among four people from the tribes of Bani Kilaa and Bani Nabham. The people of Quraysh felt hurt at this and complained that they were being ignored, while the chiefs of Najed were favored at their expense. Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) indicated that this was done so as to generate feelings of affection and attachment in the hearts of the people of Najed. [Saheeh Muslim 2/ 2318] This category also includes spending Zakaat in order to ward off the evil and harm from the Muslims.

To Free the captives:
Baraa (radhi allahu anhu) states that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and asked to be guided on such a course which should bring him nearer to Paradise and take him and take him away from Hell. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) told him to set free a life and liberate a slave. The distinction between the two objects was too delicate to discover and the person wondered whether both were one and the same thing. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "No, one is to set free on your own; i.e. exclusively and other is to help liberate a man, i.e. collaborate with others in getting the man freed." [(Hasan) - Musnad Ahmad]

For Allah's Cause (i.e. for those who fight in holy battles)
Ata bin Yasar (radhi allahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "A rich person does not deserve to be given out of Zakaat funds except in the five cases:
(a) one who is fighting or striving in the Cause of Allah (Jihaad),
(b) one who is administering Zakaat funds,
(c) one who is afflicted by damages,
(d) one who wants to buy from a poor man certain things which has been given him as Zakaat and
(e) an indigent who receives something by way of Zakaat; that neighbor, although a rich person, is allowed to accept a gift the offering made by his poor neighbor."
[Authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee in Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood (1/1440)]

In the above Hadeeth, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) clearly states that anything given to a poor man by way of Zakaat can be bought by a rich person (other than one who gave it in Zakaat) and after giving something in Zakaat, one is free to receive the same as a gift.

Striving in the cause of Allah includes all those works, which propagate and spread the knowledge of Deen, for e.g; establishing and running religious schools, publication of religious books and the distribution etc

The wayfarers: (A traveler who is cut from everything): The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "It is not lawful to give Zakaat to a rich person, but there is an exception for three persons, one who is engrossed in the cause of Allah, second a wayfarer stranded on the way and third an indigent making offering or entertaining to feast rich person out of Zakaat receive by him." [(Hasan) Sunan Abu Dawood 2/1633]

Non - Payment of Zakaat...
Along with the blessings and bounties attached to the payment of Zakaat, it is worthwhile mentioning the ill-effects of its non-payment.

Destruction of Wealth: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) mentioned that the wealth of those who do not pay the Zakaat is eventually destroyed. [Tabaranee]. In another narration, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Those who neglect and do not pay Zakaat will suffer calamities like famine." [(hasan) by Shaikh al-Albanee in Targheeb wa Tarheeb] and: "Whenever people restrain from paying the Zakaat due on their wealth, they will be deprived of rain. If it were not for the sake of their cattle they would not receive rain." [Ibn Majah and al-Haakim]

Severe Punishment in the Hereafter: Apart from the misery and ruins faced in the world, those negligent of Zakaat will be severely punished in the Hereafter, Allah says: "Those who hoard up gold and silver (Kanz: the money, the Zakaat of which has not been paid), and spend not in the Way of Allah, - announce unto them a painful torment. On the day when that (Kanz) will be heated in the Fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks and their backs (and it will said unto them): - "This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard." [Soorah al-Tawbah (9): 34-35]

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakaat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a baldheaded 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 he recited: "Let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that it is good for them (and thus they do not pay the obligatory Zakaat). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they conversely withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol: 2 no: 486)]

And in a long Hadeeth: "…If any owner of the cattle and sheep does not pay what is due on them, when the Day of Resurrection comes, a soft sandy plain will be spread for them. He will find none of them missing, with twisted horns, without horns or with a broken horn, and they will stab him with their horns and crush him with their hoofs. As often as the first of them passes him the last of them will be made to return to him for a day, the extent of which will be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced upon the servants. And he would be shown his Path leading him to
Paradise or to Hell." [Saheeh Muslim (no: 2161)]

People not entitled to take Zakaat:

The descendants of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) :
Anas (radhi allahu anhu) stated: "The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) passed by a date on a way and remarked: 'But for the apprehension that this date might be charity, I would have eaten it.' [Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol: 3, no: 363) and Saheeh Muslim]

Abu Hurayarah (radhi allahu anhu) relates that Hasan bin Ali (radhi allahu anhu) as a child once picked up a date and put it in his mouth. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) noticed this and said: "Spit it out, give it up. Do not you know that it is not befitting to take anything out of charity." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol: 2, no: 568) and Saheeh Muslim]

Abdul Mutallib bin Rabah (radhi allahu anhu) says: "The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) called charities and alms as dirt which people discard and it is not acceptable for Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) or Muhammad's descendants." [Saheeh Muslim (vol: 2, no: 2347)]. The descendants of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) include his wives and the descendants of Ali, Aqeel, Jaafer, Abbas and Haarith.

Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) told Mu'adh when he sent him to Yemen : "Let the people know that Muslims owe compulsory levy of Zakaat which will be taken from their rich and given to their poor." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol: 2, no: 478)]

Rich and healthy (able-bodied) person:
Abdullah Ibn Amr (radhi allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) never approved of Zakaat being giving to a person well-off and with sound body. [(saheeh) Authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee in Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee (vol: 1, no: 527)]
The reason behind this prohibition is that these people are commanded by the Shari'ah to work and support themselves and not lie back and depend on others. Thus, any healthy person should not be given Zakaat unless he cannot find a job or he holds a job but the money is insufficient for him and his family needs, one may also provide him with the Zakaat to start his work.

Own parents, children or wife:
Amr Ibn Shoib transmits from his father and he from his grandfather (radhi allahu anhu) that a person came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and mentioned that he owned his wealth and children whereas his father had nothing. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) informed him: "You and all your wealth belong to your father." [(saheeh) - Authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee in saheeh Sunan Abo Dawood (vol: 2, no: 3051)] Thus, since it is obligatory on the son to spend for his parent's welfare, he cannot give them Zakaat.




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