"Purification Of Wealth" -'Zakah'
"Establish Salah and pay Zakah and bow down with those who bow down in worship." Al- Quran [al-Baqarah, 2:43]
Allah has related a story of some people who were earning that which Allah was providing them. However, they believed that they were earning their wealth because of their hard-work and they forgot that it is actually Allah who provided them with what they had earned. They said why should we share our wealth with the needy people as it belongs to us because we had been working hard for it. Allah then tested them until they finally returned to their Lord in submission. Allah says in Surah al-Qalam:
"Surely We shall try them as We tried the owners of the garden when they swore that they would pluck its fruit the next morning, without adding any reservation ( such as Insha'Allah, God willing).
So a calamity from your Lord came down upon it while they slept, and by the morning it lay as if it had been already harvested.
At daybreak they called out to one another, saying: 'Go out early to your crop, if you want to pick its fruit.' So they went, whispering to one another: ' Let no needy person enter upon you in the garden today.' Thus they went out, fixed in their stingy resolve.
But when they saw the garden, they cried: 'Surely we must have lost our way! Nay, we have become destitute.'
The most upright among them said: 'Did I not tell you to glorify Allah? Why did you not glorify Him?' Then they said: 'Glory be to our Lord! Surely we were unjust,'
and they started blaming one another.
Finally they said: 'Woe to us! Surely we had become rebellious. It may be that our Lord will give us in exchange a better garden than this: surely to our Lord do we make our humble petition.' Such is the punishment in this life; but the punishment in the Hereafter is even greater, if they but knew it." [al-Qalam - 68:17-33]
There is another story in the Qur'an. Qaroon was a wealthy man from Bani-Israael, (" And We gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men"). His belief was that he had earned all his wealth because of his own intelligence or knowledge, (Qaroon said: "This has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess."). Allah then destroyed him and all his wealth, "So We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then he had no group or party to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves." [Surah al-Qasas]
Allah has made Zakah obligatory on the Muslims to protect & purify our wealth. Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihi was- sallam) said "Allah has made Zakat obligatory simply to purify your remaining property,.." [Abu Dawud]. We should know that the one Who favours us can also take back what He had given us. We should also remember that Zakah does not replace Sadaqah. Zakah is obligatory on those who are entitled to pay, whereas Sadaqah (charity) can be given by anyone including those who have bear minimum or just a little more than nothing. Even a smile could be a Sadaqah.
"And in their properties there was the right of the beggar, and the mahroom" [51:19]
Allah says about the Muttaqeen that they spend from their income on those who ask them [beggars, lilssaili] as well as on those who are needy but they do not ask for help [Mahroom]. A beggar could be truly in need or could be a habitual one. However, it is the nobility of character that one should always give something when asked from someone. Even if a billionaire asks us for something, we should not let him go with nothing, at least give something. We should give according to our standard. How would you think about a millionaire giving a penny in charity!
"O believers, spend in Allah's Way the best portion of the wealth you have lawfully earned and that which We have produced for you from the earth, and do not pick out for charity those worthless things that you yourselves would not accept but with closed eyes.
Bear in mind that Allah is Self-Sufficient, Praiseworthy." [al-Baqarah - 2:267]
Allah says that those people who are saved from the greediness and love of wealth, it is they who are successful.
"So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can; listen and obey; and spend in charity, that is better for yourselves. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, (waman yooqa shuhha nafsihi) then they are the successful ones."
[at-Taghabun - 64:16]
"And spend of that with which We have provided you, before death comes to one of you and he says:
"My Lord! If only You would give me respite for a little while (i.e. return to the worldly life), then I should give Sadaqah (or Zakat) of my wealth , and be among the righteous.
[al-Munafiqoon - 63:10]
"And Al-Muttaqoon will be far removed from it (Hell).
He who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification, And have in his mind no favour from anyone for which a reward is expected in return, Except only the desire to seek the good pleasure of his Lord, the Most High; Such persons shall soon be well-pleased with Allah." [al-Lail - 92:17-21]
"Subhana Rabbika Rabbi al'izzati 'amma yasifoon
Wasalamun 'ala al-Mursaleen
Waal-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil 'Alameen" Al-Quran [37:180-182]
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