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ZAKAH

Allah Paak Jalla Shanahu says in Sura Al-Baqara, Verse: 43:

“And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, and bow down (or submit yourselves with obedience to Allah) along with Ar Raki'un.” (Those who are bowing down)

Allah Paak Jalla Shanahu says in Sura Al-Bayyina, Verse 5:

“And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform Salah and give Zakah, and that is the right religion.”

Zakah is one of the five pillars of Islam. Quran refers to Zakah in 82 separate verses and has associated Zakah immediately after Salah on 32 occasions. Zakah was made compulsory in Makkah at the same time as Salaah. The detail like amount & distribution etc, was defined in Madinah Munawara in the second year Hijrah. Zakah is Compulsary. Any person, who denies it being compulsory, loses his Faith (Imaan). However, if he recognizes Zakah being compulsary but neglects this duty, he will be termed a Faasiq (Transgressor).

Zakaah is Fardh upon a person if:

  1. He is a Muslim
  2. He is an adult
  3. He is a sane person
  4. He is a free person, not a slave
  5. He owns wealth intended for trading to the value of Nisaab. It should be possessed by him for a complete lunar year.

The religious, spiritual, humanitarian and social effects of Zakah are numerous. Zakah purifies the property of the people with means and clears it from the shares which do not belong to it any more, the shares which must be distributed among the due beneficiaries.

When Zakah is payable, a certain percentage of wealth should be distributed immediately in the right manner, because the owner no longer has moral possession of that percentage. If one fails to do so, one is obviously retaining something which does not belong to oneself. It means that the unlawful retained money makes the wealth impure. But, on the other hand, if the Zakah is distributed among due beneficiaries properly, the remaining wealth will be pure.

Zakah does not only purify the wealth of the Payer, it also purifies his/her heart from selfishness and greed for wealth. In return, it purifies the heart of the recipient from jealousy, hatred and uneasiness. As a result, the society at large will purify and free itself from class conflict, suspicion, ill feelings, distrust, corruption, disintegration and all other evils.

Rasul’Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) has said:” The nation that does not give Zakah, Allah will bring about a drought on them (i.e. necessities of life will become scarce)".
(Bukhari)

Aaqa Kareem (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) said: “ The person whom Allah has bestowed with wealth, who does not give Zakah, on the Day of Qiyaamah, his wealth will be turned into a venomous bald serpent which will wind around his neck and bite his jaws and say: "I am your wealth, I am your treasure”.
(Bukhari)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R.A.) narrates, that a Bedouin came to Aaqa Kareem (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) and said:

“O Messenger of Allah! Direct me to a deed by which I may be entitled to enter Jannah.” Aaqa Kareem Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wasallam said, “Worship Allah, and never associate anything with Him, establish Salah, pay the Zakah which has been enjoined upon you, and observe Saum (Fasting) of Ramadhan.” He (the bedouin) said: “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, I will never add anything to these (obligations) nor deduct”. When he turned his back, Aaqa Kareem (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) said, “He will be successful if he lives up to this claim”.
(Bukhari and Muslim)

What is NISAAB?

The amount of wealth which makes one liable for Zakah is called Nisaab. The payment of Zakah is compulsory on the excess wealth which is equal to/or exceeds the value of


Nisaab, and which is possessed for a full Islamic (lunar) year.

The Nisaab limit was set by the beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) at 20 Mithqaal of gold or 200 dirhams of silver. These measures are equivalent to 87.48 grams of Gold and 612.36 grams of Silver respectively. If a person only has Gold as an asset, then the Nisaab measure for Gold must be used. If however the person has a mixture of assets, then the Nisaab level for Silver should be used.

The Nisaab threshold for Gold is approximately £1825 and for Silver it is £196.16 on Tuesday 1st September 2009.

A person will only pay Zakah if his Zakatable assets, after adding and subtracting debts owed either to or from others, is equal to, or in excess of £ 196.16.

Zakah is payable at a rate of 2.5% on all assets including those within the Nisaab.

THE NIYYAH (INTENTION) OF ZAKAH

  1. It is compulsary to make intention before paying Zakah.
  2. When giving Zakah to a needy person, the niyyah should be that, "I am giving this as Zakah". If the intention is not made, the Zakah will not be valid.
  3. It is not necessary to reveal to the needy person to whom Zakah is given. It can be given as a gift.
  4. When one has put aside an amount for Zakah with the intention that he will give it to the needy, and at the time of giving Zakah he forgets to make the niyyah, the Zakah will still be valid.

THE METHOD OF DISTRIBUTING ZAKAAH

  1. Zakaah is Fardh at the rate of 2.5%.
  2. Zakaah should be given as soon as possible after it becomes due.
  3. Zakaah cannot be given or used for the construction of Masjids.
  4. Zakaah cannot be given to non-Muslims

Hazrat Abu Huraiyrah (R.A.) reported: When The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) passed away, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A.) was appointed as his successor (caliph). Amongst the Arabs some people refused to pay Zakah. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A.)
Resolved to fight them. Hazrat Umar bin Khattab (R.A.) said to Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A):“How can you fight them when The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) has declared: 'I have been commanded to fight people till they testify La Ilaha Illallah (there is no God except Allah); and if they do it, their blood (life) and property are secured except when justified by law, and it is for Allah to call them to account”. Upon this Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A.) said: “By Allah I, I would definitely fight one who makes distinction between Salah and the Zakah, because it is an obligation upon the rich to pay Zakah. By Allah, I will fight them even to secure the piece of rope which they used to give to The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam)” Hazrat Umar (R.A.) said: “I realized that Allah opened the heart of Abu Bakr(R.A.) for fighting those who refused to pay Zakah, and I fully recognized that Abu Bakr (R.A.) was right.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

The issue of mortgages and long term loans often rises in the sense that those who have to pay off such huge amounts, often find their savings to be far less than their debts. The question naturally would be asked, must such people pay Zakah?

The generally accepted (although not unanimous) view is that anyone who has incurred a long-term loan, if paying in installments, has no difficulty paying the installments and still is able to gather surplus savings, is also required to pay Zakah.

In short, it’s compulsory to pay Zakah. If you possess approximately £200.00 worth of savings or more for one year in the form of jewellery, cash in hand, bank balance, properties other than in which you live (properties for renting or selling), business assets, bonds, shares, you must pay 2.5% of that worth.

Always remember, Salah is to purify you and Zakah is to purify your wealth.

Wama alaiyna illal balaghul mubeen.

ZAKAH AL-FITR

Zakah al-fitr (also known as fitrana) is an amount of charity that all Muslims with the means are required to pay at the conclusion of Ramadan. It is as an act of thankfulness towards Allah for having enabled us to observe the fasts of Ramadan and also purifies us from any shortcomings during the month.
 It is incumbent on every free Muslim who possesses enough basic foodstuffs to feed himself and his family for the duration of one day and one night. A person must pay zakah al-fitr on behalf of himself, his wife, children and any dependants.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam)’s prescribed the amount of zakah al-fitr as a sa'a of staple food stuffs (rice, dates etc.). A sa'a is a unit of measurement equal to 4 handfuls of an average man. As such, the exact weight differs based on the foodstuff in question. Fitrana is £5 per person in U.K in 2010 which is sufficient to purchase the required quantity of foodstuffs.
Zakah al-fitr must be paid before the Eid prayer for it to be considered as such. If it is not paid before the Eid prayer it is considered sadaqah and not zakah al-fitr. 

By:Peerzada Dr. Haroon-ur-Rashid Kashmiri

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