Zakaat- A sign of Love
Zakaat- A sign of Love
By enjoining Zakat upon the Ummah of His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala has put every one of us through a very severe test of our Muhabbat for Him, for His Din and for His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. The 'giving freely', the concept of caring and sharing - the whole sense of Zakat - when Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala grants us success, we don't hoard it, but we give freely and spread it around willingly because in that sense - what goes around comes around; we become successful by giving freely for the Pleasure of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala. As the chosen Ummah of His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, we do not sit upon the wealth and success that we have been blessed with; true success is that we are able to spread it around so that our wealth is purified and cleansed.
Islam is an integral whole of which Zakat and Salaat are essential parts. On these two great pillars rests the super structure and the edifice of Islam. If they are demolished Islam can hardly survive and we as an Ummah are doomed to damnation. When we study the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an, we find that Salaat and Zakat were laid down upon the followers of all previous Ambiya Alayhim Salatu Wasallam. Speaking about Nabee Ebrahim Alayhi Salatu Wasallam and his progeny, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala declares in verse 73 of Surah Al-Anbiyaa:
"And We made them leaders, guiding (men) by Our command, and We inspired them to do good deeds, to establish regular prayers; and to give Zakat and they constantly served Us (and Us only)."
Nabee Moosa Alayhi Salatu Wasallam once prayed for the Bani Isra'eel and his Duah to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala was verse 156 of Surah Al-A'raf where he asked Almighty Allah:
"And ordain for us that which is good in this life and in the Hereafter: For we have turned unto Thee."
Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala's reply to Nabee Moosa Alayhi Salatu Wasallam is to be found in the conclusion of verse 156 of Surah Al-A'raf where Almighty Allah replied:
"I afflick My punishment on whom I will; But My Mercy extendeth to all things. That (Mercy) I shall ordain for those who do right, and pay Zakat and those who believe in Our Signs."
Since the Ummah of Nabee Moosa Alayhi Salatu Wasallam were obsessed with the accumulation of wealth and worldly gains - as so many amongst us are today, even a prophet as distinguished as Nabee Moosa Alayhi Salatu Wasallam was told in no uncertain terms that the mercy he had asked for would be granted only to those who observed Zakat; and to those who did not observe Zakat - they would be deprived of mercy and would be punished. The Bani Isra'eel were repeatedly admonished about their niggardly and stingy behaviour. Time and time again cevenants were taken from them to worship none save Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and to be steadfast in Salat and Zakat till ultimately clear warning was given to them by Almighty Allah as we learn from verse 12 of Surah Al Ma'idah:
"I am with you: if ye (but) establish regular prayers, pay Zakat, believe in My messengers, honour and assist them, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan, verily I will wipe out from you your evils, and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath."
The Muslim Ummah too have been served with the very same notice as was served on the Bani Isra'eel: "I shall be with you so long as you perform Salaat, pay Zakat and support My messengers in their mission. The moment you give up this duty I shall withdraw My support from you." Similarly, to the Muslims, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala says:
"If after gaining power on the Doonya you perform regular Salaat, give Zakat, promote good and forbid evil, only then will I be your helper - and who can subdue him whom I support?" "But if you turn away from Salaat and Zakat, and after acquiring power on this Doonya, you promote evil instead of good, make your own word prevail instead of Mine, and consider building palatial houses as the sole purpose of your rule on earth, then listen: "My support will be withdrawn and Shaythaan will be your supporter."
Shall we then not heed this warning? The Bani Isra'eel took the warnings from Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala as empty threats, and they paid the consequences. They are still scattered across the face of the earth, and although their coffers are brimming with wealth, their money is of no use to them. They have adopted the evil system of Riba (interest) instead of Zakat, and by turning their backs away from Salaat, they have invoked Allah's curse. Like Iv'e said, we Muslims have been given the very same warnings by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala as He had given to the Bani Isra'eel. And what has our conduct been? We, too, have neglected Salaat and Zakat. We forsook our duty to use our God-given power and position in spreading good and eliminating evil. And the consequences have been no different.
We have been dislodged from power. We have become the victims of tyrants all over the Muslim world by leaders who serve the interests of their Western masters instead of Almighty Rahmathul Liel Ala'meen. We are weak and live in servitude wherever we are found. Yet despite such clear warnings, and such manifest consequences, leaders throughout the Muslim world have brought about the creation of economies based on interest and other man-made ideologies like Western capitalism and socialism. This will explain the disgrace and ignominy that has overtaken the Muslim Ummah and why we are suffering all over the Doonya today.
Our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam said that every good act can be an act of charity. Looking kindly or averting our eye from temtation and evil; listening to wise teachings; or avoiding lies and Fithnah; glorifying Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, speaking a kind word to a brother or sister going off the path; making peace between two quarreling Muslims, and of course, spending freely of our material wealth for the benefit of the less fortunate. All these, when done for the Pleasure of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, are different forms of Zakat.
In terms of the Islamic economy the economy's fate of the community is built upon the ability to sacrifice. It is built upon Zakat. It is built upon our ability to sacrifice. It is built upon the ability within ourselves to barter and trade, amongst ourselves. What makes us think that we will be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, which may be our lives, if we can't sacrifice our property? If we cannot give up a small percentage of our money for the Pleasure of Almighty Allah, then what makes us think that we will be successful in the social aspect of struggle?
From the earliest times Islam has always been founded on Salaat and Zakat. People who believe in Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala have never been exempted from these two forms of worship. What important position do these two most wonderful acts of Ibadah occupy in the Sharia'h of our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam? Open up the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an and see for yourself what we are told at the very beginning:
"A.L.M. This is the Book: In it is guidance sure, without doubt. To those who fear Allah; Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them."
This is to say, those who have no faith and do not adhere to Salaat and Zakat will neither receive guidance nor achieve success in this life as well as in the Akhirah (Hereafter). A little later, in the same Surah we are reminded to "Perform Salaat, give Zakat, and bow with those who bow." Man by nature, is not benevolent. Benevolence is an attribute of Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal, not a characteristic of man. Man learns to share for the Pleasure of Almighty Allah. We must have a programme that will make us live on such a level that we begin to serve none other than Almighty Allah Subhanahoo Wata'ala.
These are the attitudes that we have to develop. This is what Islam is all about. Islam is something that Almighty Allah has blessed us with, to take us from the level of degradation, from the level where we have been crushed, to a level where Rahmathul Liel Ala'meen is pleased with us and grants us success. It deals with discipline, it deals with training and it deals with total submission to the point where it becomes automatic; where we don't have to give a second thought about doing things that are good, to enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.
Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is not in need of money. Islam is not in the shape it is in because there is no money. Muslims are not in the shape that they are in because there is no money. There is a vast amount of wealth held by those who say that they are Muslim. We must all fully realize that everything we desire Almighty Allah holds in the treaasures, and He gives it out as He Alone chooses and withholds it as He Alone chooses. If it is power, material wealth, money or education, whatever the desire, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is the Sole Owner and Provider, And, most important, Almighty Allah holds the key to enjoyment, to being content with what we are given.
If we possess all the treasures and cannot enjoy them, then we lack as much as the poorest of men. Only Almighty Allah offers the peace to be content with what we are provided. If a man does not have peace in the house, he cannot project peace in any other environment. It begins with oneself, for declares Almighty Allah in verse 11 of Surah Ar-Rad:
"Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves."
So Zakat and Salaat are disciplines, these are powerful tools which Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala has blessed us with so that we can become conscious of struggle. We become conscious of the remembrance of Almighty Allah. And we become conscious in such a manner that we understand that certain practices are binding upon us in order to bring about necessary change, the revolution that is necessary in ourselves. These practices therefore enable us to be participants in the social change that Rahmathul Liel Ala'meen brings about.
Our faith must be strong that whatever is spent for the Pleasure of none other than Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is never wasted, that Almighty Allah will Insha'Allah reward us abundantly in this life as well as in the Akhirah. Whether people know about our generosity or not, whether someone has thanked us or not, should not matter at all because what we give, we give willingly to earn the Pleasure of our Glorious Creator and Sustainer.
We must not be arrogant, and think that because Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala has granted us His favour and mercy we have no need to exert ourselves, or that we are ourselves superior to those before us. On the contrary, we pray that our burdens should be lightened, and we confess our realisation that we have all the greater need for Almighty Allah's mercy and forgiveness.
"Our Allah! Lay not on us a burden greater than we can bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against Faith."
(Moulana Abdul Hamid Lachporia Saheb,Canada)