Islam is a peace-loving religion. It guides and instructs a person on how to change into a better version of themselves. It tells us about ways that can help us prosper and succeed. Not only does it provide ways to lead a life. Which is simple and pure but it also tells us to help society become a better one. The instructions given regarding the way of living one’s life is not limited to an individual level but to be observed when engaged in dealings with other human beings or people of the society. Such is the commandment of Zakat.
There are five pillars of Islam and Zakat is the fourth one. Zakat is the mandatory charitable contribution consider as tax. It is a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth. The literal meaning of Zakat is “that which purifies”. Zakat- al – maal(Zakat on wealth) or Zakahis a form of alms-giving treated in Islam as a religious obligation or tax, which, by Quranic ranking, is next after prayer (salat) in importance.
‘You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and bow down with those who bow down’. [2:43]
The concept of Zakat is to purify one’s wealth and soul. The calculation of Zakat is based on the total savings of a Muslim during one Lunar Year (Islamic Year). Zakat is compulsory on all assets i.e. land, animals, gold or silver, etc. Islam is a religion that thinks about each and every member of society equally. In the case of Zakat, the burden of anything is not on any person, it is obligatory only when a person meets specific conditions and is financially stable.
And the Quran says,
‘It is not for you [Prophet] to guide them; it is God who guides whomever He will. Whatever charity you give benefits your own soul, provided you do it for the sake of God. Whatever you give will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged.’[2:272]
As zakat is a pillar of Islam it is necessary to observe it, in order to complete one’s faith. Zakat helps create a system that doesn’t let anyone gather money and creates a flow in that way no one is left behind. Zakat also helps purify the hearts of people as they are reminded of the sufferings of their fellow brothers. Quran has reminded Muslims about Zakat on several occasions.
‘Those who give to charity night and day, secretly and publicly, receive their recompense from their Lord; they will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve’. [2:274]
‘Your real allies are GOD and His messenger, and the believers who observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they bow down’. [5:55]
The practice of Zakat can apply to any person when he/she enters the circle of Islam and observes the commandments of Almighty Allah.
Zakat is the fourth pillar of Islam and is next to Salaat(Namaz). Zakat is known as the tax of Muslim people and is mandatory to be given by those who have the specified assets declared by Islamic principles. As Islam is the complete code of life it has everything which a person seeks to lead a life. It also has solutions to keep a society stable economically, politically and socially.
To keep a society stable economically is to keep the equal distribution of wealth and money should flow from wealthy people to the poor ones. So a relative tax is a solution that is also be imply nowadays in non-Muslim countries. According to Islamic teaching, Zakat is obligatory to give the people. Zakat offers a ray of hope to poor people and the money from the rich is get be distribute to them. Zakat is very important and necessary in Islam as it holds the equality principle upright.
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