By Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia
Salaamu ‘alaa Ashrafil Anbiyaa’e wal Mursaleen.
This is what a Muslim affirms when he recites the Shahadah (the Confessional Formula) and enters into the fold of Islam. He avows that and declares, plainly and unequivocally, that he has surrendered his rights to Almighty Allah Tabaraqa Wata’ala Who is now entitled to take back what He has given. He has purchased their wealth from the believers and can claim it whenever he wants. We learn from verse 111 of Suratul Al-Tawbah:
The Most Holy and Noble Qur’an warns those of a dreadful sequel who yield blindly to the love of wealth and to whom their desires and comforts are dearer than striving in the Path of Allah and fulfilling other obligations to Him, and to imagine that they are free to hoard up wealth or to spend it as they please. When the conviction that their worldly possessions belonged in fact, to Almighty Allah and they were only holding them in trust was firmly embedded in the hearts of the Muslims they were enjoined to spend in the Way of Almighty Allah what was left after meeting their needs. Verse 219 of Suratul Al-Baqara was then revealed to our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam:
The early Muslims unreservedly complied with this injunction. After the affirmation that Almighty Allah Tabaraqa Wata’ala was the real Owner of all wealth and that they were only its administrators, trustees or caretakers every sacrifice had become easy for them. They suppressed their own needs and gave away what they had to others. A greedy man’s heart will remain attached to worldly possessions even during the last moments of his life and, because of it, he will be a loser and will suffer severely in the Aghirah. But if he was accustomed to paying Zakah his infatuation for wealth will be softened and it will be a source of advantage to him in the end.
In the Hereafter (Aghirah) the most superior moral virtue, after the love and fear of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala, is generosity and kindness. Just as devoutness, Ibadat, supplication and repentance are instrumental in forging an identity with the Celestial World, generosity goes a very long way to demolish the narrow, mean and debased patterns of worldly existence for it is the very antithesis of vulgarity and beastliness. It must be made very clear that Zakah is not a tax. I repeat, not a tax but an act of worship and, like other acts of worship, it is solely for the Pleasure of Almighty Allah. Soundness of intention is a necessity at the time of the payment of Zakah for it is a major act of Ibadat. Like all other acts of Ibadat, it is solely for Almighty Allah.
The most outstanding characteristic of Zakah is the spirit of Imaan and Ihtisab that
And in verse 39 of Suratul Al Rum:
Side by side with these joyful tidings, the Most Holy and Noble Qur’an administers severe warnings to the hoarders of wealth who violate the rights of Almighty Allah and encroach upon the rights of the poor and needy and accumulate gold and silver for the love of it. Almighty Allah informs us in verses 34 & 35 of Suratul Al-Tawbah:
The Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam admonished those who did not pay Zakah in the strongest terms and warned them of a deplorable end in this world and a dreadful sequel in the Aghirah [Hereafter]. It is related that he said: “Him on whom Allah has bestowed wealth and who did not pay Zakah, his wealth will be brought on the Day of Judgment in a form of a serpent which will have two tongues, and will be thrown around his neck. It will say: I am your wealth! I am your treasure! The Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam then recited the verse:
Zakah and Usury (Riba) Interest.
Zakah is just the reverse of usury (Riba). In origin and design and nature and purpose the two are inimical to one another and the fruits they bear and the effects they produce, both for the society and for the individual, are also widely different. While the fear of Almighty Allah, the doing of one’s duty to Him, the seeking of His good pleasure, the concern for His needy and destitute bondsmen and kindness, compassion and self-denial form the essence of Zakah.
Consequently, Zakah leads to the promotion of Imaan and the development of the spirit brotherhood and togetherness. Visible signs of economic well-being become manifest in society, goods are visited with prosperity and love in generated in the hearts because of it. The practice of lending money on interest, conversely, breeds egotism, covetousness, parsimony, and mistrust. It fosters the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.
Usury (Riba) sustains and promotes conditions that give rise to class hatred. The poor, the needy and the less fortunate masses are always at a loss. The society gets divided into two distinct groups of haves and have-nots. The Most Holy Qur’an has therefore condemned usury in the strongest terms as haraam (forbidden). It has used much greater force to denounce it than to extol charity. The revolting picture of the usurer drawn by the Most Holy Qur’an is enough to fill the heart of a Muh’min with repugnance as we learn from verse 161 of Suratul Al-Nisa:
Like the other fundamental duties of faith, such as Salaat, fasting, and Hajj, in Zakah too, Islam has played a reforming role of redoubtable significance. The reforms it has introduced satisfy all the individual and collective requirements of charity and are also free from pollution through distortion or misinterpretation which has been the bane of earlier faiths.
And Peace be upon those who follow the Guidance.
Baarak Allaahu Feekum wa-sal-Allaahu wa-Sallam ‘alaa
Nabiyyinaa Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam.
my Khutbah’s for propagational purposes without my prior consent.
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