Allah set the world as a place of examination and put the people in several trials. With his profundity, He created people in different situations and places and sustained the balance in the world. While he gave some of us disasters, some of us health, some of us sons and some of us no children. He is The One who gives and takes…
What do humans own truly? Having wealth should not be considered superior to those without. Yet there is no importance of appearance in the presence of Allah. Everything and everyone is needy but Him, everyone needs Him; He is the real owner of all wealth. The wealth of servants are figurative. It should not be forgotten that the real richness and wealth is piety.
Just like other worships in Islam, zakat has mercy and compassion towards the creatures of Allah besides its aspect of serving Him. Moreover, zakat is the one of the most important worships of this aspect. Allah gives a duty to the man when He gives property and wealth.
This duty is to give from what Allah gave him to the one who He did not grant. There the trial of the rich starts while the trial of the needy is patience towards poverty and neediness. Allah offers several opportunities to form connections between people. One of those opportunities is the helping hand of wealthy that reaches the needy. This connection is named as zakat in Islam.
Zakat is the bridge in Islam. It is established between giver and taker with courtesy and delicacy. The wealthy passing through this bridge gets rid of his lusts, ambition for money and poverty, selfishness, ruthlessness, stinginess, cruelty, arrogance and many more invisible dust in the soul.
The worship of zakat that puts wealth into this filter of purity, also purifies the needy on the other side of the bridge: jealousy, hatred, and hostility are just a couple of the ills that devastate societies. These may drive people into crimes affecting lives and poverties that result in breaking the peace in society. Therefore, aid and zakat helps to build a society of mercy and charity.
Zakat is a worship that purifies the soul and poverty, an act of faith and a compulsory sadaqah. Each sadaqah is an evidence of faith as stated in Prophet’s words; it approves the faith and make the man loyal. Zakat is “the tax of what Allah gives.” It is the debt one takes from Allah and returns to Him. In this sense, it is like loan with no external gain, called karz-ı hasen.
Zakat brings man to maturity and virtue. Allah states:
“Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.”Ali Imran 3:92
Zakat is a worship with common sense. Hence, especially in this time of rapidly growing selfishness, individualization, and secularization, zakat will remind people that they have brothers and sisters remembering them and they are not forgotten. If a Muslim is indifferent towards the need of his fellow, this can only be called a misery in Islamic perspective. Prophet Muhammed says “Mercy is only deprived by those who are damned.” Tirmizi, Birr 16
Zakat is an act of aid that destroys the poverty icon in the eyes of wealthy.
Zakat purifies the poverty and increases its abundance.
Zakat prevents circulation of money only between the rich and generates a balance in society.
Zakat keep man from worshiping money, breaks the chains of lusts, protects hearts from ruthlessness. It is a sign of gratitude towards Allah. It gives an opportunity to exchange worldly poverty to wealth in the hereafter. Can there be a better and profitable investment than that? The one who gives zakat escapes from the bondage of money and poverty. Zakat, in fact, increases the goods of giver and develops his/her personality.
Zakat encourages the poor to work harder, increases his/her regard in society and erases feeling of envy.
From another perspective, zakat plays like an insurance for social security. It tries to generate a middle class in society. It is a method that prevents money stocking in one side only.
With all aspects, zakat unifies society with needy and wealthy and purifies the human, soul and poverty. As a worship that brings people together and carries the person closer to Allah, it has a great importance and function.
Islam is a religion of purification. Purification of others and us. Let us start then…