“ZAKAT” Charity Required For Personal Salvation and Muslim Revival: AS

“ZAKAT”

Charity Required

For Personal Salvation and Muslim Revival

الزكاة ضرورية للإصلاح النفس وفوازها

وتجديد الأمة الإسلامية

Compiled by Abu Salman Deya-ud-Deen Eberle

أبو ســـــــلمان ضياء الدين ابرلي

[Asking Allah for His Mercy and Forgiveness]

Send any comments to:

abusalman102@gmail.com

abusalman102@yahoo.com

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Islam the Religion of Allah for the benefit of man
  • Zakat and Sadaqat in the Arabic language and in the Islamic usage of the Quran and Sunnah
  • “Mal” and man’s natural need and love of money, wealth and possessions, and the trial and test of the life of this world
  • Details of Fiqh az-Zakat (Jurisprudence of Alms)

1.      Introduction on jurisprudence of Zakat

2.      Zakat a pillar of Islam and Obligation upon Muslims

3.      Zakat as a pillar of Islam for previous Prophets and all nations of believers

4.      Allah’s and the Prophet’s encouragement, may the peace and blessing be upon him, of Zakat, Sadaqat and spending in the Way of Allah

5.      Virtues and Benefits of Zakat,

6.      Wisdom behind the legislation of Zakat

7.      Punishments for neglecting Zakat

8.      Is abandoning Zakat disbelief (Kufr) and apostasy (Riddah)?

9.      Conditions of Zakat

10.  Kinds of wealth on which Zakat is due

11.  Kinds of wealth that is exempt from Zakat

12.  Minimum requirements (Nisab) of various kinds of wealth, and amounts of Zakat to be paid

13.  Recipients: To whom is Zakat to be given?

14.  Who should collect and distribute Zakat?

15.  Are the other obligations besides Zakat?

16.  Zakat-al-Fitr

17.  Sadaqat-al-Udhiya

18.  Sadaqat and non-obligatory charity and donations

19.  Manners of Zakat

  • Zakat and Sadaqat of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him
  • The companions and the followers and examples of their Zakat and Sadaqat
    • Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him
    • Umar, may Allah be pleased with him
    • Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him
    • Ali, may Allah be pleased with him
    • Talha, may Allah be pleased with him
    • zxxz
  • Importance of Zakat in the Islamic Economy and the Economic Development of Muslims
    • Zakat under attack by disbelievers
    • Zakat vs. Riba – – Some notes on history of money, banking and “Riba” (usury and interest) in the West
    • Zakat vs “Maks” unjust fees, customs and taxations
    • Obligation of Islamic governments to administer Zakat and prohibit Riba and all other illegal economic activities; some benefits of execution and detriments of neglect on government and Muslims
  • Conclusion
  • Some References

134 pages

Forth coming (insha-Allah: God willing)

Excerpt from pages  2-20

(Scroll down to bottom of page for footnotes)

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>>> Introduction

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

إن الحمد لله نحمده ونستعينه ونستهديه ونستغفره، ونعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهده الله فلا مضل له، ومن يُضلل فلا هادي له . وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله

يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله حق تُقاته ولا تموتنَّ إلا وأنتم مسلمون

يا أيها الناس اتقوا ربكم الذي خلقكم من نفسٍ واحدةٍ وخلق منها زوجها وبثَّ منهما رجالاً كثيراً ونساءً واتقوا الله الذي تساءلون به والأرحام إن الله كان عليكم رقيباً

يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولاً سديداً . يُصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم ومن يُطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزاً عظيماً

أما بعد: فإنَّ أصدقَ الحديثِ كتابُ الله، وخيرَ الهدي هديُ محمدٍ صلى الله عليه وسلم ، وشر الأمور مُحدثاتها، وكل محدثة بدعة، وكل بدعةٍ ضلالة، وكل ضلالة في النار

Indeed, all praise belongs to Allah. We praise Him, seek His Aid and His Forgiveness and we seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and from the evil of our actions. Whomsoever Allah guides, none can misguide, and whomsoever Allah misguides none can guide thereafter. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah (nothing has the right to be worshipped except Him), who is alone without partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except that you are Muslims.” [Aal-i-‘Imran 3:102]

“O Mankind! Fear your Lord, Who created you from a single soul (Adam) and from him created his partner (Hawwa, Eve) and from them both sent forth and scattered many men and women. So fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual rights and by the reverence of the wombs that bore you. For Allah is ever watchful over you.” [Nisa’ 4:l]

“O you who believe! Fear Allah and say a truthful word. He will direct you to do righteous actions and will forgive you your sins. Whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has already attained the highest success.”[Ahzab 33:70-71]

To proceed: Indeed the best speech is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him. The worst of affairs are the invented matters, for every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in Hellfire.

Zakat is the Arabic word that means obligatory alms and charity. Sadaqat means obligatory alms and/or voluntary alms and charity.  When practiced as intended, Zakat and Sadaqat are central worships for personal salvation, and the basis of the just Islamic socio-economic system. Unfortunately this essential pillar of Islam is often neglected due to ignorance, apathy, miserliness, negligence, and nowadays, fear.

This book is a humble attempt to give basic information and address important issues related to Zakat and Sadaqat. We hope to add to the literature towards realization of the noble goal of genuine Muslim Resurgence through education and sustained striving to please Allah, the Most Exalted, a Resurgence firmly established upon the path of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, and his companions and faithful followers, who are our models for success in this life and the Hereafter.

Zakat is indeed an immense subject when taken in all its related topics and issues of jurisprudence.  Originally I had planed on translating from Arabic a treatise on Zakat or a chapter on jurisprudence of Zakat, but I found that some were to very short and did not provide the material which I thought the English speaking audience needed, or some were excellent but too long and detailed, delving into many examples, side investigations and related issues. Others were restricted to one school of jurisprudence, or very detailed in explaining comparative positions. We have tried to take a middle course, summarizing the lengthy presentations and discussions in each section that are necessary to complete, at least, some of the basics of the subject, being indebted to the many scholars and writers who have proceeded. I have only presented here some preliminary investigations. We have mentioned many traditions of the Messenger of Allah, may the most perfect and complete salutations, and peace and blessing of Allah be upon him.  Our manner of citation is a summarized form mentioning from the chapters of Zakat in the known Hadith literature, Quranic exegesis, and books of Fiqh (jurisprudence).  Concerning Hadith (Prophetic traditions) we have especially cited the widely circulating publications of the verifications of Sheikh Muhammad Nasir-ad-Din al-Albani, may Allah’s mercy be upon him, which we mentioned by saying that he “authenticated” or “verified” the tradition, meaning that he declared it either “Sahih” (sound and authentic) or “Hasan” (good), since both are generally acceptable and used as correct, admissible and strong jurisprudence proof. I eventually may produce — with the aid of Allah and his will – a more complete expanded version with full notes of verification according to the sciences of Hadith and complete jurisprudence documentation.

We have preferred to fully write out what we are ordered to do in sending our salutation of peace and blessing on the Prophet of Allah, may the best salutation of peace and blessing be upon him and his family and followers, as Allah says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا ()

“Allah sends His Salat (Salutations, Graces, Honors, Peace, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet, and His angels also (ask Allah to send his peace, blessings and mercy).  O you who believe! Send your Salat on him and greet (salute) him (i.e. with the Islamic way   of greeting him saying: [صلى الله عليه وسـلم ]  SALL ALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM). [33:56]

And He said:

وَالسَّابِقُونَ الأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ ()

‘And the forerunners to embrace Islam of the Emigrants and the Helpers, and also those who followed them in good faith. Allah is well pleased with them as they are well pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow  (Paradise), to dwell  therein forever.  That is the supreme success.” [9:100]

And He said:

لَقَدْ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ يُبَايِعُونَكَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَةِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ فَأَنزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَثَابَهُمْ فَتْحًا قَرِيبًا ()

“Indeed, Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave their pledge to you (O Muhammad) under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down calmness and tranquility upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory.”  [48:18]

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[some deletion from this introduction]

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Abu Salman Deya ud-Deen Eberle

abusalman100@gmail.com

abusalman103@yahoo.com

Our Supplications

May Allah guide us to the truth and forgive us our mistakes, forgetfulness, shortcomings and faults.  We supplicate Allah for ourselves and all our brother Muslims as Allah the Most Exalted taught us in the Quran:

رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا واغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَآ أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ ()

“O our Lord, do not take us to task and punish us if we forget or we make a mistake: and do not burden us with binding obligations of the likes of that which you placed on those that were before us, and do not make us to bear that which we do not have the strength and ability to bear. Pardon us and forgive us (our sins) and have mercy upon us you are our Protector and Supporter and give us victory over (our enemies) the disbelievers” [al-Baqara 2:286]

And we supplicate as the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, taught us in his Sunnah:

“اللهم رب جبريل وميكائيل وإسرافيل أنت تحكم بين عبادك فيما كانوا فيه يختلفون اهدني لما اختلف فيه من الحق بإذنك إنك تهدي من تشاء إلى صراط مستقيم “

O Allah, Lord of Jibreel (Gabriel) and Mika`eel (Michael) and Israfeel, Judge between your slave-creatures in that which they differ.  Guide me in (all) that which they differ to the truth by Your permission, certainly You guide whoever you will to the straight path.

Allahuma, Ameen

(O Allah, accept our supplications)

>>> Islam the Religion of Allah for the benefit of man

Islam is the universal eternal religion of our Lord and Creator, Allah, the Almighty and Most Exalted, as He the Majestic said:

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ ()

“Truly the religion before Allah is al-Islam” [3:19]

And He the Almighty and Majestic said:

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ ()

“And Whoever seeks a religion other than al-Islam, it will never accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” [3:85] 

And as He said to His Messenger and his followers:

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا ()

“This day I have perfected your religion for you, and completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you al-Islam as your religion.” [5:30]

Islam means submission, surrender and compliance to the will and commands of Allah the Beneficent Lord and Creator of the Universe. This religion of Islam is for man’s benefit and salvation. All its principles and laws are structured to provide what man truly needs most in this life and in the hereafter.  His primal and most essential need is the guidance to uncompromising monotheism (Tauheed), which encompasses all belief and worship, as epitomized in the testimony “Shahadah” LA ILAHA ILL-A-LLAH (there is no god except Allah). Next in importance is the need for the detailed guidance to those specified and particular forms of worship that are acceptable and pleasing to Allah. This is epitomized in the second part of the testimony “Shahada” MUHAMMAD-AR-RASOOL-U-LLAH (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).  For this detailed guidance we have the living example of the Messenger sent by Allah to guide us to the minute and piratical details of worship, like the particulars of “Salat” (prayer) and “Zakat” (alms and charity), which are the first two forms of worship prescribed by Allah for all the communities of believers in history, and the next two pillar of Islam after the Shahada. The clear benefits to man of these two forms of worships, when practiced sincerely in their proper form, are reflected positively in individual personalities and in the societies in general.

Islam is established upon five pillars as mentioned in the famous hadith (Prophetic tradition).

عن أبي عـبد الرحمن عبد الله بن عـمر بـن الخطاب رضي الله عـنهما ، قـال : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسـلم يقـول : “بـني الإسـلام على خـمـس : شـهـادة أن لا إلـه إلا الله وأن محمد رسول الله ، وإقامة الصلاة ، وإيـتـاء الـزكـاة ، وحـج البيت ، وصـوم رمضان.” [رواه البخاري وومسلم]

On the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab may Allah be pleased with him, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, say: Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the Salat (prayer), paying the Zakat (obligatory charity), making the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (in Mecca), and Saum (fasting) in Ramadan.” [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim]

Shahada (testimony) is first and most important pillar and encompasses all others. Although testimony is pronounced with the tongue, the entire being of that person, including all that he thinks, does and possesses, must witness to the truth of what the tongue testifies. Establishing Salat (prayer) is the practice of regular worship – five times a day as a minimum mandatory requirement – of personal supplication and prayer in private or social congregation for the praises of Allah and His glorification, and for remembrance of His revealed Word in the Quran.  Zakat (alms and charity) is a worship performed by giving sincerely of one’s wealth and possessions, and as such, it is the sole worship exclusively for money and material wealth. Saum (fasting) is solely the domain of the body, to control one’s appetites and desires for Allah’s sake. Hajj (pilgrimage) comprises both worship with the body and wealth, observing the sacred hajj rites. All forms of worship include the conscious intention and remembrance of Allah. Other forms of worship, like Udhiya, slaughtering sacrifice, and Jihad, striving and fighting for the cause of Allah, also include worship with body and wealth. Tahara (purification) is a necessary worship for prayer, and there are many more forms of worship that are extremely important, but this tradition (Hadith) and the many other evidences, the five pillars mentioned are universally agreed upon, by documented judicial consensus, to be the foremost obligations of the highest degree — a “Rukn” as will be explained below –upon all Muslims who are able to perform them.

>>>Zakat and Sadaqat in the Arabic language and in the Islamic usage of the Quran and Sunnah

The three-letter Arabic root word Z-K-A of “zaka” [زكى ] indicates two basic meanings, one relating to “purity” and the other to “growth.” The idea of purity is to purify oneself or someone or something else from evil deeds and characteristics and from the filth of sins.  The idea of growth is to increase and develop progressively in strength towards maturity, to expand in capacity in order to fulfill those beneficial functions for which one was created.

Sometimes the word “Zakat” is transliterated in Latin letters as Zakah, or as Zakaah, with the “h” at the end to indicate that the ta marbutah “t” sound is only made in grammatical combination, and that the word is pronounced in and of itself as Zakah or Zaka and that then the “t” is silent.  The double “a” is to indicate that it is a long vowel sometimes written as Zakáh or Zakāh or Zakâh, or some other symbol to distinguish it and avoid confusion from the singular “a.”  Sometimes the “t” of the ta marbutah is retained as “Zakat” since most often there is a grammatical combination with the “t” sound. We have retained the commonly used and more simple transliteration of Zakat.  All these transliteration schemes have some rationale and merit, and in the end result are a matter of convenience and preference in transcribing the Arabic alphabet into Latin letters.

The word Zakat was used in the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance (Jahiliyah) of the pagan Arabs in these meanings, and also similar to the Islamic meaning of charity. For instance, we have the poetry of Pagan Arab poet Umayyah ibn Sult:

المطعمون الطعام في سنة ال     —-     أزمة والفاعلون للزكوات

Those who give food in the year of —- crisis, and those who perform alms giving

Here alms is “Zakawat” plural of Zakat.

From the Quran

In Islamic usage, we find many examples of the first meaning in verses of Allah’s words of the Quran, for instance:

يَا يَحْيَى خُذِ الْكِتَابَ بِقُوَّةٍ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيًّا () وَحَنَانًا مِّن لَّدُنَّا وَزَكَاةً وَكَانَ تَقِيًّا ()

“O Yahya take the book with strength, And We granted him wisdom while yet a child, and tenderness from Us, and purity (Zakat), and he was God-fearing.” [19:12-13]

And Allah Most Exalted said, in the context of the story of Musa (Moses) and his learned companion Khadr.

فَأَرَدْنَا أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُ زَكَاةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا ()

“And we wished that their Lord exchanged one better than him in purity (Zakat) and closer to them in mercy.” [18:81]

We find the word used repeatedly in the sense of purification from sins and evils, in the form “yuzakki-him” and “yuzakki-kum” etc, (to purify them and to purify you) in declinations of the word Zakat. For instance, the prayer of Abraham for the coming of the Messenger Muhammad, may Allah’s peace be upon them:

رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ العَزِيزُ الحَكِيمُ ()

“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who will recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book and Wisdom and purify them. Verily, You are the All- Mighty, the All-Wise.” [2:129]

Many other verses have similar meanings, like 2:151, 3:163, 9:103, and 62:2 and others.

Purification of the soul is repeatedly mentioned as being real success in life.

وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا () فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا () قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا () وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا ()

“And by soul and Him Who perfected him in proportion; Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him; Indeed he succeeds who purifies his own self (zakaha). And indeed he fails who corrupts his own self.” [91:7-11]

And Allah mentions the God-fearing pious one far removed form the Hellfire and says:

الَّذِي يُؤْتِي مَالَهُ يَتَزَكَّى () وَمَا لِأَحَدٍ عِندَهُ مِن نِّعْمَةٍ تُجْزَى () إِلَّا ابْتِغَاء وَجْهِ رَبِّهِ الْأَعْلَى ()

“He who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification, and have in his mind no favor from anyone for which a reward is expected in return, Except only the desire to seek the Countenance of his Lord, the Most High.”[92:18-21]

In Islamic terminology “Zakat” means specifically paying a prescribed amount of obligatory alms and charity on certain categories of lawfully acquired wealth, which becomes due upon a Muslim after a specific period of time.

Allah Most Exalted said:

وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلوةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَوةَ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُواْ لأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ()

“And establish Salat and give Zakat, and whatever good you send forth for yourselves before you, you shall find it with Allah.  Certainly Allah is All-Seer of what you do.” [2:10]

And Allah Most Exalted said:

وَمَا آتَيْتُم مِّن رِّبًا لِّيَرْبُوَ فِي أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ فَلَا يَرْبُو عِندَ اللَّهِ وَمَا آتَيْتُم مِّن زَكَوةٍ تُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَ اللَّهِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُضْعِفُونَ ()

“And that which you give as loan on interest in order that it may increase on other people’s wealth, has no increase with Allah; but that which you give as Zakat, seeking Allah’s countenance, it is these people who will increase their wealth [in the Hereafter].” [30:39]

From the Sunnah

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“…والزكاة برهان”

“…and Zakat is a proof  (of faith)…” [Reported by Muslim]

And the Messenger of Allah said, peace be upon him:

ليس في مالٍ زكاةٌ حتى يحول عليه الحول” و في لفظ “لا زكاة في مال حتى  يحول عليه الحول”[رواه الترمذي ورواه أبو داود وابن ماجه والدارقطني]

“There is no Zakat to be paid on money until a year has passed.” [Reported by at-Tirmithi, Abu Daood, Ibn Majah and ad-Darqutni, and verified by al-Albani]

And in the words of the Sahabi (companion) Jarir:

وعن جرير بن عبد الله رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ ‏”بايعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على إقام الصلاة‏, ‏ وإيتاء الزكاة‏, ‏ والنصح لكل مسلم‏.‏‏” [أخرجه البخاري ومسلم]

On Jarir ibn Abdullah may Allah be pleased with him who said: I pledged allegiance to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that I would establish Salat and pay the Zakat and be sincere to every Muslim.” [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim]

“Sadaqat” and “Infaaq.”

Various names are given for the spending in the way of Allah in charity and alms, including “Zakat,” “Sadaqat” and “Infaaq.”

Sadaqat (or Sadaqah, Sadaqa) is from the Arabic root S-D-Q [ صدق ] from which the word truthfulness is derived, and it has been noted that donating charity and alms is a sign of the truthfulness of one’s faith in Allah.  Zakat and Sadaqat are sometimes used interchangeably with the same meanings as Zakat above.

An Arabic language rule is often mentioned here in this connection. When there are two related words, a rule of generality and specificality between these two words applies. When one of them is mentioned alone in a context, the meaning is more general and the other word’s meaning also enters into the general meaning.  When they both are mentioned in the same sentence or context, then each one takes its more specific and exact meaning. To properly understand many verses of the Quran and Sunnah that mention words and concepts that are related, one must utilize this rule. What then, are the more exact meanings of these two words?

Zakat is specifically for the obligatory alms and the “pillar” of Islam, whereas Sadaqat includes all the voluntary forms of charity.  And example wherein both words are used in one sentence, and therefore Zakat means the obligatory whereas Sadaqat means the voluntary, is the following tradition on Zakat-al-Fitr.

زكاة الفطر…. من أداها قبل الصلاة فهي زكاة مقبولة ومن أداها بعد الصلاة فهي صدقة من الصدقات”

“Zakat-ul-Fitr …..Whoever gives it before Salat (al-Eid) it is an accepted Zakat for him, and whoever gives it after Salat, it is a Sadaqa of the Sadaqaat.” [Reported by Abu Da`ood and verified by al-Albani]

An instance where Sadaqat is used for specific obligatory alms, meaning the pillar if Islam that is Zakat, is the saying of Allah:

إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ

فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ ()

“Verily the Sadaqat is only for: the poor; and the needy; and for those who are working over it (to administer, collect and distribute it); and for those whose hearts are to be reconciled (to the truth); and for the emancipation of the slaves; and for those who have been inflicted with losses (by lawful loans); and for the way of Allah; and for the welfare of the wayfarers. An obligation decreed by the Almighty, the All-Knowing and the Wise.” [9:60]

Here all agree that the Sadaqat means obligatory Zakat.

And in the traditions we find that the Prophet, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said in the famous traditions of when he sent Mu’ath to Yemen, which will be mentioned in full later on:

“…فإن هم أطاعوا لذلك فأعلمهم أن الله قد فرض عليهم صدقة تؤخذ من أغنيائهم فترد في فقرائهم …”

“…If they obey you in this (Shahada and Salat), then inform them that Allah has laid upon them the obligation of charity (Sadaqatan) to be levied from their rich and distributed to their poor…” [Reported by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others]

Here also all agree that “Sadaqatan” means obligatory Zakat and not voluntary Sadaqat.

An instance where it is general and can mean both obligatory and voluntary alms is the saying of Allah:

خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِم بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ صَلاَتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَّهُمْ وَاللّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ()

“Take alms (Sadaqat) from their wealth (O Prophet) in order to cleanse them and purify them with it and invoke Allah for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of tranquility and security for them and Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing” [9:103]

An instance of when Sadaqat is used as obligatory and/or voluntary charity is in the following words of the Prophet peace be upon him. On the authority of Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, who said:

عن أبي ذر رضي الله عنه أيضاً: أن ناساً من أصحاب رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) قالوا للنبي (صلى الله عليه وسلم) : يا رسول الله ذهب أهل الدثور بالأجور، يصلّون كما نصلي، ويصومون كما نصوم، ويتصدقون بفضول أموالهم، قال: “أو ليس قد جعل الله لكم ما تصدقون؛ إن بكل تسبيحة صدقة، وكل تكبيرة صدقة، وكل تحميدة صدقة، وكل تهليلة صدقة، وأمر بالمعروف صدقة، ونهي عن منكر صدقة، وفي بضع أحدكم صدقة، قالوا: يا رسول الله! أيأتي أحدنا شهوته ويكون له فيها أجر؟ قال: أرأيتم لو وضعها في حرام أكان عليه وزر؟‍ فكذلك إذا وضعها في الحلال كان له أجر”. (رواه مسلم)

“Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah said: “O Messenger of Allah, the affluent have gone ahead of us with the rewards: they pray as we pray they fast as we fast, and they give away in charity the surplus of their wealth.” He said:” Has not Allah made things for you to give away in charity? Every Tasbihah (to say “Subhan-Allah” – Glory be to Allah, or Allah is free from imperfection) is a charity, every Takbirah (to say “Allahu Akbar” – Allah is Great) is a charity, every Tahmidah (to say “Al-Hamdu-lillahi” – All praise is for Allah) is a charity, and every Tahlilah (to say “LA ILAHA ILL-A-LLAH” – there is no god except Allah) is a charity, to enjoin a good action is a charity, to forbid an evil action is a charity, and in the sexual act of each of you there is a charity.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, when one of us fulfils his sexual desire will he have some reward for that?” He said: “Do you not think that were he to act upon it unlawfully he would be sinning? Likewise, if he has acted upon it lawfully he will have a reward.” [Reported by Muslim]

ٍSadaqat is a very comprehensive term and can include not only what we give to ourselves and others, but also what Allah gives to the worshippers as a gift of special lenience, like what the Prophet, peace be upon him, mentioned about Allah’s gift to the travelers to reduce their prayers from four or two Raka’at:

“صدقة تصدّق الله بهاعليكم فاقبلوا صدقته”

“Sadaqatun that Allah gave to you, so accept His Sadaqah.”  [Reported by Bukhari and the four Sunnan – Abu Da`ood, at-Tirmidthi, an-Nisa`e, and Ibn Majah]

Even stopping from doing evil is a kind of Sadaqat as explained in the following tradition:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” على كل مسلم صدقة “ فقالوا : يا نبي الله فمن لم يجد ؟ قال : ” يعمل بيده فينفع نفسه ، ويتصدق “ . قالوا : فإن لم يجد ؟ قال : ” يعين ذا الحاجة الملهوف “ . قالوا : فإن لم جيد ؟ قال : فليعمل بالمعروف وليمسك عن الشر ، فإنها له صدقة “ [رواه البخاري]

The Prophet said, may the salutation of Allah and His blessing be upon him; “Every Muslim must give Sadaqat.” They said: O Prophet of Allah, and if he doesn’t find. He said: He should work and benefit himself and give Sadaqat. They said: And if he doesn’t find.”

“Infaaq” comes form the root word N-F-Q of  “nafaqa”  [نفق ] and means to spend. We find many verses where this word is used in the sense of Zakat and Sadaqat. Sometimes it is used in the more general sense for the expenditures that one spends, not only in Zakat and Sadaqat, but any daily expenses for himself, his family and dependents, and on his grazing farm animals and businesses, and on all other expenditures.

Allah Most Exalted said:

وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمُ ابْتِغَاء مَرْضَاتِ اللّهِ وَتَثْبِيتًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ كَمَثَلِ جَنَّةٍ بِرَبْوَةٍ أَصَابَهَا وَابِلٌ فَآتَتْ أُكُلَهَا ضِعْفَيْنِ فَإِن لَّمْ يُصِبْهَا وَابِلٌ فَطَلٌّ وَاللّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ()

“The parables of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is as the parable of a grain growing seven ears with a hundred grains in every ear; and Allah multiples it for whom He pleases.” [2:261]

And Allah said:

وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَلأنفُسِكُمْ وَمَا تُنفِقُونَ إِلاَّ ابْتِغَاء وَجْهِ اللّهِ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تُظْلَمُونَ ()

“And whatever you spend of goodness, it is for yourself, and whatever you spend you are seeking the countenance of Allah, and whatever you spend will be rewarded without not any injustice done.” [2:172]

As is the case with many pre-Islamic Arabic words, the Islamic usage took the basic lingual meaning and built upon it a special legal term of Islamic jurisprudence with new connotations, and this will be observed below in our discussion of the details of the “Fiqh” of Zakat.

>>> “Mal” and man’s natural need and love of money, wealth and possessions, and the trial and test of the life of this world

To put the pillar of giving Zakat and Sadaqat into perspective, we need to discuss the unique Islam perspective about “mal,” [مال ] which is the Arabic word that is often translated as money.  Whatever man owns of land and real estate, animals, mineral wealth like gold, silver, jewels, iron, copper, oil, etc, coins and paper money and assets, cloths, furnishings, tools and machines, are all includes as ‘mal.”  Hence, the word includes more than money, but all his wealth and material possessions.  Hunting and fishing, livestock, agriculture, mineral and forest resources, trade, services and industry have been basic activities of man’s livelihood and sustenance since the beginning of civilization until today, and are the sources of this wealth.  In the Islamic view, Allah has blesses man with multiple blessing in his self and his abilities to utilize the environment around him, and as such, the ownership of his personal and collective wealth and possessions is a trust given by Allah to be used for just, beneficial, honorable and equitable purposes, not for extravagance luxuries, status seeking, or tyranny and evil. The world is Allah’s world and the wealth is ultimate Allah’s wealth.

As Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَاءُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ ()

“O mankind!  You all are the desperately poor (and are in need of Allah) and Allah, He is the Rich (Free and Independent of all wants and needs), Worthy of all praise.”[35:15]

And Allah says

هَاأَنتُمْ هَؤُلَاءِ تُدْعَوْنَ لِتُنفِقُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَمِنكُم مَّن يَبْخَلُ وَمَن يَبْخَلْ فَإِنَّمَا يَبْخَلُ عَن نَّفْسِهِ وَاللَّهُ الْغَنِيُّ وَأَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَاء وَإِن تَتَوَلَّوْا يَسْتَبْدِلْ قَوْمًا غَيْرَكُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَكُونُوا أَمْثَالَكُمْ ()

“Behold! You are those who are called to spend in the Cause of Allah, yet among you are some who are niggardly. And whoever is niggardly, it is only at the expense of his own self. But Allah is Rich (Free of all wants), and you (mankind) are poor. And if you turn away  (from Islam and the obedience of Allah), He will exchange you for some other  people, and  they  will not  be  your likes.” [47:39]

And as Allah says about the nature of man:

وَتُحِبُّونَ الْمَالَ حُبًّا جَمًّا ()

“And you love wealth with abundant love.” [89:20]

There are rights of Allah upon man in his body, his mind and his “Mal.” Although he has guaranteed rights to his private property and the fruits of his labor, he is not totality “free” to do however he wishes with his wealth, but must remain within the limits of Allah’s law, and pay his dues to his Lord and Creator, and to his fellow man.  Just like the mind and body, money and possessions can either be a blessing or curse, depending on how it is perceived, earned, and utilized and spent. This is part the trial, temptation and test for man: how will he use the gifts and blessings that Allah has bestowed upon him? A Muslim gives thanks to Allah for the blessing of his own body by establishing regular purification (Tahara) and prayer (Salat) and fasting (Saum), and for his wealth by paying alms (Zakat). All the sons of Adam will be asked on the Day of Judgment how he earned and spent his “Mal.”

“Mal” in mans possession is a gift from Allah, as Allah says in the context of the slaves who have contracted to buy their own freedom through labor:

…وَآتُوهُم مِّن مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي آتَاكُمْ …()

“…and give them from the wealth that Allah has given you…” [24: 34]

“Mal” is indeed a necessity of life, given as a trust for his sustenance and disposal.  A Muslim should only used for benefit and not squandered and wasted.

As Allah the Exalted says

وَلاَ تُؤْتُواْ السُّفَهَاء أَمْوَالَكُمُ الَّتِي جَعَلَ اللّهُ لَكُمْ قِيَاماً …()

“And do not give the foolish ones your “mal” (wealth, money) that Allah has made for your uprightness (in sustenance and livelihood etc)…” [4:xxxx]

Man can indeed use this money for good as the Prophet explained, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, explains:

” نعم المال الصالح للرجل الصالح” [  رواه أحمد بسند حسن]

“Blessed is the good and righteous money of the good and righteous man” [Reported by Ahmad with good chain of narrators]

And as the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to supplicate his Lord Almighty:

“اللهم إني أسألك علما نافعا ورزقا طيبا وعملا صالحا متقبلا”

“O Allah I ask from you beneficial knowledge, pure wholesome sustenance, and deeds that are accepted (by You).” [Reported by Ibn Majah and At-Tabarani and  verifecsd by al-Albani]

And he said, may the peace and blessing and be upon him:

“لا حسد إلا في اثنين: رجلٌ آتاه الله القرآن فهو يقوم به آناء الليل والنهار، ورجل آتاه الله مالاً فهو

ينفقه آناء الليل والنهار”

“There should be no jealousy except in two cases: a man who have been given the Quran and he stands with it night and day, and a man who have been given wealth by Allah and he spends it (generously in the way of Allah) night and day.” [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim, and in a narration (religious) knowledge instead of the Quran and the only correct religious knowledge is based upon the foundation of the Quran and Sunnah]

These traditions indicate the blessings of wealth earned legally and spent generously for general and personal benefit and good causes.

Man by nature needs the good, wholesome and pure foods, drinks and cloths etc that Allah has provided him, along with the other legal adornments, which make life full, enjoyable, and complete. There is no sin in seeking and acquiring these things in due and legal means and measure. And Allah Almighty and Majestic says:

قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللّهِ الَّتِيَ أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالْطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ قُلْ هِي لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا خَالِصَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ ()

“Say, Who has prohibited the adornment of Allah and the good and pure provisions which He has brought forth for His servants? Say, These are for the believers in the life of this world, purely theirs on the Resurrection-day; thus do we make the communications clear for a people who know.” [7:32]

But, is mere enjoyment the purpose of life? What is the purpose of our existence, and consequently, the goal and aim for the use of our wealth and possessions? Islam gives the answer: the purpose of our entire existence is for the worship of Allah, as our Lord the Most Exalted said:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ () مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ () إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ ()

“And I have not created man and jinn except to worship Me (Alone). I do not seek any provision from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily; Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong. [51:56-58]

Worship is a comprehensive term often misunderstood by those who have become conditioned by secularism and modern artificial divisions of life. Worship includes all that is pleasing to Allah, and includes beliefs and thoughts, words and deeds, both in the ritual “religious” sphere like customary acts of worship like prayer, alms giving, fasting, pilgrimage, vows and sacrifices etc, and also in the more “mundane” spheres of political, economic, social and personal activities, like earning an honest livelihood, acting with good morality in all daily and family activities and relationships, ruling and judging and executing Allah’s law, etc.

Allah the Exalted says:

اللَّهُ الَّذِي سخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْبَحْرَ لِتَجْرِيَ الْفُلْكُ فِيهِ بِأَمْرِهِ وَلِتَبْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ () وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِّنْهُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لَّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ()

“Allah, it is He Who has subjected to you the sea, that ships may sail through it by His Command, and that you may seek of His Bounty, and that you may be thankful, And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favor and kindness from Him. Verily, in it are signs for a people who think deeply.” [45:12-13]

The entire creation is or can be subjugated for mans disposal, to see what course of action he will take: will it be for truth and good or for falsehood and evil. Our entire being and our wealth and possession have the purpose to be utilized in establishing the worship of Allah in the best possible manner. We do not have to make striving for sustenance the primary objective for life since Allah is the Gracious Provider. The Prophet of Allah explained the purpose of money and wealth as related to our worship in the Hadith Qudsi (divine tradition):

قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم:”إن الله عز وجل قال : إنا أنزلنا المال لإقام الصلاة ، وايتاء الزكاة ، ولو كان لابن آدم واد لأحب أن يكون إليه ثان ، ولو كان له واديان لأحب أن يكون إليهما ثالث، ولا يملأ جوف ابن آدم إلا التراب ، ثم يتوب الله على من تاب.” [ رواه أحمد والطبراني‏]

“Allah the Almighty and Majestic said: ‘I have made wealth to descend for the establishment of prayer and the paying of alms, and if the son of Adam had a valley he would like a second, and if he had two he would like to have a third, and nothing fills the belly of the son of Adam except dust, and then Allah repents on those who repent.’”  [Reported by Imam Ahmad and at-Tabrani, and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani]

This tradition shows that our individual and collective wealth, which we continually crave after no matter how much we acquire, has been given to us from the bounty of Allah for the purpose of establishing the worship of Allah.

Each nation of believers, and each time period, has its own special trial. The nation of the sons of Israel, for instance, had the special trial and temptation of women, as mentioned in the Prophet’s traditions.

“إن الدنيا خضرة حلوة ، وإن الله عز وجل مستخلفكم فيها ؛ لينظر كيف تعملون ، فاتقوا الدنيا واتقوا النساء ؛ فإن أول فتنة بني اسرائيل كانت في النساء .”

The life of this world is lush, green and sweet, and Allah the Almighty and Majestic will make you to succeed others (in responsibility as vicegerent) to see how you act, so fear Allah, and fear the temptation of women, since the first trial of the sons of Israel was in women.”  [Reported by Muslim and Ahmad and al-Albani decaled it authentic in Silsala as-Saheeha 911]

This Muslim Ummah’s special trial, and the trial of these times, is in wealth, as the Prophet Muhammad mentioned in a specific warning, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him:

قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: “إن لكل أمة فتنة  وفتنة أمتي المال .” [رواه الترمذي ]

“For every Ummah (nation and community) there is a trial, and the trial of my Ummah is wealth.” [Reported by Tirmidhi, and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani]

Ummah here may mean the specific community of Muslims, or the Ummah-ad-Dawah, all people from the time of the beginning of the mission of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, until coming of the Day of Resurrection, who are intended to be called to Islam. If the latter is the case, then indeed we see that the financial and monetary systems that have been developed in these times are substantially more complex and today have structural injustices and tyranny built into them, as we will discuss below in comparisons between the Islamic economy and the modern capitalistic and socialist  — “Riba” (interested) based — economies.   If the meaning is the specific community of Muslims, then we see that a recurrent theme in Muslim history is that when the Muslim rulers and masses became content and complacent with their wealth and luxuries and neglectful of their duties to Allah and to their fellow Muslims, they rapidly fall into decline and become easy prey to internal and external enemies.  Muslims must strive sincerity to guard against these tendencies, to earn lawful income, to spend their wealth beneficially to avoid the calamities that they bring upon themselves by their own sins and by their wrongful accumulation and expenditure of their wealth, as mentioned in the following tradition.

عن عمرو بن عوف الأنصاري رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعث أبا عبيدة بن الجراح رضي الله عنه إلى البحرين يأتي بجزيتها فقدم بمال من البحرين فسمعت الأنصار بقدوم أبي عبيدة فوافوا صلاة الفجر مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلما صلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم انصرف فتعرضوا له فتبسم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حين رآهم ثم قال “أظنكم سمعتم أن أبا عبيدة قدم بشيء من البحرين فقالوا أجل يا رسول الله فقال أبشروا وأملوا ما يسركم فوالله ما الفقر أخشى عليكم ولكني أخشى أن تبسط الدنيا عليكم كما بسطت على من كان قبلكم فتنافسوها كما تنافسوها فتهلككم كما أهلكتهم” [متفق عليه]

Amr bin `Auf Al-Ansari, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “The Messenger of Allah, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, sent Abu `Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah, may Allah be pleased with him, to Bahrain to collect the poll duty (Jizyah). So he returned from Bahrain with wealth. The Ansar got news of it and joined with the Prophet, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, in the Fajr prayer. When the Prophet, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, concluded the prayer, they stood in his way. When he saw them, he smiled and said, “I think you have heard about the arrival of Abu `Ubaidah with something from Bahrain”. They said, “Yes! O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Rejoice and hope for that which will please you. By Allah, it is not poverty that I fear for you, but I fear that this world will be opened up with its wealth for you as it was opened to those before you; and you vie with one another over it as they did and eventually it will ruin you as it ruined them” [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim].

The Muslims should not fear poverty from giving for the cause of Allah since this dread is only from the scare tactics of the Shaitan, as Allah the Most Exalted and Glorified said:

الشَّيْطَانُ يَعِدُكُمُ الْفَقْرَ وَيَأْمُرُكُم بِالْفَحْشَاء وَاللّهُ يَعِدُكُم مَّغْفِرَةً مِّنْهُ وَفَضْلاً وَاللّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ()

“The Shaitan  (Satan) threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit outrageously evil deed whereas Allah promises you Forgiveness from Himself and Bounty, and Allah is All-Sufficient (for His creatures’ needs) All-Knower.” [2:269]

Allah promises the best rewards in this life and the hereafter for those who spend. The alms giver increases in good deeds, and even his money and wealth do not diminish but increases, commensurate with his intention and giving. As the Prophetic hadith says:

“…ما نقصت صدقة من مال …”

“…”Wealth is not diminished by giving in charity (Sadaqat)…” [Muslim]

And in a more complete version of the tradition, Abu Kabshah al-Anmari, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“ثلاثة أقسم اللـه عليهن وأحدثكم حديثا فاحفظوه: ما نقص مال عبد من صدقة، وما ظُلِمَ عبد مظلمةً فصبر عليها إلا زاده اللـه عز وجل بها عزاً ولا فتح عبد باب مسألةٍ إلا فتح اللـه عليه باب فقر وأحدثكم حديثا فاحفظوه إنما هذه الدنيا لأربعة نفر: عبد رزقه اللـه مالاً وعلماً فهو يتقي في ماله ربه ويصل به رحمه، ويعلم لله فيه حقاً فهذا بأفضل المنازل، وعبد رزقه اللـه علماً ولم يرزقه مالاً، فهو صادق النية لله يقول: لو أن لي مالاً لعملت فيه بعمل فلان، فهو بنيته فأجرهما سواء، وعبد رزقه اللـه مالا ولم يرزقه علماً فهو يخبط في ماله بغير علم، لا يتقي فيه ربه ولا يصل به رحمه، ولا يعلم لله فيه حقاً فهذا بأخبث المنازل، وعبد لم يرزقه اللـه مالاً ولا علماً فهو يقول لو أن لى مالاً لعملت بعمل فلان، فهو بنيته ووزرهما سواء” [رواه أحمد والترمذي وصححه الألباني]

“I swear by Allah for three (qualities) which I am going to tell you about. Remember them well:  The wealth of a man will not diminish by Sadaqah (charity). Allah increases the honor of a man who endures oppression patiently. He who opens a gate of begging, Allah opens a gate of poverty. I will tell you, so remember well what I am going to tell you: The world is for four kinds of people. One upon whom Allah has bestowed wealth and knowledge and so he fears his Lord in respect to them, joins the ties of blood relationship and acknowledges the Rights of Allah on him (and fulfills them); this type will have the best position (in Paradise). One upon whom Allah has conferred knowledge but no wealth, and he is sincere in his intention and says: ‘Had I possessed wealth, I would have acted like so-and-so.’ If that is his intention, his reward is the same as that of the other. One whom Allah has given wealth but no knowledge and he squanders his wealth ignorantly, does not fear Allah in respect to it, does not discharge the obligations of kinship and does not acknowledge the Rights of Allah. Such a person will be in the worst position (in the Hereafter). One upon whom Allah has bestowed neither wealth nor knowledge and he says: ‘Had I possessed wealth, I would have acted like so-and-so (i.e. I would party and squander the wealth like him).’ If this is his intention, both will have equal sin.’” [Reported by Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, and authenticated by al-Albani].

This makes it clear where the merit or fault begins and ends: in the intentions and deeds of the Muslims. And upon this concept, the Muslims have nothing to fear except the consequences of their own misconceptions, miserliness, false desires, and sins in this regard — may Allah forgive our faults and shortcomings and guide us to righteousness and His Mercy.

Abdullah ibn Ash-Shikkhir, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated:

أتيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو يقرأ ” ألهاكم التكاثر” قال:  “يقول ابن آدم مالي مالي وهل لك يا ابن آدم من مالك إلا ما أكلت فأفنيت أو لبست فأبليت أو تصدقت فأمضيت” [رواه مسلم]

“I came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, while he was reciting Surat At-Takathur [102]  ‘The mutual rivalry (for hoarding worldly things) preoccupy you….’ After reciting it he said, ‘The son of Adam says: ‘My wealth, my wealth.’ And yet what do you own of your wealth, other than what you eat and consume, and what you wear and wear out, or what you give in Sadaqat (charity), and that what you have sent ahead (in good deeds) and thus will have in stock for yourself (as reward from Allah).” [Reported by Muslim].

And this is explained an another tradition. Ibn Mas`ood, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated:

قال ابن مسعود رضي اللـه عنه قال: قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: “أيكم مال وارثه أحب إليه من ماله؟” قالوا: يا رسول اللـه ما منا أحد إلا وماله أحب إليه من ماله وارثه، قال: “فإن ماله ما قدم ومال ورثته ما أخر” [ رواه البخارى رقم أحمد]

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, asked, ‘Who of you loves the wealth of his heir more than his own wealth?’’ They (the companions) said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! There is none of us but loves his own wealth more.’ He said, ‘His wealth is that which he has sent forward, but that which he retains belongs to his heir.’”  [Al-Bukhari].

This concept of wealth means that a Muslim should spend all his wealth for the pleasure of Allah, and he is not blameworthy if he spends for his basic needs and necessary requirements for himself and his family and dependents, from his honestly earned wealth.

And all honest pursuits of livelihood are allowed and encouraged as it is repeatedly mentioned in the scriptures of the Quran and Sunnah, and as the Prophet explained, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,

لأن يأخذ أحدكم أحبلا، فيأخذ حزمة من حطب، فيبيع، فيكف الله به وجهه، خير من أن يسأل الناس،

أعطي أم منع” [البخاري]

“It is better for you that you take a rope and go and collect a load of firewood and then sell it, and save your face from Allah (in begging), than you ask the people, whether they give you or refuse.” [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim and others]

And defining the rights of expenditure, the Messenger of Allah explained, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him:

“ليس لابن آدم حق في سوى هذه الخصال : بيت يسكنه وثوب يوارى عورته وجلف الخبر والماء “

“The son of Adam does not have a right except in these: a home to live in, cloths to hide his nakedness, and harsh bread and water.” [Reported by at-Tirmidthi who declared it good and sound]

This is understood to mean the bare minimum basic of sustenance at the time of crisis, since for instance, wholesome foods of grains, meats, fruits and vegetables are lawful and necessary for health and well being, and taken within reason, are not extravagant.

And he said, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him

“ليكف أحدكم من الدنيا خادم ومركب”

“And let it be enough for you of this world that you possess a servant and riding beast.”

[Reported by Ahmad, Abu Da`ood, at-Tirmidthi, an-Nisa`e, and authenticated by Al-Albani]

This is understood to mean the level of noble full lifestyle wherein one is independent of others.  As he further explained about the workers and agents of the Islamic State, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who have extra duties and responsibilities of the their time and efforts, that their rights to the wealth are limited to specific needs:

“من كان لنا عاملا فلم يكن له زوجة فليكتسب له زوجة فإن لم يكن له خادم، فليكتسب له خادما فإن لم يكن له مسكن فليكتسب له مسكناً ومن اتخذ غير ذلك فهو غال أو سارق”

“Whoever we take as a worker and he doesn’t have a wife we will provide him a wife (or the wherewith to take one), and who doesn’t have a servant we will provide him with one, and who doesn’t have a home we will provide him with one, and who ever takes more than that is an embezzler or a thief.”   [Reported by Abu Da`ood, at-Tirmidthi, al-Hakim and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani]

And he said, peace and blessing from the Lord Supreme on him:

أربعة دنانير: دينار أعطيته مسكيناً، ودينار أعطيته في رقبةٍ، ودينار أنفقته في سبيل الله، ودينار أنفقته على أهلك، أفضلها الدينار الذي أنفقته على أهلك [رواه مسلم]

“Four Dinar: one that you give to a poor person; one that you give to free a neck (from bondage); one that you give in the way of Allah; and one that you spend on your family. The best one is the one you spend on your family.” [Reported by Muslim]

Jabir narrates the Messenger of Allah, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

عن جابر رضى الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ” إذا كان احدكم فقيرا فليبدأ بنفسه ، وإن كان فضل فعلى عياله ، وإن كان فضل فعلى ذوي قرابته ، أو قال : ذوي رحمه ، وان كان فضل فهاهنا وهاهنا “ [رواه أحمد ومسلم]

“If one of you is poor then he should start (his spending) on himself, and if he has any extra then on his family, and if he has extra then on his relatives, and if he has extra then this way and that way (in charity).” [Reported by Muslim and Ahmad]

And he said, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him”

وقال صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” تصدقوا “ : قال رجل . عندي دينار . قال ” تصدق به على نفسك “ . قال : عندي دينار آخر . قال : “تصدق به على زوجتك “ . قال : عندي دينار آخر . قال : ” تصدق به على ولدك “ . قال : عندي دينار آخر . قال : ” تصدق به على خادمتك “ . قال : عندي دينار آخر . قال : ” أنت به أبصر ” [رواه أبو داود والنسائي والحاكم ، وصححه]

“Tasadaqu (Give charity). A man said: I have a Dinar. He said: Start by giving charity on yourself. He said: I have another Dinar. He said: Give it as charity on your wife. He said: I have another Dinar. He said: Give it as charity on your children. He said: I have another Dinar. He said: Give it as charity on your servant. He said: I have another Dinar. He said: You know best where to spend it.” [Reported by Abu Da`ood, An-Nisa`e and al-Hakim who declared it sould].

And he said, may the best of salutations be upon him,

خير الصدقة ما أبقت غنى واليد العليا خير من اليد السفلى وابدأ بمن تعول تقول امرأتك أنفق علي أو طلقني

ويقول مملوكك أنفق علي أو بعني ويقول ولدك إلى من تكلنا [رواه ابن خزيمة ]

“The best Sadaqat that is given is when you remain rich and independent.  The upper (giving) hand is better than the lower (receiving), and start with those who are dependent on you.  The wife says: spend on me or divorce me! The slave says: spend on me or sell me! And the child says: and to whom will you entrust me (if you will not spend on me?” [Reported by Ibn Khuzaima and authenticated by al-Albani]

Taken together, it is assessed that food, water, and shelter are the bare minimum essential necessities of life, and in times of crisis. Of course it is understood that the tools of survival and livelihood are included as necessities.  The goal of living standards for a complete full life, and for those who take on higher responsibilities, the requirements include transportation, a wife, and a domestic personal servant (in our times modern machinery may be in effect provide these services).   Extravagances beyond the basics are discouraged and where not the custom of the righteous predecessors, and may be unlawful depending on the manner acquired and utilized.

Man is created to worship the Lord Creator, and Allah has guaranteed his provision.  His wealth has been given him to for his survival and growth and to establish the worship of obligatory Prayers and Alms.  The special trail of this Muslim Ummah is in personal and community wealth.  Thus, by the combination of these texts above, we see the crucial importance of money and wealth for our development and success and individuals and as a community.  No individual or nation can survive, let alone succeed, without basic material sustenance and economic development, which are primal factors that go hand in hand with spiritual and moral development.

Zakat, Sadaqat and spending in cause of Allah with wealth and our own selves plays a pivotal and central role in the advance, progression and ascendancy of Islam and its defense.  As Allah the Most Exalted said:

قُلْ إِن كَانَ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ اللّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ ()

“Say, If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your mates and your kinsfolk, and the wealth which you have acquired, and trade, the dullness (of the market on it) which you fear, and the houses which you love, are dearer to you than Allah and his Messenger and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings about His command, and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.” [9:24]

On this basis of what has proceeded, there are numerous rights which coalesce in Zakat: the right of the person to purify himself and his rightfully gained wealth and possessions (his “Mal”), the right of the wealth accumulated to be purified and used in worship, the right of the poor and needy to a just share in that wealth due to their needs, handicaps and inabilities, and the right of the Islamic government to enforce, collect, administer and distribute the Zakat to uphold the principles and laws of Islam, the right of Islam upon us to struggle with our wealth and selves for the advancement and propagation of Allah’s Noble Word and  Religion.

>>>Details of Fiqh az-Zakat (Jurisprudence of Alms)

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