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20 I SPECIAL FEATURE Passion Islam I September 2009
The parable of those who spend their abrogate Zakah. of charity, Allah says in the Qur’an: “Take
wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain When the Muslim community was a portion of their wealth as charity, so that
of corn; it grows seven ears, and each ear given permission by Allah to fight against you may cleanse and purify them thereby;
has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold non-believers, Allah gave them the happy and pray for them; for your prayers
increase to whom He Pleases. (Qur’aan news that they would eventually gain are a source of comfort for them. allah
2:261) power in the land. He also reminded them hears all and knows all.” (Quran 9:103).
‘Truly, to a happy state shall attain the of their duties when that prospect came This means that charity, in general, and
believers, who humble themselves in their to be a reality. Their first duties were to Zakah, in particular, work in such a way
prayer, and who turn way from all that is establish prayers regularly, to pay their as to purify believing hearts and generate
frivolous, and who fulfil their Zakah duty.’ Zakah and to fulfil their social duty of growth and increase, as well as blessings
(Quran 23:1-4) helping others to do good and refrain from for the Muslim community.
Five major elements constitute what is wrong and evil. Describing good In fact, the very word, Zakah, combines
the foundation of Islam. These are: A believers, Allah says in the Qur’an: both sets of connotations: purification and
declaration of belief that there is no deity “(They are) those who when We firmly growth. But the question is asked:What
other than Allah and that Muhammad establish them on Earth remain constant does nit purify; and how does it bring
is His Messenger; attending to prayers, in prayer, and give in charity; and enjoin about growth?
payment of Zakah (which is an obligatory the doing of what is right and forbid the
charity paid by all Muslims who have doing of what is wrong. But with Allah ZAKAH AS A PURIFIER
more than a specified sum); fasting in rests the final outcome of all events.” Zakah and other charity purifies the
Ramadhaan and pilgrimage to Makkah, if (Quran 22:41) believer’s hearts of various negative
one can afford it. Prayer and Zakah are given feelings, such as a sense of guilt, envy,
Prayer and Zakah, however, have a precedence over other types of Islamic grudge, hostility, hatred, worry, isolation,
particularly great importance. Hardly ever worship because prayer, which is offered powerlessness, as well as the feeling of
is faith mentioned in the Qur’an without it purely for Allah’s sake, has an important being a social outcast or abandoned.
being associated with prayer and Zakah, role in restraining people from committing Divine wisdom necessitates that Allah
and the need to fulfil both duties. Abu Bakr, sinful and evil deeds, while Zakah has a grants people different aspects of His
the first ruler of the Muslim state after the greatly beneficial effect on both individual grace in different measures. Thus, some
Prophet (peace be on him), went to war and society. people are rich, while others are poor;
against groups of Muslims who wanted to In reference to Zakah and other types some are healthy while others suffer from
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