Zakat has various benefits [Archives:2003/683/Culture]

November 6 2003

By Dr. Manea Al-hazmi
For The Yemen Times

Zakat, or obligatory charity, is the third Pillar of Islam. It comes from the Koran, where Allah says “Take Sadaqah, or alms, from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it (Surah At-Taubah, 103).
Zakat was addressed with prayer in 82 verses in Qur’an because of its importance. It is a financial act of worship dedicated to Allah in order to gain his pleasure.

Proportion of Zakat
Zakat is a certain fixed proportion of the wealth and of every kind of the property liable to Zakat. It is due on the wealth kept in possession for one year.
The percentage which due on gold, silver and cash funds that have reached the amount of about 85 grams of gold and held in possession for one lunar year is 2.5%.
Other properties such as animals, fruits, lands for investment, and metals have a different amount of Zakat, You can find this in the books of jurisprudence.

Spending of Zakat
Zakat is spent on the poor, employed to collect Zakat, to attract the hearts of new Muslims and those being close to Islam, to free the captives, for those in debt, for Allah’s cause, for the wayfarer, that is a traveler who is cut off from everything.
Allah says “As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara’ or the poor, and Al-Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect the funds and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined towards Islam, and to free the capatives, and for those in debt, and for Allah’s cause, such as those fighting in a holy battle.

Punishment for refusing to pay Zakat
Allah has a sever punishment against those who refuse to pay Zakat. Allah says “And those who hoard up gold and silver (Al-Kanz: the money, the Zakat of which has not been paid) and spend them not in the Way of Allah, announce unto them a painful of torment.
On the Day when that, gold and silver, will be heated in the Fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs and it will be said to them: This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard.” (Surah At-Taubah, 34-35).The ruler has the right to take Zakat by force from those who refuse to pay it.

Benefits of Zakat
The original meaning of Zakat is both purification and growth. Zakat purifies the donors from selfishness , miserliness and stinginess. Zakat augments the wealth and makes it abundant. Mohammed said, “ Never will charity diminish the wealth, rather it augments it”.
Zakat is a manifestation of social mutual responsibility among the Muslims. So the wealthy among them may sympathize with the poor
And the poor among them may love the wealthy.
Also Zakat is the major economic means for establishing social justice and leading the Muslim society to prosperity and security.