Purifying your wealth
As much as the obligations in Islam invite each Muslim towards prosperity, they are equally contributive to the society. Islam does not entail a person to think about one’s self only but the whole society is taken under consideration. From relatives to neighbours to the poor and needy, the way of life portrayed by Islam covers every class of mankind.
“The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases: And Allah cares for all and He knows all things” (2:261)
Zakaat, the third pillar of Islam, is a way of purifying the hard earned wealth. The Islamic system requires Muslims to take care of the poor and needy, the slaves, the travelers, the strugglers in the way of Allah, the collectors of Zakaat and the converted Muslims irrespective of whether they are related to you or not. The only condition in giving out Zakaat is to be a financially able Muslim.
One may think when so much is earned through hard work why should it be given out to other people, this will decrease the wealth and moreover, the hard earned money is given to people you don’t even know. When it comes to wealth people tend to become selfish. Allah SWT very well knows the nature of humans, as He is the creator of the natural characteristics, which is why He made Zakaat an obligatory duty for Muslims towards the needy people. In return He has promised to increase or double the amount spent on His way. We feel fear in spending on the needy because we are forgetting that Allah SWT is the one who is providing rizk to us and He has the control to take it back as well.
Abu Huraira narrated that Allah’s Apostle said, “If one give in charity what equals one date-fruit for the honestly-earned money and Allah accepts only the honestly earned money –Allah takes it in His right (hand) and then enlarges its reward for that person (who has given it), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse, so much as that it becomes as big as a mountain (Sahih Bukhari)
In another Hadith Abu Masud Al-Ansar narrated that whenever Prophet SAW ordered us to give in charity, we used to go to the market and work as porters and get a Mudd (a special measure of grain) and then give it in charity. (Those were the days of poverty) and today some of us have one hundred thousand.
This is a way for Muslims to take care of the needy people and feel compassion towards them. It not only purifies the wealth and contributes to the society but also purifies the heart of a Muslim as well. The fear of wealth being reduced is natural to occur but we as Muslims have to overcome it with the strong belief in Allah’s promise of providing rizk from sources we couldn’t even imagine. We only have to work hard for it and the rewards are guaranteed.
Islam is a way of life which even tells us how to spend our hard earned wealth. The system of Zakaat is a social security for all and an act of worship as well. This is not just some text telling what is right or wrong, in our practical life we come across situations when we feel there is no blessing in the income and even we often come across situations in which part of our wealth is either stolen or we don’t have any idea where did we spend it. It could very well be because we are not paying Zakaat. In a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari, it states the Prophet SAW said
“Do not withhold your money, (for if you did so) Allah would with-hold His blessings from you.”
Withholding the wealth we possess is a sin that will be rewarded in hell by using the same wealth as fuel to the fire for punishment of non payers of Zakaat (9:34-35). So consider it a rightful obligation and a duty towards the needy as it adds blessing to the rizk or simply because Allah SWT has asked to do.