June 15, 2024

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The alms are only for the poor and the needy

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The alms are only for the poor and the needy

The alms are only for the poor and the needy

The essential part of Islam is to pay Zakat. It has been narrated that Imam Ali (as) said: “Zakat is the monotheism of our time.”

Zakat means giving a certain percentage of your wealth to poor and needy people to purify them and yourself from greed and selfishness. Allah says in Quran: [9:60] the alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah also says [9:103], “… And know that Allah is Rich (Free of all needs), and Worthy of all praise”. For Charity Projects visit https://quranonlinestudy.com/charity-projects/

It has been narrated from Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) who said: “Zakat is a symbol of Islam, Zakat is a part of prayer, and Zakat on property is the head of worship. Zakat purifies your property from greed and selfishness, it purifies your heart from grudge and malice.” [Nahjul Balagha Sermon 192]

Imam Sadiq (as) said: “The one who knows the value of charity will never be miserly.” [Al-Kafi]

So, Imam Sadiq (as) considers knowing the value of charity as one of the requirements of miserliness.

How much Zakat should be given? Six types of wealth need to be paid Zakat for Land animals, Water animals, Wheat products, Dates Products, Gold, and Silver. There is a particular percentage for each category that needs to be paid. The scholars say that you should pay 2.5% to 5%, depending on your country’s inflation rate. But if your country’s inflation rate is 0%, you pay 2.5%.

People should choose people who collect Zakat in authority or their representatives like mayor or chairman of village council etc…They should be honest and trustworthy people who can take from Zakat for poor and needy people.

Zakat should not be given to poor people’s enemies, even if you know that the money will help their enemy or hurt them. This is because this money does not belong to you, but it belongs to Allah. Hence, He has set a condition in Zad al-Masir about whom Zakat should be paid: [The obligatory alms are only for the Fuqara’ (the poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy)…and those employed to collect (the funds); …for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); …and to free the captives; …and for those in debt; …and for Allah’s Cause (i.e., for Mujahidun – those fighting in a holy battle), …and…..] [9:60]

In addition, Imam Sadiq (as) said: “Whoever wants to pay Zakat should pay it with his right hand so that Allah will double its rewards and avoid people’s evil.” [Tafsir al-Burhan]

Zakat is not just something you do once a year or even once in a lifetime; it has to be continuous because the needy are always present, and the amount of Zakat you give depends on how much you earn and spend.[Al-Kafi, Tahdhib Al Asma wal Lughaat].It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) who said: “Whoever knows the value of Zakat will never be miserly.” [Tahdhib al-Athar, Al-Kafi]

So, Imam Sadiq (as) considers knowing the value of charity as one of the requirements of miserliness.

Imam Baqir (a.s) said:” Paying Zakat is jihad in the way of Allah.”

It has been narrated that Imam Sajjad (a.s) wrote to his governors, telling them about paying Zakat and fasting on Muharram 10 days, saying: “These are two great bounties given by Allah to us, so do not forget them.

Zakat al-Fitr is a must for every Muslim even if they only have a Dinar or a Dirham in their pocket because it purifies our fasting from any indecent acts and helps the poor to have a good life so that they can be able to fast another year with other Muslims without worrying about where their next meal will come from”. [Nahjul Balagha]

It has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) who said: “Whoever does not pay Zakat al-Fitr before the ‘Id Prayer, his prayer would not be accepted till one year.” [Nahjul Balagha Sermon No. 211]

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