بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Someone sent me an absolutely marvelous link on zakaah the other day.
It was an interactive e-magazine which explains the fiqh (jurisprudence) of zakaah in an easy way.
If you’re anything like me (i.e. the fiqh of zakaah just goes above your head), then this e-mag is for you:
Make sure you click on all the links, otherwise you’ll lose out on the “interactive” part of the magazine.
[Note: Zakaah has nothing to do with Ramadan. It’s just that most Muslims seem to pay their zakaah in Ramadan.]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Remember this series? The last part discussed khushoo (humility) in prayer.
Salaah (prayer) is the second pillar of Islam. After this comes the zakaah (the obligatory charity).
[Note: It is zakaah and not zakaat. And while we’re having a language lesson, I’d also like to point out that “namaz” is an Urdu/Farsi/Turkish word, not an Arabic word so could we please stop using it in the English language? Baarakallahu feekum.]
Prayer is the right of Allah, whereas zakaah is the right of the slaves of Allah.
Allah has mentioned salaah and zakaah together 82 times in the Quran (according to Shaikh Saleh Al-Fawzan), thereby showing how intertwined these two really are.
So it’s strange to find people who pray but do not give zakaah. [Of course, it’s even stranger to find people who give zakaah but do not pray!]
If one wants to be a complete Muslim, one should fulfill both the rights of Allah and the rights of creation. Safeguarding one’s prayers and paying the zakaah are the first steps towards that.
I’m completely useless with the fiqh (jurisprudence) of zakaah so I won’t even go there. [I studied it 4 times and it just keeps going above my head.] You may find many resources here though.
However, I’d like to point out the following important points:
1) Zakaah is obligatory but sadaqah (charity) isn’t.
Zakaah is a bit like the five obligatory prayers and sadaqah is a bit like the voluntary prayers, in the sense that you have the obligatory part for everyone and you also have the voluntary part for those that want to go the extra mile.
2) Zakaah is not necessarily due in Ramadan. It is due when one (lunar) year passes on the wealth.
You might have multiple times where you pay zakaah during the year as you might have zakaah due on different things.
4) Zakaah and Zakaatul fitr are two totally different things.
The former is due after one (lunar) year. The latter is due at the end of Ramadan and is paid in the form of food.
5) Zakaah is not due on everybody. It is only due on those who fulfill the required conditions .
6) The one who doesn’t pay the zakaah out of stinginess is a major sinner. However, the one who doesn’t pay the zakaah because he doesn’t think it it obligatory is a disbeliever.
7) Zakaah can only be given to one of eight categories of people, whereas there is no restriction on who sadaqah can be given to.
Apart from the fasts and the night prayers, what also distinguishes Ramadan from the other months is the brotherhood (which is shown through the zakaah and sadaqah). So we need to extend this brotherhood to the other months as well.
Unfortunately, one of the issues that we’re facing today as an ummah (nation) is that the money flows in during Ramadan and all the people in need get enough.
However, in the other 11 months, the well seems to dry up.
Why is that? Well, I guess it’s the same reason that some people pray only in Ramadan but not outside of it.
The reason is that they don’t understand the Names and Attributes of Allah, nor do they know about His Rights. Due to this, they cheat themselves by only worshipping Him during Ramadan.
So, it is incumbent for the one who is truly sincere in worshipping Allah that he does so 12 months a year, not just one!
So we not only need to work on improving our prayers but we also need to be more consistent in giving charity.
An amazing story of consistency in giving charity would be Shaikh ibn Baz (rahimahullah). I heard that he gave so much charity that he never paid zakaah (because his wealth did not fulfill the conditions as he gave it away before the year passed), subhan Allah.
Insha-Allah, in the next post of this series, I’ll clear up some misunderstandings that people have about charity.
Zakaah and Ramadan seem to have become bosom buddies, so much so that some people can’t even imagine giving their zakaah outside of Ramadan.
So what’s the story anyway? Is it really better to pay zakaah in Ramadan?
The following fatwa clarifies the issue:
I heard that paying zakaah in Ramadaan is better than paying it in any other month. Is this correct? What is the evidence for that? Please note that the time when zakaah becomes due may be before or after Ramadaan.
Praise be to Allaah.
Firstly: When a full hijri year has passed and zakaah becomes due, it must be paid, unless it is the zakaah of agricultural crops, which must be paid on the day of harvesting, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“but pay the due thereof (their Zakaah, according to Allaah’s Orders, 1/10th or 1/20th) on the day of their harvest”
Zakaah must be paid as soon as one full hijri year has passed, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord (Allaah), and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth”
Ibn Battaal said:
One should hasten to do good, for things change, death could come at any time, and delaying is not good.
Ibn Hajar said: Someone else added:
It is better in order to free oneself from blame and help others, more pleasing to the Lord and more likely to erase sin.
Fath al-Baari, 3/299.
Secondly: it is not permissible to delay paying zakaah after it has become due, unless one has a valid excuse.
Thirdly: it is permissible to pay zakaah before it is due, by way of hastening it.
Hastening zakaah means paying the zakaah of two years or less, before it is due.
It was narrated from ‘Ali that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked al-‘Abbaas to pay zakaah two years in advance.
(Narrated by Abu ‘Ubayd al-Qaasim ibn Sallaam in al-Amwaal, 1885. Al-Albaani said in al-Irwa’ (3/346): it is hasan)
According to another report:
It was narrated from ‘Ali that al-‘Abbaas asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about paying his zakaah before it was due, and he allowed him to do that. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 673; Abu Dawood, 1624; Ibn Maajah, 1795; classed as saheeh by Shaykh Ahmad Shaakir in Tahqeeq al-Musnad, 822).