Saturday, 30 July 2011

Zakaat - our Obligation - The Ramzaan Boutique

Assalam alaykum,
Ramzaan Mubarak to one and all !! :)
So, it is Ramzaan time again… and soon we will have our eating habits entirely altered.. lol!!!
A lot will be told about fasting and the benefits of fasting to us by our friends and family… but, something that we might, just MIGHT miss talking about is the paying of the ZAKAAT.

Zakaat is an important topic for me, at this point of time, coz this year is the year when I have officially started earning… :) (yipeee!!!!) and so have all my batchmates. Ppl who had taken shorter courses might have started earning a year or two ago and so most of us now are very much responsible for the payment of the Zakaat. And yet, we might not take it as seriously as we should coz until now we have been entirely dependent on our parents and they have been providing everything for us and so obviously the ‘Zakaat’ duties were also on their heads. And it might not strike us that from now on we are earning not only our own food and clothes but also earning our share of monetary obligations towards God.

Zakaat is an obligatory payment made by the believing men and women to the needy. Zakaat is NOT charity alone. coz Charity means the ‘Voluntary’ help given to the needy.
Zakaat, however, is not an option. Zakaat is an obligation upon every person who calls him/herself a Muslim. This payment has its set rules.
There are people whom you CAN give zakaat to, and there are ppl whom you CANNOT give zakaat to.
What can be given as zakaat, what cannot be given.. is all a set of rules…
And even the amount is fixed- 2.5% of your saved wealth in a year.
Of course, any man who desires to please God can and should exceed the 2.5% but, that is not an obligation. THAT is charity and you can give as much as you think is appropriate, to whomsoever you will. And God is merciful to the ppl who are merciful to others.

So, I guess ppl who are newly earning should remind themselves of the payment of the zakaat, i.e., if they have been able to save any money from their stipend. Lol!
But, seriously… we need to start somewhere…. And until we build up our habits now, we’ll never be able to do it later on, even if the desire to please God would arise, coz we wudnt be in the habit of parting with our money. So, I request ppl to give 2.5% of your savings, however small the amount comes out to be, in the name of God.
If you have been giving money and things as charity thru out the year… good! Really good! But THAT cannot be considered Zakaat. Zakaat needs neeyat and adherence to the rules as much as feasible to us.
Just think of namaaz. Namaaz and zakaat are both included in Islam’s ‘paanch satoon’.. the Five Pillars of Islam. Both are obligations. Both are IMPERATIVE in your identity as a Muslim (in the eyes of God). Will you read 200 rakaats of namaaz on any one day and not pray for the next 20 days saying ‘Oh! I have prayed in advance!’ ? similarly, you cant include the charity given generally to be included in the category of zakaat. The difference is of nafil and farz.

And even to those who are not earning…. Remember we all get pocket money, for which we don’t have to answer our parents….it is ours and we can spend it any way we want. If that be the case, I guess, zakaat should be paid on our savings from the pocket money too… coz of course, this is OUR money.
A lot of us have gold that is ours!!! Why not pay the zakaat for this gold by ourselves???? I mean, it doesn’t come to too much, trust me! :) also remember, that the zakaat amount need not be payed strictly during the 30 days of ramzaan… you can take a year to pay your dues…:)
As for charity….. Islam promotes charity in beautiful ways….if you feel you can give more, plz do. Coz Allah loves the merciful :)
Everything is charity.. smile is charity and muslims are recommended to give even ‘half a date’ as charity if that is all that they can.
Remember, Islam does not prohibit us from being rich. We are totally allowed to be rich as long as we are earning in a Halaal way and as long as we r paying our dues to Allah.
Zakaat is not just our proclamation of obedience to Allah’s command, it is a direct way of helping the poor Muslim and also an insurance of our wealth. Coz God has promised to protect us and our property and wealth if we r paying our dues to God by helping the needy.
More from The Ramzaan Boutique later, inshaAllah.

God bless you
And you spread the blessings :)

Allah hafiz

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