Zakat is an Arabic term that by definition stands for ‘Purification’. In a broader sense, the meaning of the term encompasses both the means and process of attaining redemption. In reality, this refers to both the collective and individual purification of wealth, by sharing a tiny portion with the destitute, needy, and poor people in society. Zakat is the fourth pillar of Islam and is obligatory for every Muslim.
Skeptical people might ask questions regarding why they have to donate a portion of their hard earned money and wealth to the poor sections of society. Read on to learn about the importance of giving Zakat.
Importance Of Zakat
1. Helps In Building The Society
Zakat is necessary since it helps the less fortunate in society. If one class of the community (the wealthy) just gathers all the wealth and money and leaves nothing for the rest, society would be fragmented, and the poorer sections of society would stay in the same plight if not worse. When the wealthy donate Zakat, the non-wealthy have a chance at a better lifestyle.
2. Circulation Of Money
Zakat also helps in the movement of money. Since Zakat is a form of charity, it means that money gets to move out of the hands of the ones that already have it to the ones who don’t. In this way, money goes out of a circle of the wealthy minority and circulates within the entire economy.
3. Develops A Sense Of Sacrificing
Zakat is also important since it teaches the message of sacrifice. Wealth is something important to most people in the world, and they love it. Therefore, if a person gives his or her money, it means that he or she loves Allah more than themselves and are willing to sacrifice something they love for Allah.
4. Purification and Insurance
Zakat is also important since it helps to purify and ensure wealth. There is none better than the Almighty Allah to insure the property. It is his promise that all wealth on which Zakat is paid for diligently will remain safe, and no harm will come its way and neither will it perish. The earth is not permitted to swallow; neither does fire possess the sanctity to burn, nor the water to drown, all wealth that Zakat has been paid for dutifully.
More About Zakat
Zakat is at the core of a beautiful and balanced economic system that Allah ordains for the eradication of poverty, wealth redistribution, and control of greed for money. It helps in money circulation, which in turn feeds and clothes the poor and builds social relationships.
Islam encompasses a much broader canvas than the traditional view of religion. It outlines clear procedures, guidelines, processes, and policies for every activity in human life. The Quran is not merely a book of worship and religious code, but a guide to living. It is a manual for humanity that gives a system of values related to all aspects of both public and individual life.
Zakat helps humanity understand how the economic system can allow for the flow and distribution of wealth between various sections of society. It is highly practical and a scientifically derived system whose beauty lies in the fact that it never causes any burden on the donor, unlike today’s taxation system. Zakat is not akin to tax but is a simple yet efficient method for redistribution of the wealth from the richer sections of society to the less fortunate ones.
The People Eligible To Receive Zakat Donations Are:
– The New Converts: The people that convert to Islam are eligible to receive Zakat donations because they will need all the help they can get to start their new lives.
– The Poor: These are individuals that live below the poverty line and do not have the means to live their lives properly.
– The Needy: These are also poor people but due to their bashfulness and pride, they never expose their poverty.
– The Travelers: Travelers are also eligible to receive Zakat since they may need some money for their travel arrangements.
– The Collectors: Collectors are the people that have the duty of collecting Zakat from others but usually they cannot afford to lead healthy lives themselves.
– In Cause Of Allah: The people that strive in the way of Allah are also eligible recipients of Zakat especially those that fight the usurpers.
– To Help People Pay Debts: The people that are in debt but cannot afford to pay them by their means are also eligible recipients of Zakat.
– To Free Slaves: Zakat donations can also go into freeing slaves.
How To Calculate Zakat
Muslims often find it difficult to determine the amount of Zakat liable upon their possessions. You can use various methods to calculate your Zakat amount but the most efficient one nowadays is the use of a Zakat calculator.
Zakat calculators are designed by taking all necessary measurements into account to come up with an amount that is more accurate. If you are looking for an exact measure of the Zakat amount due you can download a free Zakat calculator online. You can also find Zakat calculators in the form of smartphone apps that help you calculate your appropriate Zakat amount quickly and conveniently.
Zakat contributions are a mandatory tenet of Islam for all Muslims. Its objective is to help society share the bounties given by Allah and provide the less fortunate in society a chance to a better life. Therefore, all Muslims worldwide need to be knowledgeable about Zakat and ensure that its recipients are deserving members of society.
Can you find a more beautiful, simpler, or better system that offers insurance, protection, and the distribution and spread of wealth in the world? The answer is rather obvious since humanity has taken to other forms of remedies that are bound to be flawed since they are not divine.
Only a system that Allah himself ordains can be flawless and divine. It is timeless, perfect, and it is Zakat!