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Giving Zakah (Charity)

 

Allah, ta^ala, said in the Qur’an:

وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ

Wa aqimus-Salata wa atuz-Zakah.

Ayah 43 of Suratul-Baqarah means: {Perform the prayers and pay Zakah.}

According to the Arabic language, Zakah means: purification and growth. Islamically, it is the name for that which is paid in a specific way, as a result of having money, or one being alive. It was given this name, because the money grows by the blessing of giving Zakah and because it purifies the one who gives it from being sinful.

 

Zakah is among the major matters of Islam. During the second year after the migration, Allah made it obligatory.

 

Among the items that Zakah is obligatory on are:

1-       Camels, cattle, sheep, and goats.

2-       The staple crops: These are the crops that one stores to eat in other than times of necessity, like wheat, barely, and corn.

3-       Fruits: It is obligatory in two of the fruits: palm trees (dates) and grape vines (raisins).

4-       Trade articles: These are articles used for the purpose of making a profit. If one uses some money to buy and sell and then buy and sell and so on, with the purpose of gaining money, then this is trading.

5-       Gold and silver.

6-       Zakatul-Fitr is also obligatory: This is Zakah for the body, not money. The Muslim pays it on behalf of himself, his Muslim wife, young children, and Muslim poor parents during the month of Ramadan or on the day of ^Idul-Fitr.

 

Those who Deserve Zakah

It is permissible to pay Zakah only to those who deserve it. These are the eight types whom Allah mentioned in the Qur’an in Ayah 60 of Suratut-Tawbah:

إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ

 

Innamas-sadaqatu lilfuqara’i wal-masakini wal-^amilina ^alayha wal–mu’allafati qulubuhum wa fir-riqabi wal-gharimina wa fi sabilillahi wabnis-sabil.

Which means: {Zakah must be exclusively paid to the fuqara’, masakin, wal-^amilina ^alayha, mu'allafatu qulubuhum, riqab, gharimun, fi sabilillah, and ibnus-sabil.}

 

1-    Al-Fuqara’ : The poor who earn less than half of their basic needs.

2-    Al-Masakin: The poor who earn half or more, but not all their basic needs.

3-    Al-^Amiluna ^Alayha: The Zakah workers who are assigned by the caliph and work without pay.

4-    Al-Mu'allafatu Qulubuhum: The new converts to Islam whose hearts are to be reconciled, whose peers may embrace Islam if these Muslims are given money.

5-    Ar-Riqab: The slaves who are short in satisfying their contract for purchasing their freedom from their owners.

6-    Al-Gharimun: Those who are unable to pay their debts.

7-    Fi sabilillah: The volunteer fighters who fight for the sake of Allah. This does not include every voluntary good deed.

8-    Ibnus-Sabil: The travelers who do not have enough to enable them to reach their destination.
 

The Conditions of Zakah

There are two types of conditions for Zakah: conditions that make it obligatory and conditions for its validity.


The conditions that make it obligatory are five: Islam, freedom, total ownership, the passage of one year for the items which require one year to pass, and to own the quotum, which is the minimum amount that is subject to Zakah. Also the animals must have been grazed in a pasture that is not owned by anybody and must be animals that are not used for work.

 

The conditions of Zakah’s validity are:

1-       Paying it to the aforementioned eight types of people who deserve it.

2-       Paying it to a Muslim, because it is invalid to pay it to a blasphemer.

3-       Paying it to a free person, because it is invalid to pay it to a slave, except the Mukatab (the slave that has a contract with his owner to be set free if he works and gives a certain amount of money to his owner within a specific time.).

4-       To pay it to someone who is not a descendant of Hashim or Al-Muttalib.