Zakat is a pillar of Islam

One cannot imagine Islam without Zakat. It means setting aside a portion of an individual’s wealth for the needy and poor. Zakat purifies our wealth. One may have Halal earnings but it can have Haram mingled in it. It can be impure. So a portion set aside for the poor and needy purifies the wealth. Zakat teaches us to sacrifice for others. It makes our heart and soul clean because Zakat means purity and cleanliness of soul.

Alms-giving is important in all religions. The Qur’an says, “With my punishment do I smite whom I will; but My Mercy embraces all, and I shall ordain it for those who are aware of Allah and give the Zakat and who believe in Our Message - (7:156).

Islam says that those who have no faith and do not adhere to Prayers and fail to pay Zakat, will never receive guidance nor achieve success in this life or the Hereafter. Zakat is the sign of faith. It fills our heart with love, mercy and humility. It connects the individuals with one another. It makes the society healthy. Increased love and compassion will help the Muslim community to progress and prosper. Regular prayers and fasts have their own place. Without them one cannot say that he is a servant of Allah.

Zakat has its significance. A person who does not pray and does not fast is not a real Muslim. It is paying zakat that makes you a true believer of Allah. Zakat reminds you of your duty toward society and the less advantaged. It makes you a responsible and a humble individual. Zakat is in service of Allah. One cannot be narrow-hearted and niggardly and yet be good Muslim. Zakat shoud be given with a smile on your face. It should give happiness to both the giver and the taker. One’s faith must be strong that whatever is spent in the cause of Allah is never wasted. Allah gives without limits in the Hereafter. Zakat is beneficial to the society. It uplifts the society by making hungry healthier and self-sufficient. (Nazneen O. Saherwala, Surat)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 July 2014 on page no. 21

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