Zakat in Islam is a compulsory giving of a set proportion of one’s wealth to charity. For every financially stable Muslim, Zakat is compulsory. From a very young age children are taught about Importance of Zakat in Islam because it is such a pious act for Muslims to practice later in life; giving to the needy ones as third of the five pillars of Islamic practice.
Zakat in Islam Means “obligatory charity” that helps in fulfilling the needs of the deserving people in the society.
Some people, lacking the feelings of love and compassion, only know how to amass wealth and multiply it with usury and banking interests. The teachings of Islam are the antithesis of this attitude. Islam encourages a distribution of wealth by helping people in taking care of themselves and become productive members of the society.
There are tons of Benefits of Zakat in Islam, the world literally means “purification”, because zakat purifies the heart from greed. The love for fortune is natural in human being, but belief in Islam entails to share with the neighbor. Zakat in Islam must be paid in different categories of property – gold, silver, money, livestock, agricultural production and raw material – and is paid each year on the annual balance. 2.5% annual savings and individual assets must be delivered to the needy.
Since prayer is an individual and communal responsibility, zakat in Islam expresses the worship of the Muslim and the gratitude towards Allah for helping the neediest. In Islam, the actual owner of things is not human, but The Almighty Allah. Acquiring wealth and amassing it only for one’s own benefit is a curse. Gathering huge sums of wealth is not liked by Allah unless the owner distributes a set part of the wealth among the underprivileged people. According to Islamic teachings, people must earn money with the intention of spending it to fulfil their own as well as others’ needs.
Wealth is a Gift from Allah
The concept of wealth in Islam is considered as a gift from Allah. It is Allah who provides the person, who has destined a portion of it for the poor, so that the poor have a right over the fortune of the most graced. The Zakat in Islam reminds the Muslim that everything he possesses belongs to Allah. People receive wealth as a trust of Allah. One of the other benefits of Zakat in Islam is that it liberates the person from the love of money. Allah, in His infinite mercy, promises rewards for helping those in need on the condition that Zakat be paid in the name of Allah, sincerely at heart, without expecting any retribution from the beneficiaries, nor expecting his name to appear on a list of philanthropists. The feelings of the one who receives the zakat should not be hurt by making him feel inferior or reminding him of what he has received.
Zakat as Social Security
When an institution collects Zakat from Muslims, the money raised as Zakat can only be used for specific things entrusted by God. Islamic legislation stipulates that charity is TDC used to feed the poor, orphans and widows, to free slaves or prisoners, or to pay debts as mentioned in the Qur’an (9:60). Zakat, which was established 14 centuries ago, functions as social security in Muslim society.
Importance of Zakat in Islam has always been prevalent. During the caliphates the collection and delivery of Zakat was a function of the state. In the contemporary Muslim world, it has been left to individuals, except for some countries in which the state has that role to a certain extent. Most Muslims in the West share zakat with Islamic charities, mosques, or giving them directly to the poor.
Quran about Charity
Apart from the Zakat, the Qur’an and the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (the Sunnah), they also emphasize Saddaqat or voluntary charity for the needy. The Qur’an emphasizes the importance of Zakat in Islam, feeding the poor, the clothing for those who lack it, the help of the debtors. The Qur’an also tells us the benefits of Zakat in Islam, as it states; the more a person helps, the more Allah helps that person. Who cares for the needs of people, Allah takes care of their needs.
Caring for the poor, the weak and the needy is a gift from Allah, our Lord and Creator, and it is a basic human virtue. It is for this reason that all the messages revealed by Allah have emphasized this innate virtue and have given him a central role in his teachings. However, the emphasis that the religion of Islam gives to Saddaqat (charity) surpasses that of previous religions.
Benefits for the Giver
Connecting it with almost all aspects of life, our religion surely establishes the significance of giving both as Sadaqah and as Zakat in Islam in so many ways that it is difficult for a Muslim to consider himself as a true believer if he does not practice these virtues. Generosity, charity and zakat – serve to atone for sins, erase bad deeds, elevate our position in the eyes of Allah, build and generate union within the Muslim communities, eliminate poverty, unify human beings, spread peace, establish justice, create compassion and mercy and give hope to people at any time and place where these forms of charities are put into practice.
Let us consider only one aspect of the Muslim duty to practice charity as shown in the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “Charity is obligatory every day and for every articulation of the human being” (Al Bukhari and Muslim).
If human beings practice this simple instruction, much of the poverty would be eliminated and happiness would increase in our world.
Zakat Assessment at TDC:
TDC offers free or subsidized treatment facilities to poor at par with rich patients without any discrimination based on financial status, race, gender or religion. At present, the hospital is providing subsidy to more than 70% of its patients.