Pay Zakat Early This Year; Zakat is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam. Every Muslim must make a donation in the name of zakat. This obligatory activity ensures that Muslims do not forget that the poor in society have a right in their wealth as well. Zakat can be paid at any time of the year. However, for doubling the benefits associated with zakat, Muslims make this donation in the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan 2020 is nearly upon us. We are all aware of the havoc which coronavirus has caused worldwide. In the current scenario, when to pay zakat becomes an important question. In this discussion, we will try to find out if you should be waiting until Ramadan to pay zakat.
Benefits of paying zakat
Before you decide when to pay zakat this year, let us remind you of the benefits that are associated with paying zakat. This meager 2.5 percent of your annual assets has countless benefits, which the donors are endowed with, by the will of Allah (SWT). Some of these benefits include:
1- Spiritual purification. There could not be a better way than paying zakat, to show that your wealth matters nothing to you, in front of Allah (SWT)’s orders.
2- Allah’s mercy: According to one of the hadiths, charity erases sins, just as if water extinguishes fire. If one pays zakat intending to seek Allah’s forgiveness, he or she is likely to be forgiven.
3- Reward: The reward associated with paying Zakat is two folds. In this world, you will be rewarded more if you give more in Allah’s name. In the world hereafter, the rewards that you will reap are a source of great merriment for any Muslim.
Why paying zakat earlier make sense?
The purpose of giving zakat is to financially assist those who do not have a stable household economy. With this money, many underprivileged individuals can afford the necessities of life. The case might have been altogether otherwise, had it not been for the zakat money.
These days, the coronavirus pandemic has made many people jobless, especially daily wagers. These people are in desperate need of financial assistance. Hence, paying zakat right now makes all the sense in the world.
Your donation can make a difference!
Hang on. If you are thinking that your 2.5 percent will not make a difference, you could not have been more wrong. That little sum you will pay in zakat can buy a family’s food rations. Not only that, but this money can also help the welfare organizations and non-profits in setting up medical camps for corona patients. Masses need masks, sanitizers and doctors need all the PPE in the world. Close your eye and imagine the impact your donation can make in impeding the pandemic that has engulfed nearly one lac people!
Should you be waiting till Ramadan?
Well, if you want to pay Zakat in Ramadan, that is OK too. But the impact your money could make in the current situation is so different from the one it would make a couple of months later.
How do you calculate Zakat? You must know that Zakat becomes obligatory for you, only if you meet the Nisab threshold. Nisab is the minimum amount of wealth any Muslim must possess, be eligible for paying Zakat. The Nisab is the value of 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver. You can calculate the exact amount of Zakat using this tool.
Pakistan’s CII’s appeal
On March 21, 2020, the Council of Islamic Ideology of Pakistan urged the eligible wealthy Muslims to pay donations earlier this year. Philanthropists were urged to donate earlier as well. It was declared better if the money was donated to the poor and deserving families. Many people in Pakistan are daily wagers; the pandemic has destabilized their fragile household economy. The 2.5 percent of zakat is likely to help them in the upcoming days.
Other Muslim countries are expected to make announcements of this nature shortly as well.
The limitations of time and space force us to conclude this debate here. However, we hope that it at least made you think about paying zakat earlier this year. Humanity is suffering in our very vicinity; it is time we played our part in alleviating the sufferings of those in distress!