We all are aware of the challenge that humanity faces in the shape of coronavirus 2019-2020 pandemic. It is a war that we all have to fight, governments alone can’t win it. Time is ripe for making as many donations you can so that the sufferings of those in pain could be alleviated. One great source of such financial assistance could be Zakat, one of the fundamental pillars of Islam and The Importance of Zakat in Relation to Coronavirus.
In this article, we are going to have a look at how this revolutionary tradition can help out the sufferers. But before we do that, it is important to understand the basic concepts relating to Zakat.
First things first, we need to define Zakat. It is 2.5 percent of annual savings, which a Muslim has to pay by obligation. Since it is a fundamental pillar of Islam, all Muslims must pay Zakat on their assets and savings. Zakat is paid to purify both soul and wealth. Have you ever thought that the underprivileged section of the society also has a right over us? In the holy Quran, Allah (SWT) says:
“Those in whose wealth there is a recognized right for the needy and the poor”
Importance of Zakat: The Importance of Zakat in Relation to Coronavirus
The benefits associated with paying Zakat are numerous. Some of which are:
1- Purification: To achieve spiritual satisfaction and a sense of purity, paying Zakat is significant. It shows that all of your wealth is nothing in front of Allah (SWT)’s instructions.
2- Allah’s mercy: According to one of the hadiths, charity erases sins, just like 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.
Other than these, paying Zakat simply abridges the distance between the creator and the created.
Zakat al Fitr
This is more commonly known as Fitrana. This kind of Zakat must be paid before the Eid-ul-Fitr. The amount of money to be given away depends on the rates of barley, dates, wheat or other reference food items. This is another great way of helping those who need our help, especially the poor.
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. The prices change every year, so you better keep those in check.
To calculate the exact amount of Zakat that you need to pay, all of your assets have to be taken into consideration. You can calculate the exact amount of Zakat using this tool.
Should you be waiting till Ramadan to give Zakat?
You can pay your Zakat anytime you like, during the Muslim calendar year. Usually, people pay Zakat in the holy month of Ramadan. However, in the light of what the world is going through currently, the situation changes. Should you be waiting till Ramadan to give Zakat?
Imagine this. The Zakat that you give to some medical NGO at this time could be used to fight the deadly pandemic of COVID-19. This money could be used to buy protective gear and sanitizers for those who can’t afford them. If the donations are sizeable, or even they are snowballed, they could be used to purchase medical devices. Many countries across the world are facing a shortage of ventilators. Close your eyes and visualize someone struggling to breathe in an ICU. Folks, your 2.5 percent can make a difference!
Zakat is an Islamic obligation, which is a source of relief for those who are in dire need of it. The very fact that a Muslim gives a stipulated amount from his or her wealth shows that everything belongs to Allah (SWT). In the context of the current predicament, Muslims should play their part by giving Zakat right now. That way, the COVID-19 crisis, which has impacted the economy in a worse possible manner, can be tackled much more efficiently!