The concept of charitable giving in Quran involves compassion, social justice, sharing, and strengthening of the weak and protecting the most vulnerable in our society. This ethical principle of giving is to correct social ills, reflect the moral values associated with the use of wealth and it is an effort required for the welfare of individuals and communities. What is Zakat and Why it is so Important in Islam.
In Islam, there are two terms referring to giving money to the needy; Zakat and Sadaqa. From the Islamic context, charity begins by giving money and extends to all acts of kindness and goodness in life, only conducted for the sake of Allah and it is abundantly rewarded by Allah.
“Allah is never unjust in the least degree: If there is any good (done), He doubleth it, and giveth from His own presence a great reward.”
(An-Nisaa, Chapter 4, Verse 40)
What is Zakat:
All Muslims who meet the conditions of giving Zakat should pay 2.5% of their total savings to the needy, those who newly converted to Islam, the poor orphans, those employed to collect it, those in debt, and travelers. To work out how much Zakat you need to pay you may use the Zakat calculator for that purpose.
Why is Zakat So Important:
The importance of Zakat comes directly after establishing prayers or Salat. While Salat is meant to build and strengthen an individual’s bond with Allah, Zakat is supposed to build the bond of humanity and brotherhood between the rich and the poor and brings social peace in the community. Zakat helps achieve a side of social justice by preventing the growing gap between the rich and poor.
The dignity of the poor should be maintained while giving them Zakat or Sadaqah. The Quran states that Zakat leads the wealth to grow by Allah’s blessings, and it purifies the souls of the rich from stinginess, and the souls of the poor from envy and hatred.
According to Islam, money and wealth shouldn’t be held by the rich in a closed section of society. Money in Islam mainly belongs to Allah. The rich have the power of wealth, the Almighty has bestowed upon them the responsibility of protecting the rights of the poor, needy, the orphans and has commanded them to give Zakat to test their Faith and their ability to give willingly. To seek the pleasure of Allah in this life and the Hereafter Zakat is essential.
When we give Zakat, out of free will and pure intention, we do an act that goes against human nature of desiring to possess valuable things. To go against our desire in order to help others in distress, seeking the pleasure of Allah leads to the pureness of heart and sincerity of faith.
The command and significance of giving charity are the most emphasized and repeated after establishing Salat in the Quran. The immense importance of giving charity is comprehensible not only because it is the evidence of the firmness of faith, but also because it establishes the principle of social solidarity, and prevents wealth from being monopolized by the rich. The rich are encouraged to give their zakat to their closest poor relatives, the needy in their neighborhoods and orphans. If every family take the responsibility to solve the problem of poverty; the whole society is bound to change.
It is mentioned in Quran, (Chapter 3, verse 92):“By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love; and whatever you give, of a truth Allah knoweth it well.”