REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
Translated by FAZL-UL-KARIM
VOLUME ONE: THE BOOK OF WORSHIP
THE BOOK OF WORSHIP
CHAPTER V Secrets of Zakat and charities 163
Some subtle rules of Zakat 166
Merits of optional Charity 176
God placed Zakat next to prayer and it is the second pillar of Islam out of five pillars. God says: Keep up prayer and pay Zakat. The Prophet said: Islam is founded on five pillars - (1) There is no deity but God and Muhammad is His servant and messenger, and to bear witness to this formula, (2) to keep up prayers, (3) to pay Zakat, (4) to fast and (5) to make pilgrimage. The punishment of those who do not pay Zakat has been mentioned in this verse: 'Give good news of grievous punishment to those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend in the way of God.' To spend means here to pay the compulsory duty of Zakat. Ahnaf-b-Qais said: We were with a party of the Quraish. Hazrat Abu Zarr, while passing by that way said: Give good news to those who hoard up wealth that such firm impressions will be put on their backs which will come out after piercing their sides, that such firm impressions will be put on their forehead that it will come out of their forehead.
Abu Zarr said: I came to the Prophet who was then seated in the shade of the Ka'ba. He said to me: By the Lord of the Ka'ba, they are undone. I asked: Who are they? He said: Those who increase their wealth and not those who spend in this way, in their fronts, in their backs, in their right sides, in their left sides, but their numbers are few. Those who have got camels, cattle, sheeps and goats and who do not pay their Zakat will meet with these animals in huge forms on the Resurrection Day. They will attack them with their horns and will tread upon them by their hoofs. If one party go away, another party will come. This will continue till the people are brought for judgment. This punishment has been described by Sahihs Bakhari and Muslim. So the details of Zakat should be learnt.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF ZAKAT
There are six subject matters of Zakat - (1) Zakat of animals, (2) Zakat of crops, (3) Zakat of gold and silver, (4) Zakat of the commodities of Business. (5) Zakat of mines and (6) Zakat of Idul Fitr.
164 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP Vol-I
(1) ZAKAT OF ANIMALS: It is compulsory on a free Muslim whether major or minor, sane or insane. There are five conditions of Zakat which is obligatory in case of animals. (a) They are to be grazed in the grazing fields. (b) They should not be domestic animals. (c) They must be in possession of full one year. (d) One must have full ownership on them. (e) One must be the owner of Nisab or fixed number of these animals.
(A) Among animals, Zakat is to be paid for camels, cattle, sheep and groats but not for other animals like horses, asses, mules, deers and young ones of goats. (B) There is-no Zakat of domestic animals which do not graze purely in fields. (C) Animals must be in possession of full one year. The Prophet said: Zakat is not due on any property unless in possession of full one year. If any animal is sold within one year, there is no Zakat for it. (D) One must have full ownership and full power of sale of the animal. There is no Zakat of animals given in pawn or mortgage, those which are lost or snatched by force. It the debts of a man is such that all his properties are not sufficient to clear them, there is no Zakat due on him as he is not a solvent man. A'solvent man is one who has got surplus wealth after necessary expenses (E) One must possess required number of animals. The minimum number of camels is five, of cattle thirty, of goats and sheep forty. Camels-Zakat of one she goat or he-goat of full two years for every five camels above four. In case of 25 camels, one she camel or one he- camel of full one year. In case of 36 camels, one she camel of 2 years, of 46 camels one she-camel of three years and so on. Cattle. In case of 30 cattle, one calf of one year, of 40 cattle one calf of two years, of 60 cattle two calves of one year. Sheep and goats. In case of 40 sheep or goats, one she goat of one year, of 120, two she goats and so on.
(2) ZAKAT OF CROPS: If anybody has got twenty maunds of rice, wheat, maize, pulse, dates or such food stuffs by which a man can maintain his livelihood, Zakat of one tenth of the crop is compulsory on him. No Zakat is due for less than 20 maunds. There is no Zakat on fruits and cotton. If fields are watered by artificial means by taking water from canals, tanks, drains, then one twentieth is due on crops.
(3) ZAKAT OF GOLD AND SILVER: Zakat of Silver is one fortieth of pure silver if not less than 52 1/2 tolas and gold and less than 7 1/2 tolas. This is the nisab fixed for which Zakat is
Vol-I ZAKAT 165
due. This proportion will continue in case of the value of gold and silver or of things made of them if they are in possession for full one year. For ornaments of gold and silver which are for use, there is no Zakat according to Imam Abu Hanifa. Zakat is due on money on loan after the loan is paid.
(4) ZAKAT ON MERCHANDISE: Zakat on merchandise is like that of gold and silver. One year should have elapsed from the date of their purchase and if it reaches nisab. This applies also in case of exchange of goods. Zakat is also payable on profits of commodities along with the commodities at the end of a year.
(5) ZAKAT ON MINES AND BURIED TREASURERS: If gold and silver of the non Muslims are found buried, Zakat is soon due at the rate of one fifth. There is no condition of possession of one year or of nisab. This is just like booty gained in war. There is no Zakat of the things taken from mines except gold and silver. Their Zakat is of one fortieth after clearance and after it reaches Nisab and completion of possession of one year.
(6) ZAKAT OF ID'UL FITR: This charity is compulsory on every Muslim who has got food in excess of one day and one night of I'd at be rate of 21 /2 seers of principal food stuffs or one sa'a per head. This is payable on behalf of all the members of the family and near relatives and parents who are maintained by him. The Prophet said: Give the charity of Fitr of all the persons you maintain.
PAYMENT OF.ZAKAT AND ITS CONDITIONS
Zakat is to be paid having a look to the following five things. (1) Intend to pay Zakat at the time when it falls due and fix properties and things for payment of Zakat. The guardian of a minor or an insane man shall pay Zakat on his behalf. The ruler or his officers can collect Zakat (2) At the completion of one year. Zakat falls due and it should be paid without delay. Fitr charity is payable on the day of I'd before I'd prayer. If a man makes delay in payment of Zakat, he disobeys God. If he loses his property after it is due, the responsibility does not cease. Zakat of two years can be paid in advance. (3) One should not pay Zakat on valuation of properties. Zakat should be paid with the thing for which Zakat is due. For instance, silver should not be paid for
166 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP Vol-I
gold and gold for silver. The above is the opinion of Imam Shafeyi and not of Imam Abu Hanifa according to whom it is lawful. (4) It is better to pay Zakat to the people where the Zakat payer resides permanently as the poor and the destitute of that place look to him for help. (5) Zakat is to be paid to eight classes of persons as described in the Quran and will be discussed in section 3.
SOME SUBTLE RULES OF ZAKAT
There are some subtle points for a payer of Zakat and for one who travels in the path of the next world.
(1) THE MEANING AND OBJECT OF ZAKAT: Zakat is the purification of properties. There are three reasons for its being a pillar of Islam. (a) The first reason is to appreciate the two words of Kalema Shahadat, to take Tauhid firmly and to witness the unity of God. Promise reaches perfection when a unitarian has got no object of love except One, as love does not admit a partner. There is little benefit in uttering Kalima Shahahdat by tongue only and the trial is in giving up of other objects of love except God. To the people, wealth and properties are objects of love as they are the instruments of earthly pleasures and getting love from others. Those who claim the love of God are tried and their objects of love are snatched away from them. For this reason God says: God purchased from the believers their lives and properties in exchange of paradise for them. This was said with regard to Jihad. Sacrifice of properties is easier than sacrifice of life which has been also mentioned here to gain the love of God. From this angle of view, men can be divided in to three classes.
(1) The first class of men recognise Tauhid as true, fulfill their promise and spend their properties in the way of God. They do not hoard wealth. They do not deny that Zakat is not compulsory on them. Rather they say: For us, it is compulsory to spend all our properties. For this reason, Hazrat Abu Bakr brought all his properties to the Prophet when he called for charities in the way of God. Hazrat Omar brought half of his property. The Prophet said to Hazrat Omar: What have you left for your family? He said: Half of my wealth. He asked Hazrat Abu Bakr: What have you left for your family? He said: God and His Prophet. The Prophet said: The difference between you is in your replied.
Vol-I ZAKAT 167
(2) The second class of men are lower in rank. They spend their wealth at the time of necessity. The object is hoarding is not to enjoy pleasure but to spend in proportion to necessity and to spend their excess wealth in good deeds. They don't reduce the amount of Zakat. Many Tabeyins like Nakhyi, Shubi, Ata and others held that there are additional duties on wealth besides Zakat. The sage Shubi was asked: Is there any additional duty on wealth besides Zakat? He said: Yes, did you not hear the verse of God: Being prompted by divine love they spend wealth for their near relatives, orphans, the poor and the travellers. This is supported by the following verse: They spend out of what I have provided them with. God says: Spend out of what I have provided you. This means that whenever you will find a man in want, it is the duty of the rich to remove his want. This is an additional charity besides Zakat. The correct opinion according to theology is that whenever expense is necessary, to spend is Farze Kefayah as i t is not legal to cause harm to the Muslims.
(3) The third class are those persons who rest contended by payment of only Zakat. They do not pay more or less. This is the lowest rank and the general people adopt this course as they are naturally miser, attached to riches and their love for the next world is weak. God Says: 'If they beg of you and press for it, you become miser.' There is a wide gulf of difference between those who sacrifice their lives and properties for God and those who are defamed for miserliness.
(2) The second cause is to be pure from miserliness as it is one of the cause of destruction. The Prophet said: There are three destructive guilts-to obey miserliness, to follow low desires and self-conceit. God says: Those who are saved from miserliness have got salvation. In this way, Zakat is the cause of purification of properties.
(3) The third cause is to express gratefulness for the gifts of God as God's gifts on His servants are unbounded. The gratefulness for the gifts of body by doing divine services and the gratefulness for the gifts of wealth by expense of wealth are expressed. How unfortunate is he who sees no means of livelihood of a poor man and till does not give him charity inspite of his begging and who rather expresses gratefulness, that God saved him from wants.
168 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP Vol-I
Vol-I ZAKAT 169
(2) Second subtle point: It is to look to the times and the rules of payment of Zakat. The religious men pay Zakat before it becomes compulsory. They transcend the limit of time. There is chance of falling into sin if Zakat is paid late and not in time. Willingness to do good deed comes from angels and it should be considered a cause of fortune. The heart of a believer is within the two fingers of the Merciful and there is no delay in its change. The devil enjoins on doing evil deeds and shows fear of poverty. Zakat should be paid in the month of Muharram, the first month of Hijra and one of the pure months or it should be paid in the month Ramzan as the Prophet paid most of his charities in this month and there is the excellence of the Blessed night in this month and in the month of pilgrimage. The last ten days of Ramzan month and the first ten days of the month of Zilhaj are days of excellences.
(3) Third subtle point: It is to pay Zakat in secret. It removes show and greed for fame. The Prophet said: The best charity is in secret charity of a poor man to a man in want. A certain learned man said: There are three matters in the secret wealth of good works, one of them is secret charity. The Prophet said: If a man acts secretly, God writes it secretly as secrecy is not maintained if it is disclosed. There a well-known Hadis about show in open charity. The Prophet said: God will give shade to seven persons on the day when there will be no shade except the shade of God, one who gives charity in such a manner that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given in charity. There is in another Hadis: Secret charity appeases the wrath of God. God says: And if you give charity sincerely, it is also better for you. In secret charity, one can be safe from the danger of show. The Prophet said: If a man wants fame by incurring the pleasure of men, or rebukes after charity, or discloses his charity and thereby seeks name and fame and or gives charity among the people for show, God will not accept his charity. A secret charity is free from the above faults. Many learned men said that the giver should not even know the person who takes charity. Some of them handed it over to the blind.
(4) Fourth subtle point: It is good to give charity openly in a place where the people are encouraged to give charity by seeing it. God says: Spend what I have given you secretly and openly.
Care should be taken in open charity about show, rebuke after charity and not to break the secrets of a poor man as most of the beggars do not wish that anybody should see them as beggars.
(5) Fifth subtle point: It is not to destroy charity by rebuke and giving trouble after charity. God says: Don't make your charity void by 'Mann' that is giving trouble. There are differences of opinion for the meaning of Mann. Some say that its meaning is to remind charity to the receiver and that 'Aza'means to disclose it. Sufiyan was asked: What is Mann? He replied: To remind it repeatedly and to discuss about it. Some say that its meaning is to take boast for giving him charity and 'Aza' means to drive him away and to rebuke him by words. The Prophet said: God does not accept the charity of one who does 'Mann'. Gazzali explains it thus. Mann has got roof and branches and it is expressed in tongue and limbs. The roof of 'Mann' is to think oneself as the benefactor of one who receives charity. Rather the receiver should consider that he has shown kindness to the giver by accepting his charity, because he purifies the giver and gives him release from Hell fire. The charity of the giver is to request the receiver. The Prophet said: Charity falls on the hand of God before it falls in the hand of a beggar. Now it appears that the giver places his charity first to God and thee the beggar receives it from God. 'Mann' comes in when the giver understands that he has done some benefit to the receiver of charity. So the meaning of 'Mann' is to discuss about charity, to disclose it and to hope to get from the receiver gratefulness, prayer, service, honour and to wish that he should be followed in his actions. These are the secret meanings of 'Mann'.
'Aza' means to rebuke, to use harsh word and to humiliate the receiver of charity. Its secret meaning is unwillingness to withdraw hand from wealth, to think to give charity as troublesome. Secondly, it means that the giver thinks himself superior to the receiver and thinks him inferior for his wants. Unwillingness to give charity is sign of foolishness, because who is more foolish than one who is reluctant to spend one dirham in lieu of one thousand dirhams in the next world? It appears from this that the object of charity and expense is to get the pleasure of God and to get merits in the next world. The pious men among the rich will go to Paradise five hundred years after the pious poor men. For this reason, the Prophet said: By the Lord of the
170 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP Vol-I
Ka'ba, they are undone. Abu Zarr asked: Who are undone? He said: 'Those who have got much wealth.' Then how can the poor be held in contempt?
God keeps the rich only for the poor, because the poor earn their livelihood by their industry, increase their provisions and preserve them with difficulties. The rich give charity according to the requirements of the poor and guard the excess wealth. So think that the rich are servants for the livelihood of the poor. These are the conditions of charity and Zakat. This is like God fear in prayer. The following Hadis establishes it. The Prophet said: There is no prayer for a man except what he understands therefrom. He said: God does not accept the charity of one who gives trouble to the receiver. God says: Don't make your charity void by mentioning it and by giving trouble.
(6) Sixth subtle point: Think charity as little, because if it is considered great, it grows self-praise which destroys an action. God says: 'hen your great number pleased you, it came of no use to you.' Some say that when one considers a religious action little, it becomes great to God, and when a sin is considered great, it becomes little to God. Some say that any good deed,does not become perfect without threg things to think it little, to do it soon and to keep it secret. If a man spends money in the construction of a mosque, it is possible for him to think it great, but there is no 'Mann' or 'Aza' in it. It may be called self-pleasure or self-praise. Its medicine is a mixture of knowledge and action. Knowledge comes in the fact that he will not get the highest rank as he has not gifted his entire wealth in charity and so he should be ashamed, for this wealth belongs to God and He gives it to whomsoever He pleases along with Taufiq to spend it in charity. Regarding action, charity should be given after being ashamed as you were miser is not giving the entire property given to you by God.
(7) Seventh subtle point: Give in charity that is best, puitand the most lawful thing as God is pure and does not accept but pure wealth. The Prophet said: 'Good news to the man who earns wealth without committing sin and spends therefrom.' If he does not spend out of his best properties, it is impertinent on his part as he reserved the best thing for his family members and loved the worst thing for God. If he gives bad things to his guest for eating, he becomes surely displeased with him. A wise man should not place others above himself. He will leave no property
except what he gives in charity. What he eats finishes and what he enjoys of his property becomes a past thing. God says: '0 those who believe, spend of the good things you earn and what I grow for you out of the earth and don't intend therefrom, impure things: Don't take it without dislike and shame. So don't love to give to God impure and bad things. There is in Hadis: One dirham gains over one lac dirhams. Its cause is that a man gives one dirham in charity with pleasure of mind after taking it out from mostly his lawful earnings and another man gives charity of one lac dirhams from his unlawful earnings. God says: They keep for God what they do not like. Their tongue spread this falsehood and that this is good for them. There is no doubt that there is Hell fire for them.
(8) Eighth subtle point: Search for Zakat such man that if he is paid Zakat, it becomes pure. The eight classes of men have been mentioned in the Quran for Zakat. It should be paid to those of them who have got these six qualities. (1) God fear: Seek such God-fearing men who have renunciated the world and adopted the business of the next world. The Prophet said: 'Don't eat the food of anybody except that of the God-fearing men and do not feed anybody except the God learning men. The reason is that such men help religion. The Prophet said: Give your food to the God- fearing people and show kindness to the believers. In other words, entertain one with your food whom you love for the sake of God. Some learned men did not give food except to the poor people of 'Suffa'. They were asked: It would have been better if your charity would have been given to all poor men'. They said: No, the thoughts of these people are about only for God. When they are hungry, sensation is generated in their .hearts,. Once a pious man was about to give up his business and he was going to be a pauper. Hazrat Juaid came to know of it and gave him some capital and said: Use it as your capital and don't give up your business as it is not an unprofitable concern for a man like you. The man used to carry on the business of vegetables and did not take price when he sold them to the poor.
(2) The second quality is education as it helps knowledge. The most honourable divine service is to remain busy in the acquisition of learning with a good and sincere intention. The sage Ibnul Mobarak used to show kindness to the learned. He
172 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP Vol-I
was asked: It would have been better if you have given charity to all. He said: I don't know whether after prophethood the rank of any man other than that the learned is superior.
(3) The third quality is truthfulness. Give charity to such a person who is truthful and sincere and has got knowledge of God-fear and Tauhid. His Tauhid is this that when he accepts charity he praises God, expresses gratefulness and understands that all the gifts come from God and not from any intermediary. Loqman advised his son: Between you and God, don't consider anybody as the giver of gifts and the gifts of another on you as loan. He who expresses gratefulness to others except to God has not recognised his benefactor and all the people are powerless except through His help. Had not God compelled the giver, he would not have given charity and God intilled into his mind that the well-being of his temporal and spiritual world lies in his charity. 'When this belief becomes strong, his will becomes strong.
It is said that the Prophet sent a man with charity to be given to a poor man and he said: Remember what he says: The poor man accepted it and said: Praise be to God who does not forget one who remembers Him and does not destroy one who expreses gratefulness to Him. Then he said: 0 God, you have not forgotten the man (himself) and don't allow him to forget you. The man informed the Prophet of his invocation and he said being satisfied: I know that he would say this. The Prophet said to a man: Make repentance. He said: I repent to God ,without a partner and not to Muhammad. The Prophet said: He has recongnised the right of One to whom it is due. When the verse dealing with the purity of Hazrat Ayesha was revealed, Hazrat Abu Bakr said: 0 Ayesha, kiss the head of the Prophet, Hazrat Ayesha said: By God, I shall not do it and I shall not praise God also for this. The Prophet said: 0 Abu Bakr, give up Ayesha. In another anarration, Hazrat Ayesha said to Hazrat Abu Bakr: Praise be to God and not for you and not for your friend. The Prophet did not deny it though the verse declaring the purity of Ayesha was revealed to the Prophet. It is the fault of the unbelievers to see other things besides God. God says: When God is remembered, the hearts of those who have not brought faith in the next world become sad. He who does not purify his heart from the idea of an intermediary is not free from secret-shirk.
Vol-I ZAKAT 173
(4) The fourth quality is to conceal wants. Zakat and charity should be paid to those who try to conceal their wants from the eyes of men and do not complain of their wants. They are honourable men. The Prophets have gone away but their honour remains. They used to live in comfort. God says regarding these people: The fools think that they are not in want on account of their refraining from begging. You will know them by their signs. They do not press the people for begging.' Seek such people in every locality and give them charity.
The fifth quality is to have a big family with no earning. Give charity to such a person who has got a big family or who is diseased, or is confined to the corner of his house on account of any other reason. God says with regard to these people. 'Those poor men who are confined in the way of God and cannot move in the world.' In other words, they are confined in the way of God for members of his family or for scanty means or for correction of soul or those who cannot roam on account of their defects in hands and feet are entitled to receive charity. The Prophet used to give charity according to the number of the members of a family.
(6) Another quality is near relationship, as charity to a near relative brings reward of keeping the tie of blood connection or relationship. Hazrat Ali said: To give one dirham to my brother is dearer to me than to give twenty dirhams to a stranger. To give him twenty dirhams in charity and to keep blood connection with him is dearer to me than the charity of 200 dirhams to a stranger. To give him one hundred dirhams is dearer to me than to set free a slave.
The abvoe are the qualities which should be sought in giving charity to a person. It will increase reward.
FITNESS FOR RECEIVING ZAKAT
Know, 0 dear readers, that there is no Zakat for anybody except a Muslim who must not belong to the Hashemite dynasty. Out of eight qualities, one quality is necessary for a receiver of Zakat. It cannot be paid to an unbeliever, slave, Hashemite, boy or an insane man except though his represenatative. The
'174 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP
descriptions of the eight classes of people who can receive Zakat are given below.
(1) THE POOR: A poor man is one who has got no wealth and properties and who has got no ability to earn. If he has got one
day's food and wearing cloth, he is not a poor man but a miskin or destitute. A poor man does not go out of poverty if he has got habit of begging as begging is not a source of livelihood. If he has got power and strength to earn his livelihood, he goes out of poverty. If he is a technician but has got no instrument or money to purchase it, he can be helped with Zakat. The Prophet said: To seek lawful earning is compulsory after compulsory duties. There is mention in it of earning livelihood by industry and trouble. Hazrat Omar said: A doubtful earning is better than
begging. If a man is maintained by his parents, he cannot be called poor.
(2) MISKIN OR DESTITUTE: A man is called Miskin or destitute whose expense is greater than his income. He may be
owner of one thousand dirhams, but still he is a destitute under the above circumstances.
(3) COLLECTORS OF ZAKAT. Out of the earnings of Zakat, collectors of Zakat may be paid. Writer, one who takes measure
and one who copies registers are included within these staffs. They cannot be paid in excess of their requirements.
(4) THOSE WHO ARE INCLINED TO ISLAM. They are non-Muslim leaders whose hearts are inclined to the religion of
Islam. The people follow them and therefore if they are inlcined to Islam, there is possibility of their coming to Islam.
(5) SLAVES BY AGREEMENT: There may be agreement between a master and a slave that if the slave can pay a certain
sum to the master, he caii get freedom. This money can legally be paid out of Zakat fund.
(6) DEBTORS. Zakat may be paid to clear off debts of a person who has got no means or clear them or who has property which is not sufficient to clear them. If a man runs into debts for
having committed sinful acts, Zakat cannot be paid to him unless he repents.
Vol-I ZAKAT 175
(7) WARS IN THE WAY OF GOD. Those soldiers who get no salary from the state Treasury are entitled to get Zakat even if
they are rich.
(8) TRAVELLERS. One who goes abroad with good intention from his country may get Zakat if he requires money for his travels. No proof of these wants is necessary. They may be
relied on their verbal words.
DUTIES OF ZAKAT RECEIVER: A Zakat receiver should look to five matters. (1) He should know that God made Zakat compulsory so that his thought is concentrated in one object God says: I created Jinn and man with no other object except that they shquld worship Me. So divine service should be the centre of thought of men. He gives wealth to men that it may remove their wants and they may get opportunity of doing divine service. If God loves a man among the rich, He saves him from the world as a physician saves his patient. The poor man should know that Zakat is a gift from God to him realised from the rich, so that he may find time for divine service. (2) Be grateful to the Zakat payer, pray for him and praise him. The rich man should not feel satisfied as he is only an intermediary to help the poor with the gift of God. The Prophet said: He who is not grateful to men is not grateful to God'. God Himself praised men for his good actions though He is the creator of actions and deeds. He said: How good is the servant, he is turning to God - 38 : 30Q. Zakat receiver should invoke for the payer 'thus: May God purify your heart and include you among the pious. May He purify your actions like the actions ut the good and may He include your soul among the souls of the martyrs. The Prophet said: If a man does good to you, do good to him. If you cannot do it, pray for him so that he may understand that you have done him return good. It is the duty of the giver to think charity as little and the duty of the receiver to think it great. (3) Don't accept charity if it is not from lawful wealth. God says: If a man fears God, He will find out a
way for him and provide him from a source which is beyond his
conception. (4) Give up the charity from earnings of doubtful
nature and take up to your necessity. Don't take it until you know
for certain whether you can legally accept it or not. If you are a
Zakat collector, do not accept in excess of your remuneration. If
you are a traveller, don't accept in excess of what is necessary for
your journey. If you are a needy man, you may accept what is
176 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP
sufficient for your provision for a year at most. This is the last limit. The Prophet sometimes stored up provisions for his family members for a year, If it is for one day, it is near God fear. until he. possess nisab, he may accept it. The Prophet said: He who begs inspite of his being rich will appear on the Resurrection Day with his face with scratches and wounds. He was asked: what is the limit of a rich man? He said: 50 dishrams or gold of equivalent value. It is equivalent to a provision for one year.
OPTIONAL CHARITY AND ITS EXCELLENCE
The Prophet said: 'Give charity of even a date as it appeases anger and wipes out sins just as water extinguishes fire? He said: Save yourself from Hell-fire even by giving in charity half a date, if you cannot do it, even by uttering a good word. The Prophet said: If a Muslim gives charity from his lawful earning (God does not accept but lawful thing), God accepts it with His right hand and maintains it. God maintains it till it rises up to the mountain Uhud just as one of you raises up his child. The Prophet said to Abu Darda's: When you cook curry, increase its soup and present something of it justly to your neighbour having a look to his family members. The Prophets said: If a man gives charity in a good manner, God gives blessing in the property left by him. He said: Each man will remain under the shade of his charity till God finishes his judgment of the people. He said; Charity appeases the wrath of God. He who gives charity from his abundant wealth is not better in rewards than one who takes it at the time of his need.
The Prophet was once asked: Which charity is best? He said: Your charity at the time when you are sound, when you do not wish to spend, when you hope to live long or when you fear hunger. Don't make delay in giving charity lest you may say when you will be dying: I give this thing to such person and this thing to such person. One day, the Prophet said: Give charity. One man said: I have got a dinar. He said, spend it for you He said: I have got another dinar. He said spend it for your wife. He said: I have got another dinar. He said: Spend it for your children. He said: I have got another dinar. He said: Spend it for your servant. He said: I have got anothe dinar. He said: Your look is best for it. The Prophet said: Zakat is not lawful for the family
Voi-I ZAKAT 177
members of Muhammad. It is the impurity of the people. He said: Return the rebuke of a beggar by giving food even to the measure of the head of a bird. The Prophet said: He will not get salvation who refuses a beggar who speaks the truth. Jesus Christ said: Angels do not enter the house of a man for seven days who turns out a beggar from his door disappointed. Our Prophet did not entrust two duties to anybody-to collect his water of ablution for his prayer at night and to give charity to the poor. The Prophet said: He who is driven away by you not even with two dates is not a destitute but a destitute is he who refrains from begging. If you wish, read this verse: They do not come to man begging. The Prophet said: A Muslim who gives a cloth to another Muslim is in protection of God till the cloth remains upon his body.
Wise sayings: Harat Urwah-b-Jubair narrated that some time Hazrat Ayesha gave charity of 50,000 dirhams though her shirt was stitched. God says: They give food out of His love to the destitute, ophans and captives. Mujahed explained this verse by saying that they did it out of eagernes. Hazrat Omar said: 0 God, give riches to the good among us, that they may do benefit to the needy. Caliph Omar-b-Abdul Aziz said: Prayer will take you to half of the royal path, fast will take you to the royal door and charity will take you to the king himself. Ibn Abi Zaidan said: Charity shuts up 70 doors of evils. The excellence of secret charity is seventy times more than that of open charity and secret charity destroys seventy evils. Hazrat Ibn Masud said that a man did divine service for seventy years. Then he committed a grievous sin for which his entire good deeds were rendered 'Void. Then he passed by a poor man and gave a bread to him for which God forgave him and returned Lim the rewads of the divine services for seventy years. Loqman adviced his son: When you commit a sin, give charity. Hazrat Ihya-b-Muaz said: I don't know whether a seed except a seed of charity is heavier than a mountain. Caliph Abdul Aziz said: Paradise has got three secret tresures to conceal disease, to conceal charity and to conceal troubles and difficulties. The saint Nakhyi said: When a thing is given in charity for God, I don't like that it should have any defect. Hazrat Obaid-b-Umair said: On the Resurrection Day, a man will get hungry not being hungry, thirsty not being thirsty and naked without being naked. God will give food to one who gives food for the sake of God. He will give water to drink to one who gives water to drink for the sake of God. He will give cloth to one who
178 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP Vol-I
gives cloth for the sake of God. Hazrat Hasan Basari said: If God willed, ali' would have been rich and nobody would have been poor among you, but He wishes to try you by one another.
BENEFITS OF SECRET CHARITY
(1) It protects the secrecy of the receiver of charity. In open charity, his manliness is curbed and his want is exposed. The secret charity gives no encouragement to begging. (2) The receiver remains safe from the tongues of the people. Many a time, the receiver is hated by the people in case of open acceptance of charity. The sage Abu Ayub said: I gave up putting on new cloth for fear of creating hatred in the mind of my neighbour. (3.) Secret charity helps the giver to conceal his charity, as the excellence of secret charity is greater than that of open charity. To help the perfection of a good deed is also a good deed. One man gave charity to a Sufi in presence of the Prophet. He did not accept it. (4) There is no disgrace in accepting secret charity. It is not the duty of a believer to humiliate anybody. A certain learned man refused to accept charity openly as he said that it disgraces learning. (5) Secret charity removes the doubts of a cosharer. The Prophet said: If a man is given present in presence of some men, then all become cosharers in the present. The Prophet said: The best charity to a brother is his giving food or
BENEFITS OF OPEN CHARITY: (1) If it is given with sincerity and honesty, one can be safe from change of condition and show. (2) Honour is removed and humility is exposed. (3) One can remain safe from Shirk in case of open charity. It is narrated that a spiritual guide was inclined to one of his disciples more than to anybody else. This gave trouble to his other disciples. The spiritual guide intended to expose the supremacy of his favoured one and therefore he gave to each of his disciples one cock with a knife saying: You will sacrifice it so that nobody sees it. Each of them went to a distant place and sacrified his cock except the disciple whom he loved. The after returned the cock and the knife to him without sacrifing it. The spiritual guide said to him: They have brought the cocks according to my instruction but why did you not bring it accordingly? He said: I have found no place where nobody could see me as God sees me in every place. The guide then said to his other disciples: For this reason, I am inclined more to this disciple as his look is always towards
God. (4) In case of open charity, the sunnat of gratefulness is expressed. God says: As for the gifts of your Lord, proclaim it. To conceal a gift is like rejecting it. If a man conceals what has been given to him by God, God rebukes him. He attached it with miserliness. God says: Those who are misers and tell the people to be misers and conceal of the gifts which God has given them.' The Prophet said: If God gives a gift to a servant, He likes that it should be expressed by him. The Refugees asked the Prophet once about gratefulness; 0 Messenger of God, we are guests of the Ansars and we have not seen better people than them. They have divided their wealth and properties among us, we fear that they would take all rewards. The Prophet said: The gratefulness that you express to them for every matter and your praising them are your return good.
When you have understood about the benefits of open charity and secret charity, you have come to know that the differences arise out of conditions of mind. So it depends on the state of your mind at the time of charity. The Prophet praised a man, because he knew that it would not injure him. He once said to a man: When any honorable man of a tribe comes to you, honor him. The Prophet once was pleased with a man when he heard of his quality and said: There is surely a charm in oratory. The Prophet said: When anybody among you finds a good attribute in his brother, let him tell him of -it, as it will give him encouragement to do good works. The Prophet said: When a believer is praised, faith increases in his mind. Sufiyan Saori said: Praise cannot injure a man who knows his mind. .
====== THE END OF CHAPTER 5 - VOLUME ONE======
- Sign the Guest Book - Islamic
This Page was last updated on: 18 Jun 2007 21:31:55 -0400
This page is constantly being updated since July 2001. So check back often.
Site © Copyright 2003 by Islamic Philosophy Online, Inc. A not-for-profit organization dedicated to academic study of Islamic philosophy. Individual content may have its own individual copyrights. See copyright information.