Zakat, meaning ‘purification and growth’, is one of the pillars of Islam. By giving 2.5% of our excess wealth to the poor and the needy, we are purifying the remainder of our wealth, as well as ensuring its growth. Just like the trees shed their leaves in autumn in anticipation that they will grow new leaves that are younger, in abundance and full of chlorophyll, so they will be able to photosynthesise to allow the trees to grow in greater numbers, Zakat works in a similar way. We are fulfilling Allah’s (SWT) commands and He, in turn, assures us that we will be rewarded manifold:
“The likeness of those who spend for Allah’s sake is as the likeness of a grain of corn, it grows seven ears every single ear has a hundred grains, and Allah multiplies (increases the reward of) for whom He wills, and Allah is sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” (Qur’an, 2:261)
No one wants to invest knowingly into something they will make a loss in. Everyone likes to be hopeful and some even sure of great returns before they invest their time, effort and energy. Giving zakat is similar; Allah (SWT) has assured us that we will not be losing out when making this investment!
We will be given abundant rewards, not only in terms of our wealth, but also in terms of our health and well-being, and those of our family’s, our income for the following year and our place in Jannat, which, of course, is the goal we are all working towards. This is the ‘supreme triumph’ and the ‘ultimate of successes’.
The Zakat we give to the poor and the needy buys them food to save them from hunger and starvation. It buys them clothes to keep them warm in the freezing winters, and it provides them with clean drinking water, which saves children from the brink of disease-related deaths. It allows children to gain an education, which benefits not only them, but also their families, and ultimately, their community. It allows people to become self-sufficient in earning money, and it helps everyone to hope! A hope that keeps their faith grounded in Allah (SWT), and this is what Allah (SWT) rewards us for, the sense of developing this brotherhood in Islam.
This is an opportunity that we have been given in our life to do good. We should not think of postponing it as once the opportunity is lost, it will never pose itself again, and we need every good deed to succeed in the test of life. After all, we have been created to prove to Allah (SWT) that we are ‘striving believers’ and deserve a place in Jannat.
‘For those who give in charity, men and women, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit), and they shall have a liberal reward’ (57:18)
We are not only purifying and cleansing our wealth, but also our spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical well-being by giving zakat. But this isn’t all, as we are also ensuring that we’re rewarded, not just in monetary terms, but also success in securing our place in Paradise! What a fabulous reward; this is just for parting with a portion of the wealth that we are mere guardians of in this world, as everything on this earth, in the heavens and everything in between belongs to Allah (SWT).
Let us then give what is commanded by Allah (SWT), for we need to pass this test every year that we hold excess wealth above our needs.
‘Believers shall I show you a bargain which will save you from a painful torment? Have faith in Allah and His Messenger and strive hard for His cause with your wealth and in persons. This is better for you if only you knew it. Allah will forgive your sins and admit you into Paradise wherein streams flow, and you live in the lofty mansions of the Garden of Eden. This is indeed the greatest triumph.’ (61:10-12)
So donate to Muslim Aid today, be it paying your zakat, taking part in child sponsorship or contributing to any of our UK charity programmes. You could become one step closer to securing your place in Jannat by giving today.