Khutbah – 02/18/2011 – Zakat: Purification of wealth, heart and soul

bismillahir rahmanir raheem

Allah (SWT) says in Quran Sharif

fa- ‘in taabo wa- aqaamo as-salaah wa- ‘aataw az- zakaah fa- ‘ikhwaan -kum fe ad- den wa- nufasil al- ‘aayaat li- qawm ya’lamon

But if they repent, establish prayer, and give Zakah, then they are your brothers in religion, in this way We make Our revelations clear for people of understanding

This is part of Surah At-tauba (repentance) it is talking to the mushrikun at the Kabah and it gives them instructions on their repentance.

Three things repent, establish prayers and pay Zakat.

This was the pronouncement! It was not enough for them to repent. They MUST establish the Salah and they MUST give Zakah in order to be considered within the brotherhood of Islam.

In Bukhari and Muslim, Jaabir ibn Abdillaah, radi Allaahu ‘anhu, said,

“I pledged allegiance to the Prophet – sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – in that I would establish the Salah, undertake the giving of Zakah, and that I would give Naseeha (advice) to every Muslim.”

The root of the word Zakah means to purify. Other meanings are to thrive, to grow, just righteous, fit. So we look deeply then into the meaning of this third pillar. Much more deeply than the simple paying of money, which out of generosity would in itself be cleansing our hearts.

Allah made Zakah compulsory on the wealth of a believer as a test of their sincerity. But you know the fine print here is that in following this test we are also reaping a great reward. The reward of purifying our hearts and wealth and our lives. The believer has full conviction that it is Fard and they know Zakah is the third pillar of Islam. It is a pillar of Islam- not a virtuous option – without which a believer’s Deen will collapse.

The believer delivers his Zakah with an open heart, thanking and praising Allah for His bounty. And, the believer continues to thank Allah ta’ala for the very Tawfeeq of being able to perform his duty.

Physically we clean our bodies daily through bathing and through wuzu, but through Zakah we bath our heart, cleansing and purifying it.

Have you ever seen someone run out of the Masjid immediately after Salah. In fact, the Imam may just barely have said salaam, and they are already in the incline to take off (you may have seen it at Jumu’ah prayers). When we see someone in such haste, we know that there is some affair that pre-occupied the brother or sister and that it is indeed a weighty matter.

But now let’s ask the question, who amongst us would jump like that because they delayed the paying of a voluntary Sadaqah? Who? It is the most God-fearing person who would do so, Rasul Allah (saw).

In Saheeh Bukhari, Uqbah – radi Allaahu ‘anhu – narrates,

“I offered the ‘Asr prayer behind the Prophet at Medina. When he had finished the prayer with Taslim, he got up hurriedly and went out by crossing the rows of the people to one of the dwellings of his wives. The people got scared at his speed. The Prophet came back and found the people surprised at his haste and said to them, ‘I remembered a piece of gold lying in my house and I disliked for it to divert my attention from Allah’s worship, so I have ordered it to be distributed (in charity).’”

Allah ta’ala teaches us the virtue of Zakah:

khudh min amwaal -him sadaqah tutahhir -hum wa- tuzakke -him bi- -haa wa- salli ‘alay -him ‘inna salawaat -ka sakan la – hum wa- ‘allaah same’ ‘alem

Take from their wealth a charity by which it purifies them and causes them increase. and pray on their behalf. truly your prayers are a source of security for them: and Allah is one who hears and knows.

Allah (SWT) is clearly spelling out the zakah purifies us and causes increase in us.

How does Zakah and charity cleanse someone?

  1. It bathes their heart from the disease of hypocrisy and doubt. Remember that this was one of the things mentioned as part of the repentance of the polytheists. And at the most basic level we are cleansed because we are simply doing what Allah (SWT) has commanded us to do. We are being obedient servants of Allah (SWT)
  2. It bathes the heart from the disease of stinginess.
  3. It bathes the remaining wealth with barakah.
  4. It bathes the good character of the one giving and increases his or her wealth.

As Rasul Allah – sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – said,

“Charity never decreases wealth.”

After the death of Rasul Allah, sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, the Ummah was faced with more adversaries. There were some who claimed prophethood, there were huge tribes awaiting to fight the Muslims, and then, to a lesser degree, there were tribes who still professed to be Muslim, but they just had a ‘problem’ with giving Zakah.

The Ummah needed to take action. The seemingly unanimous opinion of the Sahabah was to just leave the we-are-Muslim-minus-Zakah people, and focus on the armies. But Abu Bakr, radi Allaahu ‘anhu, disagreed.

“I swear by Allah,” said Abu Bakr, “I shall go to war and fight anyone who attempts to separate Salah from Zakah!”

Upon hearing this, Umar, radi Allaahu ‘anhu, commented,

“By Allah, at the moment when I saw that Allah had opened the heart of Abu Bakr to this, I knew that it was the truth.”

In these words we see the depth of the meaning of Zaka to these very very close companions of Rasul Allah (saw)

“If I win a million dollars I’ll give half to the Masjid!” Ever heard that dua before? Allah ta’ala teaches us that the nature of humans is to attach themselves to coins of gold and silver. In fact, they pray day and night for it. In their prayers, they promise that, if they are indeed blessed with the wealth, they will be unselfish with that gift. When the test befalls them, they turn their backs.

wa- min -hum man ‘aahada ‘allaah la- ‘in ‘aataa -naa min fadl -hi la- nasaddaqanna wa- la- nakonanna min as- saaliheen

And among them are those who made a covenant with Allah, (saying), “If He should give us from His bounty, we will surely spend in charity, and we will surely be among the righteous.”

fa- lammaa ‘aataa -hum min fadl -hi bakhilo bi- -hi wa- tawallaw wa- hum mu’ridun

But when He did bestow of His bounty they became stingy, turned back from their covenant and became evasive.

fa- aqaba -hum nifaaq(an) fe qulob -him ‘ilaa yawm yalqawna -hu bi- maa akhlafo ‘allaah maa wa’ado -hu wa- bi- maa kaano yakdhibon

So He penalized them with hypocrisy in their hearts until the Day they will meet Him – because they failed Allah in what they promised Him and because they (habitually) used to lie

So He penalized them with hypocrisy in their hearts until the Day they will meet Him – because they failed Allah in what they promised Him and because they (habitually) used to lie

Allah (swt) returns the hypocrisy into the hearts of those that promise generosity when they have been given of His bounty and then refuse. It is exactly the opposite of what happens when we do purify our hearts and our wealth with Zakah.

Yayha ibn Mu’adh, rahimahullaah, commented

“I have always been amazed at someone who has wealth yet is stingy. His Lord, who gave the wealth to him, requests that he loan part of it to Him and the stingy man says, ‘no’.”

Zakah is an obligation connected to wealth. When someone delays the paying of Zakah, that obligation directly chains to the individuals neck. In order for them to repent, they must give what Allah made obligatory upon them.

Rasul Allah, sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, taught us that when a people hoard wealth and do not give the Zakah, they will be afflicted with a famine.

“There was never a people that refused to give Zakah except that Allah afflicted them with famine.”

He, sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, warned us of stinginess because of the destruction it brings. “Beware of stinginess for verily those who came before you were destroyed because of it.”

Part 2

Zakah and Sadakah not only cleanse our hearts and our deen but also cause increase and purify the balance of what we have.

Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood, radi Allahu ‘anhu, said,

“Store your wealth where no worms will eat, where it cannot be reached by thieves. Store it in Sadaqah.”

The general principle of Zakah is that it is to be given to the needy of the locality in which it was paid in the first place. As Rasul Allah, sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, instructed Mu’adh when he sent him to Yemen,

“If they obey you in that (in the Shahadah and then the Salah), then let them know Allah has made obligatory upon them Zakah in their wealth to be taken from their rich and to be given to their needy.”

Keyword: ‘their’ needy; the needy of the community in which the wealth was earned.

What it takes from us is to get out there and find out how we can make a difference in our communities. As our communities grow stronger, we will have the strength to assist communities all around the world. When governments have a budget surplus (doesn’t happen too often), interest groups fight tooth and nail arguing who gets the money. But with Zakah, Allah ta’ala divided it Himself. No human has a say in giving Zakah money to other then those to whom Allah included.

Now, the commonly known recipients of Zakah are the poor and needy. However, I want to bring your

A word of caution: Zakah money is not to go towards paying off vain debts. Indeed, it is an amazingly powerful thing for one’s community members to be out of debt. When they are out of debt, they become active contributors in the community and everyone benefits. To Allah belongs all praise.

And remember, those of you with children or those of you who will have children, insha’allah – you worry about them and their deen. You worry about them growing up in this culture, in the midst of the over abundance and the stinginess. They learn most from their parents, they learn by seeing what you do and what you say. They see very clearly when you do one thing and say another. So be of those that keep the pillars for their sake. Show them your actions, your Zakat, explain to them what it is and why you do it and you will be teaching them a great lesson.

qad aflah.a al- mu’minon
alladhena hum fe s.alaahte -him khaashi’on
wa- ‘alladhena hum ‘an al- laghwe mu’rid.on
wa- ‘alladhena hum li- az- zakaah faa’ilon

successful are the believers
Those who are humble in their prayers
And those who turn away from vain speech
And those who are observant of Zakah

Ameen wa allahu alim.

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