1. What is the importance of Zakah in Islam?
Zakah, one of the five pillars of Islam, is a compulsory act of worship and one of the basic principles of Islamic Economy. Mere verbal belief in Islam has little weight unless accompanied by Zakah in practice. Not giving Zakah amounts to kufr (disbelief).
2. What is the primary objective of Zakah?
The primary objective of Zakah is religious and spiritual in that it removes man’s greed for wealth and makes him come closer to Allah. It provides social security and helps bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
3. What did Abu Bakr as-Siddiq do when some tribes refused to pay Zakah?
He waged war against them until they agreed to give Zakah.
4. Zakah is a form of social security. Discuss.
Zakah is an important means of providing social security. Islam refuses to allow individual members of society to be denied the basic needs of life, like food, clothing, and shelter. It is necessary that these things are available to all members of society. It is made available through the institution of Zakah. The poor, unfortunate and helpless Muslims have a right in the wealth of the rich.
5. Write a short note on each of the following:
1. People who are entitled to receive Zakah:
Eight categories of Muslim people are entitled to receive Zakah:
1. The poor – The ones who cannot pay for their barest essentials.
2. The needy -The ones who live under great hardships and difficulties but do not beg from anybody.
3. Those appointed by an Islamic state to collect and distribute Zakah.
4. These are those people who might enter or who have already entered Islam.
5. For freeing people from slavery and bondage.
6. Those who are in debt. Not to be given to those living in luxury but to those living a normal life. For eg. Someone who has gone bankrupt because of job loss and is overburdened with debt.
7. Fi Sabeelillah – In the way of Allah. This can be for any good cause. For eg. Building Muslim clinics and hospitals, to pay for the studies of the poor Muslim students.
8. Traveller. This refers to a traveller, for instance who has lost his wallet and has to get back to his home.
2. Tips on Spending in the way of Allah:
1. Give only to please Allah.
2. Give only good things.
3. Don’t injure the feelings of the poor and needy by stressing your generosity.
4. Give to the deserving.
5. Guard against misuse. Do not give for evil purposes.
6. Do not delay the payment. Give in time.
6. How does Zakah differ from Sadaqah?
Zakah is obligatory while Sadaqah is optional. Zakah must be given once in a year. Sadaqah can be given as many times. Zakah is due on rich Muslims. Any Muslim can give Sadaqah. Zakah is one of the five pillars of Islam while Sadaqah is not a pillar of Islam.