Zakah in Islam

In the Name of Allah , the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

KHUT’BAH 07 – 04 – 2008

Poor–Dues: Az-Zakah

A.   Dear brothers and sisters:

Zakah has been an integral part of all prophetic religions. All of the prophets exhorted their followers to pay zakah, the Qur’an says:

1.   Remember that We made a solemn Covenant with the children of Israel:

·         Worship none but Allah.

·         Show kindness to the parents, to the near relatives, to the orphans and to the needy.

·         Speak aright to the people.

·         Establish Salah and pay Zakah. [Q: 2:83].

2.   And in this Book, make a mention of Ishmael:

·         He was a man of His word.

·         He was a messenger and a prophet.

·         He enjoined his people to offer the Salah and give the Zakah.

·         And His Lord was well pleased with Him [Q: 19:54-55].

3.   Mary merely pointed towards the infant. The people said: how can we speak with a babe in the cradle?! Whereupon the child spoke out:

·         I am the servant of Allah.

·         He has given Me the Book and appointed Me a prophet.

·         His blessing is upon Me wherever I go.

·         He has enjoined Me to offer the Salah and give the Zakah as long as I shall live. [Q: 19:29].

4.   And We:

·         Bestowed on Him [Abraham] Isaac and then Jacob for a grandson.

·         And made each a righteous man.

·         We appointed them leaders who guided others by Our Command.

·         We also enjoined them by revelation to do righteous deeds and establish the Salah and pay the Zakah. [Q: 21:73].

5.   The people who were given the Book before this did not divide into sects until after the clear statement [of the right way] had come to them, and the only Command they were given was:

·         To serve Allah and to worship none but Him.

·         Making their Deen sincerely His.

·         Turning all their attention towards Him.

·         And to establish the Salah and to pay the Zakah [Q: 98:5].


B.   Dear brothers and sisters:

Zakah is the third pillar of Islam and one of its symbols. It is an obligatory religious duty. Whoever denies its obligation is a disbeliever and whoever does not pay it is sinful. It is not a donation or gift given by the rich to the poor and needy; it is an obligation.

The wealth that Allah gives you is in fact owned by Him and you are just a Mus’takh’laf [a trustee]. The poor and the needy are beloved of Allah and Allah loves whoever is kind and generous to them Allah said which is translated as: [Have faith in Allah and His Messenger and give some of whatever Allah entrusted with] [Q: Iron, 7].

Zakah as ordained by Allah is a permanent injunction or Faridah Minallah. It is not an injunction whereby its implementation is left to the consideration and wisdom of the individual, as if that were the case, then only those who believe in Allah and in the hereafter would be fulfilling this requirement. While the rest who are of weaker faith and do not fear the punishments of the hereafter would ignore it.

Allah has instructed in the Qur’an, which means: [Establish Salah (prayers); give Zakah (charity); and bow down with those who bow down in worship]. [Q: 2, 43].

In the above verse, Allah had quoted Zakah second only to Salah, as such determining the position of Zakah as the third pillar of Islam.   

C.   Dear brothers and sisters:

Zakah is the cornerstone of Islamic economic system, and paying it creates safety and solidarity in the Muslim community. It is narrated by ‘Ali that the Prophet [pbuh] said, [Verily, Allah enjoins rich Muslims to pay Zakah sufficient for the poor. The poor will never be hungry unless the rich fail to pay Zakah. Truly, Allah will call them to account with a severe reckoning and punish them with a grievous penalty. Allah the Almighty said, [Take Sadaqah [alms] from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it and invoke Allah for them]. [Q: At-Taubah: 103]

Dear brothers and sisters:

This verse is proof that Zakah is obligatory. One infers from the word [take] that Zakah is not merely a good deed, but it is one of main pillars and great symbols of Islam.

It is also the cornerstone of the Islamic economic system and the basis of social solidarity, cooperation and brotherhood in the Muslim community.

We conclude from the word [from] that a small part of one’s wealth is taken and the Sunnah identified the amounts of this [some] according to the nature of properties, the method of earning this wealth and the effort exerted to gather it.

The term [their wealth] indicates that Zakah includes all kinds of property; i.e. agricultural produce, animal resources, gold, silver, currency, bonds, equities, debts, trade, jewellery other than for personal use, oil and mineral resources.

The plural pronoun in [their wealth] means that Zakah is obligatory for all Muslims who own the minimum amount of zakatable property determined by the Sunnah with no exceptions, exemptions or deductions.

The word “Sadaqah [poor-dues]” implies that, by paying Zakah, a Muslim affirms his sincerity and devotion to Allah’s order. The Prophet [pbuh] said, [Paying Zakah is evidence ‘of true belief’] [collected by Muslim]

Dear brothers and sisters:

We conclude from the word [purify] that Zakah purifies the souls of the rich from the greed. Allah the Almighty said, [And those who preserve themselves from their own greed shall be successful] [Q: Al-Hashr: 9]

Zakah purifies the soul of the poor from envy and hatred of those rich who hoard Allah’s wealth and don’t pay it to the needy. The aim of Zakah is to fill the hearts of poor with love, whilst the aim of hoarding is to fill their hearts with hate and malice. Moreover, Zakah protects the whole society from destruction, discrimination and conflict. The Prophet [pbuh] said, “By paying alms enjoined on your wealth, you protect yourself from its evil” [collected by Ibn Khazimah and authenticated by Al-Hakim]

Dear brothers and sisters:

The term [sanctify them with it] shows that Zakah promotes both rich and poor, social relationships, human values, the personality and morality of the rich. Moreover it increases the wealth of both rich and poor.

Zakah also promotes the dignity of the poor because they feel neither forgotten nor lost owing to poverty. Society has to relieve and help them as much as possible. The Qur’an warns whoever gives charity followed by injury.

Allah the Almighty says, [Kind words and forgiveness are better than Saddaqah [charity] followed by injury] [Q: Al-Baqarah: 263]

Paying Zakah apparently decreases your money, but in fact it increases the reward. In addition, Allah will bless your wealth and enhance it. This is the meaning of what Allah says, [And whatsoever you spend of anything [in Allah’s cause], He will replace it. And He is the best of providers] [Q: Saba’: 39].

Islam forbids hoarding and the Qur’an declares Allah’s anger at those who bury money. Allah the Almighty said, [And those who hoard up gold and silver [Al-Kanz; money the Zakah of which has not been paid] and spend them not in the Way of Allah, announce them a painful torment. On that Day it [Al-Kanz; money, gold and silver the Zakah of which has not been paid] will be heated in the fire of Hell and used to brand their foreheads, their flanks and their backs, [and it will be said unto them]: “This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard]. [Q: At-Taubah: 34, 35]

The Prophet [pbuh] clarified that the wealth on which alms are paid is not Kanz [money the Zakah of which has not been paid], for the religious duty of Zakah encourages the rich to invest their money in productive projects so as not to be consumed by Zakah. Therefore the Prophet [pbuh] recommended the guardians of orphans’ wealth to invest it in order that it not be consumed by Zakah.

The Messenger of Allah [pbuh] said, [As for those who don’t give Zakah, Allah will try them with poverty and drought] [collected by At-Tirmidhi]

Dear brothers and sisters:

Allah the Almighty says in his Holy Book, [And spend in the Cause of Allah [i.e. jihad in all forms] and do not throw yourselves into destruction [by not spending your wealth in the Cause of Allah.] [Q: Al-Baqarah: 195] This verse means that, if a Muslim does not spend in the Cause of Allah; including giving Zakah, he throws himself into destruction.

Dear brothers and sisters:

Zakah plays an important role in elevating our community’s shortcomings. Zakah too is Allah’s guaranteed solution to the socio-economic problems faced by the Muslim community. As such, it is vital for us to understand holistically, the importance of this third pillar of Islam in the development and planning of a social system. Without the institution of Zakah, planning a community based on Islamic principles would surely face grave difficulties and inadequacies.

The position of Zakah in an Islamic social system is supported in the Quran; in which it was stated that there are eight groups of people who deserve to receive Zakah. Allah says, which means, [In fact, the Zakah is:

  • For the poor, the needy,
  • For those who are engaged in the management of Zakah,
  • For those whose hearts need to be won over to the truth,
  • For freeing the slaves, and debtors,
  • For the advancement of Allah’s cause,
  • And for the traveler in need. That is a duty enjoined by Allah].  [Q: Surah Al-Taubah, 60]

By examining the eight groups quoted in the above verse, it is obvious that the institution of Zakah is able to solve the poverty problem faced by the Ummah.

Islam has taught us how to manage our economics and finances by pooling together our capital funds either voluntarily, such as donations and waqaf or by obligation, such as Zakah. Allah has also pledged a handsome reward for those who practice Zakah and has warned of grave punishment for those who are oblivious to it.

As emphasized, which means: [My mercy encompasses everything. I will ordain special mercy for those who do righteous deeds, pay Zakah and believe in Our revelations] [Surah Al-A’raf, 156].

Although the Zakah system is a divine guarantee in handling society’s problems, its success however and ability in realizing its objective depends on the country’s economy, the effectiveness of the Zakah manager and the realization of those eligible to pay the Zakah.




I ask Allah to guide us all.


2 comments on “Zakah in Islam

  1. Omar says:

    how does zakah enlighten youself
    do you have any ayyahs or hadith on it

  2. Omar sadek says:

    this helped me a lot for my paper tnx

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