The Life of This World is but Chattels of Deception #21
Charity in Islam
From the Quran,
“Charities are given to the poor,
And the destitute and those who administer them
And to those of the reconciled hearts
And to free the slaves,
And to relieve those who are in debt
And to spend for the sake of God
And to spend on the wayfarer
This is an ordinance of God
God is Omniscient, most wise.”
The above verse prescribe a type of charity recommended upon Muslims but is not mandatory and proposes some of the ways it could be distributed unlike Zakat money which is mandatory and very restrictive in its application. Zakat is, like regular prayers, one of five pillars of Islam and and the two are always coupled together. There is a significant reason for the coupling of the two because it implies that performing the mandated prayers five time a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year is naught if not coupled with doing good deeds by providing to the needy. God is in no need for our prayers if we are not willing to do His work on the face of the earth.
Zakat money is a set percentage of the fixed assets of people which include real estate, cash, jewelry, gold coins and so on. Zakat, with little variation of the spelling. was also mandated on the Jews. The original meaning implies to increase or to grow thus it merges with Islamic thought. The prophet is known to have said: “no wealth could shrink by giving to charity.”
I am immensely humbled by the following verse from the Quran:” whoever is willing to loan unto God a gentle loan and HE will multiply it for him many folds, and God is ever thankful, and clement.
Zakat money is calculated on a yearly basis and it is normally paid during the holy month of Ramadan, another pillar of Islam.
In a historical even, that was never replicated in the history of humanity, Omar bin Abdel Aziz, the 8th Omayyad khalif, 717–720, upon collecting the zakat money, ordered it to be left out at street corners throughout so that whoever is in need could help themselves. The next day his tax collectors came to him to report that all the money remained intact with nothing missing.
Not one person throughout the empire was hungry or in need.
Thereupon, Omar gave thanks to God. That feat was never to happen again in the history of humanity. When honest government serves the people and the people have no urge for greed,
There will be no people in need.