Between Charity and Zakah

Between Charity and Zakah

By Editorial Staff

Charity means the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need, as defined in the Oxford dictionary. This concept is highly praised in Islam that gives utmost care for positive and helpful reaction for the needy and the destitute. Almighty Allah has praised those who give in charity saying,

Indeed, the men who practice charity and the women who practice charity and [they who] have loaned Allah a goodly loan – it will be multiplied for them, and they will have a noble reward. (Al-Hadid 57:18)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) expressed Islam’s appreciation of giving in charity as narrated by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “He who gives in charity the value of a date which he legally earned, and Allah accepts only that which is pure, Allah accepts it with His Right Hand and fosters it for him, as one of you fosters his mare, until it becomes like a mountain.” (Al- Bukhari and Muslim)

However, the concept of giving in charity is much broader in Islam as it involves other acts that surpass the mere giving of money to include other moral, worshiping, and social actions. Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, “Some people from amongst the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to the Prophet, “O Messenger of Allah, the affluent have made off with the rewards; they pray as we pray, they fast as we fast, and they give [much] in charity by virtue of their wealth.” He (peace be upon him) said, “Has not Allah made things for you to give in charity? Truly every tasbihah [saying: ‘subhan-Allah‘] is a charity, and every takbirah [saying: ‘Allahu akbar’] is a charity, and every tahmidah [saying: ‘al-hamdu lillah‘] is a charity, and every tahlilah [saying: ‘laa ilaha illAllah’] is a charity. And commanding the good is a charity, and forbidding an evil is a charity, and in the bud`i [sexual act] of each one of you there is a charity.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, when one of us fulfils his carnal desire will he have some reward for that?” He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Do you not see that if he were to act upon it [his desire] in an unlawful manner then he would be deserving of punishment? Likewise, if he were to act upon it in a lawful manner then he will be deserving of a reward.” [Muslim]

In addition to this broad sense of charity, Islam made charity obligatory in specific cases and with specific conditions which is titled Zakah. It is a specific portion to be obligatorily given out of one’s properties to specific people, topped by the poor and the needy, according to specific conditions and requirements. Almighty Allah has obligated it in the Qur’an as He says,

And establish prayer and give zakah and obey the Messenger – that you may receive mercy. (An-Nur 24:56)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated that it is one of the pillars of Islam in the hadith narrated by Ibn `Umar who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Islam is based on five (pillars): testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; performing of Prayer; the payment of Zakah (obligatory charity); performing Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House [Ka`bah); and fasting the month of Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In the below video, Sheikh Mufti Menk talks about the concept of charity in Islam and the difference between charity and Zakah. Enjoy watching this interesting lecture to know more about the Islamic social rights and the care of Islam for cooperation and benevolence.


Source: The Truth Wins Youtube Channel

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