Friday, December 7, 2012

ISLAMIC ZAKAT LAW (Verses 2:266-2:267)


Assalam oalaikum,


Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
“Would one of you like to have a garden of palm trees and grapevines underneath which rivers flow in which he has every kind of fruit. But he is afflicted with old age and has weak offspring and it is hit by a whirlwind containing fire and is burnt. Thus, does Allah make clear to you (His) verses that you might give a thought”. (TMQ-2:266)

This verse highlights the harms of hypocrisy, i.e. giving zakat, sadqah etc for show-off and also hurting the needy after giving them some charity. It also offers an advice about protecting oneself from this kind of hypocrisy with the help of an example. A person owns a garden in which there are all types of fruits. He gets a good yield from his garden or in other words he gets a good earning from his garden. That person is quite old and feeble old and his children are young and dependant. Due to his old age, the man might not be able to toil any longer in life and his children are also weak. In such a situation, a strong gust of wind blows and the garden gets burnt. That man will definitely not be able to cultivate his garden all over again and neither can his young children do the needful.
Those who give charity only to show-off in front of the people will find themselves in a hopeless and pathetic condition on the Day of Resurrection just like the old man mentioned in this verse. All their fake charity will prove to be useless for them on the Day of Judgment. Such people may need virtuous deeds desperately on that day in order to save themselves. However, they may not get a second chance to do kind deeds as it may be too late by then.  Allah (swt) raises a question here whether anyone amongst us would like to be in such a helpless and awkward position such as the old and feeble man mentioned in the verse.

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
“O you who have believed, spend from the good things from which you have earned and from that which we have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim towards the defective there from; spending (from that) while you would not take it (yourself) except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy”. (TMQ-2:267)

It has been mentioned in the previous verse that charity is acceptable to Allah (swt) only when it is free of show-off and insults. Likewise, charity should also be given from one’s halal (lawful) earnings. It can be wealth earned through trade or through cultivation of crops. Allah (swt) has Commanded the people not to even contemplate giving defective items in charity. Defective items here refer to those articles which are earned through unlawful means. Allah (swt) does not accept such charity. It is mentioned in a hadith that Allah (swt) is Pure and He accepts only Pure charity. Defective items in this verse also refer to useless items. So apart from the wealth earned through unlawful means, useless things should also not be spent in the Way of Allah (swt). During the lifetime of the Prophet (saw), the Ansars who lived in Medina, used to give away rotten dates as Sadqah, in mosques. It was against this backdrop that the above mentioned Quranic verse was revealed in which useless charity has been forbidden. Useless things such as rotten dates are deemed unworthy of being spent in the Way of Allah (swt).
The people are ordered not to give away such things in charity just like they would not prefer to be given such things.

Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yaoo.com

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