Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
“And perform As-Salaat and give zakaat and obey the Messenger (Prophet Mohammad, so that you may receive mercy from Allah) (TMQ-24:56)
This short verse from the Holy Quran contains a powerful message for the followers of Islam because it shows that zakat is a way of obtaining Mercy of Allah (swt). It is quite certain that every true Muslim yearns for Allah (swt)’s Mercy more than anything else in this world.
Allah (swt) says in another verse of the Holy Quran:
“That which you give in usury so that it may increase on (other) people’s property has no increase with Allah, but that which you give in zakat (charity, sadqa etc) seeking Allah’s countenance, then that shall get manifold increase”. (TMQ-30:39)
The word riba, which means excess or increase, has been used in this Quranic verse. The word riba is usually used to denote charging interest. However, according to the Companions of the Prophet (saw), in the context of this verse, riba does not mean interest but the gifts given by the poor to the rich, such as a subject to his King or ruler or a worker to his master. The gifts mentioned here are the ones which are offered by the people belonging to the lower strata of the society to those who belong to the upper strata with a profit-motive. The gifts are offered with the greed that the person to whom it is given will give back something of much higher value, in return. This is the reason why offering such gifts have been referred to as riba in this verse because they are given with the motive of getting something more in return.
This verse means that if you offer gifts with the greed of getting better gifts in return so this kind of deeds will not be rewarded by Allah (swt).
On the other hand, zakaat and sadqa (charity) which is given to the needy in order to obtain Allah’s Goodwill is a virtuous deed. Allah (swt) rewards such virtuous people with plentitude. Besides this, such virtuous people will also be greatly rewarded on the Day of Resurrection.
Some authentic ahadith also stress the importance of charity in Islam.
Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘Everyday that rises, two angels descend, one of them saying, ‘O Allah! Bestow increase upon the spender and the other saying ‘Ruin the miser’.
Prophet Mohammad (saw) said ‘No one’s wealth is reduced by charity’.
Prophet Mohammad (saw) said ‘If a person spends in charity to the value of even a date, out of his lawful earnings, and Allah accepts only that which is pure, Allah takes it with His right Hand and fosters it for him; as one of you tends foal, till it becomes as huge as a mountain’.
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