Zakaah and Its Status In Islam, By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
All praise is for Allah. We praise Allah (SWT) in the way He deserves to be praised and thanked. May the peace and prayer of Allah (SWT) be upon the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) after whom there will come no other prophets, and upon his family, his Companions and every one that follows in their footsteps until the Day of Resurrection.

O servants of Allah!
Fear Allah (SWT) and know that one cannot be a true believer until he submits to the commandments of Allah (SWT). Allah has prescribed for you certain duties and made them mandatory; the implementation thereof is your source of peace and happiness. One of these duties is Zakaah (alms giving) or charity. Every Muslim possessing the liable amount of money or property must pay an annual percentage of that amount as charity.

This charity has great and obvious advantages in the Islamic society. It makes the rich reconcile and live peacefully with the poor. It fulfills some of the poor people’s needs and alleviates some of their suffering. It protects the needy from going astray in terms of criminal behaviour such as: robbery, kidnapping, violating other people’s property, and even committing suicide that is today rampant in our society.

Zakaah is purification. It purifies both the wealth and the wealthy. It also purifies the needy that receive it, and the whole society in which the wealthy look after the needy by giving them the dues of their money.

How does it purify the wealth, the wealthy and the needy? Zakaah makes the money increase both in purity and blessing. It purifies the wealthy and those who give their dues to the needy from stinginess. It further prevents them from adoring and worshipping their money which is a form of Shirk (taking partners with Allah). Zakaah purifies the soul of the needy from envy, hatred and animosity. Moreover, it cleanses them from coveting other people’s money and property and prevents them from falling prey to the plots of Satan (Shaytaan) who will attempt to corrupt them and incite them to commit crimes. At the end, it is the purification for the whole society.

To those who have money, we say:

“Do not be stingy, for He who granted you this money, if He wills, is able to take it away from you. Allah, who is the Rich, free of all needs, and worthy of all praise has bestowed His blessings upon you and made your hand the upper one and another hand the lower one. Be grateful to Him and appreciate His favours upon you, so that this wealth of yours may last and your hand may remain higher! Spend your money for the sake of Allah (SWT)! Do not be afraid that the Lord of the Throne will make you lose; Allah (SWT) has promised the charity giver to increase his wealth. And Allah’s promises shall never be reneged on. Besides, wealth is Allah’s favour upon you. If you appreciate it gratefully, it will increase and if you are ungrateful, it will perish and vanish, Wal iyaazu bil-lah. Allah’s mercy is near to those who are benevolent, so safeguard your wealth and property by giving the needy their right to some of it. The needy, if deprived from his rights, Will rush to do evil. The society that is corrupted, crime infested, and insecure shall have no opportunity for the wealth to grow, provision to increase, or a decent life to be established. This same society will be moving from one misery to another. May Allah guide and protect us, ameen.”

Allah has established a methodology in dealing with people regarding this very issue. That is when they give to the poor, He gives them more. But when they abstain and refuse to give their dues, He punishes them by withholding the rain and provision and increasing the prices of their life’s needs. You, who are wealthy, ask Allah (SWT) to bestow His mercy upon His servants and to give them rain and provision by your being generous and giving charity. Allah is indeed the All-Generous and loves those who are generous.

The Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) warns those who do not pay their Zakaah from Allah’s excruciating punishment and chastisement. For instance, the Prophet (SAW) said:

“Wealth shall not be destroyed whether on land or sea except by withholding the Zakaah dues.”

Those who do not give their Zakaah dues shall be in the Fire of Hell in the Hereafter. They will be tortured with the very money whose dues they withheld. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) had said:

“By Him in Whose Hand is my soul! No one dies and leaves sheep, camels and cattle behind without paying their Zakaah dues, but that they will come on the Day of Resurrection in the best state of health they had ever been in before, and would tread him with their feet, and butt him with their horns until Allah (SWT) judges among the people. [They would continue doing that taking turns on him]. When the last of them gets tired, the first will take the turn again.”

The one who withholds the Zakaah due on his wealth will be shown his wealth as a huge snake, which will encircle him as said in a Hadith:

“The one that refuses to pay his Zakaah dues on his wealth will have it come to him as a huge snake on the Day of Judgment, which will wrap around his neck.”

Also Allah (SWT) said:

“And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakaah). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things that they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Well-Acquainted with all that you do.” (Al ‘Imraan, 3:180)

He who withholds his Zakaah money is not a true Muslim, meaning that he does not fulfils what Allah (SWT) requires him to do, even if he claims to be a Muslim.

Those who do not pay their Zakaah that is due on their wealth shall have their money changed into heated plates of metal on the Day of Resurrection with which they will be burned. Allah (SWT) said:

“And those who hoard up gold and silver (Al-Kanz: the money, the Zakaah of which has not been paid) and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment. On the Day when that (Al-Kanz: money, gold and silver, the Zakaah of which has not been paid) will be heated in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded on their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, “This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves”. Now taste of what you used to hoard.” (At-Taubah, 9:34-35)

He who does not pay his Zakaah dues shall also be amongst the hypocrites. Imam Al-Bazzar reported:

“The prayer was clear and manifest (performed openly) for them so they accepted it. The Zakaah was made hidden for them (not a deed performed openly) so they ate it (They hate it and refuse to pay it). Those are the hypocrites indeed.”

He is cursed who does not pay his Zakaah dues for what Al-Asbahani reported:

“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has cursed the Riba eater (the one who deals with usury), the witness of [a usury contract] and its writer, the woman who performs tattoos as well as the one who demands it, and the one who withholds charity…”

He who withholds his Zakaah money is not a true Muslim, meaning that he does not fulfils what Allah (SWT) requires him to do, even if he claims to be a Muslim. Imam Muslim reported in his book that:

“He who observes the prayer, but does not pay his Zakaah dues is not a Muslim that is benefited with his deeds.”

He who withholds his Zakaah dues should be afraid of being amongst the disbelievers and being afflicted with what they are. Allah (SWT) said:

“And woe to Al-Mushrikuun (the polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), those who give not the Zakaah and they are disbelievers in the Hereafter.” (Fussilat, 41:6-7)

On the Day of Judgment, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) will not intercede for him who does not pay his Zakaah dues, for what Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported in their books. In this regard the Prophet (SAW) said:

“I do not want anyone of you to come to me on the Day of Resurrection carrying over his neck a camel that is growling, (calling upon me to intercede for him) saying, ‘O Messenger of Allah help me!’ I will then say to him; ‘I cannot help you with anything (now), for I did convey the Message (of Allah) to you.”

Allah (SWT) says:

“As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, and believes in Al-Husna, We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is greedy, miser and thinks himself self-sufficient, and belies Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path for evil. And what will his wealth avail him when he goes down (in destruction?). Truly, on Us is (to give) guidance. And truly, unto Us (belong) the last (Hereafter) and the first (This world). Therefore I have warned you of a blazing Fire (Hell). None shall enter it save the most wretched. Who denies and turns away. And Al-Muttaquun (the pious) will be far removed from it (Hell), he who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification. And who has (in mind) no favour from anyone to be paid back. Except to seek the Face of his Lord the Most High. He surely, will be pleased (when he will enter Paradise).” (Al-Lail, 92:5-21)

The dwellers of Hell fire will be asked:

What has caused you to enter Hell? They will say: ‘We were not of those who used to offer the Salaat (prayers). Nor we used to feed Al-Miskeen (the poor); and we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allah hated) with vain talkers. And we used to belie the Day of Recompense, until there came to us (the death) that is certain. So no intercession of intercessors will be of any use to them.” (Al-Muddaththir, 74:42-48)

“O you, who believed, gives in charity (i.e. Zakaah) from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:267)

“O you, who believed, spends of that with which We have provided for you.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:254)

My Respected people!
With this I conclude my today’s Khutbah and ask Allah (SWT) to forgive all of our sins. Seek His forgiveness for He is the All-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

Indeed all praise Belongs to Allah, the Lord of all creation – and may peace and blessings of Allah be upon the beloved Prophet, his family, his Companions and those who follow him precisely until the Day of Judgment.

This Khutubah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Ramadan 16, 1436 A.H. (July 3, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. For corrections, comments, questions or advice about this Sermon, please feel free to contact me at: 08038289761.