In some verses of the holy Qur’an Allah has mentioned various qualities of man, including the man being stingy. He says:

Man is ever so stingy (greedy, miserly, selfish) [17:100]

That is the reason that he always tries to find a way to save his wealth whether earned legally or illegally. Many people in Muslim community are seen asking about the validity of an important order of Allah of paying Zakat. Their argument is that Zakat was introduced when there was no tax system. And in this age when we pay a good amount in various types of taxes, there is no need to pay zakat.

While saying so, they forget two important differences in tax and Zakat. Tax is levied by the governments on the income of an individual or on the amount he spends, while zakat has nothing to do with both of these aspects. It is levied on the total savings of an individual – the amount which was more than his needs and has not been spent. The other difference is that the taxes are spent by the government mostly on the collective benefits of the people such as education, health, roads, running the administration, etc., while zakat has to be paid to the poor individuals in your relatives, friends or in your acquaintances, who find it difficult to meet their both ends.

Not only Zakat which is considered a mere 2 ˝ percent of the total savings, but Allah in Qur’an has emphasized to pay more and more voluntarily over and above zakat, not only when he has surplus money, but also in adverse circumstances as well. In the following some verses of the holy Qur’an are quoted. This spending in charity is in addition to paying Zakat.

1. This is the Book (Qur’an) free of doubt, a guidance for those who …… spend in charity of what we have given them: [2:2,3]

2. Piety does not lie in turning your face to East or West; Piety lies in …… disbursing your wealth out of love for Him, [2:177]

3. O believers, spend out what we have given you before the day arrives when there will be no bargaining, no friendship, and no intercession, [2:254]

4. You will never attain righteousness unless you spend of things you love. [3:92]
(See the criterion of righteousness.)

5. Hasten for the pardon of your Lord, and for Paradise …… laid out for those ……. who spend in prosperity and in adversity; [3:133,134]

6. And when the relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the time of the division (of property), provide for them too, and speak kind words to them. [4:8]

7. Believers are those who …… spend of what we have given them, [8:2,3]
(Concl: A true believer is by his noble actions along with his Faith, and not merely by his Faith.)

7. They alone take warning who are wise, …… who spend what we have given them, secretly and openly, [13:19,22]

8. Tell those of my servants who believe, …… spend of what we have given them, secretly and openly, before the Day arrives when there will be no bargaining or befriending. [14:31]

10. And give to your relatives their due rights, and to those who are needy, and the wayfarers; and do not squander (your wealth) extravagantly. [17:26]

11. They will be given their reward twice, for they …… spend of what We have given them. [28:54]

12. So, give their share to the relatives, the needy, and the wayfarers. This is best for those who seek the countenance of Allah, and it is they who will prosper. [30:38]
(Concl: See Allah’s Criterion for prosperity.)

13. Only those are believers who …… have striven with their wealth and soul in the cause of Allah; such are the sincere ones. [49:15]
(Concl: Once again it has been stressed that a sincere believer is by his actions along with his Faith, and not merely by his Faith.)

14. Spend of what He has given you as His trustee. [57:7]
(Concl: This verse clarifies that the wealth and other bounties of Allah which are bestowed on a man, are given to him as His trustee and not as master.)

15. Surely, the men and women who spend in charity and give a goodly loan to Allah, will have it increased manifold, and (besides) will receive a generous reward. [57:18]

16. Believe in Allah and His apostle, and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and soul. That will be good for you if you can understand. [61:11]

17. Spend of what we have given you before death should come to any of you, when he will say: “O Lord why did you not defer my term for a while that I could give charity and be among the doers of good”? But Allah does not grant a soul respite once its term has come to an end. [63:10-11]

18. No, but you do not honour the orphans, nor you urge one another to feed the poor; [89:17-18]

19. The one who spends his wealth for self-purification, and is under no one’s obligation to return his favour, other than the desire of seeking the glory of his Lord, Most High, will soon be gratified. [92:18-21]

20. Woe to every slanderer and backbiter who amasses wealth and keeps on counting it. He thinks that his wealth will insure his status forever!. By no means! He shall be thrown into crushing torment. [104:1-4]

And finally,

21. They ask you what should they spend? Say, whatever is beyond your needs; [2:219]

So, the overall message is that the believer must spend, both in prosperity and in adversity, as much as one can, including even those items which he loves.

In spite of so many clear orders of Allah to spend in charity, it is an unfortunate situation that in a Muslim country, Pakistan, tens of millions of the people spend their lives much below the poverty level. Some of them are seen even selling or killing their children and attempting suicide because of hunger.

In addition to eliminating poverty in the society, another important message of Allah is hidden in these instructions for enhancing or uplifting the economy of the country. The wealth should not be kept static and it should always be in circulation.

Posted on Nov 07, 17 | 11:36 pm