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Christian Studies (Zakat)

By David Jerogin & Jack Jerman

David Jerogin

on 6 June 2011

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Transcript of Christian Studies (Zakat)

By David Jerogin & Jack Jerman Zakat History and back story of Zakat The Arabic word Islam, means "submission," which in particular means submission to God. This submission takes the form of the ‘Arkan Ad-Din’, or the five Pillars of their Religion, and the third pillar of the five is known as Zakat, also known as a charity or ‘almsgiving’. For nearly 14 centuries Zakat has been collected by the ruler and distributed to the categories Islam has ordained such as the poor and needy. What is Zakat Zakat is an institutionalized law in Islam, which orders every adult Muslim to give 2.5% of their wealth to the poor, and is compulsory for every Muslim adult to do so,sort of like a compulsory. Some of the possessions that can be given to the poor and needy are: grains, fruit, camels, gold and silver. But there were certain rules you had to follow when paying Zakat. When paying your share, you had to be Muslim, an adult, you had to be free (i.e. not being a slave or servant), to be the owner of goods above Nisaab (the threshold-where Zakat would become necessary), to be a complete owner of the goods for Zakat. You had to be free from any sort of loan, to be free from any goods which are regarded as basic necessities of living and the goods have to have a value which will increase. Sacred texts of Zakat Zakat is mentioned in many different texts but can be found in the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam which hold all of Muhammads teachings and lessons, sort of the bible for Islamic culture. There is also the Nissab, which is the threshold or guidelines of paying Zakat. Reasons for Zakat and its meaning l Zakat is an ancient ritual and all Islam’s did not just because they had to, but for many other reasons. One of the main reasons would be to distribute the wealth of the community among the poor. Another is to remove the love of wealth from one’s heart, which in Islam is said to be a spiritual disease that could be detrimental to one’s Iman. Thus, it is a form of self-purification or Tazkiya. Giving in the path of Allah, acknowledging that whatever wealth one possesses is in reality the Almighty’s, and giving a monetary sacrifice for one’s lord is another main reason for paying Zakat, as a sacrifice. These are just some of the basic reasons behind the obligation of Zakat, but is also mostly part of worshiping the god of Islam, Allah. The meaning of Zakat comes from the word Zakaa which means to purify, increase and bless, making it clear that it is the share of the wealth which the believer takes out and distributes among the needy and the poor for the pure sake of Allah. The holy Qur’an says "Take from their wealth a portion for charity, in order to clean them thereby, and sanctify them." It also says "Zakat is for the poor, and the needy and those who are employed to administer and collect it, and the new converts, and for those who are in bondage, and in debt and service of the cause of Allah, and for the wayfarers, a duty ordained by Allah, and Allah is the All-Knowing, the Wise". Zakat itself means to grow (in goodness) or 'increase', 'purifying' or 'making pure'. So the act of giving zakat means purifying one's wealth to gain Allah's blessing. But what is so significant about Zakat and paying Zakat? The significant role which is played by Zakat in the circulation of wealth to poor in the Islamic society is also played by the Sadaqat al-Fitr. Sadaqat al-Fitr is a bit different to Zakat though, it requires each individual to calculate how much charity is due from himself/herself and his dependents and go into the community in order to find those who deserve such charity, or go into town and find people or places to give there 2.5%. The rich are required to come in direct contact with the poor, and the poor are put in contact with the extremely poor In other words, Zakat may seem just another expense or tax to the rich or wealthy, but to others, such as the poor or needy, it’s the chance to get food, or it’s the chance to set their life back on track with the money they are given. Bibliography
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