What is zakat?
Are you a Muslim?
Have you ever thought about “zəˈkät” and philosophy of paying it?
According to lexicons “zəˈkät” has two meanings:
Growth and development
Purity and cleanliness
It seems that “ah-luh” has determined “zəˈkät” as a medium for purity and development of aliment among his servants.
In many verses of Quran paying “zəˈkät” in associated with “ṣalāt;”.
Let’s have a look to the beginning of Islam
“zəˈkät” at that time was considered as tax in Islamic state
And for this reason, the necessary and determinative items in economy were introduced as subjects of paying “zəˈkät”
The items like wheat, barely, dates, grapes, gold and silver, cow, sheep and camel were the ones that had key roles in economy of peninsula therefore “zəˈkät” were obligatory for them.
The question is that:
If rice or corn were the common food of people at the time of prophet and if the commercial items were elephant, banana, oil and … , what items would be included in “zəˈkät”?
Also by considering the areas that “zəˈkät” should be spent for, we will find out the importance of it in Islam:
According to Quran, “zəˈkät” should be paid to:
people who collect “zəˈkät”
create affection in hearts
make slaves free
the sake of Allah
The needy wayfarers
If all of these items are observed, peace, security and health will be established in whole society.
In fact “zəˈkät” is a kind of income tax in Islamic society that is allocated for social justice.
And this is exactly what we expect from the meaning of the word of Islam. The literal meaning of The word “Islam” is entering to the health, and “zəˈkät” is an assurance for the health of society
In currant time and even at the time of prophet, rulers of Islamic states had the responsibility to determine the areas that “zəˈkät” money should be spent for.
In all today’s governments:
There are some organizations devoted to the problems of poor, miseries, debtors, and needy wayfarers
There are many organizations devoted for cultural affairs, and these organizations are intended to create affection among people and to promote god’s religion.
And obviously, the people involved in collecting tax are paid by government
In other words, the paid tax in today’s world, covers all expenditures that “zəˈkät” money should cover.
Some important questions…
According to these facts in today’s world, should we still believe that “zəˈkät” is obligatory for a limited set of items? The items that are of low importance in current economy! Or is “zəˈkät” obligatory for any profit resulted from economic activity?
With regard to high income of Islamic countries, is it fair to in addition to all taxes, receive some money from a poor shepherd or farmer as “zəˈkät”, and on the other hand large companies have huge amount of benefits?
Considering the fact that in today’s societies, people pay tax to the governments, is it still obligatory to assign a separate sum of money as “zəˈkät”?
In the early beginning of the Islam, paying Zakat was mandatory for all Muslims, and in several verses in our holy book, Quran, this has been mentioned. In this film, we have reviewed the philosophy of paying Zakat at the time of Profit Mohammad (peace with him) and our today’s life, then we have offered a correct and clear definition of Zakat based on the religious and rational criteria.
Read more at http://www.muslims-us.org/pages/quran-keywords-translation-islam-distorted-concepts/zakat.html#qSh9oCh9wzh7oE1k.99