Give poor their share
Fight poverty, pay Zakah to the needy
MISSION BY G.N. WADOO
Fasting is a command of Allah for every Muslim man or woman who is adult and sensible. A Muslim cannot ordinarily miss the commanded nature of fasts unless he/she has the grounds for it such as (i) journeys (ii) abject old age (iii) sickness (iv) pregnancy (v) mothers feeding babies (vi) acute hunger or thirst and (vii) uncleaniless during periods of women.
The missed fasts have to be redeemed as soon as the conditions in any particular case cited above are conducive for redemption. A Muslim who has missed the fasts has to offer expiation (Kafarah) by feeding 60 persons twice a day on average meals or cash thereof. A healthy sensible Muslim avoiding to fast deliberately is a sinner in the sight of Allah. Fasts during Ramadhan hold the promise of great reward from Allah.
Establish prayers and pay the poor due (Aquimu Salata waatu Zakah) is a holy word of Allah oft repeated in the holy Quran. Thus Allah lays emphasis on Zakah which is one of the fundamentals of Islam and a life line for the Muslim Ummah. Zakah is the basis of worship because it keeps cash and kind flowing to the down-trodden, destitute, orphans, widows and other poor families who cannot afford meals, clothing, formal and vocational education and the health care etc. It is a distinctive attribute of worship which helps the Ummah come out of the vicious circle of poverty and live a dignified life. Almighty Allah has commanded every wealthy Muslim to pay Zakah of his assets gold, silver, livestock and the currency etc @ 2.5% every year, according to the minimum wealth possessed (Nisab) by the person. Zakah is obligatory upon every free adult Muslim of sound mind, free from debts, in possession of defined quantity of wealth for one complete Hijra year and in complete ownership of his/her wealth which is over and above his own requirements and that of his legitimate dependents. My point is not to discuss the minutest details with regard fasts and Zakah but only the broad concept of Islam which fosters the moral virtue of fraternity, compassion and rehabilitation through prayers and fasting. During Ramadhan the Muslims are commanded to pay Zakah tul Fitr popularly known as Sadaqah Fitr which is payable during or the end of Ramadhan just before the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers. Sadaqah Fitr is incumbent upon all the members of the family including the new born babies, according to prevalent market rates. Zakah and Sadaqah fitr can be paid to Muslims only whereas other kinds of alms and charity can be paid to anybody in need.
In certain part of the globe, we find people die of starvation, the example is of the poor people of Somalia, Africa. While the people also suffer due to natural calamities like floods, famines, draughts, earthquakes and other kinds of diseases, however, these calamities could be addressed by the neighbouring countries, the concern WHO, Disaster Management Organization, the World Bank, The world Body (UNO) and also the Islamic Organizations.
The human problem of great concern is poverty and Islam has commanded a noble system of Zakah and other kinds of charity through which poverty is bound to be eliminated. One who receives Zakah today may be able to pay it back tomorrow. One who is sincere in paying Zakah is also sincere in the worship of Allah and Commands respect here and in the hereafter. The need of the time is to establish authorized Zakah Centres and agencies for judicious distribution of the Zakah and Sadaqah Fitr to the deserving classes of society. We should also discourage the institutions of begging in the name of Zakah and other charities.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 16 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 16 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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