Saturday, September 24, 2022

What is Zakat? A scholar of Islam tells

Muslims view money as a gift and a divine arrangement. The Quran urges individuals to share their wealth and income with those of lesser means. Giving alms is one of the Five Pillars of Islam – a fundamental practice within the faith.

One major way to do this is through zakat, a mandatory annual donation of 2.5% of one’s net worth. All adults in Islam should give to others what they have in abundance.

In addition, Muslims can help others through other charitable practices such as Sadaka, which is mentioned in the Qur’an. Sadaka is any additional charity that can serve this purpose of helping others. Shia Muslims are expected to donate one-fifth of their annual earnings, known as khams, to their spiritual head, the imam, for charitable purposes.

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Why Zakat Matters

American Muslims make up about 1% of the total population, and their median income is generally lower than that of non-Muslims. But due to Zakat and other practices, Muslims donate more to charity than others.

These charitable gifts can be invested for the long term benefit of the community. Most of the major mosques in the Muslim world are funded by centuries-old endowments, known as aukafs. These charities established education and social services for their communities long before the creation of modern nation-states.

an act of kindness

The ultimate worldly goal of Islam is to establish justice for all. Then again, charity is much more than just giving money.

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Giving your time to help others – such as volunteering, caring or acts of kindness – can also be a form of charity.

The Qur’an describes charity as a “beautiful loan” and likens giving charity to “one grain (of corn); it has seven ears, and each ear holds a hundred grains.”

Muslims believe that giving gives benefits to the giver, the beneficiary and the public. Above all, it honors the divine command to help the needy.

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This article is republished from – The Conversation – Read the – original article.

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