Between my shadow and my soul

Get them Axes! Oops this is SA, how about a bag of hangers?

20 virtual coolness points to whoever deciphers the "Axes" reference in the title...

It's been a long, wow, year of firsts. To add to this, this is the first year I am taking complete responsibility of my duty to my Creator to disperse the wealth He has blessed me with. According to Zakaah experts, it is firstly an act of an Ibaadah as, 28 out of the 30 times it is mentioned in the Qur'an it is mentioned in conjunction with another compulsory act of Ibaadah, Salaah.

Everything in this post is mostly what I learnt in a pre-Ramadhan Zakaah seminar today.

I leant that once you have acquired a certain minimum amount of wealth known as Nisaab, it is your God-given responsibility to care for those who do noty have as much as you. I learnt that Zakaah can be distributed in several ways and we should be striving for exellence in the use of this beautiful tool. I learnt that there were 2 periods in Islamic history where the Islamic economy and Zakaah system were functioning so well that there were no poor to distribute Zakaah amongst.

There are 8 categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakaah, and we need to take this into a contemporary perspective. For example, there is a category called "Fir riqab" which means those in bondage, or captive. To me, this would mean for example using Zakaah money to hire lawyers to plead the case of those in Guantanamo Bay. However, the Malaysian government uses part of the one eighth allocated for this category to rehabilitate prostitutes, using the logic that they have become captive of their circumstances. The breadth of the impact of this social system does astound me at its healing potential.

The specifics of Zakaah calculation although superficially complex, seem to me very logical in their application. The most important part of course is your pure Niyyah to fulfill your obligation. It saddens me at how people believe that they can cut corners in this duty when from a spiritual and material lens, the more you open your fist, the more delectables it contains (S.2 V. 261).

What is left for me to decide is how exactly to distribute this money that Allah has given me to help my people. The easiest and most fail-safe it seems is to give it to a respectable organisation like Sanzaf who is transparent about how they use the money. Or I could use it for the upliftment of a needy community, through empowerment projects. I could also simply give food and clothes to the less fortunate but that is contrary to the "Axes" principle I believe in. I could use it to pay for someone's school or university fees, if they are eligible or many other noble endeavours that are sanctioned and encouraged by Shari'ah. How are you planning to utilise this blessing and duty?

6 shared ideas:

Khadija August 25, 2008 at 9:43 AM  

Once a man came to the Prophet of Allah Mohamed (PBUH) ans complained that he didn't have the means to support his family and begged something from the prophet. The Prophet asked him to bring his possessions (can't remember the details) and with the proceeds from auctioning those possessions to the Sahaba, Rasulullah (PBUH) saw to it that an axe was bought, the beggar was then instructed to go the woods and chop wood and then sell it thus providing a long term solution to his economic problem.

when do i collect on my cool points? :p

Taqaballahu Minna wa Minkum (May Allah accept it from us and from you)

Waseem August 25, 2008 at 11:56 AM  

I already collected them :D, I dont know if she any more. Sorry Khadija, I'll share them with you. Take 5 points.

Noorjehaan August 25, 2008 at 3:35 PM  

:D sorry waseem khadija gets them coz she shared her knowledge... *ping ping ping* (the sound of smarties bouncing through ur cd-rom)

here waseem you get pity tumbles with raisins ew lol

what amazes be about tbis tradition is that even thought the beggar had 2 very low-level possessions, the Prophet SAW still asked him to sell them for long term benefit. We find it much easier to toss a R5 coin at a beggar than to see the potential Allah SWT has created him or her with...

Safiyyah August 27, 2008 at 6:10 PM
know where your zakat money goes
and read up on the Shu'i fiqh of Zakat also, extremely interesting

bb_aisha August 27, 2008 at 8:16 PM  

very relevant read-thanks

Anonymous September 1, 2008 at 2:21 AM  

What most forget is that Zakah is a purificationtax, not a charity...
Also, the non-monetary charity is an avenue i too often close up up for myself by forgetting its significance (eg to smile at a person is sadqah).