10. The Zakat money getting out of one Muslim’s pocket gets into the hands of another individual of the same collectivity. And thus, it gets, so to say, back to him. It is thus in a way an aid to himself. It is as though out of one river many small rivulets are made to flow out in order to have all the fields of all the people and all the trees and plants duly irrigated and watered. And, then, all that water flows back to the same river. Within an organized collectivity, the individuals have so deep-rooted a bond between each other as well as with the collectivity, and their objectives and interests are so intertwined that any one or a few individuals of them cannot stay happy and contented unless and until the collectivity, upon the whole, is happy and contented. This Zakat is a means of attaining collective happiness. And, hence, not paying Zakat and withholding it is a crime against, and being miserly to, one’s own self. The Glorious Qur’an has, in a very judicious manner, denoted non- payment of Zakat with suicide:
“And spend in the way of Allah, and do not cast yourselves with your hands in perdition, and do well, surely Allah loves the well-doers.”
It is this very hell of a difference that is there between the Zakat and usury. Under the usury and capitalist system a few individuals become owner of very large amount of wealth and resources while the rest of individuals get deprived of even means of subsistence. Yet, it does not bring to these few individuals real happiness. No one person or a few individuals can, all alone, remain happy in a collectivity. It is just like some one cannot live in a jungle or even a citizen cannot live, all alone, in a city. The Zakat money makes the collectivity happy; and the usury, having made the collectivity pauper and indigent, makes one or a few individuals owner of very large amounts of wealth. Zakat is that very seed which once laid in the soil, produces out of one seed hundreds of grains:
“The likeness of those who spend their riches in the way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain that grows seven ears and in each ear one hundred grains; and Allah multiplies unto whom He will.”
Whereas the usury, having reaped the harvests of others, makes them indigent and robbed of even their last grain and gets the silo of one person overstuffed. This difference between the usury and Zakat has been described, in its peculiar, miraculous and eloquent style, in Qur’an:
“Allah obliterates usury, and augments charity. And Allah loves not any ingrate sinner.”
On another occasion, it says:
“And whatever you give in gift in order that it may increase among the substance of men does not increase with Allah, and what you pay in poor-rate seeking the favour of Allah, then these! They shall have manifold increase.”
11. There is nothing in this Zakat system that goes against the human nature. Its implementation, therefore, does not require any bloodshed or reprisal and against which the human nature keeps revolting time and again. There is no attempt in it at making, per force, the various human levels and economic strata at par with each other. Nor the people have been deprived of their legitimate wealth which is the outcome of their natural capabilities or the labour exerted by them. On the contrary, this disparity has been recognized as something realistic and natural:
“And Allah has preferred some of you over some others in provision; then those who are preferred are not going to hand over their provision to those whom their right hands possess, so as to be their equal in that respect.”
“It is We who have apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of the world, and have raised some of them over others in degrees so that one of them may take another as a serf, and the Mercy of your Lord is better than what they amass.”
It has, however, been made imperative that the necessities of human life are available to every individual and the collectivity has been made responsible for this. It has to ensure that none of its members is deprived of the necessities of life.
Divine that it is, the Zakat system is, in every respect and viewed from all aspects, an extremely proper and perfect, balanced, temperate and equitable one. No lacuna, no deficiency or excessiveness and no disorderliness is traceable in any of its aspects or angles. It is The handiwork of Allah Who has perfected everything.
The Zakat made obligatory by Islam on Muslims is the lowest limit of sympathy, compassion and kind behaviour. Going back on it and shirking it is, in no way, condoned by Allah, the Exalted. The Islamic Shariah has very firmly and sternly sought its compliance, and has declared it one of the basic pillars of the Shariah and the religion and the distinctive characteristic of Muslims:
“If they repent and establish prayer and give the poor-rate they are your brethren-in-faith.”
Whoever disowns it or deliberately shuns compliance with it would be regarded excluded from the fold of Islam and separated from the collectivity of the Islamic Ummah. Accordingly, these were the very repudiators of Zakat against whom the superior-most person of this Ummah after the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhyAllahu ‘anhu) openly waged war. All the Prophet’s Companions supported him in this war and all of them had consensus on this.
The prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) did not consider, as is evident from his practices and life-style, his attitude and inclination, his inducement, advices and instructions to his principal Companions, his chivalrous, aspirant and closely attached allies, this much of charity sufficient enough and did not determine it to be the most supreme and ultimate form of sympathy and compassion and fulfillment of others’ rights. He (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has, in his miraculous, Prophetic style, expressed this point in a brief sentence before which the eloquence and rhetoric of all the littérateurs, howsoever, great, stands nowhere, thus: ‘Beyond question, there are other obligations on wealth aside Zakat.’ It is narrated by ‘Tirmizi’,
Ascribing the same to Fatima bint Qais that He (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was asked, or Fatima bint Qais herself asked him about the Zakat to which he (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) replied: ‘Beyond question, there are other obligations on wealth aside Zakat.’ He (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) then recited the following verse:
“Virtue is not in this that you turn your faces to the east and the west, but virtue is of him who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophet, and gives of his substance, for love of Him, to kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for redeeming necks; and establishes prayer and gives the poor-rate and is of the performers of their promises when they have promised; and is of the patient in adversity and affliction and in time of violence; there are they who have proved true, and these are they who are God-fearing.”
 Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 195.
 Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 261.
 Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 276.
 Surah Ar-Rum, 30: 39.
 Surah An-Nahl, 16: 71.
 Surah Az-Zukhruf, 43:32.
 Surah At-Taubah, 9: 11.
 Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 177
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