He is the Master of the Day of Judgement
and He does not need our money, just our intentions and actions. Allah (SWT) then wants to give something much better back to us, so He increases our wealth, achievements, happiness, peace and blessing for the following year; seven hundred times more than the amount we had initially paid. Not only this, but we are also ensuring our place in Jannat.
The greatness of Zakat is it is not just a blessing for the giver but also a blessing for the receiver! The wealth of the community is distributed throughout society so that those in need can also feel benefited by the wealthy.
Here we should understand that Allah (SWT) is the sustainer, but Zakat is a means of testing those whom Allah has provided with more. Allah (SWT) always provides for everyone; some He gives excess in terms of wealth, children, intellect, honesty, integrity and so forth. He does not provide everything to a single individual; He leaves something out as a means to test them with.
There are clearly outlined rules on the distribution of Zakat in the Quran and there are eight categories to whom Zakat can be paid. We take this responsibility very seriously.
‘Welfare funds (Zakat) are only for the poor, the destitute, the tax collectors, those whose hearts are inclined (towards Islam i.e. the reverts), the slaves, those who cannot pay their debts, for the cause of God, and for those who have become needy on a journey. Paying Zakat is an obligation that Allah has decreed. Allah is All-knowing and All-wise.’ (9:60)
- The poor (al-fuqara), meaning low-income or indigent.
- The needy (al-masakin), meaning someone who is in difficulty.
- Zakat administrators.
- Those whose hearts are to be reconciled, meaning new Muslims and friends of the Muslim community.
- Those in bondage (slaves and captives).
- The debt-ridden.
- In the path of Allah.
- The wayfarer, meaning those who are stranded or travelling with few resources.
Receiving Zakat is helps to alleviate the grief and suffering of those who are genuinely in need.
‘The righteously striving believers, who are steadfast in their prayers and pay the Zakat, will receive their reward from Allah. They will have no fear, nor will they grieve’ (2:277)
We should all strive to ensure we comply with the rules on Zakat to maximise the benefit for the needy and the reward from Allah.