Tuesday, November 07, 2006

WHAT IS ZAKAT

The word zakat means increase and purifying. It means purifying of wealth to gain Allah's blessing. By definition, zakat refers to the portion of wealth prescribed by Allah to be distributed among the categories of those entitled to receive it.

The payment of zakat is obligatory. It's one of the five pillars of Islam. Reported by Ibn Abbas, the Prophet sent Muadh to Yemen and said, "Invite the people to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I am Allah's Apostle, and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in every day and night (in twenty-four hours), and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the zakat from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor." (al-Bukhari, No. 478)

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