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By the grace of The LORD, here is a fresh approach on CHARITIES. In HIS Glorious Book, we find many times the gains and possessions like money, material, jewelry etc liable of charities. For such different types of gains, different terms like ZAKAH, SADAQAH, GHANEEMAH, ANFAAL, FAI are used in Holy Qur'an. The first two terms are frequently used in The Holy Book while the third and fourth terms occur in Surah 8 mostly. The Surah 59 deals with the last term.

The Muslims commonly know what are Zakah and Sadaqah. Zakah is obligatory on every Muslim, male or female who has the surplus wealth. It is an obligation of ALLAH on him/her. Sadaqah may be given voluntarily or when one is not able to fulfill his promises, covenants, swearing or committed some sort of errors etc. Ghaneemah may come personally or collectively, while Anfaal and Fai come as the result of a collective effort called 'War in the cause of ALLAH'. Thus the last two relate to gains and war-remainings. I will not discuss all of them here, but rather concentrate on Zakah and Sadaqah, its usages, distribution and proper utilization.


Let it be clear once again that our RABB has ordained the faithfuls to pay Zakah on earnings, wealth, savings, stocks, live-stock, harvest, and in ornamental minerals like gold and silver one is possessing. As per different authentic Ahadees (sayings of Prophet PBUH), it is 2.5% per annum. While on edibles or items coming out of agricultural activities and animal husbandry, the ratio and timings are different, as described in Ahadees. It therefore implies that whatever wealth ALLAH has provided to one of HIS creature, he/she can utilize 97.5% of it and rest 2.5% is for ALLAH. Items other than Zakah and Sadaqah have little relevance for general public as all are not involved in animal husbandry or doing agriculture. So to make the matter concise, I am touching only on two subjects - Zakah and Sadaqah. But what I want to remind all the people that this 2.5% ratio of Zakah is the minimum, one has to pay for the pleasure of The Original Provider, ALLAH, Who has provided all these to one of HIS servants. In all such cases, one should not stand on the border line but to be on the safer side of (Akhirah), the hereafter, he should go beyond the border line considering his financial status to a reasonable limit.

Let me explain it with an example. Consider the Noon Prayer (Zohar), it is obligatory (Farz) on us, but out of all the rakaah, only 4 are obligatory (Farz). But no one of us like to stand on the border line, hence we offer some more rakaah of Sunnah and Nawafil. While with regards to Fasting (Saum), usually we keep ourselves on the border line, seldom observing other Nawafil Saum throughout the year. In case of Zakah, we are even more smarter, and firmly stick to the border line of 2.5%, which is the minimum and obligatory (Farz). Many people feel it like a tax and plan for it’s saving. Personally, I think, to plan for the saving of Zakah must be an unpleasant act in the sight of ALLAH our RABB Who is the Real Provider of all kind of wealth and comforts to mankind.

Now coming to the core issue, where this amount of Zakah and Sadaqah should be spent and who are eligible to recieve it? There are few Ayaah in the Qur'an but I will mention here the fundamental one which is in Chapter 9, Verse 60:

"The Sadaqah (all kind of charities including Zakah) given for the sake of ALLAH are meant only for the poor and the needy, and those who are incharge thereof, and those whose hearts are to be won over, and for freeing of human beings from the bondage, and for those who are over burdened with debts, and (for every struggle) in ALLAH's cause and for the wayfarer (public utilities). This is an ordinance from ALLAH and ALLAH is All-knowing, Wise."

So there are 8 recomended acts eligible for its utilization. Take a note, the coverage is vast and one needs to identify the most deserving one in priority! Let us go to the Qur'an for help. Here it is in Chapter 4, Verse 36:

"And worship Allah Alone and do not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught beside HIM. And do good (Ahsan) unto your parents, and people near to you (by blood relation and place), and unto orphans, and the needy, and the neighbor near to you, and the neighbor even stranger, and the person sitting beside you, and the wayfarer (public utility items useful to all passers-by) and to your sub-ordinates. Verily ALLAH does not love any of those who, full of self-conceit, act in a boastful manner."


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