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Dispensing Charities - How & Where


By the grace of The LORD, here is a fresh approach on CHARITIES. In HIS Glorious Book, we find many terms the gains and possessions like money, material, jewelry etc liable of charities. For such different types of gains, different terms like ZAKAT, SADAQAAT, GHANEEMAT, 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 Zakat and Sadaqaat. 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 voluntarily or when one is not able to fulfill his promises, covenants, swearing or committed some sort of errors etc. Ghaneemat may come personally or collectively, while Anfaal and Fai come in 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 Zakat and Sadaqaat, its usages, distribution and proper utilization.

Let it be clear once again that our RABB has ordained the faithfuls to pay Zakat on earnings, wealth, savings, stocks, live-stock, harvest, and in ornamental minerals like gold and silver one is possessing. As per different authentic Hadeeses, 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, described in Hadees. 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 Zakat and Sadaqaat 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 two items - Zakat and Sadaqaat. But what I want to remind all the people that this 2.5% ratio of Zakat is the minimum, one has to pay for the pleasure of The Original Provider, ALLAH, Who 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, hereafter, he should go to a reasonable limit.

Let me explain it with an example. Look, Zohar Namaz is obligatory (Farz) on us and out of all the rakaats, only 4 are Farz. But every one of us does not like to stand on the border line and offers some more rakaats of Sunnat and Nafils. While in regard to fasting (Roza), usually we keep ourselves on the border line seldom observing other Nafil Rozas throughout the year. We are even smarter on Zakat and firmly stick to the border line of 2.5% which is the minimum and a must (Farz). Many people feel it like a tax and plan for it’s saving. Personally, I think, to plan for the saving of Zakat must be an unpleasant act in the sight of ALLAH our RABB Who is the Real Provider of all kinds of wealth and comforts.

Now coming to the core, where this amount of Zakat and Sadaqat should be spent and who are eligible for it. There are a few Ayaat in the Qur'an but I will mention here the fundamental one which is in Chapter 9, Verse 60: "The Sadaqat (all kinds of charities including Zakat) 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 the 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 items eligible for its utilization. Look, the coverage is vast! Now one needs to locate the most eligible ones. 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 near people of 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."

Now it must be very clear that who deserves the charities and its sequence of preference. By relation and by location, one who is nearer to us physically, emotionally and relatively is of course, more eligible. Now many other questions crop up. For example, we know that at many places in the Holy Qur'an, our RABB commands us to take care of orphans but where is the color, cast, creed, gender, family, tribe, nation, religion of orphan described? In my opinion, he/she may be the child of my enemy, but I have to do good to them as they fall in the category of orphans. You know well that The Holy Book in such matters does not discriminate. So where arises the question of religion of the orphan?


It is time to ponder what is our relation with every other person of the world. Very firstly he/she is the off-spring of Hazrat Adam and Mother Eve. By this relation he is my brother/sister in humanity. Please refer the Qur’an, first Verse of Chapter 4: "O mankind, be conscious of your RABB who has created you out of one single living cell and out of it created its pair, and spread by this single pair, multitude of men and women ... be conscious of the blood relations ..."

No other relations, no treaties, no nationalities, no differences of religion can over take Blood Ties. One can understand it very well by an example. If a person embraces Islam, his sister, still being Kafirah, will remain his sister for ever. Nothing can come in between. So religion does not overtake blood relations. I can find more than 10 verses as a proof for this point. All are not mentioned here for the sake of length.

So every next human regardless of caste, creed, color, language, nation, region, tribe, religion etc is my own relative in one way or the other. The Qur'an and The Hadees do not discriminate the humanity on such lines. The later days Mullahs created this division of Muslims and Non-Muslims in matter of charities which greatly hampered the Da’wah works. Now the Muslims mostly are jealous, partial and prejudiced in their treatment to others. Throughout the globe, Muslims do not do charitable works for all the people. In plural societies, although they are multi millionaire, they happen to be at the receiving end. In India, every charitable hospital established by Sindhis, Gujaratis and Marwaris are full of Burqa-clad women. We do not find the names of Muslims in the donors list. Many hospitals in south India are run by different Shankar Acharyas and Muslims are benefited without any discrimination. It is today's Muslim, the most acquisitive animal on this earth eating upon the resources of others like a parasite, almost useless for other communities. Then there are Mullahs pouncing upon all the money for the gates of their Madarsas costing one crore of Rupees or Masjid of 4 crores leaving no room for us to donate in such human institutions or do some charitable things which may present a humane picture of Islam for others. Aga Khan is perhaps the only name in the world we find in charitable institutions for humanity at large but we treat them as Kafirs because they are Khojas and Shias!!!!! 

There is one item underlined in the translation of the very first fundamental verse which is mentioned at the top:  "..... whose hearts are to be won over ...." We make Madarsas to spread hatred. We do not make hospitals so that other communities may come closer to Islam and we can win their hearts. Then the biased Mullah restricts us to give charity to Non-Muslims as they treat them as animals. Now I leave this question for you to find out who is the animal, indeed!

Utilization of Zakat funds and its beneficiaries need to be discussed in the light of Heavenly Revelation. Its collection or distribution may be collective or individual. But it is Farz on a person and he will be also answerable in the Akhirah for its misuses done by him. Lastly, please note that such funds should not go to those people who are liable on the person paying Zakat. Parents, spouses, children have their rights on the person to be taken care of. For such relatives, one should do whatever best he can from his own. Zakat and other such funds should go to those who do not have any right on the donor.

We should also know one more important thing which is also called charity in the Holy Book? One may see it in 2/219: "... to forgive and make pardon to people on their faults .." So one should mind his own business and do charity to the Children of Father Adam and Mother Eve. By this way, our RABB will be pleased with us and may HE grant Maghfirat for all our errors, omissions and commissions. AAmeen....