Zakat – an Obligatory Charity
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says, “Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of security for them, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (At-Taubah 9:103) This command is about the obligatory charity that is Zakat. Zakat is a means for purification and increment of one’s wealth. Therefore, do not be stingy with your Zakat. How can we protect ourselves from the Fitnah of stinginess? By knowing that the wealth that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has given us is not ours to keep. He gave us this wealth so that we could spend it in His cause, helping the needy and the poor. Note that in the verse, the Prophet ﷺ has been instructed to make Dua after collecting the Zakat. What does this teach us? It teaches us that when one is collecting donations or charity, he should make Dua for the well-being of donor. The Prophet ﷺ prayed in the following words:
بَارَكَ اللهُ لَكَ فِيمَا أَمْسَكْتَ وَفِيمَا أَعْطَيْت
“May Allah bless you for what you kept and what you gave away.” (Ibn Katheer) Such a statement will act as a reassurance for the donors and encourage them to contribute in future as well. Insha’Allah.
Levels of Believers
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says, “And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun and the Ansar and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” (At-Taubah 9:100)
Look at their honour. We need to be very careful about what we say about the Companions and the righteous slaves of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). We must ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to bless us with the company of His righteous servants, so that we may aspire to raise our status in the Hereafter, Insha’Allah.
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says, “O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).” (At-Taubah 9:119)
One is known by the company he keeps. It either guarantees one peace or snatches it away. However, good company promises goodness. An evil company only increases us in evilness. Reflect on your social circle. Are they bringing you closer to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) or only distancing you further? If it’s the latter, do not be shy to break away from them or at least maintain minimal contact. Your Iman and Hereafter is more important than anything else in this fleeting world.
May He open up our hearts and minds to give Him our very best. Ameen.
Before we begin the Surah, let’s read why is it important to study the Quran. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says, “O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord, and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences, etc.) in your chests, – a guidance and a mercy for the believers.” (Yunus 10:57) Quran is Shifa (cure) for diseased hearts, a guidance and mercy for the believers. This is the power of the Word of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). It cleanses one from spiritual ailments.
The Touch of Affliction
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) tests us so that we can turn to Him. It so happens that once the calamity is gone, we revert to our old ways. The One, Who brought us relief, is all capable of snatching our peace away and much more than that.
Why Play with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)?
“And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying down on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on his way as if he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him! Thus it seems fair to the Musrifun that which they used to do.” (Yunus 10:12)
Wouldn’t you want to become one of the friends of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)? Who wouldn’t? We would run for the opportunity. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says, “No doubt! Verily, the Auliya of Allah, no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve , Those who believed, and used to fear Allah much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds. For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world (i.e. righteous dream seen by the person himself or shown to others), and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the Words of Allah, this is indeed the supreme success.” (Yunus 10:62-64)
How to become Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) Friend?
To become a friend of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) one needs to be a believer and have Taqwa (consciousness of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)). One is a believer if he believes in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), associates no partners with Him, and treads on the path of Muhammad ﷺ. Taqwa can be attained by honouring Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) commands and staying away from prohibitions.
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) takes care of His friends; as we see in the stories of the Prophets (as). When the messengers called people to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), and they refused to follow; there came a time when the messengers were compelled to invoke Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) wrath against the transgressors.
Sometimes, we lack peace in our life because we harmed someone and perhaps, he invoked Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) against us. Abstain from mocking, hurting, or causing discomfort to anyone. Perhaps, they are friends of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).
(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)