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Zakat- The third Pillar of Islam (1)
Zakat is an Islamic institution which provides social welfare for the Muslims. It means growth and purification of one’s wealth.
A Muslim has to calculate two and a half percent of his capital annually and dole out that amount as zakat. Just like knowledge increases by spreading it, donating blood has its own health benefits, pruning of plants encourages new growth similarly, similarly giving zakat also has its own benefits.
Here are some Quranic verses and ahadith which establish the importance of zakat in Islam.
‘Those who hoard up treasures of gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah, give them the news of painful punishment, on the day when that wealth will be burnt in fire of hell and with it will be branded their forehead, their sides and their backs, and it will be said to them, ‘This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard.’ (TMQ-9:34-35)
It is quite evident that giving zakat is beneficial for all the Muslims. It increases the wealth of the rich and provides help to the poor. It is a means of keeping the cash flowing in the society. Therefore, Allah (swt) has strictly forbidden hoarding of wealth to fulfill one’s own selfish interests. Instead, He has commanded the rich to help the weaker sections of the Muslim society
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