Friday Sermon: Paying Zakah, Giving Charity, Helping The Orphans, Poor And Needy Brings Love, Peace, Unity, Mercy And Blessing To The Nation! By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation, may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.

Dear brothers and sisters! Islam is a religion that gives the message of love, peace and unity. It wants its followers to live in peace, unity and harmony in the world along with people of other religions and assist each other in making the world a better place. It is this moto of making the world a better place and helping others that Islam emphasises on charity.

In Islam, charity holds such a great place that it is an obligation on Muslims in the form of Zakah. In Islam, Zakah is one of the major pillars of Islam, and those who are wealthy enough, for them it is mandatory to give Zakah. However, when it comes to paying Zakah, there are different misconceptions that are prevalent among Muslims. The lines below discuss the importance of Zakah in Islam and the general misconceptions people have regarding it.

In Islam, Zakah is the fourth pillar. Zakah refers to purification in general and purification of wealth in particular, therefore, those Muslims who have wealth over a certain ratio, they are liable to pay Zakah on it and give it to those who are less fortunate and don’t have sufficient means to live their life in a standard way.

Pertaining to the question of Zakah, the skeptic ones ask the question that why do they have to pay from their hard earned money and wealth to the others? The answer to which is as follows:

Besides the fact that Zakah is an obligation and fulfillment of it leads to a Muslim getting reward from Allah Almighty and intentional swerving from it leads to a Muslim receiving punishment from Him, there are other reasons which one can find pertaining to the importance of Zakah.

1. Helps in Building The Society – The first benefit of Zakah is that it helps those in the society who are less fortunate. For example, if one class of society keeps on gathering all the money and does not provide anything to anyone else, then the rest would stay in the same plight and the society would be distributed in sections. Therefore, when the wealthy of the society give Zakah, it means that the ones, who are non-wealthy, get a chance to enjoy a better lifestyle.

2. Circulation of Money – The second thing that Zakah brings to table pertaining to its being an obligation is the fact that it leads to circulation of money. Zakah is a form of charity and any charitable deed means that the money gets out of the hands of the ones who are already filthy rich with it. Thus, this way the money gets out of the circle of a few people and circulates in the whole economy.

3. Develops a Sense of Sacrificing – Thirdly, Zakah also gives and teaches the message of sacrifice. Wealth is perhaps one of the major elements which people love the most. Therefore, when a person gives from his or her wealth, it actually means that he or she loves the order of Allah Almighty more than their personal liking and they are willing to sacrifice the thing they love for the order of Allah the Magnificent. In the Noble Qur’an, Allah Almighty says:

“The alms are only for the Fuqara (the poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” [Qur’an, 9:60]

From this Qur’anic verse, the following people who deserve Zakah can be extracted:

1. The Poor – These are the people who don’t have means to live their life properly and live below the line of poverty.

2. The Needy – These people are also poor, however, because of their pride and bashfulness they don’t expose their poverty.

3. The Collectors – These are the people who are given the duty of collection of Zakah from other people, however, they themselves cant afford to live a normal life.

4. The New Converts – People who convert to Islam are also eligible as Zakah recipients as with their conversion to Islam they need assistance and help for a new start in life.

5. To Free Slaves – The money of Zakah can also be spent on freeing the slaves as well.

6. To Help Someone Pay Debt – Those who are in debt and cant afford to pay it off on their own are also eligible for Zakah.

7. In Cause Of Allah – Zakah can also be given to people who strive in the way of Allah, especially in the form of fighting the usurpers.

8. For Travelers – Zakah can also be given to the travelers and wayfarers as they might need the money when it comes to travel arrangements.

Respected servants of Allah! Besides the major misconceptions of Zakah, Muslims often find it difficult to calculate the amount of Zakah liable upon their possessions. There are many ways one can adopt to to calculate the charity amount, however, the one which nowadays seems much reliable is to use a Zakah calculator. Zakah calculators are often especially designed by taking all necessary measurements in control that help in knowing the amount accurately. If you are one looking to calculate the total amount of charity on your personal belongings, you can do so by asking the reliable scholars.

Or you can use one of the popular mobile phone application which you can install in your smartphone to be able to calculate the amount of charity.

Dear brothers and sisters! There are several misconceptions related to Zakah that have become prevalent among Muslims. The lines below address those misconceptions and give the true version of them:

The first misconception that people have pertaining to Zakah is that it is to be paid in the month of Ramadan only. Although Ramadan is a month of being charitable, however, it in no way means that a Muslim must pay Zakah in this month only. Rather, the time when a Muslim becomes liable for paying Zakah, a year from that time is the time frame within which Zakah is to be paid. Therefore, the duration of year is what needs to be kept in mind and not the month of Ramadan for giving Zakah.

Zakah is only and only liable on the Halal earnings of a person, therefore, there is no chance that Zakah can be relied upon as a means of purifying the wrongly earned wealth. Hence, it is only liable on Halal earned wealth and should be paid on it only.

The third misconception related to Zakah is that it is only liable on gold. It is wrong. The gold mentioned in Qur’an and Hadith is as a standard unit of measurement, therefore, anything whether its cash, silver, stocks, livestock, property or another asset that is worth the same amount as the gold mentioned by Islam, it is liable for Zakah.

The general misconception is that it is the husbands who are liable for paying Zakah for the jewelry of their wife. It is wrong and as jewelry is the personal property of the wife, therefore, she must pay its Zakah and if she is unable to do so then she needs to sell the jewelry to pay Zakah or until the jewelry is below the level of being liable for Zakah. However, if the husband is willing to pay Zakah on behalf of the wife, he can do so, but it is not mandatory on the husband.

The other misconception among people is that they think that Zakah is liable only on the wealth that is in excess of the requisite amount of wealth. They believe that the requisite amount gets exempted once one reaches it and anything in excess is Zakah deductible. It is also wrong, and all of the wealth becomes Zakah deductible once one reaches its requisite figure.

Also some Muslims think that they cannot give Zakah to their poor relatives as they are a part of their family. The relatives who are not in blood relation with you such as parents, spouse, children, and siblings, any relative other than that is eligible for Zakah and should be paid Zakah.

In a nutshell, Zakah is a mandatory tenant of Islam and the objective of it is to help the society share the bounties of Allah and give a chance to the unfortunate ones at a better life. Therefore, every Muslim must gain knowledge about Zakah and ensure that it be paid to the deserving people.

Respected brothers and sisters! Sincerely speaking, one of the greatest means of building peace, unity, love and social harmony in Islam is through giving and spending. Allah Almighty said:

“O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you before there comes a Day in which there is no exchange [i.e., ransom] and no friendship and no intercession. And the disbelievers – they are the wrongdoers.” [Qur’an, 2:254]

And Allah Almighty said:

“Those who spend their wealth [in Allah’s way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly – they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [Qur’an, 2:274]

And spending in the way of Allah Almighty is one of the biggest challenges faced by man due to his love of and concern for wealth. Allah Almighty said:

“And you love wealth with immense love.” [Qur’an, 89:20]

And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) informed about the temptation of wealth:

“Verily, there is a Fitnah (trial) for every nation and the trial for my Ummah (nation) is wealth.” [At-Tirmithi]

And some have become slaves to wealth. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Wretched is the slave of the Dinar and the slave of the Dirham.” [Bukhari]

A person who is stingy with what Allah has given him thinks that doing so is better for him and does not pay heed to the Allah Almighty’s words:

“And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah, of what you do, is [fully] Aware.” [Qur’an, 3:180]

Dear brothers and sisters! Wealth is a trust that people were entrusted with. Allah Almighty said:

“And spend out of that in which He (Allah) has made you successive inheritors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward.” [Qur’an, 57:7]

These are the ones for whom Allah blesses their wealth and multiplies their reward in the hereafter. Allah Almighty said:

“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned.” [Qur’an, 2:245]

And one of the most important criteria by which a person’s faith (Iman) is measured is charity. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“And charity is proof (of your Iman/faith).” [Muslim]

And it is a great transaction with Allah Almighty and striving in the sake of Allah with one’s wealth. And in it is salvation for a person from a painful punishment. Allah Almighty said:

“O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? [It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you, if you only knew.” [Qur’an, 61:10-11]

And whomever wants to nurture and protect his wealth should spend from it for the sake of Allah. Allah Almighty said:

“Say, “Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills of His servants and restricts [it] for him. But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.” [Qur’an, 34:39]

And in the Hadith Qudsi Allah Almighty said:

“Spend and I shall spend on you.” [Bukhari]

And whatever a person spends for the sake of Allah Almighty is what they will find in front of them on the Day of Resurrection. And what remains in his balance will be the procession of the heirs. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“For whom among you is the wealth of his heirs dearer to him than his own wealth?’ They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, there is no one among us for whom his own wealth is not dearer to him than the wealth of his heirs. ’The Messenger of Allah said: For indeed his wealth is what he has sent forward, and the wealth of his heirs is what he retained.’” [Bukhari]

Some people incorrectly think that they are the true owner of the wealth. Indeed, the wealth is the wealth of Allah Almighty that he directed to them in a manner that they did not expect. Allah Almighty said:

“And give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you.” [Qur’an, 24:33]

And through charity Allah Almighty diverts the afflictions, tribulations, and calamities from a person, and from a nation. As the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Good deeds ward off destructive evil. And the giving charity secretly quenches the wrath of the Lord. And joining the ties of kinship increases the lifespan.” [See Sahih Al-Jami’ of Sheikh Albani]

And charity extinguishes the bad deeds. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Charity extinguishes bad deeds committed just as water extinguishes fire.” [at-Tirmithi]

Respected servants of Allah! Indeed spending and giving charity have etiquettes. And from among the most important etiquette is sincerity to Allah Almighty in it. For not having sincerity nullifies and reduces its reward. And some give charity for the sake of showing off, reputation, boasting or bragging. And doing this will result in the severe punishment on the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The person with wealth will be brought (in the hereafter)…he will say: ‘I would nurture the ties of kinship and give charity.’ Then Allah will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ And the angels will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ Allah, Most High, will say: ‘Rather, you wanted it to be said that so-and-so is so generous, and that was said.’” [at-Tirmidhi]

And from the etiquettes of giving the obligatory charity (Zakah) is to spend it as prescribed and to not delay it. For if one has to pay Zakah on his wealth or crops or trade, then he must pay it at the proper time. And it is from the pillars of Islam. And the most beloved means of getting close to Allah Almighty is to perform the obligations. So to avoids the wrath of Allah Almighty one should not delay it without an excuse.

And from the etiquettes of the obligatory charity is that he should seek out the truly needy. And not give to those whom he does not know. For the Zakah is not correct unless it is given to those deserving of it. And Allah Almighty explained the different types of categories that qualify for Zakah.

And from the etiquettes is to not nullify the charity through reminders of it or injury. Allah Almighty said:

“O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders [of it] or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day.” [Qur’an, 2:264]

Rather one should view giving charity as a favour from Allah Almighty because He the Almighty gave him the wealth and blessed him. And saved him from his inner greed. The wise believer views the needy person as the one who has favour over him because he accepted the charity from him and he gave him the chance to gain reward from Allah Almighty. And some of the righteous would say:

“By Allah, I see the poor person as having favour over me. And if Allah Almighty did not make him accept my charity I would have been denied the reward from Allah Almighty”

And from the etiquette of giving charity is to view the charity as a grace of Allah upon him that The Almighty enriched him and did not make him in need of taking charity. Rather He the Almighty made his hand the upper hand and made him the one who gives and not the one who takes. And it is a great grace that requires striving to be grateful through obedience to Allah Almighty and giving plenty of charity. And having compassion for the poor and needy.

And the one giving charity should conceal it as he is able to do so except if there is a clear benefit in publicising it. Allah Almighty said:

“If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah, of what you do, is [fully] Aware.” [Qur’an, 2:271]

And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) informed that among the seven whom Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will shade with His shade on the Day of Resurrection, the Day when there will be no shade but His is:

“…a man who gives charity and conceals it, so that his left hand does not know what his right hand is doing.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

And from the etiquettes is that the charity should be from good earnings, that is from lawfully earned wealth. As this is a reason for its acceptance and multiplying its reward. Just as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“‘No one gives charity from good sources – for Allah does not accept anything but that which is good – but the Most Merciful (Allah) takes it in His right hand, even if it is a date, and it flourishes in the Hand of the Most Merciful (Allah) until it becomes bigger than a mountain and he tends it as anyone of you would tend to his colt (i.e., young pony) or his young (weaned) camel.’” [Muslim]

And from the etiquettes of charity is to spend the best of wealth in charity and not put forth the low quality food or the corrupt wealth. Allah Almighty said:

“O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes.” [Qur’an, 2:267]

And a person has a greater reward from Allah Almighty if he gives charity with something that he loves from wealth, food or clothing. Allah Almighty said:

“Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love.” [Qur’an, 3:92]

Dear brothers and sisters! From the etiquettes of charity is to give priority to relatives if they are in need and they do not have anyone to help them. For their right is greater than that of others. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Charity given to the needy is (counted as) charity, and if it is given to relatives it is (counted as) two: charity and nurturing (the ties of kinship).” [at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasa’i]

And the higher the degree of kinship, the greater the reward for the giver of charity.

And from the etiquettes of charity is to not take it back. For it is not permissible to take it back from the one it was given to. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The likeness of the one who gives charity then takes it back is that of a dog who vomits then goes back and eats its vomit.” [Ibn Majah]

And from the etiquette of charity is that it is given in a state of health, wellbeing, youth and being in need and fearing poverty. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that:

“A man came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what kind of charity brings the greatest reward?’ He said: ‘To give in charity when you are healthy and feeling miserly, and fearing poverty and hoping for a long life. Do not wait until the (death rattle) reaches the throat and then say: “This is for so and so,” and it nearly became the property of so and so (the heirs).‘” [Bukhari and Muslim]

And from the etiquettes of giving charity is to give it with a pleasant soul and not to hate giving it. For among the characteristics of the hypocrites is that:

“They do not spend except while they are unwilling.” [Qur’an, 9:54]

And as far as the believers, Allah Almighty praised them that their eyes welled with tears in sadness because they could not find something to spend. Allah Almighty said:

“Nor [is there blame] upon those who, when they came to you for you to take them along, you said, “I can find nothing upon which to carry you.” They turned back while their eyes overflowed with tears out of grief that they could not find something to spend [for the cause of Allah].” [Qur’an, 9:92]

Respected brothers and sisters! Once again, we are reaching out to you to join us in our noble cause to provide daily meals for 3,000 orphans throughout the noble month. As usual, your support will ensure that those orphans, widows and those in need can break their fast with dignity and nourishment. Every donation counts in making a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters during this blessed, merciful and sacred month. Donate now to help us reach our goal and spread the blessings of Ramadan to those who need it most.

As usual, we sincerely seek your financial support, your help, your assistance, your donation and your contribution about the Ramadan Feeding for our orphans and the students under our care in our Islamic schools. Your support is highly needed for Allah’s sake, FISABILILLAH!

We sincerely solicit for your kind and sincere contribution towards the good and great work of Iftar for our orphans and our students; and the development of our schools and Islamic Center financially, materially and morally.

Our aim and objective always is to have a standard Islamic center and Arabic/Islamic schools for orphans and less privileged children.

We are soliciting also, if you want to pay your this year’s Zakah our great Islamic center is waiting for your kind and merciful gesture. Sincerely, your donation will help distribute iftar food for our orphans and our students.

Remember, the blessed and merciful month of Ramadan will not be the same without our families, but unfortunately this is not a privilege enjoyed by everyone. This is the reason we’re steadfast in planning to provide food for the orphans, widows and students under our care!

We planned to be distributing food package that worth amount up to 3,000 orphans In Shaa Allah, this year.

And your contribution is highly needed as usual. May Allah rewards all your efforts and your good deeds, ameen.

Allah Almighty says:

“If you support the course of Allah, He will support you.” [Qur’an, 47: 7]

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever relieves his Muslim brother of a hardship from the hardships of this world, Allah shall relieve him of a hardship from the hardships of the Day of Judgement. And whoever makes things easy for a person in difficulty, Allah will ease for him in this world and the Next. Allah is forever aiding a servant so long as he is in the aid of his brother.”

And he (Peace be upon him) said:

“Every act of goodness is considered as Sadaqah.” [Bukhari]

Please donate to our Ramadan iftar food package project. With your support we can provide essential food Items and help alleviate the difficulties and bring ease to the orphans, needy, women and children who have been affected the most by the insecurity, cost of living crisis, inflation and world economic crisis.

Please keep helping the cause of Allah with Allah’s money. Whoever gives for Allah, Allah will give him more. Donate to the Nagazi-Uvete Islamic Center.

This is our account details as follows:

1. Account no. – 0048647196, GTBank

2. Account no. – 1779691620, Access Bank

For more enquiries contact, Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the director and Imam Of the Center: 08038289761.

And to donate food directly or sallah cows and clothes, etc, contact the following Numbers: 08038289761, 08056557477.

Jazakumullah Khairan as you kindly contribute.

Dear brothers and sisters! Ramadan is a time of reflection, prayer, and, importantly, giving. Among the pillars of Islam, Zakah stands as a testament to our Iman (faith) and commitment to helping those in need, purifying our wealth, and cleansing our souls.

Zakah, is not just a charitable act but a mandatory obligation for those who meet the necessary criteria. It is a means to redistribute wealth in society, ensuring that the less fortunate are cared for, and serves as a reminder of the blessings Allah Almighty has bestowed upon us. Allah Almighty said:

“Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah’s blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” [Qur’an, 9:103]

Furthermore, the Qur’an warns us about the dangers of neglecting this duty of Zakah.

As many of us choose to fulfill our Zakah during Ramadan, the reward for our good deeds is multiplied.

This Ramadan, let us seize the opportunity to purify our wealth through Zakah, drawing closer to Allah and embodying the spirit of generosity and compassion that defines our Ummah.

May Allah accept our fasts, prayers, and charitable acts, and may He grant us the strength to fulfill our obligations with sincerity and devotion.

I pray, May Allah Almighty make us among those who give charity joyfully, plentifully and freely such that our left hand does not know about what our right hand spends. Indeed, Allah is All Hearing, Answering.

I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our Prophet as our Lord commanded:

“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” Qur’an, 33:56]

Ya Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.

Ya Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.

Ya Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.

Ya Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge.

Ya Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good.

Dear servants of Allah! Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.

Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favours – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.

And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of: Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah Mosque; and Late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene Mosque, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: [email protected]; or +2348038289761.

This Friday sermon (Jumu’ah Khutbah) was prepared for delivery today Friday, 12 Ramadan, 1445 AH (March 22, 2024).

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