Saturday, July 20, 2024 | 1446 محرم 14

Those Who Don’t Pay Zakaah of their Wealth

Those Who Don’t Pay Zakaah of their Wealth
By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi
Zakaah in the Holy Qura’an:
Zakaah (The Obligatory alms) is also a pillar of Islam like Salaah, Fasting, Hajj etc. As Salaah has been mentioned at numerous places in the Glorious Qura’an, in the same way, Zakaah has been mentioned in the Holy Qura’an at several places where the Almighty Allah has commanded His rich servants to pay Zakaah of their wealth. Allah the Almighty says:
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَقْرِضُوا اللهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا﴾. (المزّمّل: 20)
(Translation) “And establish Salah, and pay Zakaah, and advance to Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you will send ahead for your own-selves, you will find it with Allah much better in condition, and much greater in reward.” (Al-Muzzammil: 20)
As mentioned in the above verse, Salaah and Zakaah have been mentioned together in this way at numerous places in the Holy Qura’an. If a person pays Zakaah of his wealth, he will earn its benefits and rewards. Those who don’t pay Zakaah of their wealth, they will have to face the punishment and the wraths as they are described in the Holy Qura’an and the Sunnan.
Benefits of Paying Zakaah:
The wealth which a person owns is given by the Almighty Allah to that person. Then the command of paying Zakaah is also from the Almighty Allah; therefore, one should pay cheerfully and happily Zakaah of his wealth. The amount of Zakaah which is obligatory on a person's wealth, he should pay it happily considering it the rights of the poor and needy people. It shouldn’t happen that the love of wealth instills in the mind of a person so much so that he feels pain in paying Zakaah. One of the purposes of paying Zakaah is also to remove the love of wealth from one's heart. He should understand that Allah who has made him the owner of this wealth, very Allah the Almighty has ordered him to pay Zakaah of the wealth to the deserving people. Furthermore, there are many religious and worldly benefits of paying Zakaah.
Some of the benefits of paying Zakaah are mentioned here. When a person pays Zakaah, Allah is pleased with him. By giving Zakaah, the owner remains safe from the calamity. The more a person spends in Zakaah, the more he will be rewarded. By paying Zakaah, one’s wealth grows and it has blessings from Allah. The wealth of which Zakaah is paid is protected from celestial calamities and other losses. A person who pays Zakaah of his wealth, his wealth will be like a shelter for him on the Day of Judgment. Those who are poor and needy in the society, their economic problems and challenges are easily solved through Zakaah. By paying Zakaah, hatred and distance amongst the rich and the poor ends and love, kindness and compassion grow amongst them. By bringing the poor and the rich close, we can establish a beautiful society where one will assist other at the time of need.
Wraths and Punishments on Not Paying Zakaah:
If a "Sahib Nisab" doesn’t pay Zakaah of his wealth, there have been many wraths and chastisements mentioned in the Holy Qura’an and Ahaadeeth against such a person. Allah the Exalted says in the Holy Quran:
﴿وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلاَ يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ. يَوْمَ يُحْمَى عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوَى بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنوبُهُمْ وَظُهُورُهُمْ هَذَا مَا كَنَزْتُمْ لأَنفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُواْ مَا كُنتُمْ تَكْنِزُونَ﴾. (التوبة: 34-35)
(Translation) “As for those who accumulate gold and silver and don’t spend it in the way of Allah, give them the good news of a painful punishment, on the day it (the wealth) will be heated up in the fire of Jahannam, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it. This is what you had accumulated for yourselves. So, taste what you have been accumulating.” (Al-Tauah: 34-35)
Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani Rahimahullah (1897-1976) has written under the commentary of the above verse: “It means that this 'painful punishment' will be for those who do not pay Zakah. It will come on a day when the gold and silver accumulated by them will be heated up in the Fire of Jahannam. Then, their foreheads, sides and backs shall be branded with it, and they shall be told, as a sort of verbal punishment, that it was what they had accumulated for themselves, and in consequence, they better have a taste of what they had accumulated. The return of a deed is the deed itself. That which was accumulated illegally or that which was accumulated legally but without having paid its Zakah ultimately became, by itself, the punishment of these people. (Ma’arif Al-Qura’an: 4/371-372)
There is a long Hadeeth in Sahih Muslim about those who don’t pay Zakaah of their wealth. It states that whoever doesn’t pay Zakaah of his treasure, his treasure will be heated in the fire of Hell and the wide plates will be made of it. Then both of his sides, his back and his forehead will be branded with it. This punishment will continue until the decision of Heaven or Hell is passed among the people. Hadeeth is mentioned here:
«مَا مِنْ صَاحِبِ كَنْزٍ لَا يُؤَدِّي زَكَاتَهُ، إِلَّا أُحْمِيَ عَلَيْهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، فَيُجْعَلُ صَفَائِحَ فَيُكْوَى بِهَا جَنْبَاهُ، وَجَبِينُهُ حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللهُ بَيْنَ عِبَادِهِ، فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ، ثُمَّ يَرَى سَبِيلَهُ، إِمَّا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِمَّا إِلَى النَّارِ». (صحیح مسلم: 987)
(Translation) “There is no owner of gold or silver who doesn’t pay what is due on them, but when the Day of Resurrection comes, there will be beaten out for him plates of fire which will be heated in the Fire of Hell, and his sides, forehead and back will be branded with them. Every time they cool down they will be reheated for him, on a day the length of which is as fifty thousand years, until judgement is passed among the people. Then he will be shown his path, either to Paradise or to Hell." (Sahih Muslim: 987)
There is a Hadith that a person who doesn’t pay Zakaah of his wealth, on the Day of Resurrection, his wealth will be brought before him in the form of a bald-headed snake and it will be encircled in his neck. Then that snake will bite the owner of the wealth and would say that it is his wealth and his treasure. The Hadith is quoted here: 
«مَنْ آتَاهُ اللَّهُ مَالًا، فَلَمْ يُؤَدِّ زَكَاتَهُ مُثِّلَ لَهُ مَالُهُ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ شُجَاعًا أَقْرَعَ لَهُ زَبِيبَتَانِ يُطَوَّقُهُ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ، ثُمَّ يَأْخُذُ بِلِهْزِمَتَيْهِ - يَعْنِي بِشِدْقَيْهِ - ثُمَّ يَقُولُ أَنَا مَالُكَ أَنَا كَنْزُكَ، ثُمَّ تَلاَ: (لَا يَحْسِبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ)» الآيَةَ (صحیح البخاري: 1403)
(Translation) "Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and doesn’t pay the Zakaah of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes (or two poisonous glands in its mouth). The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, 'I am your wealth, I am your treasure.'" Then the Prophet (SAWS) recited the Verses: "Let not those who covetously withhold.....(to the end of the Verse). (Sahih Al-Bukhari: 1403)
There is one another Hadeeth where is mentioned that Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) gave a talk addressing the women where he (SAWS) commanded the ladies to give Zakaah reasoning that the most of the ladies will enter hellfire. The Hadith goes like this:
Hazrat Zainab, the wife of Abdullah (Ibn Masud), said: "The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) delivered a sermon to us and said:
"يَا مَعْشَرَ النِّسَاءِ، تَصَدَّقْنَ وَلَوْ مِنْ حُلِيِّكُنَّ، فَإِنَّكُنَّ أَكْثَرُ أَهْلِ جَهَنَّمَ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ." (سنن الترمذي: 635)
(Translation) "O you women, give charity, even if it is from your jewellery, for indeed you will make up most of the people of Hell on the Day of Judgement." (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi: 635)
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (RA) after being elected as the first caliph, some people refused to pay Zakaah. On that occasion, emphasizing his statement with an oath, Abu Bakr (RA) said as a principle that if someone had given even a "rope" in Zakaah during the time of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS), so he will have to pay that rope even today; because Zakaah is the right of one’s wealth. If a person refuses to pay even a single "rope", Jihad will be initiated against him due to his refusal of Zakaah. These are the words of his saying:
«وَاللهِ لَأُقَاتِلَنَّ مَنْ فَرَّقَ بَيْنَ الصَّلاَةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ، فَإِنَّ الزَّكَاةَ حَقُّ المَالِ، وَاللهِ لَوْ مَنَعُونِي عِقَالًا كَانُوا يُؤَدُّونَهُ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَقَاتَلْتُهُمْ عَلَى مَنْعِهِ». (صحیح البخاري: 7284)
(Translation) "By Allah, I will fight him who discriminates between Zakaah and Salaah (prayers), for Zakaah is the compulsory right to be taken from the wealth. By Allah, if they refuse to give me even a tying rope which they used to give to Allah's Messenger (SAWS), I would fight them for withholding it." (Sahih Bukhari: 7284)
The wealth which a man owns is a great boon given by Allah Ta'ala. This boon should be spent according to Islamic guideline and instruction. While on the one hand, the Shariah has prohibited extravagant, it has also instructed to avoid stinginess on the other. In short, just as the owner of wealth has his own right in his wealth to spend, so the poor and the needy people also have a right in that wealth to a certain extent. When a man needs, he should spend from his wealth in a moderate way. He should try to pay the right (that is obligatory alms and charity) of the poor and the needy people from his wealth without any sorrow and delay on the time. It is an important point to believe that the wealth doesn’t decrease due Zakaah and charity, rather it increases.
The Prophet of Allah Muhammad (SAWS) said:
«مَا نَقَصَ مَالُ عَبْدٍ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ، وَلَا ظُلِمَ عَبْدٌ مَظْلِمَةً فَصَبَرَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا زَادَهُ اللَّهُ عِزًّا، وَلَا فَتَحَ عَبْدٌ بَابَ مَسْأَلَةٍ إِلَّا فَتَحَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ بَابَ فَقْرٍ» أَوْ كَلِمَةً نَحْوَهَا. (سنن الترمذي: 2325)
(Translation) "The slave (of Allah)’s wealth shall not be decreased by charity, no slave (of Allah) suffers injustice and is patient with it except that Allah adds to his honour; no slave (of Allah) opens up a door to begging except that Allah opens a door for him to poverty” – or a statement similar to it –. (Sunan Tirmidhi: 2325)
It is written in the commentary of the above Hadeeth: “Giving away one's wealth in charity – be it compulsory or optional – doesn’t decrease the giver's wealth since Allah declares in the Qur'an: Whatever you spend of anything (in Allah's cause), He will replace it (34:39). Thus, whatever we spend in the path of Allah, He will replace it either with worldly goods or through other unseen forms such as investing what we have with His blessing (Barakah). If a man patiently bears the wrongs and injustices done to him, Allah will increase him in the esteem of the people. Once a person unnecessarily starts begging from others, his desire or greed is never quenched, and mentally he will always remain a needy fellow and a beggar.” (English Translation of Jami Al-Tirmidhi: 4/359-360) May the Almighty Allah grant us understanding to know Islamic teachings, to abide by it and to spread it!
Note: The autor, Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi, is an alumnus of Darul Uloom Deoband and presently a senior teacher at Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa.