Literally the word Zakat means to purify, and according to the terminology
of Al-Quran and the hadith, it is that money, wealth, which is deposited in
the "Bait-ul-Maal" of the Islamic state, every year, or at the time of
ripening of the crop, according to a specific tariff. Zakat is paid as it
is a divine command, and the command of Allah is carried only to win His
pleasure and favor.
The wealth allocated for the Bait-ul-Maal is called as Zakat, since its
paying makes the goods and wealth purified and holy.
Zakat is the third commandment of Islam. It has been excessively mentioned
in the Holy Quran in conjunction with salat. If infidels claim to be
Muslims and start offering salat, the war will continue against them,
unless and until they agree to pay Zakat.
According to the command of Allah in Surah Taubah:
And, when the limit for peace or truce has expired and even the sacred
months have passed; then slay the infidels wherever you find them. Capture
them and besiege them; and ambush them at every opportune moment. And, Lo!
If they repent from blasphemy, establish salat, and offer Zakat; then get
aside from their way. (Do not be at war with them). Indeed Allah is the most
Merciful, and the most Beneficent.
(Surah: Taubah, Verse: 5)
It is only after having paid the Zakat that one enjoys the fruits of Muslim
brotherhood in an Islamic society.
Any one, who refuses to pay Zakat, cannot acquire the status of a religious
brother (Deeni Brother)
Allah declares again in Surah Taubah:
(These infidels) express no consideration (regarding) Muslims neither to
their relationship, nor their accord or promise; and it is they who have
crossed (all the limits of justice and fairness) (O! The believers) if they
seek penitence; establish salat and offer Zakat, then they are your
brethren in Islam; (then do not offer any resistance to them); for those who
know and understand, We are giving a detailed account of Our commands (So
that there is no problem in grasping and understanding them)
(Surah: Taubah, Verse: 10,11)
It is clearly established from the quoted verses that reciting of Kalimah
and offering of salat alone is not enough as a surety for protection
against one's life, property and the cherished status of a brother in an
Islamic society. For enjoying an amicable and dignified place and position
for a Muslim, it is must and obligatory to pay Zakat.
In Islam, "Iman" is linked to faith (Belief), the salat to body, and the
Zakat to wealth. Zakat provides the very basis for the economic and
political system of Islam. The wealth accumulated through the system of
Zakat is utilized for the preparations of armaments and the equipments for
the war. It is the Zakat, which provides the support and strength to the
economic system of the Muslims.
So, Zakat is not only a solid source and platform for establishing a firm
Islamic state, but also a practical demonstration of justice, sympathy and