Investing for the Rewards of Jannat 31st May, 2015
How many of us have put aside a little bit of money or other resources and invested them in shares, properties, a business or a venture in the hope of receiving a healthy return in the future? How many of us have considered investing in our Hereafter and reaping the eternal rewards it offers? One of the ways we can do so is by fulfilling the fourth Pillar of Islam: Zakat (to purify). Zakat is an obligation, commanded by Allah, for every able man and woman of sufficient means to pay 2.5% of their wealth to the poor and the needy every year; it could be in the form of goods or money.
Why has Allah made this compulsory for every Muslim? Zakat fulfils two purposes at the same time. It allows us to show Allah that we are in complete submission to His commands and can freely share with others the many Bounties and Blessings that Allah has given us, therefore purifying our hearts of greed and selfishness.
At the same time, it caters for the circulation of wealth through society, flowing from the wealthy to the poor, and this diminishes the class difference as well as purifying the hearts of the receivers from envying and hating the rich and the prosperous.
In both cases, it increases the sense of unity and brotherhood in Islam, one of sharing and caring, for Allah loves those amongst us the greatest who love humans for the sake of Allah.
If an individual possesses wealth above a certain threshold known as Nisab, they are liable to pay Zakat. The approx figure for Nisab in 2014 -2015 was£218 for silver and £2540 for gold i.e. if someone had silver worth more than £218 or gold worth more than £2540, then Zakat was due on that if it had been in their possession for the whole year.
Similarly, 2.5 % of any savings in cash or kind equivalent to or more than the Nisab of silver or/and gold has to be donated as Zakat every year. There are other specific conditions - for example, someone in debt can be exempt from paying – and it is always advisable to seek advice from a Shaykh, imam or learned scholar if there is any doubt.
To calculate your Zakat, please use the Islamic Help Zakat Calculator.
For many people, the amount of their Zakat due could cause some financial hardship for the month if they have to pay it in one lump sum. So why not pay it, like some other investments, via instalments? Assess the amount of assets you have had for the last year and pay by instalments. If at the end of the instalment period you have underpaid, then you can make up the difference in the following year’s payments. Simple!
This is a very important Pillar of Islam. Where Salah is to purify our hearts from pride, Sawm helps us to control our appetite, Zakat helps us to control our greed for worldly possessions. It helps to demonstrate our love and duty to Allah in the most physical sense, by giving.
‘You can never have extended virtue and righteousness unless you spend of what you dearly love for the cause of Allah. Allah knows very well whatever you spend for His cause.’ (3:92)
Let us act now and fulfil Allah’s command, invest for a place in Jannat, and work to increase our wealth in this world by gaining Allah’s Mercy and Blessings by purifying our wealth in the form of giving Zakat.
We can all play our part in ending the suffering and grief of the poor and needy by fulfilling our duty to Allah.