Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
31 March 2022 / 9 Ramadan 1444H
Zakat Purifies us from Miserliness
My beloved brothers and sisters in Islam,
Let us continue to strengthen our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.) by carrying out all His commands and avoiding all His prohibitions. May we be amongst His servants who receive His mercy and forgiveness in this holy month of Ramadan. Amin.
Brothers and sisters,
Islam teaches us to prioritise others over ourselves, to protect the rights of fellow human beings, and to help those in need. This is even more so the case for those who possess wealth - for it is their duty to help those in need.
Allah (s.w.t) says in surah At-Taubah, verse 103.
Which means: “Take, from their wealth, a form of charity (zakat) so that you may cleanse and purify them. And pray for them, because indeed, your prayers are a reassurance for them. And Allah is all-Hearing and all-Knowing.”
What was just recited touches on one of the pillars of Islam, which is the pillar of zakat. Zakat is the disposal of part of your wealth, when it has met certain specific conditions that have been set by the religion.
We can understand that the meaning of the word zakat is “to purify”, as mentioned in the verse that was read before. It means that the payment of zakat can cleanse and purify us from our most despicable traits, such as miserliness.
My fellow Muslims,
On the surface, zakat is a religious obligation to help the needy. However, in reality zakat nurtures mercy and compassion in ourselves and teaches us to be empathetic towards those who are less fortunate. And most importantly, it chips away at any miserly traits that we may have. In a hadith narrated by Imam At-Tirmizi, the Prophet (s.a.w) said:
"The generous person is close to Allah, close to Heaven, close to humanity, and far from Hell. While the miser is far from Allah, far from Heaven, far from humanity, and close to Hell."
Such is the danger of having a miserly nature. Miserliness can bring us close to Allah's (s.w.t.) wrath, and far from Allah's (s.w.t) Heaven and His mercy.
But my beloved brothers and sisters who are blessed by Allah, when exactly someone can be considered a miser? This is because the opposite of miserliness is for us to spend our wealth without limits or irresponsibly, and that is not a desirable trait either. A miser is when a person has been blessed with much wealth and greater ability, but he did not fulfill his responsibilities and obligations.
My brothers and sisters,
If we were to look back on the good deeds that we pursued together when Covid-19 was at its peak, I am sure that each and every one of our hearts are touched by remembering those who were tested greatly by the epidemic.
And alhamdulillah, we extended help according to our capacities. We continued to contribute without neglecting our responsibilities. And that is the lessons that we should cultivate in ourselves. We have to continue to demonstrate care and concern for the condition of our brothers and sisters.
Among the ways for us to continue to do so is to fulfill and complete our obligation of paying our zakat.
So let us fulfill our obligation to pay zakat, whether zakat fitrah; as well as zakat on property, when the haul and nisab have been met. This is because this zakat helps to take care of the welfare of the Muslim community as a whole.
And indeed, much progress has been achieved through zakat distribution. Remember that every blessing granted to us will be accounted for on the day of judgement. The same goes for the blessings of wealth given to us by Allah (s.w.t). Our wealth is intertwined with the responsibility and obligation to distribute to those who need it, either through the financial obligation of zakat, or charity.
Finally, I would like to share a prayer that was practised and taught to us by our Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w):
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وَقَهْرِ الرِّجَالِ
Which means: “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from sorrow and sadness, and I seek refuge in You from weakness and laziness, and I seek refuge in You from cowardice and miserliness, and I seek refuge in You from debt and coercion from others.”
May Allah (s.w.t) accept all our acts of worship in this holy month, and may everything we spend in the way of Allah (s.w.t) be the cause of us attaining His pleasure. Amin.
أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم
الحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.
أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ العَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتِ، الأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا البَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ البُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي القُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذكُرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ يَذْكُركُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِن فَضلِهِ يُعطِكُم، وَلَذِكرُ اللهِ أَكبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ.