ZAKAT ETERNALIZES WEALTH

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The Earth is mortal and so are its inhabitants. Just as nothing on Earth is immortal, the Earth itself is destined for nothingness, firmly locked in the hands of mortality. Even more certain is the fact that wealth, along with its accumulators, are sooner or later, bound to say farewell. Thus the Earth is merely like an inn, found on a highway that takes the traveler to the pre- planned abode. However great a person’s wealth may be, the time allocated for benefiting from it is extremely small. Human’s lust for eternity and riches are feelings, cultivated to encourage and prepare them for their ultimate abode, the afterlife; this innate lust is so powerful that even all the world’s riches would be inadequate in satiating it.

By no means does this pose a dead end for human. Investing their temporal possessions in the afterlife gives them a precious opportunity to channel this lust towards a place that is bound to offer profits of unthinkable magnitude. There are two essentials in this investment of possession: first, life and wealth are utilized in the way of God; and second, they are sacrificed when and if required. This remains the only method to endow the soul with the riches of eternity

 

and to procure magnificent rewards in the process. It is quite appropriate, at this point, to recall the Qur’anic words in the relation, “Yet if they repent and establish the salat and pay the zakat, then they shall become your brothers in religion. Thus We explain the revelations in detail for those who know” (Tawba 9:11).

During the Aqaba Pledge where the Medinan Muslims swore allegiance to the Prophet (upon whom be peace), when the Companions had inquired what was in store for them upon acceptance, the Noble Prophet responded, “Paradise!”16 Sadaqa and zakat, then, swiftly commences in this world a process of eternalizing property in preparation for the hereafter, as stressed by the Messenger (upon whom be peace): “My wealth, my wealth” cries the Children of Adam but alas O Children of Adam! Have you really any wealth except for what you have consumed, what you have worn and what you have donated as sadaqa.17 In a sense, the wealth that is spent on Earth through sadaqa and zakat evolve into prosperous assets for the afterlife.

 

Senturk, Omer Faruk. “Charity in Islam” Tughra Books Press. January 2007.