Human has been created as a candidate for eternal pleasure, a fact attested to by his eternal desires. When human lacks the transcendental dimension of eternity, all his engrained desires become augmented here on Earth alone, causing an exaggerated terrestrial bond. The Prophet of God expands this aspect in the following words:
If the Children of Adam possessed a valley of gold, they would desire a second (valley of gold). Only soil will quench their greed (i.e their greed will only cease when they are dead and subsequently buried).26
As the Children of Adam grows, two characteristics concomitantly grow with them: the love of riches and endless desires.27
The existence of love, in human, for the world and attachment to it as well as his endless desires are for the cultivation of the world. If a delicate balance is not established, however, the outcome is either excessive or recessive, vis-à-vis, an insatiable love for the world or a complete abandoning of it. In actual fact, Islam condones neither of these perceptions, promulgating the establishment of that perfect balance between the two. Undoubtedly, zakat is a major catalyst in procuring ideal moderation in terms of keeping wealth versus sharing it—and between the rich and the poor. Thus, it is an ultimate reminder of the hereafter for human, in whom the seeds of worldly love and never-ending desires perennially exist, though through zakat, we grow in accordance with the divine will, incessantly facing the eternal abode with the unshakeable belief in the receipt of an enormous reward for even the most trivial deeds. This can be deemed, in a sense, to allow transcending the shallow walls erected by worldliness, and submitting to the boundless domain of spirituality. Zakat reiterates the utter impossibility of an eternal life on earth, ameliorating the feelings of separation by virtue of preparing the person for an inescapable resurrection and thus encouraging us towards the afterlife. And this is, by no means, a small gain for human. For many concealed purposes, the Almighty has rendered earth and its contents alluring, but at the same time, desires humankind to comprehend the test and take heed accordingly:
Made beautiful for humankind is the love of desires, for women and offspring, of hoarded treasures of gold and silver, of branded horses, cattle and plantations. These are the comforts of this life; yet with God is the best of all goals. (Al Imran 3:14)
The above-mentioned verse delineates the aspects of human’s innate inclination but in
addition, displays the correct approach to be adopted. The potentially destructive intrinsic feelings of worldly love and endless desires are powerfully hindered by the acceptance of others’ rights in property and the acknowledgement of God, the Ultimate Possessor of property and riches, through zakat. Otherwise, the iniquities of greed and avarice lead to an elusive quest for luxury that further opens the door to what is called “the waste economy.” As expected, illegitimate methods may also be resorted to in this senseless hunt for riches. It is these destructive contingencies that zakat combats and successfully eradicates.
Senturk, Omer Faruk. “Charity in Islam” Tughra Books Press. January 2007.
- December 14, 2013
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