Zakat is a major instrument in attracting the mercy of God, as those who achieve His eternal compassion are, justifiably, those who observe divine commands. Nurturing compassion for others through taking care of their needs is, no doubt, a means to attaining that limitless treasure—Celestial Mercy. The Noble Prophet (upon whom be peace) has highlighted this fact: “God treats with compassion those who treat each other with compassion. For that reason, have mercy on the earthly, so the Heavenly has mercy on you.”5 The Qur’an reinstates the mercy attracting aspect of zakat:
My mercy embraces all things; therefore I shall ordain it for those who ward off (evil) and pay the zakat, and those who believe in Our signs (revelations).” (A’raf 7:156)
Establish the prayer and pay the zakat and obey the Messenger, that perhaps you may find mercy. (Nur 24:56)
The Noble Messenger has further illustrated how charitable acts are virtually a magnet for the mercy of God: “Whoever has gathered, within himself, these four attributes will be immersed in
God’s mercy and granted Paradise: Protecting the poor, assisting the weak, kindness towards the slave and charitable towards the parents.”6 It should be stressed that all these praiseworthy acts entail, more or less, a degree of finance.
Zakat also acts as a shield, vigorously protecting the giver against numerous pitfalls of the soul; in such a way, it is another manifestation of Divine Compassion. However, if zakat ceases to be observed, the benefits may well be withdrawn, as pointed out by the Prophet: “The Celestial gates of compassion will shut on those who disregard zakat, depriving them of rain. Surely, if it weren’t for the roaming beasts, they would receive none of it (rain).”7
The truth is that zakat is a strong means, now and the Hereafter, of procuring the boundless compassion of God. Wherever zakat is observed, animals also obtain a share in this divine feast of mercy; and in places where the observance of zakat has fallen, animals remain the only reason for the provision of rain, as the inhabitants have ignorantly slammed shut the gates of mercy by their disregard of the obligation of zakat.
Senturk, Omer Faruk. “Charity in Islam” Tughra Books Press. January 2007.
- December 14, 2013
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