Zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam, is a bridge of brotherhood between Muslims. It is one of the most beautiful manifestations of solidarity and sharing. Zakat is an act of worship that leads individuals to welfare and society to prosperity. It is the manifestation of our submission to Allah the Almighty (swt) and our sincerity towards our brothers and sisters.
Zakat implies being mentioned in the supplication of a person in distress, as well as being the source of joy for iftar for a person in need. It is to be a remedy and comfort for a broken and grieving heart. It is to be the hand of compassion that caresses an orphan’s head, to have a contribution to an oppressed person’s food.
Zakat is the sharing of a certain portion of one’s wealth with those in need by a believer who is considered wealthy in religious terms. In fact, a believer, bygiving zakat, delivers to their brothers and sisters in need their rightful share. Our Lord Almighty (swt) states in the Holy Qur’an as follows about His pious servants: “And in their wealth there was a rightful share fulfilled for the beggar and the poor.”[i]
Our Almighty Lord (swt) states in the Holy Qur’an, our guide for life, as follows: “And whatever you spend in charity, He will compensate you for it. For He is the Best Provider.”[ii] This verse teaches us that zakat never causes the wealth to shrink, but rather makes it abundant and turns it into sustenance for the Hereafter. It liberates people from being enslaved by the world and leads them to true freedom.
Zakat is the assurance of social peace. This unique act of worship reinforces our unity and solidarity and strengthens our brotherhood. It purifies us from bad habits such as stinginess and worldliness. It cleanses believers from sins and enables them to attain the pleasure and forgiveness of their Lord. Our Prophet (saw) tells us about this virtue of zakat as follows: “Charity extinguishes bad deeds just as water extinguishes fire.”[iii]
[i] Dhariyat, 51/19.
[ii] Saba, 34/39.
[iii] Tirmidhi, Jumu’ah, 79.
FRIDAY KHUTBA of TOKYO CAMII April 7, 2023 ZAKAT: A BRIDGE OF SOLIDARITY IN ISLAM