ZAKAT & Role of CIFAT


                          In the name of Allah, Most Gracious,

                                                 Most Merciful.

          The term ‘ZAKAT’ existing in the holy Kur-an in juxtaposition with Prayer (namaz) in as many as 80 places in different Ayats of many Surats ordinarily means “gift”.  Its inner meaning is to grow, to purify.  It is the third pillar of Islam.  “ZAKAT” is the definite portion of wealth which is given to the needy at the turn of a year.

         The holy Kur-an contains altogether 6666 Ayats in 114 Surats and the term “Zakat” appears in different Surats as tabulated hereunder amongst others.

 

Order of the Surat in sequence

Name of the Surat

Meaning of the Surat

Second

Al-Baqarah

The Heifer

Forth

An-Nissa

The Woman

Fifth

Al-Maida

The Table Spread

Ninth

At-Tauba

Repentance

Twenty-Second

Al-Hajj

The Pilgrimage

Twenty-Third

Al-Muminun

The Believers

Twenty-Forth

An-Nur

Light

Twenty-Seventh

An-Namal

The Ants

Thirtieth

Ar-Rum

The Romans

Thirty-First

Lukman

Wise

Thirty-Third

Al-Ahzab

The Confederates

Forty-First

Ha-Mim/Ha-Mim-Sajda/Fussilat

Importance

Fifty-Eighth

Al-Mujadila

The Woman who pleads

Seventy-Third

Al-Muzzammil

Folded in garments

Ninety-Eighth

Al-Baiyena

The Clear Evidence

        

             The Kur-an is a complete code of conduct for each and every individuals on earth since birth to death.  It postulates and formulates the rights and duties of every human being, his behavioural attitude to others and the role of the Rulers.  Certain things in Islam are made compulsory and mandatory called “Farz”.  ‘ZAKAT” is one of them.  Explanation in detail on the significance of “ZAKAT” existing in different Ayats of Surats, as mentioned hereinbefore is a herculean task. Only a few English translations are recorded herein to give notional idea.


Likewise Namaz (Prayer) and Ramadan which are corporeal compulsory Ebadad, Zakat is also compulsory financial Ebadad on the assets and on the yearly income of every individual in excess of requirement for minimum subsistence.  Non-payment of ZAKAT will lead us to dreadful consequences after death.  In Islamic countries ZAKAT is a source of revenue and collected in the manner as like Income Tax in our country. 


CIFAT is the abbreviated name of Central Islamic Financial Assistance Trust.
         CIFAT is a Trust formed by God fearing muslims comprising renowned Muftis, Moulanas, Hazis and others. It is aided and assisted by advisory committee and life- members. Moto of members connected with CIFAT is to motivate people to contribute to “Zakat Fund” managed and controlled by CIFAT and to distribute the same to the needy people. Two centres to impart training on sewing and tailoring to the poor woman are run under the aegis of CIFAT in order to clutch them out of the professions these women are subjected to choose, for their livelihood, though such professions are not only derogatory to their dignity but immoral also.  CIFAT gets its guidance from Muktangan Welfare Society, a dedicated organisation for people’s cause.  


Qur-an is the actual word of Allah: not created but revealed for the benefit of all mankind. 


We the muslims, the followers of Prophet Muhammad have been commanded in Ayat 5 of Sura-Baiyena  as follows:

“To worship Allah,
Offering Him sincere devotion,
Being true (in faith);
To establish regular Prayer;
And to give Zakat;
And that is the religion
Right and straight”

         We follow the sermons of religion to satisfy Allah, following the path shown by the Prophet.  The doctrines of Islamic religion make us righteous.  The God promises to give rewards for just, virtuous and Godly works.  Ayat-8 of Surat- Fussilat declares;

“For those who believe
And work deeds of Righteousness
Is a reward that will
Never fail.”

         In Ayat 20, Surat –Muzzammil proclamation of Allah’s reward is reiterated.  It speaks:

“And loan to Allah
A beautiful loan.
And whatever good
Ye send forth
For yourselves,
Ye shall find it
With Allah.
Yea, better and
Greater in return,
And seek ye the Grace
Of Allah: for Allah is
Oft-forgiving, most merciful”.

In Ayat 39, Surat Ar-Rum it is again said:

“But what which you give
For charity, seeking
The countenance of Allah,
(Will increase): it is those
Who will get
A  recompense multiplied.”

Some of the righteous deeds and righteous people have been illustrated in Ayat 177, Surat-Baqarah which says;

“But it is the righteousness
To believe in Allah
And the last Day
And the Angels
And the Book
And the Messengers;
To spend of your substance,
Out of love for Him,
For the kin,
For orphans,
For the needy,
For the wayfarer,
For those who ask,
And for the ransom of slaves;
To be steadfast in Prayer
And give zakat,
To fulfil the contacts
Which Ye have made ;
And to be firm and patient,
In pain(or sufferings)
And adversity,
And throughout
All periods of panic,
Such are the people
Of Truth, the God –fearing.”

We must admit "To Allah belongs what is in the heavens and what is on earth. " 2:284 (Baqarah).

The Heavens, The Earth and the Mountains are the others creatures of Allah besides man. "Allah offered the Trust to other creatures, but they refused, lest they should betray it, being afraid from that point of view : but man was less fair to himself : in his ignorance he accepted and betrayed the Trust, with the result that some of his race became Hypocrites and Unbelievers and were punished though others were faithful to the Trust and received Allah's Mercy " 33:72 (Ahzab).
Allah has bestowed His gifts of sustenance more freely on some of you than on others. 16:71(Al-Nahl). He reminds us side by side - Whatever is given we are to spend in the way desired by Allah. Man as trustee should admit the sovereignty of Allah in course of uses of wealth. We should use the wealth we need ; any superfluities we must spend in good works or in charity. Hoarding is of no use either to ourselves, or to anyone else. Allah's directive is to spend what is beyond our need : 2:219 (Baqarah).
Charity is time bound. Zakat is paid annually - One Ramadan to next Ramadan. Accordingly, it is directed, "And discharge the rights (of the stake holders) on the day of harvesting. 6:141(Al-Anan).

As per the Holy Kuran, the following have the rights over the Zakat. The commands of 2:177 have been reiterated;

"Verily Charity is only for
The Mendicants
And its Administrator
And to foster love in hearts (of people)
And (to pay of the debts of ) the debtors
And (spending) in the part of Allah
Lo ! Allah is the knower, the wise " 9:60 (At-Tauba).

Constitution of every country of the world including that of India provides that operation of economic activities of all countries should be so regulated so as to avoid concentration of wealth in the few hands. Likewise, Zakat has been dictated for the society as whole so that the wealth does not circulate only with the rich amongst us. 59:7 (Al-Hashr).

Namaz is for all and Zakat is Sahib-e-Nishab ie. for financially sound persons. Allah warns those who are reluctant to discharge the dictum proclaiming,  

"And to those who hoard gold or silver
And do not spend it in the path of Allah
Give them the news
Of a punishment most painful". 9:34 (At-Tauba).
It is warned again,
"The Day when the fire of Hell
Shall be flared up,
And with it shall be marked
Their foreheads and their arms and their backs.
This is what you hoarded for your own souls
So taste ye the taste of what you hoarded."  9:35 (At-Tauba).

It goes without saying that all our Ebadats aim at satisfying God for having reward after death.  We are enchanted to obey all other directives of Islam save and except ZAKAT thought to be the most essential and fundamental, a debt payable to God.  We are already late.  We are going on thinking throughout all time.  The death knell is knocking at the door to take all of us to Hereafter.  The burial ground is waiting for us. The people living in wretched condition are yelling and staring at mutely, with their expectant eyes to get something from people like us who are fortunate and creamy layer of the society, who are living in plenty with their wealth but have forgotten to repay their debt to Allah in form of Zakat apart from paying Sadquah, Donation and Oshar. ZAKAT gives us return with multiplied proportion. 
We claim ourselves as Muslim, the Ummats of the latest Prophet Muhammad. Hence, it is needless to mention that we believe in Qur-an and in the  existence of God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds.  We should avoid extravagant display, establish regular Prayer, gives ZAKAT and obey Allah and his Messenger.  We should not tread the path forbidden by Allah to avoid Allah’s wrath.

Now time has come for introspection and action.  We should rise to the occasion.  We must perform or perish.  CIFAT takes the venture to collect Zakat and other contributions and to distribute the same to the eligible persons according to the directions of Qur-an.  It strives to establish trust through excellence.  Since its inception in 2007  it has distributed a sum of Rs. 21,85,040/- amongst 375 persons to purchase cycle –vans, tailoring machines, mulching cows, goats ; to promote small businesses, education ; to heal the critical diseases and the like. The data are sufficient to visualise the nature and magnitude of the work undertaken by CIFAT. The summarised past performance helps like-minded people get a notional idea at a glance about  our activities.  CIFAT will continue in its endeavours and efforts to achieve, even to the minimum extent, the aims and objectives of Qur-an for the betterment of the plight conditions of the muslim community who contribute about 78% of the child labourer in India, as per position prevailing on date.  We are determined and committed to our vision and we are sure to reach our destination. 


We do firmly believe that rationale in all human beings is now ripened.  Our duty is to stir and ignite it.  It is our duty to motivate people in this task continuously and constantly. Islam does not support any short of aberration from the principles laid down in Qur-an. Amount of ZAKAT payable should always be on the exact and proper assessment of yearly income and assets. We have no hesitation to admit that whatever we contribute to ZAKAT is not based on correct calculations.  But for Godshake, we have already started with wrong calculations to pay ZAKAT along with other contributions like Donation, Oshar and Sadquah on the axiomatic belief that practice will make us perfect. CIFAT can change the existing lifestyle and social pattern to great extent if ZAKAT and other contributions are collected and properly distributed.


Education is, no doubt, necessary to bring about socio-economic condition of the people, but the paramount importance of the present day is not the education only but the righteousness, the righteous and responsible men having broad heart and sincere feeling for the others in the light of Allah’s directions.


We have many things but still we feel we have nothing.  Our Constitution ensures to all citizens Justice – social, economic and political ; Equality- of status and opportunity; Liberty- of thought and expression and promotes Fraternity- assuring dignity of  the individual and the unity and the integrity of the Nation. Our Constitution envisions to establish an egalitarian social order rendering to every citizen social, economic and political justice. Fundamental rights in the Constitution guarantee freedom of religion and outlaw all sorts of discriminations based on caste, creed and community.   All attempts taken by Govt. to uplift the downtrodden muslims by way of bringing some economically and socially weaker section on selected basis in the OBC category and providing them other ancillary benefits are yet thought to be insufficient. In spite of having all such facilities and privileges for economic development, we, the Muslims are engrossed in poverty. 

 
Unlike other religion, mandatory provisions to pay ZAKAT attach special features to Islam to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood.  The concept of payment of ZAKAT individually, is contrary to and inconsistent with the Islamic rules as the recipient feels allegiance to the donor.  It should be paid through ZAMAT to the persons categorised in the Ayat 60 of Surat At-Tuba.  The principle of ZAKAT is to eradicate poverty and discourage the concept of begging.  Needy persons are entitled to ZAKAT as a matter of right and it is our duty to identify eligible persons in the society and to dignify them on payment of ZAKAT, the debt we owe to Allah.  The purpose of payment of ZAKAT is to make the recipient self-dependent and self-reliant and to bring about socio-economic revolution in the light of Allah’s mandate. The very purpose will be totally frustrated if the principle of distribution laid down in Quran and Hadiths, are not properly followed.  It is only organization like CIFAT which can shoulder this gigantic task.  Our duty is not to substitute the Govt’s role but to supplement it to bring equilibrium in the society in collaboration with several benevolent plans and programmes undertaken by Government and other Islamic Organisations.


We express our gratitude to Muktangan Welfare Society for its relentless assistance and hope for unfettered, active and spontenous help from all concerned to make our mission a great success. May God bless us to be dedicated citizens and committed Muslims.

Dated :  Barasat                                                     Composed & Published 
The 20th day of July, 2015                                   By and on behalf of CIFAT
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