Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam which means poor due. Zakat is something which Muslims give to the poor and needy for the sake of Allah. Zakat is very important for the Muslims and their society.
Zakat is obligatory to give for those who can afford to give it. Zakat helps poor to cope with their financial pressures in a positive way without going towards any negative means of earning money.
Zakat means purity and cleanliness. It is also called as poor tax or poor due. Zakat cleans our soul from greed of money and cleans our money as well thus, it means cleanliness. Hence, by giving zakat, we clean our soul and money.
Zakat became obligatory after the event of migration of Hazrat Muhammad (SAWW) from Makkah to Madina.
There is clear mention of masaarif-e-zakat in the Holy Quran by which we can understand that to whom we can give zakat. The following verse of the Holy Quran tells us about masaarif-e-zakat;
“Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller - an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Surah Tawbah, Verse: 60)
Following points show the importance of Zakat;
In Quran, there is mention of Zakat which shows its importance.
Those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayer and pay poor due will have their reward with their Lord..” (Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse:277)
“These are verses of the Book full of Wisdom, a guide and mercy to the doers of good, those who establish prayer and pay poor due and they have faith in the Hereafter with certainty.” (Surah Luqman, Verses:2-4)
Also, the significance of Zakat can be known by the fact that it has been mentioned in Hadith.
Hazrat Ibn Abbas reported that Abu Sufyan told him the hadith of Hazrat Muhammad (SAWW) that the “Holy Prophet (SAWW) commanded the Muslims to establish prayer, to pay poor due, to keep good relations with relatives, and to be chaste.”
There is great importance of Zakat for the Muslims because Zakat removes the greed of money from the hearts of Muslims and thus, purify their souls and hearts. Moreover, giving zakat also produces barkat in our money and giving zakat doesn’t lessen our money.
Another reason of why Zakat is important is that it creates harmony and increases social capital in the society. When the rich help the poor financially, a good relationship establishes between people of the society. Thus, Zakat establishes good social relationships which saves the society from the conflicts on financial resources.
Zakat is important because by zakat, the wealth in any society is distributed and thus, it saves the society from the evil of accumulation of money in few hands. Due to distribution of wealth by zakat, everyone in society remains satisfied from his/her financial conditions and thus, felicity of everyone is the outcome.