Implications of misallocation of Zakat

Sakhi A Khattak

Allah Almighty (SWT) has blessed us with such a comprehensive religion, which being a complete code of life, guides us in every sphere of life, including social, political and economics. Despite these ideal teachings of Islam, the Muslim Ummah is at receiving end and has no immediate remedy for re-emergence. The list of reasons behind this catastrophe is quite large to describe, but one of them, which has severely affected our society particularly vigorous and young generation is misallocation of Zakat or in simple words, the resultant menace of “begging”. Quran has clearly mentioned beneficiaries of Zakat in surah Al-Tawbah (9:60) as “Indeed, [prescribed] charitable offerings are only [to be given] to the poor and the indigent, and to those who work on [administering] it, and to those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to [free] those in bondage, and to the debt-ridden, and for the cause of God, and to the wayfarer. [This is] an obligation from God. And God is All-knowing, All-wise.” If a person does not come under the above-mentioned categories, and asks for charity, it means he commits a sin and disobeys the commands of Allah and his messenger. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, regarded begging, which is taken as an occupation, as disgrace and said: “Some among you do not ever abandon begging. Finally, on the Day of Resurrection, that dishonourable person will meet Allah with no flesh left on his face.” (Muslim, Zakat, 103). “Whoever continues to beg people for their property in order to accumulate much property, surely asks for a piece of fire…” (Muslim, Zakat, 105). Unfortunately, due to ignorance from the teachings of Islam, both the donor and recipient are becoming the part of this evil. Donors do not probe to find the right person for his charity while the beggars enjoying it as a charming source of earning by passing the philosophy of Islam regarding taking Zakat. The emerging trend depicts that the younger generation is more likely to become a part of this profession to earn stress-free easy money rather than to work hard. It has also been observed that working class people of the society with low wages now prefer to beg rather than continuing their low category jobs, which is an alarming scenario for our country. Being a Muslim, it is our core responsibility to dispense our charity among those deprived and poor people who are in need really while discourage professional begging which is no more than laziness and manipulating philanthropic feelings of the community.
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