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What does Zakat, Misaak, Polytheism mean?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Brother Burhan,

Salaam Aleikum,

Please clear me the doubts of following questions ,

1. What is the Polytheism ?

2. What is the Fitrah / Zakah / Haq Un Nafs ?

3. What is the Mishak?

4. Can we use Zakah as to build Mousque and Madrsa?

5 What is the actual use of Zakah and to whome should we supposed to give Zakah.

Because in my sact when we dare to ask for using the Zakah. They Aamil reply is that they are building Mousques/Madrsa's and Community development program. is this right to use Zakah in above matter.

May Allah give you and your family good health and prosperous life.

Please pray for me and my surroundings.

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

ANSWER:

 

What does Zakat, Misaak, Polytheism mean?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your comment: What is the Polytheism ?

Polytheism is basically the belief, invocation and worship of more than one God. It is the exact opposite of the Islamic concept of Monotheism, or the worship of Only One God. Polytheism is what is described as shirk in the Holy Quran, and Monotheism is what is described as Tawheed.

Shirk or associating another in God-head with Allah, has three main parts:

Shirk in Allahs person

Shirk in Allahs Attributes

Shirk in Allahs Rights

 

Shirk in Allahs person: This would be if one were to claim that Allah has a son, or has a mother, father, brothers, sisters, family, children; or to claim that someone or something originated Allah! This is committing shirk in Allahs person.

 

Shirk in Allahs Attributes: Allah has declared 99 of His attributes in the Glorious Quran, and Allah Alone knows how many more there are. For example, Allah is the Al Aleem (The All Knowing). He Alone is the All Knowing, of the seen and the unseen! If we believe anybody else of His creation knows everything, or even has the power to know everything, then we have wrongfully elevated someone to the position of Allahs Attributes, and this is a clear form of shirk.

 

Similarly, Allah is the As Samee (The All Hearing). He Alone is the All Hearing We humans can only hear upto certain decibels; below that limit we cannot hear, and above that limit is unbearable! Allah Alone hears everything If we believe anybody else of His creation hears everything, or even has the power to hear everything, then we have wrongfully elevated someone to the position of Allahs Attributes, and this is again shirk.

 

Similarly, Allah is the Al Qader (The One who is Able to do all things). He Alone has the Power to do anything and everything! If we believe that anybody of His creation can do whatever they want, even when Allah does not permit him, this is shirk! Everything that happens in this world, needs Allahs permission only when He permits, can a thing happen. To believe that somebody can hurt us, or harm us, without the permission of Allah, is a clear form of Shirk.

 

Shirk in Allahs Rights: The biggest Right of Allah is that being our Creator and our Sustainer, He Alone deserves our invocation and our worship. This is absolutely the biggest Right of Allah. No one deserves that we bow down to him and pray to him or call on him to answer our prayers This is the Sole Right of Allah Alone. If anyone goes to anybody, any person, any idol, any grave, any shrine, anything and asks them to fulfill our prayers, or even to tell them to take our Message to Allah, this is an absolute form of Shirk! Allah Alone deserves that we pray to Him, call on Him, serve Him, sacrifice for Him, fear Him, obey His laws, follow His appointed Messengers, and obey and follow the commandments of His Revealed Book! If we do any of the above for anybody else other than Allah, then it is Shirk.

 

And this Shirk, is the absolute single biggest sin in Islam, which Allah has Himself promised in the Holy Quran never to forgive!


 

Allah says in the Holy Quran: Chapter 4 Surah An-Nisa Verse 48: Shirk (associating other deities with Allah) is the only sin that Allah does not forgive, and He forgives, whomsoever He pleases, sins other than this. For whosoever associates any other partner with Allah, does indeed forge a big lie and commits the most heinous sin.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 72: Whoever commits shirk (invoking anything with Allah), Allah shall forbid for him Paradise, and Hell shall be his abode. And for such wrong doers there will be no one to help.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verse 65-66: If you commit shirk all your works will be rendered vain and you will be among the losers. Therefore, you should worship Allah Alone, and be among His grateful servants.

Your comment: What is the Fitrah?

 

I am going to assume, you are asking about the tax form of Fitrah, because it can have a few meanings depending on the context.

After the fasts of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded the believers to pay a form of charity and gave two reasons for it:

The poor will be able to celebrate the Eid with the other believers.

If there are any mistakes or discrepancies (not the missed fasts) in ones fasts of Ramadan, this charity will rectify those mistakes.

 

The amount of Zakat ul Fitr was fixed by the Messenger of Allah (saws) to a weight of 1-saa of dates or barley, which translates to about 2.25 kgms or its equivalent in your currency. The Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded the believers to pay this charity for every individual, wives, children, and even the servants of the household. This charity must be paid before the Eid prayers, and is due only once a year.

 

Your comment: What is Zakaah?

Zakat is a due payable to Allah whereby He purifies the rest of the money ... this is basically a poor-tax. "Zakka" literally means to purify and by paying the zakat, Allah actually blesses and purifies the money that is left with us.

 

The Quran does not specify the actual percentage to be paid. The Prophet (saws) gave the details of the percentage of the Zakat to be paid. For example, the farmer is to pay 10% of the produce if the land is naturally irrigated by rain. But the farmer has to pay only 5% if the land is irrigated by other means of wells, rivers, tributaries, etc. There is different percentage for various things, but the standard rate of zakah, and this is undisputed in any faction of Islam, is 2.5%. This 2.5% zakat is to be paid on the net worth of an individual after that amount has been with you for one full year. The property that you live in, the car that you drive, the jewelry that your wife wears (1-set), and anything else that is in use does not have zakat obligatory on it. Zakat is due only on the extra wealth that one has accumulated, minus the debts.

 

During the time of the Prophet (saws) this amount used to be collected by the Prophet (saws) and kept in the national treasury (bait-ul-maal), and distributed to the poor and needy and for the general welfare of the muslims. There was a system of transparency in the distribution of zakat money, so much so, that anybody was allowed to ask the authorities where the money was being spent. Years later, after the death of the Prophet (saws), the unscrupulous leaders collected the zakat and spent/distributed it accordinglto their whims and fancies, without any transparency, which is unfortunately also prevalent today in many sects of Islam. The best way to distribute zakat today, if indeed ones intention is to purify his wealth and earn the pleasure of Allah, is to do it individually, according to the directions of the Holy Quran. The way to distribute Zakat is given in Surah Taubah verse 60 among others:

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 60: Zakat Collections are for the needy, and the indigent, and for those who are employed to collect them, and for those whose hearts are to be won over, and for the ransoming of slaves, and for helping the debtors, and the way of Allah, and for the hospitality of the way-farers.

 

In other aayats of the Holy Quran, it mentions that zakat money can also be paid to near family members who are poor, the orphans, etc. Actually, Zakat can be spent in any thing which classifies as the Way of Allah as long as the sole intention is to pay the Zakat and purify your wealth and thus gain the pleasure of Allah Subhanah. The only place you cannot spend Zakat money is to build a mosque, which has to be built with non-zakat and purified money.

 

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said in an authentic narration regarding zakaah money: It will be taken from the muslims whom Allah has blessed from His Bounty, and distributed amongst the poor muslims of society.

 

Your comment: What is Haqq un Nafs?

The biggest haqq or Right of the nafs or soul, is that one should control his nafs from the sins of shirk, kufr, and hypocrisy; thus enabling oneself from saving itself from the fire of Hell.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 79 verses 34-41: Then, when the Great Disaster (Day of Judgement) befalls! The Day when man shall remember whatever he had striven for. And Hell shall be laid open for everyone to see. Then the one who had rebelled and preferred the life of this world, Hell shall be his home. As for him, who had feared to stand before his Lord, and restrained his nafs from evil desires, Paradise shall be his home!

 

You might perchance be referring to Haqq un Nafs tax which is charged by the Bohra leadership on the death of a believer. Please note that there is absolutely no basis or evidence for this kind of tax on the death of anybody. Neither does the Quran mention this, nor did the Messenger of Allah (saws) ever claim this tax on anybody, thus it is not a part of the deen of Islam. This is probably one more of those scams to swindle more money from the unsuspecting followings of the sect.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verses 34-35: O you who believe! There are indeed many among the priests and the holy men who devour the wealth of others by evil means, and debar the people from the Way of Allah. Give them the good news of a painful torment, who hoard up gold and silver and do not expend these in the Way of Allah. The Day shall surely come when the same gold and silver shall be heated in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their bodies and their backs. (And it will be said): Here is that treasure you had hoarded up for yourselves! Taste now the evil of your hoarded treasure!

 

Your comment: What is Meethak?

Meethak or Bayt basically means giving allegiance to someone for something. The literal meaning would be a fast and binding promise. In Islam, it means giving allegiance to our leader that we will obey him, as long as he obeys Allah and His Messenger (saws).

 

When we say, Ash hado an laa ilaaha illallaah, wa ash hado anna Mohamed an Rasul-lillaah (We bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Mohamed (saws) is the Messenger of Allah, we form a Meethak or allegiance to Allah and His Messenger (saws). This is the biggest allegiance and overshadows all our other allegiances we make with anybody else.

 

But when one is born into a muslim family, he does not need to give allegiance to anybody, because he automatically is brought up as a muslim. The only people who have to give allegiance or meethak are the non-believers who convert to Islam at some point in their lives. They then have to proclaim and declare the meethak or kalima: Ash hado an laa ilaaha illallaah, wa ash hado anna Mohamed an Rasul-lillaah (We bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Mohamed (saws) is the Messenger of Allah.

 

This system was followed by the Messenger of Allah (saws) himself, and whenever a non-muslim wanted to become a muslim, he would take the allegiance.

 

But it is not the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) to take the meethak of every child at the age of puberty. And it is definitely not the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) to take the meethak everytime he used to visit the muslims or their cities! This meethak system followed by the Bohra leadership is another of their fancy rasms and nothing to do with Islam and its teachings! This meethak type of system is followed in no other sect of Islam, except the Dawoodi Bohras!

 

And if one looks at it closely, the meethak allegiance given by the common Bohras to their leaders, is nothing but one amongst the innumerable rasms or rites created by the Bohra leadership to subjugate their followers, and have absolutely no basis in the deen of Islam.

 

If one reads the Holy Quran with understanding, he will realize that our meethak or allegiance is to Allah and His Messenger (saws): That we will invoke none other than Allah Alone for all our needs in this world and in the hereafter, and that we believe and follow the guidance, teachings and Sunnah of Mohamed Rasool Allah (saws).

 

Your comment: Can we use Zakah as to build Mosque and Madrsa?

Zakah money can be used to build and run a Madrasa, or Islamic school, but Zakah money cannot be used to build a mosque. All money to build the mosques must be pure and legally earned, and the zakaah must have been paid on this wealth.

 

Your Comment: Because in my sect when we dare to ask for using the Zakah. They Aamil reply is that they are building Mosques/Madrsa's and Community development program. is this right to use Zakah in above matter.

Allah has clearly described what the Zakaah collections can be used for in the Holy Quran.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 60: Zakat Collections are for the needy, and the indigent, and for those who are employed to collect them, and for those whose hearts are to be won over, and for the ransoming of slaves, and for helping the debtors, and the way of Allah, and for the hospitality of the way-farers.

 

The Messenger of Allah (saws) forbade the usage of zakaah money for building mosques. If indeed the leadership is using zakaah money to build madrasas and for Community development programs, it is legal in Islam. But the system of zakah collection and distribution must be extremely transparent, and anybody and everybody must have a right to see what is being done with that money. This was the practice at the time of the Messenger of Allah (saws). Anyways, Allah is enough as an Accounter, and anyone who mis-uses this public money will be severely accountable to Allah on the Day of Judgment.

 

And Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

 

May Allah guide you and us to read and understand the simple and plain words of the Glorious Quran. May Allah increase our knowledge from the Holy Quran. May Allah guide us to the Siraat al Mustaqeem.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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