The etiquette of giving zakat lies in making the intention (niyyah) before giving it to its recipients.
Piety and sincerity are also other preconditions for giving zakat, as it’s an act of worship that requires the purification of the heart in the first place.
This article will further explore the etiquette of giving zakat to its eligible recipients.
According to the majority of scholars from the 4 schools of jurisprudence, the intention of zakat is a pre-condition to performing it. That is, the Muslim should make niyyah at the time of paying zakat.
On the other hand, the Hanafis, Malikis, and Shafiis said that niyyah could be made at the time of setting the money aside to pay zakat.
It is sufficient to make the intention by heart without the need to verbalize it.
It is worth noting that without the intention of zakat, the donation would not be counted as zakat.
‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH), said:
“The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention.
So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, his emigration will be for Allah and His Messenger; and whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration would be for what he emigrated for”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Charity begins at home
Muslims believe that Allah has created all mankind from one source and that they are the descendants of Adam and Eve.
Therefore, all members of humanity belong to the same brotherhood. Also, Muslims belong to one ummah.
Abu Musa Al-Ash’arf narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:
“The believer is to the believer like parts of a building, each one of them supporting the other“(Sahih, Jami` at-Tirmidhi).
In that sense, Muslims are considered one family, and they are required to come to the assistance of one another.
Most importantly, Islam has put a great emphasis on the significance of supporting the destitute and the deprived categories of the community.
Sincerity and piety
Sincerity is a prerequisite for worship deeds and religious deeds in Islam.
That is, a Muslim must make have the intention to perform the worship deed, purify his heart, and dedicate the act of worship to pleasing Allah (SWT).
In addition, piety goes hand in hand with sincerity, as Allah the Almighty has commanded us to perform acts of worship for his sake alone.
Therefore, sincerity and piety are 2 prerequisites for the acceptance of good deeds and getting rewarded by Allah (SWT).
Moreover, Islam advises Muslims to devote all their acts to please Allah the Almighty and to make their intention toward that purpose.
Allah (SWT) says:
“Surely We have revealed the Book to you with truth; so worship Allah, making your submission exclusive for Him,” (Az-Zumar: 2).
The concept of moderation has been emphasized in Islam, and Muslims are encouraged to apply this principle in all aspects of life.
Islamic teachings urge Muslims to abide by moderation in consumption. This is because, on the one hand, human needs are various and cannot be met all at once.
On the other hand, material facilities are limited, and therefore, excessive consumption can lead to the exclusion of others.
In terms of performing zakat, paying money for the sake of Allah (SWT) must be conducted moderately.
In this context, Allah the Almighty says:
“ And do not make your hand to be shackled to your neck nor stretch it forth to the utmost [limit] of its stretching forth, lest you should [afterwards] sit down blamed, stripped” (Israa: 29).
Avoiding hurting people
Muslims are discouraged from reminding the poor of making them a favor as this invalidates their good deed of charity.
This is because taunting the poor can hurt their feelings by making them feel ashamed of their poverty.
Allah (SWT), said in the Qura’n:
“Those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah and do not follow their charity with reminders of their generosity or hurtful words—they will get their reward from their Lord, and there will be no fear for them, nor will they grieve,” (Al-Baqarah: 264).
Additionally, Allah (SWT) encourages believers to conceal their charity and give it in secrecy.
Allah, the Almighty, says:
“To give charity publicly is good, but to give to the poor privately is better for you, and will absolve you of your sins. And Allah is All-Aware of what you do” (Al-Baqarah, 271).
Upholding the dignity and self-esteem of the poor
One of the most important objectives of zakat is upholding the dignity and self-esteem of the poor and needy in the community.
That is, zakat helps restore the dignity of the unprivileged categories of society by reducing poverty and minimizing the gap between the rich and the poor.
Zakat protects the poor from asking people for help because it ensures they will receive it in a dignified manner.
Charity must always be given from a lawful source
Whether it is zakatul Mal or zakat ul Fitr, both should be given from lawful sources. Indeed, having lawful sources of wealth is one of the pre-conditions for giving zakat.
At Bonyan Organization, we are committed to channeling your charity toward the ones who deserve them.
We make sure to develop various support programs in many areas, such as healthcare, education, and WASH, specifically tailored to cater to the needs of the refugees.
Therefore, with Bonyan, rest assured that your zakat money will be given to those most in need of it in the underprivileged refugee camps.
What are the etiquettes of giving Zakat?
The etiquette of giving zakat includes giving it with the intention of cleaning the heart and riding it from stinginess.
What is the etiquette of giving charity in Islam?
The etiquette of giving charity in Islam includes giving it in secrecy to the most in need.
What does Islam say about generosity?
Generosity is a key principle in Islam, and zakat is predicated on sharing excess wealth with the poor and needy.