It was narrated that Ibn’ Abbaas said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘If I have ever given a share of it to anyone, then someone comes to me with a need, let him take precedence over one who is older than him, then let the one who is older than him come before those who are younger. Let them accept it.’ Then he went on to say something similar.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2930).
“One should be very careful when giving out Zakat.” We all know this wisdom, but why? The following benefits explain why. Firstly, Allah has blessed us with wealth, which we know is a blessing, and we cannot deny that. If we were to give out Zakat (obligatory charity) on all our wealth, it would be returned in another form. The more you spend on others; the more Allah will increase what you have.
You only give out a little of your wealth to others, Allah will increase that little. This is shown in the Holy Quran, where Allah says, “Whoever gives away wealth from his wealth, it is for himself.” 4:5
Zakat is not like other charities where people expect something in return, such as food, shelter, etc. In addition, it has many benefits: “Allah gives many benefits” Some of them are mentioned below: As well as rewarding good deeds tremendously, one can get rewards for future actions depending on how much they give! Also, giving out Zakat purifies the heart from greed. Of course, this isn’t always true, but it can help a person become a better Muslim.
If they give it, then that must mean they need every penny of their wealth, and if they don’t provide it, they can’t afford whatever it is! It also saves a Muslim from being embarrassed when poor people around him. Someone walks in looking all smart, wearing nice clothes and having lots of money. A Muslim may feel embarrassed about his dress or contribute to the people present. In this case, Zakat would be given away to show Allah you love Him more than anything else, even though you may not be as successful as others.
Secondly, Zakat must be paid to those who need it and not those we think we should help; giving to those in need is part of charity and Zakat. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Charity is only valid if the people to whom it is given are described as ‘needy’.” (Narrated by Muslim). It has been narrated by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “One should not give charity to the rich, rather one should only give charity to the poor.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2495).
Thirdly, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever gives charity equal in weight to a date from good [halal] earnings – for Allah does not accept anything but that which is good – Allah transforms his good deeds into building palaces of light in Paradise.” ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Zakat is not permissible for any Muslim who owns an amount of gold on which Zakat is due, but he does not pay it. It is taken from him as a sin; then the gold will be made into dust scattered by the wind.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2492).
Fourthly, our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Allah created Adam He informed him of his descendants, among whom were some who would believe in Allah and others who would disbelieve in Him. Then He said to His angels: ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth.’ He asked them: ‘Will you bear witness that I have granted him superiority over all of you?’ They replied: ‘Yes.’ Allah then said: ‘Then bear witness, for I will be with you all.’ Muslim related it.
Finally, Allah has promised us in the Quran where He says: “Whoever spends his wealth for increase in self-purification and have in his mind no favour from anyone for which a reward is expected in return, except only the desire to seek the Countenance of his Lord Most High; he surely will be pleased (when he reaps the fruit of his good deeds).” (Quran 92:18–21).