Mohamed A Khalfan (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
Allah swt is not needy,- not even of our Salaat; but the poor are needy of their dues of Zakat as prescribed upon the rich by Allah swt. Like the sin of shirk, Allah swt will not also forgive the sin of abuse of Haq el Ibaad (or Haq un Naas). Zakat is one of the dues owed to the poor. Is it wonder therefore, that a Hadith warns that those who do not pay Zakat die the death of an Unbeliever. It is also from Imam Ja’far as Sadiq, a.s. and it states as follows:
“Doubtlessly, the Almighty Allah has necessitated a portion for the destitute in the wealth of the rich people. It is such an obligation that is praised if fulfilled by the rich people. It is Zakat. One who pays it, his blood is haraam. (It is haraam to kill him if convicted). And those who pay it are called Muslims.” (Wasaelush Shia Vol.6– p.18)
A similar hadith is from the Prophet (s): “By Allah in whose hands is the life of Muhammad (s) no one does Khiyanat with Allah except the polytheist who does not pay Zakat from his wealth” (Mustadrakul Wasael)
The verse 41:07 of the Quran defines those not paying Zakat as having chosen the grievous consequences after death and that it shows their unbelief in the Hereafter.
These two Ahaadith are consistent with the verse 41:07 in the Qur’an which links those not paying Zakat with the Unbelief in the Hereafter.
Imam Ali a.s.: ‘Allah (glory be to Him), has made the Rights of the People a prelude to His Rights; therefore, he who fulfils the Rights of Allah’s Servants ends up fulfilling Allah’s Rights.’ [Ghurar al-Hikam, No. 4780] According to this Hadith, paying the dues of Zakat to the poor amounts to fulfilling part of the Right due to Allah swt as the Creator.
Now, imagine the fate of the Haj performed by those who chose to carry along to Kaaba the burden of the grievous sin of having paid no Zakat owed to the poor – a life time debt.