Zakat is one of the major religious duties in Submission (Islam in Arabic). It is the obligatory charity that every Submitter (Muslim in Arabic) should pay year around. Literal Meaning: Zakat means grow (in goodness) or 'increase', 'purifying' or 'making pure'.
The vital importance of Zakat is reflected in God's law:
[7:156] My mercy encompasses all things, but I will specify it for the righteous who give Zakat.
Zakat must be given away "on the day of harvest" (6:141). Whenever we receive "net income," the "known amount" of Zakat should be paid or set aside. (see 70:24) This known amount as God calls it, is 2.5%. This is the ONLY "known amount" to the submitters (Muslims). This amount, 2.5% was passed down to us, generation after generation, like Salat, from the time of Abraham to our time. We must set aside 2.5% and give it to the specified recipients - the parents, relatives, orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien, in this order (2:215).
Zakat must be carefully calculated and given away on a regular basis whenever we receive any income. Government taxes should be deducted, but not other expenses such as debts, mortgages, and living expenses. If one does not know needy persons, he or she may give the Zakat to a mosque or charitable organization with the distinct purpose of helping poor people. Charities given to mosques or hospitals or organizations cannot be considered Zakat.
As we see from 6:141, Zakat should be paid all year around and not only during the month of Ramadan or at the beginning of the year. Most of the Muslim masses have been misled by their scholars who abandoned the Quran and followed corrupted hadiths that contradict the Quran. These corrupted hadiths ignored the Quran and made a new classification of Zakat that was never mentioned in the Quran. These corrupted hadiths limited Zakat to Ramadan and to the beginning of the year.
The believers can easily verify that there is ONLY one Zakat in the Quran. This Zakat in the Quran is not connected with the fasting of Ramadan as the Scholars and the hadithists made people to believe. God is all Merciful, He knows that the poor and the needy are not only poor and needy during the month of Ramadan but during the whole year. In 6:141 , God is telling us to give our due Zakat at the time we collect our income. If you receive a pay check every two weeks, your Zakat, (2.5%) is due the same day you receive the check. You pay it immediately or set it aside to pay it as soon as possible to the recipients defined in the Quran. The poor and the needy shall receive their money every week, two weeks or every month,..etc. like you and not once a year or once every Ramadan, as the corrupted scholars teach.
True believers will pay their Zakat all year around including and not limited to the month of Ramadan. God is All Merciful, He left nothing out of His book, the Glorious Quran, see 6:38
Zakat, Islam and Abraham
Quran teaches us in no uncertain terms that Abraham is the founder of Islam as it is practiced today. As such, what did Abraham contribute to our daily life as Muslims?
Quran teaches us that all religious practices came to us from Abraham, generation after generation. The hypocrites of the Muslims always ask, how can these practices come to us from Abraham and not from Muhammed.. They do not trust that God Almighty who preserved the Quran, can preserve His commanded religious practices.
In other words, all religious practices existed before Muhammad. Muhammed's sole mission was to deliver the Quran.
[13:40] Your ONLY mission (O Muhammed) is to deliver (Quran), while it is we who will call them to account.
[42:48] You (O Muhammed) have no duty EXCEPT delivering (Quran).
[5:99] The messenger has no function EXCEPT delivering (Quran)...
Abraham was the first recipient of the concept of Islam, and the one who called us "Muslims" (Submitters in English).
[22:78] You shall strive in the cause of God as you should. He has blessed you, and imposed no hardship in your religion; the RELIGION OF YOUR FATHER ABRAHAM . Abraham is the one who named you "Muslims" in the beginning. Thus, the messenger serves as witness among you, just as you serve as a witness among the people. Therefore, you shall observe the Salat prayers, give the Zakat charity, and hold fast to God; He is your Lord; the best Lord, and the best supporter."
[3:67-68] Abraham was neither Jewish , nor Christian; he was a monotheist; a Muslim; he never was an idol-worshiper. The people most worthy of following Abraham are those who follow him and this prophet (Muhammed), and those who believed. God is the Lord of the believers.
[16:123] Then we inspired you (O Muhammed) to follow the religion of Abraham, monotheism; never was he an idol-worshiper.
Logically, if Muhammed was a follower of Abraham, and we are followers of Muhammed, then we are followers of Abraham.
What did we learn from Abraham ???
The Quran teaches us that we learned all religious practices from Abraham. The whole Arabian society before and during the time of Muhammed had many followers of the religion of Abraham. Thus Abu Lahab, Abu Jahl, and the idolators of Quraish used to observe Salat prayers as we can see in 8:35.
[8:35] ........Their SALAT PRAYERS at the shrine were no more than deceit and repulsion. ..."
In Sura 73, few weeks after the revelation of the Quran, 73:20 is telling the Muslims to observe the SALAT and Zakat. Does it make sense that God would issue a commandment to observe something not already known.???
[73:20] ......and observe the SALAT and ZAKAT, and lend God a loan of righteousness. Whatever you advance for your souls, you will find at God better and multiplied manyfold....."
In 2:128 we see Abraham and Ismail implore God to teach them "THE RELIGIOUS PRACTICES OF ISLAM"
[2:127-128] As Abraham raised the foundation of Kaaba, together with Ismail, they prayed, 'Our Lord, accept this work from us; You are the Hearer, the Omniscient. Our Lord, and make us Muslims (Submitters) to You and from our descendants let there be a nation of Muslims (Submitters) to you; AND TEACH US HOW TO PRACTICE OUR RELIGIOUS DUTIES, and redeem us; You are the Redeemer, the Merciful'.
The Prophets and Messengers prior to Abraham were not given any religious practices. The human society was so primitive, only BELIEF IN GOD ALONE was all that is required for salvation. See for example Sura 71, entitles "Noah"
Thus, religious practices appear in Quran ONLY after ABRAHAM; never before him.
[2:43] (O Children of Israel) You shall observe the SALAT PRAYERS & ZAKAT charity; you shall bow down with those who bow.
MORE PROOFS :
[3:43] O Mary (Mariam), you shall obey your Lord, and shall prostrate and bow down with those who bow down.
[19:31] (Jesus said) God has made me blessed wherever I go, and He commanded me to observe the SALAT PRAYERS and ZAKAT charity for as long as I live.
[21:72-73] And we granted him (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob as a gift, and we made them righteous. And we appointed them Imams who guide in accordance with our commandments. AND WE TAUGHT THEM RIGHTEOUS WORKS AND THE OBSERVANCE OF SALAT AND ZAKAT.'
Unfortunately, this plain Quranic truth is not accessible by those who keep trying to prove that Quran is not complete. First they have to come to sincere conviction that Quran is complete, perfect and fully detailed; they have to believe their Lord. Once they attain this conviction, the shields will be removed from around their hearts, the deafness will be removed from their ears and they will become worthy of the Quranic truth.
Even after showing all this Quranic evidence to those who do not believe God, you will note that they insist on their ways. Until they decide to believe their Creator in His repeated assertions that the Quran is complete, perfect and fully detailed, they can never see the Quranic truth. This is documented in 18:57;
[18:57 ] Who is more wicked than one who is reminded of the verses of His Lord, then disregard them, while unaware of his sin ? Consequently, we place shields on their hearts, to prevent them from understanding (Quran), and deafness in their ears. Thus, if you invite them to the guidance, they can NEVER EVER be guided.