Friday, 13 July 2012

Zakat - More Important Than Ramadhan?

All the five pillars of Islam are very important and indeed that is why they are called the "pillars". However, is there an order of importance for these pillars? For example, without the first pillar of the shahadah, no other pillar can exist. Similarly, the second pillar of salah (the five daily prayers) comes next in importance for the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said that the difference between eeman (belief) and kufr (disbelief) is the salah. Also, Allah (SWT) refers to the salah as eeman in the Qur'an (2:143). After the shahadah and the salah comes the third pillar of Islam which is neither the fast of Ramadhan nor Hajj to the House of Allah but Zakat. In fact, Zakat is frequently mentioned along with Salah in the Qur'an.

We all know the importance of Ramadhan - fasting this month has been prescribed to attain Taqwa (fear and conciousness of Allah), the Qur'an was revealed in this month; the shayateen are chained; laylat-ul-qadr (the night of decree) which is better than a thousand months comes in this month; it is the month of mercy and forgiveness; it is the month of extended prayer; it is the month of patience and many more virtues. But the pillar of Zakat comes before the fast of Ramadhan. Why is this so? This order is not just random or incidental. At a glance, it may appear that it is the fast of Ramadan which is more important than the seemingly easier task of giving a monetary payment as Zakat. Then, although there may not be as many virtues mentioned about Zakat, there must be very good reasons why Zakat comes before Fasting.

These reasons can be discovered through understanding the inner dimensions of Zakat. Zakat is no ordinary pillar of Islam. Zakat directly relates to the Love of Allah (SWT), the Divine Decree and gratitude to Allah (SWT) which are from the most fundamental aspects of the universal Islam conveyed by all the Prophets and Messengers ('Ihya). So if someone is excited about Ramadhan but not excited about Zakat, then he or she has not properly understood Islam. It is not surprising why the Prophet (PBUH) asked every Muslim both male and female to give charity, and if they cannot find anything to give, to work with their hands to benefit themselves and give in charity (Bukhari).

This is the last opportunity to register for the important Zakat seminar coming up this Sunday. The seminar is delivered by one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the western world today: Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford University.The seminar will deal with the practical aspects as well as the important deeper inner dimensions of Zakat (which many are unfortunately unaware of) that make Zakat a spiritual goldmine (for self purification) and a miracle of Islam.

Zakat - The 3rd Pillar of Islam
The Inner and The Outer Dimensions of Zakat 

By Shaykh Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi 

When: Sunday 15th July 2012     Time: 10AM - 6PM 

Venue: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge 

Facilities: Free parking, cr├Ęche/childcare, book stalls, food stalls, free 2-nights stay at the mosque 

Advance/On-line Tickets: From £18 onwards 

Register at: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/register.html 

Testimonials 

"Both the Usul-ul-Hadith and Usul-ul-Fiqh courses I have attended so far have been absolutely wonderful. Shaykh Akram Nadwi's scholarship and spiritual knowledge is exactly what is required to help us understand and make sense of so many diverging schools of opinion and groups and is backed up by his immense knowledge of the sources of our Deen. His amazing knowledge is reflective of the numerous esteemed teachers that he has been a student of and his piety is quite apparent as soon as you meet and talk to him. I would like to thank both the Shaykh and the organisers who have given us the opportunity to receive the introductions to these disciplines which underpin the fundamentals of our Deen. We should be thankful to Allah that we have had the opportunity to gain a touch of sacred knowledge from the highly qualified Shaykh Akram Nadwi, who himself has received his knowledge in the traditional manner as part of unbroken chains of Shuyukh and their students, going all the way back to non other than our beloved Rasulullah, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam." - Abdul Hadi, Cambridge
 
"Alhamdulillah I was fortunate enough to attend the first of the Cambridge Islamic Sciences Seminars which attracted many from within Cambridge and without, both young and old. Sheikh Akram Nadwi is a true gem within the Muslim community here in the UK; with such a wealth of knowledge, he kept us engaged and gave us a sound introduction into the Sciences of Hadith. I came away from the course reignited in my pursuit for knowledge. I look forward to attending most, if not all, future courses throughout the year inshaAllah and would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to get acquainted with the Islamic sciences. " - Maria Alfaradhi, PhD Student, Cambridge University 

"Shaykh Akram worked through the essentials of the course with a burning zeal to explain the multi-dimensional nature of the subject. The methodological approach was incisive and analytical. He made it patently clear that ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’ is a serious matter which carries a sense of responsibility. The Shaykh demonstrated with numerous examples, and the lively and open-ended question and answer session, that accuracy and truth in matters of faith is a forensic process that can never be compromised. One is left with a sincere desire to pursue knowledge that is not only sound but consistent with the approach of our Pious Predecessors. MEOC is to be congratulated for organising this seminar and the future programmes should be of interest to all those eager to benefit from this outstanding Islamic Scholar." - Sulaiman Kazi, Solicitor, Batley, West Yorkshire

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 Previous Posts

The Fiqh of Zakat - Unravelled!

Zakat - A Tax or An Investment? - The Reality of Zakat

Zakat - What Is The Purpose?

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