Imagine you are 7 years old.
You’re walking down a street, alone, towards your home. An old house, run down paint, broken windows, you can hear the usual screaming inside. You notice one of your brothers running away on to the street. That doesn’t surprise you. You look across the street, at the house with nice gardens and beautiful curtains. You look through the windows at the happy family sitting at their dinner table with faces full of smiles. They look at you and wave, and call you over.
You hear the sirens. Again. You love your house, your family, but every day it becomes tougher for you to go back to your house, your home. Maybe you should visit the house opposite the street?
You feel sad. You know you can help but you’re not sure how to. The problem seems too big.
Your house is our house. The house of Muslims here in Australia. A house that is in terrible condition because it’s fundamental pillars are weak. The Pillars of Islam.
Just looking at Zakat & Salat – Allah (swt) mentions them together numerous times in the Qur’an and refers to them as a means to increase piety. Piety of the self; Piety of your family; Piety of your local community; and so on.
Is it a surprise then, when the fundamental Pillar of Zakat is forgotten, that the state our community is what it is ?
The average Zakat payment is $400*. There are approx. 500,000 Muslims in Australia. If we say only 150,000 have Zakatable assets, that would mean $45 million Zakat is due every year to the local community!
That’s just a conservative estimate. Realistically it could be as high as $65 million to $75 million.
If this Zakat was collected & distributed in an organised manner, as practiced by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), we can only imagine the immediate benefit we would see in our local community!
When the the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) sent Muadh (ra) to Yemen, Muadh (ra) was instructed to take from THEIR wealth for Zakat, and give it THEIR poor. Within a few years, Muadh (ra) started sending excess Zakat back to Madinah and this made Umar(ra), the ruler at the time, furious since this was not what the Prophet (SAW) had instructed.
That is when Muadh (ra) advised Umar (ra) that this was the EXCESS Zakat after all the poor in Yemen were already assisted. Within a few more years, there was NO ONE to give Zakat to in Yemen and all the Zakat was being sent to Madinah.
Isn’t that the wisdom of Zakat? To strengthen our immediate families & community first and then once we’re strong we are then in a position to help others?
In our short sightedness as human beings, are we missing out on the beautiful blessings that Allah has designed for us?
$75 million a year. To benefit the Muslim community. This is an obligation our community has upon us; one that we are responsible for.
Something to think about. Maybe next time we think Zakat, we should think local?
*Based on Zakat payments received by the National Zakat Foundation Australia since 2013