The Quran about purifying expenditure
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful
One of the most important prescriptions of God in the Quran is “zakat”. The word is derived from the root “zakaa”, which means “to be clean, obese, justified”. “Zakat” is realized by spending personal means on the path of God. Through this action, the person justifies himself on the Day of Debt, whitewashing him from vices and weaknesses of his near life.
And establish prayer and give purifying expenditure and bow with those who bow (2:43)
And establish prayer and give purifying expenditure, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with God. Indeed, God of what you do, is Seeing! (2:110)
And establish prayer and give purifying expenditure and obey the messenger – that you may receive mercy! (24:56)
…So recite what is easy from it and establish prayer and give purifying expenditure and loan God a goodly loan… (73:20)
This requirement of the Supreme is not new to people. The same command was made before the Quran was sent down, as described in the Prescription.
When We took the covenant from the children of Israel, to serve only God, and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good and establish prayer and give purifying expenditure.” Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing. (2:83)
God had already taken a covenant from the children of Israel. We delegated from among them twelve seniors. And God said, “I am with you. If you establish prayer and give purifying expenditures and believe My messengers and support them and loan God a goodly loan, I will surely remove from you your misdeeds and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow. But whoever of you closes himself after that has certainly strayed from the straight way.” (5:12)
And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We suggested to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of purifying expenditure. And they were Our servants! (21:73)
As people say, faith without deeds is dead. Therefore, the whitening essence consists in the concrete action of man. I would like to note that sincere believers are often presented as examples and described in connection with this noble act.
Indeed, those who believed and corrected themselves and established prayer and gave purifying expenditure will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve! (2:277)
But those firm in knowledge among them and the believers, believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before you, establish prayer and give purifying expenditure and believe God and the last day – those We will give a great reward! (4:162)
Your patron is none but God and His messenger and those who have believed – those who establish prayer and give purifying expenditure, and they kneel. (5:55)
But if they repent, establish prayer, and give purifying expenditure, then they are your brothers in fulfilment of the duty; and We detail the signs for a people who know! (9:11)
The places for earthly worship of God are only to be restored by those who believe God and in the last day and establish prayer and give purifying expenditure and do not fear except God! For it is expected that those will be of the guided! (9:18)
The believing men and believing women are patrons of one another. They command the approved, detain from the hated and establish prayer and give purifying expenditure and obey God and His Messenger. Those – God will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Godis Exalted in Might and Wise! (9:71)
[Are] men whom neither trade nor deal distracts from the remembrance of God and performance of prayer and giving of purifying expenditure. They fear a day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about! (24:37)
In the Quran, there is another word that translates as “purity”, this is the word “tahara”. If we trace the application of this word and its derivatives, we will see that it is usually applied with respect to physical purity. “Zakat” is an action that leads to spiritual purity:
And when you divorce women and they have fulfilled their term, do not prevent them from having intimate relationships with their husbands if they agree among themselves on an acceptable basis. That is an exhortation to whoever of you believes God and the last day. This is spiritually purer for you and physically cleaner. God knows and you know not. (2:232)
So we intended that their Lord should substitute for them one better than him in purity and nearer to mercy. (18:81)
It was suggested, “O Yahya (John)! Take the Prescription with determination.” And We gave him judgement [while yet] a boy and affection from Us and purity, and he was circumspect And dutiful to his parents, and he was not a disobedient tyrant! (19:12-14)
O you who have believed! Do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded! And if you do not find anyone therein, do not enter them until permission has been given you.
And if it is said to you, “Go back,” then go back; it is purer for you. And God is Knowing of what you do. (24:27-28)
Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, God is Acquainted with what they do! (24:30)
Any sane person who strives for spiritual purification is asked by the question: “How much should you spend on the way to the contentment of God?” It’s no secret that since the times of antiquity, the rates of payment have been determined in the Muslim law. However, as can be seen from the text of the Quran, they cannot be considered as final installations. A person has the right to decide for himself how much he needs to spend on the way of God. The only guideline for this is the following excerpt:
… And they ask you what they should spend.
Say, “The excess.”
Thus God makes clear to you the signs that you might give thought. (2:219)
How often should a believer spend his money on the path to spiritual purification? There is an opinion that this should happen once a year, during fasting. However, reading the Quran, another opinion is formed regarding the frequency of expenditure.
O you who have believed! Spend from that which We have provided for you before there comes a day in which there is no exchange and no friendship and no intercession. And those who closed themselves – they are the obscurantists! (2:254)
The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of God is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And God multiplies for whom He wills. And God is all-Encompassing and Knowing! (2:261)
Tell My servants who have believed to establish prayer and spend from what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, before a day comes in which there will be no exchange, nor any friendships! (14:31)
They arise from [their] beds; they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what We have provided them, they spend. (32:16)
Indeed, those who recite the Prescription of God and establish prayer and spend out of what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, [can] expect a profit that will never perish. (35:29)
Believe God and His messenger and spend out of that in which He has made you successors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward! (57:7)
The above excerpts call upon believers to spend from the God-given prosperity. God gives provision to each person differently, both by periodicity and by volume. Proceeding from this, purifying expenditure is tied to the profits and income coming from God, and they can change in different periods. However, there is a warning for this noble deed as well.
And give the relative his right, and the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the disobedient, and ever has disobedient been to his Lord closed. And if you [must] turn away from the needy awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect, then speak to them a gentle word.
And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely and [thereby] become blamed and insolvent! (17:26-29)
And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate! (25:67)
The expense includes not only cash, but also agricultural products:
And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of its fruit when it yields and give its due on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess! (6:141)
However, the products must be of high quality, because otherwise it is condemned by God.
O you who have believed! Spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending while you would not take it except with closed eyes. And know that God is Free of need and Praiseworthy! (2:267)
The main quality of expense is its high value in human life.
Never will you attain the righteousness until you spend from that which you love! And whatever you spend – indeed, God is Knowing of it! (3:92)
Naturally, in this case, the question about the purpose of wealth cleansing arises. The answer is:
They ask you, what they should spend.
Say, “Whatever you spend of good is for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good – indeed, God is Knowing of it.” (2:215)
Purifying expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those who collect them and for those bringing hearts together and for deprived and for those bearing losses on the way of God and for the traveler – an obligation by God. And God is Knowing and Wise. (9:60)
Among Muslims, alms (sadaqah) and “zakat” are considered to be various things. Traditionally, alms are considered voluntary, and “zakat” is an obligatory act, performed once a year at a certain rate. However, the Quran unites these two concepts:
Take from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and pray for them. Indeed, your prayers are reassurance for them. And God is Hearing and Knowing! (9:103)