In the name of Allah Most Gracious and Most Merciful
Translation of Khutba : Masjid Otsuka: Friday, May 4 2018
All praise is due to Allah Who sent down the Qur’an with which He guided us to the straight path. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, having no partners, and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.
O Servants of Allah! I urge you and myself to be mindful of Allah the Almighty and obey Him.
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Attaghabun and Surah Azzumar:
“So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen and obey and spend [in the way of Allah]; it is better for your selves.…” (S.64 V.16)
“…So give good tidings to My servants” “who listen to speech and follow the best of it.…” (S.39 V.17–18)
Dear Believers! As we approach the blessed Ramadan, let us recall the virtues of this month during which good deeds increase, letting people engage further in acts of worship and charity. It is also a month of mercy and good time for Muslims to spend and give out alms, most importantly Zakat, about which Allah the most Compassionate says in the Qur’an in Surah Al Maarij:
“And those within whose wealth is a known right” “for the petitioner and the deprived.” (S.70 V.24–25)
Zakat is a type of alms an able Muslim must pay based on an amount of wealth accumulated around a full lunar year. Because of its importance the Almighty Allah has associated it with prayers in many places in the holy Qur’an. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Three verses were revealed as mutually dependent and none of them can stand alone. The first verse, “O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger.” Clearly states that if someone who obeys Allah but fails to obey the Prophet, his submission shall not be accepted. The second verse, “And establish prayer and give Zakah.” Shows that prayers and Zakah are associated in a way that acceptance of the former depends on fulfilling the latter. The third verse, “Be grateful to Allah and to your parents.” Affirms that thanking Allah is incomplete and cannot be accepted without thanking one’s parents. In view of its high merits, observance of Zakat is looked at as a quality that distinguishes people of the faith as Allah the Exalted says in the Qur’an in Surah Annaml:
“…These are the verses of the Qur’an and a clear Book” “as guidance and good tidings for the believers” “who establish prayer and give Zakah, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].” (S.27 V.1–3)
Zakah is also seen as a salvation from Hellfire for Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah Allayl:
“So I have warned you of a Fire which is blazing.” “None will [enter to] burn therein except the most wretched one” “who had denied and turned away.” “But the righteous one will avoid it” “- [He] who gives [from] his wealth to purify himself.” (S.92 V.14–18)
It is a way to obtain mercy and forgiveness. On this account Allah the Exalted says in the Qur’an in Surah Al Aaraf:
“…But My mercy encompasses all things. So I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give Zakah and those who believe in Our verses.” (S.7 V.156)
Allah the Almighty has also promised those who pay Zakah double rewards.Allah says in the Qur’an in Suraha Arrum:
“And whatever you give for interest to increase within the wealth of people will not increase with Allah. But what you give in Zakah, desiring the countenance of Allah – those are the multipliers.” (S.30 V.39)
Dear Servants of Allah! Whoever gives out Zakah in fact purifies his self and money, as the Prophet SAW said, “Allah has made Zakah obligatory simply to purify your remaining property.” This goes down to its literal meaning: to purify and make something grow and develop.Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah Attawba:
“Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah’s blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them.…” (S.9 V.103)
Zakah is therefore meant to purify the heart of the wealthy from stinginess and the heart of the poor from envy and hatred. Moreover its payment fulfills one’s duty towards the needy by giving them their rights from his wealth. In this sense, it is a purifying ritual that safeguards one’s money and property from loss by giving out the assigned amount due to the poor amongst the community. It equally comforts the poor and brings him self-esteem. This way he will feel more valued within society, and see his morals amended. Thus, with some cash in hand, he can engage in trade and develop his own wealth. Allah the Exalted says in the Qur’an in Surah Sabaa:
“…But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.” (S.34 V.39)
Dear Believers, please know that zakat has its own ethics.
The first: Its giver must primarily seek pleasing Allah and avoid downgrading this obligation by reminding others of one’s favours for them. Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al Baqara:
“O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury. …” (S.2 V.264)
The second: Zakat money must only be from permissible sources for Allah the Exalted is Good and accepts only that which is good.Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah Al Baqara:
“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 [from that]. …” (S.2 V.267)
The third: But not least, it should preferably go first to relatives and other ties of kinship. In so doing the giver will be doubly rewarded. The Prophet SAW said, “Charity towards a poor person is charity, and towards a relation is both charity and maintaining the ties (of kinship).”
O Servants of Allah, please obey Allah as it should be by observing Him in private and in public. If someone who obeys Allah but fails to obey the Prophet SAW, his submission shall not be accepted. And thanking Allah is incomplete and cannot be accepted without thanking one’s parents. To strive prayers and to pay zakat are associated in a way that acceptance of the former depends on fulfilling the latter. In view of its high merits, observance of zakat is looked at as a quality that distinguishes people of the faith and be aware that a Muslim is responsible for paying zakat on time. Being late in doing this is a transgression of the poor’s rights, something which the Prophet SAW warned against when he sent Muaad bin Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, to Yemen. He SAW addressed Muaad bin Jabal, saying, “Teach them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the zakat from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor.” So please hurry to give zakat to those eligible for it and whenever is due. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah Attawba:
“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (S.9 V.60)
In this context, our wise leadership has set up the zakat fund with the mission of raising zakat money and disbursing it to the eligible segments of society fairly and in accordance to religious rules. With this spirit, let us then engage in efforts to help it achieve its role, promote social solidarity, and strengthen bonds of love and affection amongst members of the community.
May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon prophet Muhammad SAW, his family and all of his Companions. May Allah be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and all those who will follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.
O Allah! Accept our prayers and all our ibada.
O Allah! Guide us to the right path and make us of those on whom You bestows Your mercy.
O Allah! Accept all of our good deeds and forgive us for our sins.
O Allah! Please Bless us for our Dawah work here in Japan.
O Allah! Give shifa to all those who are sick.
O Allah! Grant safety and security to everyone here in Japan as well as all over the world. Aamin ya Rabbil Aalamin.