Zakah is a treasure that must be issued if it meets the requirements determined by religion, and is distributed to people who have been determined as well, namely eight groups are entitled to receive zakah as stated in the Al-Qur’an surah At-Taubah verse 60:
“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.”
Zakah in Arabic has several meanings: First, zakah means At-Thohuru, which means to cleanse or purify. This meaning confirms that people who always pay alms because of Allah and not because they want to be praised by humans, Allah will cleanse and purify both his wealth and his soul. Allah Almighty says in the surah At-Taubah verse 103:
“Take alms from some of their property, with that zakah you cleanse and purify them and pray for them. Verily, your prayer is the peace of the soul for them. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
Secondly, zakah means Al-Barakatu, which means blessing. This meaning emphasizes that people who always pay zakah, their wealth will always be bestowed with blessings by Allah SWT, then these blessings will have an impact on the blessing of life. This blessing was born because the property we use is a sacred and clean treasure, because our property has been cleansed of impurities by giving alms that are essentially zakah itself functions to clean and purify wealth.
Third, zakah means An-Numuw, which means to grow and develop. This meaning emphasizes that people who always pay alms, their wealth (with Allah’s permission) will always continue to grow and develop. This is caused by the sanctity and blessing of wealth that has been fulfilled its zakah obligations. Of course, we have never heard of people who always pay alms with sincerity because of Allah, then many experience problems in their property and business, be it bankruptcy, destruction, business losses, and so forth. Of course, we have never heard of such a thing, which is even the opposite.
During the activities at the Amil Zakah Institution, until now the author has not found people who regularly pay zakah and then stop giving alms due to bankrupt business or economic problems, even there is people who always pay zakah, the nominal amount of zakah issued from time to time is getting bigger, that is proof that zakah actually does not reduce our wealth, even vice versa. Indeed, human logic, by paying zakah, our assets will be reduced. For example, if we have an income of Rp. 2,000,000, – then the zakah that we spend is 2.5% of Rp. 2,000,000 – that is Rp 50,000. If we see according to human logic, assets that originally amounted to Rp. 2,000,000, – then issued Rp. 50.000, – then our assets become Rp. 1,950,000, – which means the amount of our assets is reduced. But, according to the knowledge of Allah, the Most Giving Fortune, the alms that we spend do not reduce our wealth, but multiplies our wealth instead. Allah SWT says in Surah Ar-Rum verse 39:
“And whatever usury you give so that he increases in human wealth, then usury does not add to Allah’s side. And what you give in the form of alms that you intend to achieve the pleasure of Allah, then that is the people who multiply.”
In this verse, Allah says about zakah that was preceded by the word about usury. With this verse, Allah Almighty Rizki asserted that usury will never multiply human wealth, which actually can multiply it is by giving alms or zakah.
Fourth, zakah means As-Sholahu, which means finished or done, namely those people who always pay zakah, their property will always be sorted out and far from problems. People whose assets are always afflicted by calamities or problems, such as bankruptcy, theft, robbery, disappearance, etc. maybe is because they always neglect the zakah which is their obligation and the rights of the poor along with other groups that Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an.