I am capable of giving zakat this time.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I am capable of giving zakat this time but I also have some credit card bills that I have not payed for 2 months which is amounting to the same amount as the zakat I have to give.
Which do I give priority to. Please Help me understand.
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Zakah or debts
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
The payment of one’s obligatory zakah dues and the payment of one’s credit card bills are both in effect debts, the difference being one is due to Allah Subhanah and one is due to the bank.
First and foremost, one who sincerely fears Allah and the Last Day must strive their utmost to stay away from involving themselves in the receiving or paying of any type of ‘riba’ or interest…
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 274-276:
But those who devour ‘riba’ become like the one whom Shaitaan has bewitched and maddened by his touch. They have been condemned to this condition because they say, “Trade is just like ‘riba”, whereas Allah has made trade halaal and ‘riba’ haraam. Henceforth, if one abstains from taking ‘riba’ after receiving this admonition from his Lord, no legal action shall be taken against him regarding the ‘riba’ he had devoured before: his case shall ultimately go to Allah. But if one repeats the same crime even after this, he shall go to Hell, where he shall abide for ever! Allah deprives ‘riba’ of all blessing and develops charity, and Allah does not like an ungrateful, sinful person.
Allah says further in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 278:
O Believers!, fear Allah and give up that ‘riba’ which is still due to you, if you are true believers. But if you do not do so, then you are warned of the declaration of war against you by Allah and His Messenger!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 161:
That they took ‘riba’, although they were forbidden. And that they devoured men’s substance wrongfully. We have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment (of Hell Fire)!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verses 130-132:
130 O ye who believe! Devour not ‘riba’ doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah; that ye may (really) prosper.
131 Fear the Fire which is prepared for those who reject faith.
132 And obey Allah and the Messenger; that ye may obtain mercy.
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2829 Narrated by Ali ibn AbuTalib
Ali said he heard Allah's Messenger (saws) invoke the curse of Allah on those who took usury, those who paid it, those who recorded it, and those who refused to give sadaqah.
Dear and beloved brother in Islam, Allah and His Messenger (saws) have declared every aspect and every manifestation of the abomination of ‘riba’ as absolutely forbidden for the believers who sincerely fear Allah and the Last Day; thus let no one convince you otherwise!!!
Although some ignorant people have tried to translate ‘riba’ as ‘usury’ or excessive interest, we assure you in the Blessed Name of Allah Subhanah brother, every single aspect or manifestation of the evil of ‘riba’….be it interest or usury, etc…..every single manifestation of the abomination of ‘riba’ is forbidden for the believers, and a grave sin in the Sight of Allah Subhanah.
Your Question: Which
do I give priority to. Please Help me understand.
Beloved brother in Islam, although both the zakah and the unpaid credit bills are debts which need to be fulfilled, you have a time period of twelve months to pay your zakah; but the credit card bills if remained unpaid will accumulate the unlawful ‘interest’ ….. thus in our humble opinion you should first and foremost turn to your Lord in ‘taubah’ and sincere repentance from Him for indulging in something which has been declared categorically ‘haraam’ and unlawful, make a solemn intention and covenant unto your Lord that you will not involve yourself in the evil of ‘riba’ ever again, pay the outstanding credit card bills with the current funds at your disposal and save yourself from further indulging in the abomination of ‘riba’…..and at the first available opportunity fulfill your zakah dues and debt unto Allah Subhanah.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumur verses 53-54:
(O Prophet) say: “O My servants who have wronged their own souls….Do not despair of Allah’s Mercy! Surely, Allah forgives all sins. He indeed is the All Forgiving, All Merciful. Return to your Lord and submit to Him before the scourge overtakes you; for then you may get no help from anywhere.”
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imraan verse 135-136:
Allah likes such good people very much, who, if ever they commit a base deed or wrong their own soul by the commission of a sin, remember Allah instantly, and ask for forgiveness from Him for their shortcomings. For who, but Allah, can forgive sins? (And Allah loves those) who do not knowingly persist in the wrongs they did. These will be rewarded with forgiveness from Allah, and with Gardens beneath which canals flow, and they will reside therein forever! How excellent is the reward of those who do good deeds!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 54:
When those come to you who believe in Our Signs, say: "Peace be on you! Your Lord had inscribed for Himself (the rule of) Mercy. Verily if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented and amended (his conduct), Lo! He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,