A Comparative Review of Zakat and Huqúq'u'lláh

By Nabil Fares

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #95
Bosch Bahá'í School: Santa Cruz, California, USA
May 19–23, 2010
(see list of papers from #95)

    The four pillars of the Islamic Religion, are the Obligatory Prayer, which includes ablution and washing, Zakat, Fasting, Pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Kabba) in Mecca.

    Zakat is of two kinds, compulsory, and voluntary. The compulsory is an obligation as it is mandated in the sacred text. Muslims are commanded to do it, and the Islamic tradition states the ratio and conditions of payment of Zakat. As for the Charity or the fifth (as some Muslims call it), it is left to the man of the house to contribute whatever amount he feels that he can afford, whether little or a lot. Some of the Clergy call the compulsory payment Zakat and, the voluntary payment Sadakah.

    In this discussion I shall confine my comments to an overview of the Muslim law of the Zakat, charity or the fifth and from there I will focus on Huquq'u'llah the mighty law, a source of inestimable blessings for all humanity.

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