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As a Muslim, we should aim for perfection in every part of our lives and make our motto: ‘excellence is a minimum requirement.’

Observe the perfection of the sky. Notice the amount of colors it consists of. Look at the colors classification. They are colors that comfort the eyes and nerves. Imagine how beautiful and amazing it is.

Now if we focus on zakah, there are some manners that should be applied in order to ensure that zakah has been fulfilled perfectly. The manners are listed below:

1. Make a good intention for Allah’s sake. This is the most important rule of giving zakah. The zakah giver must have a sincere intention when he or she gives zakah. He or she should give zakah for the sake of Allah.

It has been narrated on the authority of Umar Ibn al-Khattab that the Messenger of Allah said: (The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it. A man will be rewarded only for what he intended. The emigration of one who emigrates for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) is for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ); and the emigration of one who emigrates for gaining a worldly advantage or for marrying a woman is for what he has emigrated. [Sahih Muslim]

2. Give thanks for what you have been given. Thank Allah with your tongue, your heart, by using His blessings for good purposes, and by obeying and worshipping Him.

Allah says:

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” [Ibrahim 14:7]

Allah also says:

وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ أَنتُمْ قَلِيلٌ مُّسْتَضْعَفُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ تَخَافُونَ أَن يَتَخَطَّفَكُمُ النَّاسُ فَآوَاكُمْ وَأَيَّدَكُم بِنَصْرِهِ وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“And remember when you were few and oppressed in the land, fearing that people might abduct you, but He sheltered you, supported you with His victory, and provided you with good things – that you might be grateful.” [al-Anfal 8:26]

3. Zakah must come from what is lawful. Allah is good and only accepts the good.

Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَنفِقُواْ مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ وَمِمَّا أَخْرَجْنَا لَكُم مِّنَ الأَرْضِ وَلاَ تَيَمَّمُواْ الْخَبِيثَ مِنْهُ تُنفِقُونَ وَلَسْتُم بِآخِذِيهِ إِلاَّ أَن تُغْمِضُواْ فِيهِ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ

“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] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.” [al-Baqarah 2:267]

4. Be kind to recipient.

Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah reported: There came people from among the Bedouins to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said: Collectors of Sadaqa come to us and treat us unjustly. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Please your collectors. Jarir said: Ever since I heard it from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) no collector had departed but was pleased with me. [Sahih Muslim]

5. It is better to keep zakah as secret and a confidential manner. This is to prevent the possibility of riyaa (showing off). If giving zakah in public would encourage people to practice the same, then maybe it is a better way.

Allah says:

إِنْ تُبْدُوا الصَّدَقَاتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِيَ وَإِنْ تُخْفُوهَا وَتُؤْتُوهَا الْفُقَرَاءَ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنْكُمْ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

“If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.” [al-Baqarah 2:271]

6. Giving poor or needy relatives first.

Allah says:

وَأُوْلُواْ الأَرْحَامِ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلَى بِبَعْضٍ فِي كِتَابِ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

“But those of [blood] relationship are more entitled [to inheritance] in the decree of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of all things.” [al-Anfal 8:75]

In a hadith, it was narrated from Salman Ibn ‘Amir that the Prophet said: “Giving charity to a poor person is charity, and (giving) to a relative is two things, charity and upholding the ties of kinship.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi & Sunan al-Nasa’i]

7. Generous and gracious spirit. The more we give for the sake of Allah, the better we are.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: “There is never a day wherein the servants (of Allah) get up in the morning, but are not visited by two angels. One of them says: ‘O Allah, give him more who spends (for the sake of Allah)’, and the other says: ‘O Allah, bring destruction to one who withholds.” [Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim]

8. Allah forbids us to boast about our zakah acts.

Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تُبْطِلُوا صَدَقَاتِكُمْ بِالْمَنِّ وَالْأَذَى كَالَّذِي يُنْفِقُ مَالَهُ رِئَاءَ النَّاسِ وَلا يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ

“O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day.” [al-Baqarah 2:264]

Narrated Abu Huraira: “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If one give in charity what equals one date-fruit from the honestly earned money and Allah accepts only the honestly earned money –Allah takes it in His right (hand) and then enlarges its reward for that person (who has given it), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse, so much s that it becomes as big as a mountain.” [Sahih Muslim]

9. Give zakah while we can.

Allah says:

وَأَنْفِقُوا مِنْ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ فَيَقُولَ رَبِّ لَوْلَا أَخَّرْتَنِي إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ فَأَصَّدَّقَ وَأَكُنْ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

“And spend [in the way of Allah ] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous.” [al-Munafiqun 63:10]

In a hadith, narrated Haritha bin Wahab: “I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, O people! Give in charity as a time will come upon you when a person will wander about with his object of charity and will not find anybody to accept it, and one (who will be requested to take it) will say, If you had brought it yesterday, would have taken it, but today I am not in need of it.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]