By Shadan Muneer, Freelance Journalist
The essence of Islam is peace and brotherhood. The core teachings emphasises that people live in peace and harmony and believe that the disparity between the rich and the poor needs to be bridged. Islam prescribes sharing of one’s wealth with the less fortunate and chalks out the method through Zakat or the obligatory Charity. The word ‘Zakat’ means ‘to purify’, it is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Besides the fact that Zakat is an obligation and fulfilment of it leads to a Muslim getting reward from Allah Almighty and intentional swerving from it leads to a Muslim receiving punishment from Him, there are other reasons which one can find pertaining to the importance of Zakat. It helps in building the society, circulation of money and develops a sense of sacrifice.
By giving Zakat, a Muslim is acknowledging that everything we have is Allah’s and we do not really own it, and we should use it to remember Allah and help those who are in need. It is also an act to help free us from excessive desire and greed, learn self-discipline and honesty.
Every capable Muslim is advised to donate 2.5 percent of their annual wealth to the poor and needy and is recommended to assist the poor in bettering his life by whatever means possible. Zakat is also paid to seek Allah’s blessings as it purifies the individuals and their wealth. It also fosters goodwill and affection among family members, neighbours and the community at large. It is one of the means to create a close bonding between the rich and the less fortunate.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said “Giving Zakat wipes away sins just as water extinguishes fire.”
Zakat can be paid anytime throughout the year. However, most people believe that Ramzan is the best time as the reward for good deeds is greater than any other month. It is also obligatory for a Muslim man to pay Fitra (act of charity) before performing the specific Eid-ul-fitr prayers. Zakat can also be seen as a social responsibility on the part of the well-to-do and security for the lesser privileged.
“I consider it as a divine privilege to help out the fellow brethren in whatever means possible so as to appease the Almighty, I make it a point to give charity in the form of clothes and money to the poor and needy during the Holy Month of Ramzan,” says Zarina Muneer, a housewife.
Apart from individuals indulging in charity, reputed institutions like Bibi Ayesha Milli Hospital, in association with Karnataka State Waqf Council, Karnataka State Waqf Foundation and M.K. Agrotech (Sunpure Oil), has set a new landmark by offering free dialysis. Its injections and medicines were also offered free of cost to the dialysis patients of all communities during the Holy Month of Ramzan which has gained appreciation.
M.K. Agrotech has sponsored two dialysis machines to the Hospital and the project is co-ordinated by Reliable Trust, Mysuru.
Iqbal Ahmed, President of Bibi Ayesha Milli Hospital on Old Mysuru-Bengaluru Road, says “The response to the noble cause of providing free dialysis and its medication for the month of Ramzan is good and has been a boon to many people. Some also call it as a charity hospital and we will continue to provide the services at reasonable rates even after Ramzan for society’s well-being.”
He also wishes that people turn up to donate charity to help and benefit the poor and needy. Fahmida Begum, on being discharged after availing free treatment at the hospital for respiratory and kidney problems said, “I am happy that I have gained good health. The services were good and the staff took good care of me. I will always be grateful to the hospital for treating me free of cost.”
Patients avail free dialysis facility at Bibi Ayesha Milli Hospital in city during the Holy Month of Ramzan. On an average every day over 25 to 30 patients have taken the benefits of free dialysis. The hospital will continue to provide dialysis services at discount rates even after Ramzan. The needy patients may contact Ph: 0821-2497131 or Mob: 98805-18356.