by Asma bint Shameem
Misconception # 1
I pray, dont I? Whats the big deal if I dont give Zakaah?
Zakaah is one of the PILLARS of Islam and NOT an option. It is just as important to ones faith as Salaah. In fact, anyone who denies it is a Kaafir and the Prophet (pbuh) and his Sahaba waged war against such persons even though they uttered the Shahadah and prayed Salaah.
About such people Abu Bakr said: "By God! I shall certainly wage war against the people who discriminate between Salaah and Zakaah."(Bukhaari, Muslim)
Misconception # 2:
But it will decrease my wealth!
Abu Hurayra said that the Prophet (pbuh) said,
"Whoever is given wealth by Allaah and does not pay the Zakaah due thereupon shall find that on the Day of Arising it is made to appear to him as a hairless snake with two black specks, which chains him, and then seizes him by his jaw and says, -I am your wealth! I am your treasure!'
Then he recited the verse, Let not those who are miserly with what God has given them of His bounty think that this is good for them. Rather, it is bad for them. That which they withhold shall be hung around their necks on the Day of Arising. [3:180] (Bukhaari)
I dont have to pay Zakaah every year.
Zakaah is an obligation that must be paid each year. The Prophet (pbuh) used to send the zakaah-collectors to the tribes and cities, and they did not differentiate between those who had paid their zakaah the previous year and those who had not, rather they used to take the zakaah that was due on all the “zakaatable” wealth that people possessed.