Zakat is not only one of the five pillars of Islam but of Islamic finance too. The leadership of Islamic finance needs to help establish the system of Zakat in the Muslim societies to get full advantages of this comprehensive economic system. In the leadership development programs it is of necessary to teach how to institutionalize Zakat. Zakat has been mentioned in the Holy Quran frequently along with prayer. "Establish worship, pay the poor-due, and bow your heads with those who bow (in worship)."(2:43) To mention Zakat along with prayer not only signifies the importance of Zakat, but it also hints at the humane face of Islam that it is not just a religion of rites and rituals of worship, not only keeps its focus on spiritual upbringing of man, but it also considers him a compound of body and spirit, and God has made arrangements to fulfill his needs with the institution of Zakat and made it an obligation next to the prayer. God is so conscious about Zakat, in other words of poor, that He has mentioned the distribution of Zakat in the Holy Quran by himself. The Sadaq (prescribed alms) are (meant) only to be given to the poor, the needy, to those employed to collect them, to those whose hearts are to be won, in the cause of the slaves and those encumbered with debt, in the way of Allah and to a wayfarer. This is an obligation prescribed by Allah. Allah is All- Knowing, Wise. These are the eight categories: Poor Needy Employees of Zakat Department Whose hearts to reconcile to set free slaves who encumbered with debt in the way of Allah wayfarer We will consider only two of the categories to bring our point home that Zakat can guarantee economic prosperity. The Poor: In the Fiqh terminology the poor is the one who does not have valuables in his possession equal to the Nisab. Nisab is the prescribed amount of minimum level of wealth which is in addition to basic necessities in the possession of man. This amount is liable to pay Zakat on. According to Islamic standard it is 7.5 tola of gold or 52.5 tola of silver. Since the values of gold and silver show great difference that is why, in case of miscellaneous valuables the standard of silver that is 52.5 tola of silver is considered, which favors the poor more. The poor is one who lacks that much amount of valuables in his possession. It implies that if he is able of fulfill his basic necessities of life but does not have savings equal to at least 52.5 tola silver he deserves Zakat. According to current rate it amounts to around Rs. 50,000 or USD. 528 or 529. There is a common assumption prevalent in the Muslim societies, which the leadership development programs must include in their modules that Zakat should be paid to the destitute only. It is not true. Islam wants to see his followers not to keep striving for their basic sustenance but to be able to live a life of financial comfort. The poor ones should be uplifted to the minimum level of having their savings equal to around Rs. 50,000 or USD 528, after fulfilling their basic needs. Encumbered with Debt: To pay Zakat to a person in debt have immense implications. This is the area to be in substantial focus of leadership development programs. This can enhance business and commercial activities to a great extent. Businesses are hardly run without loan. If a person is confident that the money he borrowed to run his business can be paid off even if his business fails he will be ready to rake risk. Since, comparatively, less business enterprises fail, so there can be an over all vast economic activities in a society. If the system of Zakat works properly it can guarantee economic prosperity. The economic managers and policy makers of the Muslim countries and the Muslim communities should try to establish the system of Zakat at collective level to produce maximum results. The Madinah Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship (MILE) brings senior executives and high potential leaders from all over the world for executive education to discover new dimensions in Leadership Development, Good Governance, Telecom Training, Islamic Finance, HR Performance and various other management practices to help them grow in their business careers. MILE is a CSR initiative of Savola Group's CSR Programs and grew to be a collaborative initiative aims to attract the contributions and support of many other companies, academic institutions, research & consulting organizations and professional groups.
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