Was Zakat Obligated In Mecca or Medina? - Our Prophet 6 - Foundations Of Islamic State
The second ritual that we will discuss and when it was legislated is the Zakat, the alms, paying charity. The common view, especially in Sunni sources, is that it was revealed in the second year of the Hijrah in Madinah. So, in Makkah there was no Zakat. It had not been mandated on Muslims. In Madinah, the second year of the Hijrah, that is when the Zakat was mandated.
And the reason is because before that the Zakat was not wajib in Makkah because the Muslims were under persecution. Many of them were poor, they barely had any resources, right? So, it was not appropriate to mandate Zakat on them. That is their justification in Makkah. It did not make sense. In Madinah, now they had the freedom, their wealth started to grow. So, it was more appropriate to mandate the Zakat on them because in Makkah it would have been too burdensome.
However, some scholars dispute that. They say we have Makki chapters, verses and chapters that were revealed in Makkah which speak of what? The Zakat or the charity. So, that means it was mandated in Makkah. Let me give you a few examples.
Allah says in Suratul A'raf, which is what? Makki or Madani chapter? Makki. Suratul A'raf is a Makki chapter. Allah states in verse 156: "wa Rahmati wasi'at kulla shay...' (7:156)- 'My Rahmah[Mercy] has included everything. "...Fasa aktubuha li-ladhina..."(7:156)-'So, I will specifically give my Rahmat for...' Who? "...Li-lladhinna yattaqun..."(7:156)-'those who have piety'. Number one. "...wa yu'tuna az-Zakat" (7:156)-'and those who give charity.
So, Allah mentions giving charity in the Qur'an in Makkah. So, that means Allah had asked Muslims to give charity. Another example of Surat Al-Mu'minun, verse four. Surat Al-Mu'minun was revealed where? Makkah or Madinah? It was revealed in Makkah. All scholars, Sunni and Shi'ah agree that Surat Al-Mu'minun, was revealed in Makkah. Now Allah is describing the believers. What are the qualities of the believers?
Bismi Allah Al-Rahman al-Rahim. "Qad aflaha al-Mu'minun"(23:1) -'the believers have indeed achieved success', "alladhinahum fi as-alatihim khashi'un" (23:2) -'those who have khushu'[humility] in their prayers,' "wa al-ladhinahum 'ani al-laghwi mu'ridhun" (23:3). What is the other description in verse four? "wa al-ladhinahum li az-Zakati fa'ilun" (23:4). -'and those who give charity'. (23:4). So, that is a quality of the believers. So, this was revealed in Makkah. Another evidence Surat Luqman. Luqman is a Makki chapter. Allah says: "Al-ladhina yuqimun as-Salata wa yu'tuna az-Zakat" (31:4) -'those who pray and those who give charity.'
We also find, if you remember from last year, Ja'far Ibn Abu Talib, who was the spokesperson for the migrants who went from Makkah to Habasha, to Abyssinia, they met the Najashi. The Makkans sent representatives to talk to the Najashi to release them so they can take them back to Makkah and persecute them because they did not want Islam to spread.
Najashi told the Muslim group, he told them tell me about your faith. Ja'far Al-Tayyar, he stood up and he spoke about the religion of Islam. He told him, 'O King of Habasha, we were a group of Jahiliyyah - people submerged in ignorance. There was no regard for moral values. People would spread corruption, they would kill, they would commit adultery, they would worship idols.' And he begins to describe the miserable state of the Arabs. Then he said, 'God sent us a Messenger, he brought us humanity, he taught us to pray to the One Lord. He outlawed many of these immoral acts.' Then he said, 'and he instructed us to pray, to fast, and to give charity.'
Now remember, this was when the Prophet was in Makkah. So this could also be cited as an argument that Zakat was something that the Prophet had asked his companions to do. And that is why Ja'far Al-Tayyar is telling the King of Habasha that this Prophet is commanding us to give charity.
Yes, yes. The Hijrah to Abyssinia started in the year five of the Hijrah. So, five to six. So, this was in Makkah, not in Madinah.
Now what is the verdict here, when we come across these two primary views?
Yes. [Oh, I was going to take a guess. I was going to say that it was probably Mustahab during these years]. Yes. So, my understanding of these sources, is that in Makkah the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, did encourage the Muslims to pay charity. So, they were aware of the charity. It had been explained to them. The Qur'an does mention it, but it seems it was not such a fundamental obligation that Muslims had to follow.
Later in the second year of the Hijrah, when the Prophet had a community, the Muslim community was growing. Some of them had farmlands. Now they had flocks of sheep, of cattle, of other, you know, things that the Zakat is wajib on. Then the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, informed the Muslims now this is a fundamental obligation, it is a pillar of your faith to give charity and to give Zakat. And in fact, the Prophet salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi even enforced it. The Prophet, if there was a Muslim around Madinah who had a farm and he was not paying charity, the Prophet would actually send a representative to tell him that you owe charity, you have to pay.
So, my understanding is that in Makkah it was probably Mustahab, highly encouraged, but not enforced. Then in Madinah, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, declared it as a mandatory obligation and it became enforced. It became officially wajib.
Yes, brother? [Maybe somebody can argue that maybe the verse was revealed in Madinah but there were some chapters and verses revealed in Madinah] Yeah, but we do not have evidence for that. For example, those who have said Surat Al-Mu'minun was revealed in Makkah, no Mufassir have said except this verse, it came in Madinah. They all agree that the whole chapter came in Makkah.
There are some cases where the chapter was revealed in Makkah, then some verses were later revealed in Madinah, that is the case. But not with these verses that I quoted. It is agreed by scholars of Tafsir that they were revealed where? They were revealed in the city of Makkah, or when the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, was in Makkah.