MUSLIMS have been admonished to prioritise the payment of zakat in order to purify their wealth and alleviate poverty in the country.
The admonition was given by National Amir (President) of The Companion, Alhaji Thabit Wale Sonaike, during a disbursement of zakat by the organisation in Lagos.
Sonaike observed that zakat ranked among the least observed pillars of Islam by Muslims in spite of the fact that Allah has made its payment compulsory.
He, therefore, called on qualified Muslims to ensure payment of their zakat in order to purify and bless their wealth as well as empower the poor.
“I wish to remind all qualified Muslims that zakat (according to the injunction of Allah) is a compulsory act of worship and is meant not only to purify and increase their wealth but also to earn them a great reward from Allah both in this world and the hereafter. If left unpaid, unfortunately, the zakat will also be a source of punishment from Allah both in this world and the hereafter,” Sonaike said.
Sonaike also called on government at all levels to initiate programmes that would alleviate poverty and empower the underprivileged.
The occasion witnessed presentation of cash and items to 75 beneficiaries from The Companion Zakat and Sadaqah Fund, a fund financed by zakat paid by Muslims to The Companion.
A total of N5.3 million was generated by the fund which was an improvement on the amount raised last year.
The Secretary of the fund, Alhaji Abdul Kabir Layi Baruwa, however, observed that less than half of the qualified applicants were attended to as a result of insufficient fund.
The Companion is an association of Muslims in business.
Items such as deep freezers, grinding machines, industrial machines and cash for establishment of business, payment of school fees and accommodation cost were distributed to the beneficiaries at the ceremony, which was the seventh in the history of The Companion.