In day-before-yesterday’s post, I expressed my own opinion regarding quality of Zakah, that one might as well give the best of what he has as Zakah since he’s giving it for the sake of Allah. But today’s Hadith gives a different approach to it. Read on..
Narrated Ibn `Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu):
When Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) sent Mu`adh (radiallaahu `anhu) to Yemen, he said (to him), “You are going to people of a (Divine) Book. First of all invite them to worship Allah (alone) and when they come to know Allah, inform them that Allah has enjoined on them, five prayers in every day and night; and if they start offering these prayers, inform them that Allah has enjoined on them, the Zakat. And it is to be taken from the rich amongst them and given to the poor amongst them; and if they obey you in that, take Zakat from them and avoid (don’t take) the best property of the people as Zakat.”
I don’t find my opinion contradicting with this one. What I said was for the Zakah-giver, and that too, just a suggestion. This instruction of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), “avoid the best property of people as Zakat” is for the Zakah-collector. He’s being taught to be lenient with people. If the Zakah-collector was to take the best of their animals away, they won’t really look forward to paying Zakah each year to him, would they?