In recent days my morning study has led me to reading from Surah Tawba and simultaneously referring to the corresponding section in the Tafsir Jalalayn (of the two Jallaludin’s). The surah refers a lot to both Jihad and Zakat and thus indicates the link, or at least the similarities, between the two of them. Of course the 60th ayat is the one that spells out in no uncertain terms exactly who can receive collected Zakat
What really woke me up was the story of Tha’laba ibn Hatib who asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to pray to Allah to provide him wealth in order to pay off his creditors (I know that feeling well) and the Messenger of Allah duly obliged and his wealth soon expanded. However, Tha’laba ibn Hatib then started began to cease to attend the Jumu’a prayer and refused to pay Zakat. It appears that later the 76th and 77th ayats were revealed.“But when He does give them of His bounty they are tight-fisted with it and turn away….so he has punished them by putting hypocrisy in their hearts until the day they meet him…”
After that he came back to the Prophet, may Allah’s blessing be upon him, with his Zakat but the Prophet was now forbidden by Allah from collecting it and so refused, likewise did Abu Bakr, Umar and then Uthman.
Early on in the surah we are told of those who refused to go on Jihad with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, and his companions and were then refused permission to go on later expeditions. May Allah protect us from their fate and the fate of Tha’laba ibn Hatib and make us people who jump at the opportunity to pay Zakat, and to strive fi sabilillah with our wealth and ourselves, and by that gain the garden and be exempted from the hell-fire. Amin