Charity or sadqa is a very powerful tool. ALHUMDULILAH I have always felt that giving charity is such a huge blessing and it’s importance in Islam has always been mentioned.
Zakat and charity are two different things. The wealthy are obliged to pay Zakat. This too like Sahlah is a fundamental of Islam. Zakat is a compulsory obligation. There are many Hadith pertaining to Zakat. I would highlight few of them
Hazrath Abu Huraira ra narrates that Prophet saw said on the day of qiyamaa, the wealth of one who did not pay Zakat will be converted into a monstrous and deadly poisonous serpent which will be strung around the neck of this person. The serpent will bite at the jaw of this person and exclaim “I am your wealth, I am your treasure” (Bukhari)
Hazrath Bareedah ra narrates that rasulullah saw said “Allah swt afflicts famine on a community which does not pay zakaat”
Hazrath Aisha ra narrates that rasulallah saw said “Zakat will destroy the wealth in which it is” the meaning of wealth in which there is Zakat is such wealth on which Zakat is obligatory, but from which Zakat has not been take Out. As a consequence of not paying Zakat, ones wealth is steadily depleted by way of Allah swt removing the barakah from the wealth.
Hazrath Asmaa bint Yazeed ra narrates that she and her Aunt visited rasullullah saw . They were wearing some gold jewellery at that the time. When rasullullah saw enquires from them, if they had paid Zakat on that gold ? They replied negatively. Prophet saw said “What! Have you no fear that Allah swt will put on your jewels fire ? Pay it’s Zakat. (Ahmed)
The following facts are clear from the foregoing narrations
Zakaat is faradh
The significance of Zakat is very great
Failure to pay Zakat results on calamity and misfortune setting over one. The calamity here on earth is depletion of wealth, elimination of barakah, famine etc the calamity in the aakhirath for not paying zakaat is the fire of jahannum.
One who does not pay zakaat is comparable to a munaafiq
Zakaat has a resemblance to huqooqul ibadah (ie rights of people) thus it is an emphasised ibadah
Like all acts of ibadah, there are numerous rules pertaining to zakaat. The knowledge of such rules has to be acquired from the ulama or from reliable books on this subject.
After having paid zakaat one should not become heartless and refrain from other acts of charity.