Most Muslims have been duped by their religious leaders to believe that it is their duty to perform the ritual prayers and pay the tithe or religious alms propagated by the religionists. They are told that the meaning of the first half of the phrase ‘aqeemus Sol-laa ta wa atu zakaa’ means ‘pray the ritual prayer’ and the second part means ‘pay the tithe’ (now erroneously called zakat). There are two reasons why they fall for it:
- They are ignorant of God’s Scripture.
- They believe that these human devils (whose only profession is to leech off and cheat the ignorant) have some sort of special knowledge in this regard.
We should be wary, however, since:
- It is wrong to believe something without verifying it (see 17:36). We should not accept anything or do something if we are ignorant of the facts.
- It is dangerous to attribute something to God premised merely on the strength of hearsay.
Bearing in mind that ignorance is no excuse, we will be held accountable for our deeds in this world. Serving masters other than God is a very serious offence and at a very deep level, we know it. There is no escaping this fact.