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Alms (zakah) of time

In the Twenty-Fifth Word, Nursi argued that zakah (alms-giving) is not limited to material wealth. Starting from his idea, we can extend and expand this mode of thinking to time because time is the only real capital of human beings. The amount of alms is one-fortieth part (1÷40=2.5%).

One week is 7×24=168 hours. Two-point five percent of one hundred sixty-eight hours is equal to four point two hours.

168×2.5%=4.2 hours

Therefore, the weekly zakah (alms) of time is four hours and twelve minutes. These four hours and twelve minutes must be spent as an investment in the family and community. For example, two and a half hours can be invested in the family, and two and a half hours can be invested in the community every week.

In the hadith, zakah (alms) is visualized as a bridge between people and social classes. Both rich and poor, female and male, old and young, can and must invest their four-five hours in family and community each week. These four-five hours out of one hundred sixty-eight hours are the recipe for a happy family and strong community. Everyone has neighbors and family members or roommates. Spending four-five hours per week to establish and strengthen the bonds and connections is a smart thing to do. Neglecting, ignoring, and rejecting these four-five hours and being greedy in the issue of this zakah of time is stupid and myopic.

Zakah (alms) is not limited to material wealth and the annual cycle. Zakah of time can and should be given weekly. It is a religious obligation and plain common sense. There must be investments in the social capital, social bonds, family, and community. People are not alone, and people should not be lonely. Zakah of time is the solution, recipe, answer, and cure to aloneness and loneliness.

A 2.5% of one year, i.e., 365 days, is equal to 9.125 days. A nine-ten day per one year is not much. Zakah of time is not a loss, but it is an investment.

Only 97.5% of our wealth belongs to us, and 2.5% of our wealth belongs to poor and needy people of our community. Similarly, only 97.5% of our time belongs to us, and 2.5% of our time belongs to our families, neighbors, and community. Individualism is strengthened by a 2.5% investment of time in family, neighbors, and community, not weakened.

Everyone has one hundred sixty-eight hours in one week, both poor and rich, female and male, young and old. Therefore, everyone must give zakah of their time by investing four-five hours in their families, neighbors, and community each week. It is a recipe and guarantee of a happy family, strong community, and harmonious society.

Spending money is not enough. Both time and money must be invested in people. If people do not spend and invest their time in each other, then no amount of money is enough to build bridges between them. Zakah (alms) is the bridge between people because zakah encompasses and encourages the investment of both time and money.

In religious scriptures and works of scholars of religion, there is no direct and explicit mention of the zakah of time. However, the indirect and implicit meaning of zakah of time is in the Qur'an. Just open your eyes, ears, and minds, and stop using the categories and concepts of fiqh (jurisprudence) that was devised and designed one thousand years ago in the agrarian society, by the agrarian society, and for the agrarian society. There is an urgent need for new fiqh and a new mindset.

I chose, and I am choosing zakah of time.

-İman isteyen münafık


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