Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wow im amazed how much they "earn"!

AFP - Monday, March 30 SINGAPORE (AFP) - - A Singapore-based church paid one of its leaders more than 500,000 dollars (329,000 US) in its last financial year, a report said Monday.

The New Creation Church, which raised 19 million Singapore dollars in just one day in February for the construction of its new premises, paid one employee between 500,001 and 550,000 dollars in the financial year ended March 31, 2008, the Straits Times said.

It said the church did not confirm if the money was paid to its leader, Senior Pastor Joseph Prince.

But New Creation's honorary secretary, Deacon Matthew Kang, was quoted by the newspaper as saying it was the church's policy to "recognise and reward key contributors... and Senior Pastor Prince is the main pillar of our church's growth and revenue."

Kang also described Prince as "the key man responsible for bringing in about 95 percent of our church's income," and added "he has enriched the church and not the other way around."

Two other employees of the church were paid between 150,001 and 200,000 dollars, but no names were given, the report said.

One of Singapore's fastest growing churches, New Creation had an income of 55.4 million dollars and net assets of 143.36 million dollars in its last financial year, according to its website.

Singapore is a predominantly ethnic Chinese society with deep Buddhist and Taoist traditions, but Christians here are known as devout and relatively affluent.

Wow, there is so much to do with this kind of money. NO wonder rich people who doesnt pay zakat will have to wait 500 years to go to Jannah.

Zakat is the 3rd pillar of Islam. That shows how important for muslims to give charity. ( charity means giving to the poor and needy and the orphans, in islam context).

One of the most important princles of islam is that ALL LIVING things belongs to Allah, and the wealth is held by human beings as safekeeping in this world.

Zakat means purification of wealth and growth. Setting aside a porportion of our earnings for the needy (The poor, The sick, the orphans) will encourage new growth of our earnings .( like working hard for a cause. )

This category of people is defined in surah at-Taubah: " The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise." (The Holy Qur'an 9:60).

The obligatory nature of Zakat is established in the Qur'an, the Sunnah (or hadith), and the consensus of the companions and the Muslim scholars. (means no objections or grey area on this). It is compulsory in other words.

Allah(swt) states in Surah at-Taubah verses 34-35: "34:O ye who believe! there are indeed many among the priests and anchorites, who in Falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah. Announce unto them a most grievous penalty- 35:On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, their flanks, and their backs.- "This is the (treasure) which ye buried for yourselves: taste ye, then, the (treasures) ye buried!" (The Holy Qur'an 9:34-35).

The prophet (pbuh) said: "Any owner of gold and silver who does not deliver from them their right, on the Day of Quiyamah (Day of Judgment), (the gold and silver) will be shaped as foils of fire. Then it will be heated in the fire of Hell; (and) then with it he will be ironed on his side, his forehead, and his back" (narrated by Muslim).

It is agreed between Muslims in all the centuries the obligatory nature of paying Zakat for gold and silver, and from those the other kinds of currency.

When is Zakat Due ?

1. Passage of One Lunar Year:
Zakat is obligatory after a time span of one lunar year passes with the money in the control of it's owner. Then the owner needs to pay 2.5% (or 1/40) of the money as Zakat. (A lunar year is approximately 355 days).

Based on the total assets and the income that the church has, it means $500k in zakat. Ah, that can really helps the poor. :)

2. Deduction of Debts:
The owner should deduct any amount of money he or she borrowed from others; then check if the rest reaches the necessary nisab, then pays Zakat for it.


The Prophet said: 'Charity is a necessity for every Muslim. ' He was asked: 'What if a person has nothing?' The Prophet replied: 'He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.' The Companions asked: 'What if he is not able to work?' The Prophet said: 'He should help poor and needy persons.' The Companions further asked 'What if he cannot do even that?' The Prophet said 'He should urge others to do good.' The Companions said 'What if he lacks that also?' The Prophet said 'He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.'

The religious teachers(ustazes, ustazahs ) in Islam in Singapore are not well paid at all. They are taken granted for that they should be not been paid for the knowledge. HELLO! They are also human beings, they have families to feed.

Im unsure about other countries... If u have any insights on this, please share. :)


Terence said...

Interesting post. What is jannah, btw (is that how it's spelt)?

Well, if you've read the newspaper article, I think the pastor said something like he actually wanted to be off the payroll of the church, but the board declined and insisted on paying him.

Then again, who knows what the pastor does with the 500k given to him? Maybe he perform zakat with it?

This brings to mind a Biblical teaching about giving to the poor and needy:

Matthew 6:1-4
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Ahxuan said...

hi terence,

Jannah is arabic for paradise.

I hope he perform zakat for that amount.

Im sure he is not the only pastor who is paid so much..:( Whether they give zakat or not, its between them and Allah.

Well, money is evil, status is more evil. We are created weak.

Like u mentioned in Matthew 6:1-4, Allah is watching us. 24 hours a day..

QURAN 2:255 Allah. There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).

I love this surah..(mmm...:)

Ahxuan said...

oh yeah by the way, what does bible say if christians dont pay zakat?

Habayeb said...

Is there any such thing similar to "zakat" for Christians in the 1st place? Well i hope the money gets used in a good way anyway. I'd say the same for Muslims. And those pics sadden me to no end!

Terence said...

Am I right to say that zakat is one of the ways by which a Muslim can get to heaven? Does Islam therefore advocate "salvation by works"?

Well, to answer your question, while Christianity preaches charity, there isn't anything resembling Zakat in my faith. We believe in salvation by grace, while we are all sinful, God grants us salvation through Jesus Christ.

Therefore, no amount of good things you do will get you into heaven. Instead, charity is the natural outflow of genuine salvation, which involves faith in Jesus Christ plus a genuine repentance from sin.

Ahxuan said...

Hi terence,

as in islam, zakat is the 4th pillar. Many times in the koran it has been mentioned by God(Allah in arabic) that zakat is important.

GIving charity is part of our lives. Islam made it compulsory to give to the poor and needy. So we have zakat fitrah for those who cant afford to give more. There is many forms of charity in Islam, even sharing a piece of bread with the hungry is also charity. :)

Thats why islam is beautiful if u know islam.

Zakat is the first institution of social security in Islam. Payment of 2.5 percent of his/her savings for the zakat fund is one of the fundamental duties of a Muslim.

And giving zakat, is also a form of worship. Since we love Allah, we follow his commands.

As for going to paradise, which ALL OF us desires..Its up to Allah to decides on who goes to paradise. Its not any man can decide.:) We only know on the DD day whether you go to paradise or not by the grace of allah.

WE muslims only strive for the sake of Allah. Take love for an example,
If u love someone, dont u go all out to do things for him/her?

As for the repentence of sins, we repent our sins to Allah in the hope that He accepts our repentance and grant us the good in this world and hereafter. Allah is also AR RAHMAN(The most gracious), AR RAHIM ( The most compassionate).

Oh, I believe Jesus(pbuh) too. :)