Case Study (Hadith No. 1206)

Volume 2, Book 24, Number 547:
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
Allah's Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) ordered (a person) to collect Zakat, and that person returned and told him that Ibn Jamil (radiallaahu `anhu), Khalid bin Al-Walid (radiallaahu `anhu), and Abbas bin 'Abdul Muttalib (radiallaahu `anhuhad refused to give Zakat." The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, "What made Ibn Jamil (radiallaahu `anhu) refuse to give Zakat though he was a poor man, and was made wealthy by Allah and His Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)? But you are unfair in asking Zakat from Khalid (radiallaahu `anhuas he is keeping his armor for Allah's Cause (for Jihad). As for Abbas bin 'Abdul Muttalib (radiallaahu `anhu, he is the uncle of Allah's Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and Zakat is compulsory on him and he should pay it double."
Some scholars say that Zakah here means Sadaqah (voluntary charity). That it is improper for us to think that the Companions would refuse to pay Zakah. But others say it did happen. Conditions were such that these Companions had to refuse the Zakah-collector.
Ibn Jamil (radiallaahu `anhu): Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) sounds sort of disappointed saying: When he had wealth, what stopped him from paying Zakah?
Khalid ibn al-Walid (radiallaahu `anhu): different opinions. One: he had already spent all his wealth in the way of Allah, what would he pay Zakah on? Two: it is wrong of people to say that Khalid (radiallaahu `anhu) would not pay Zakah. He would because he already spends a lot in the way of Allah. Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) seems to be defending him. Three: it is wrong of people to ask Khalid (radiallaahu `anhu) for Zakah. He has already spent a lot of his wealth in the way of Allah. Meaning, he doesn't have much left on which he would pay Zakah..
`Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu): different opinions. One: he's related to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), he should pay double. Two: he had asked Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) to give him one year of respite. He would pay double Zakah the next year. And the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had agreed. Three: a narration in Sahih Muslim with similar words imples that Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had agreed to pay Zakah on his behalf, because he was his uncle. And uncle is like one's father. Allahu A`lam.
Scholars can give different explanations, hold different opinions. One might be correct, while the other might not. Whatever the case may be, it is not proper of us to think bad of the Companions in any way. If Allah says He was pleased with them, who are we to think any wrong about them? Also, they were humans, very prone to error. If they committed any mistakes, Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was there to correct them. And so he did. :)

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