Zakah and blessing word count in the Qur'an

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
Jump to: navigation, search

This article contains a list of all occurrences of the words "zakah" (tax) and "blessing" in the Qur'an. The purpose is to analyze the claim that they both appear 32 times and that means Allah put a hidden message "taxes are blessings" into the Qur'an via the equality in word count.

The lists can also serve as a reference for people who want to know where the Qur'an speaks about the zakah or blessings.

Zakah

The zakah is a tax that Muslims should pay in Islam. The Arabic word زكاة (zakah) ends on the letter ة (ta marbuta), that means the "t" at the end is pronounced when reading the word in a context of an Arabic text, but it is not read when reading the word alone. So when using this Arabic word in English, it is sometimes transliterated as zakah and sometimes zakat, due to the letter ta marbuta at the end.

In the Uthmani Script this word is written as زَّكَوٰةَ, while in the Simple Script, it is written as زكاة. This list uses the Uthmani Script.

The word is derived from the root زكو (z-k-w) and this is the list of all the words derived from this root in the Qur'an. We will see that from this root, there are also other words derived, which have a different meaning.

Total count Verse Word in Arabic Translation Word class
1 2:43 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 1 noun
2 2:83 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 2 noun
3 2:110 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 3 noun
4 2:129 وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ and (he) purifies them verb
5 2:151 وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ and (he) purifies you verb
6 2:174 يُزَكِّيهِمْ and (he) purifies them verb
7 2:177 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 4 noun
8 2:232 أَزْكَىٰ (more) virtuous noun
9 2:277 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 5 noun
10 3:77 يُزَكِّيهِمْ and (he) purifies them verb
11 3:164 وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ and (he) purifies them verb
12 4:49 يُزَكُّونَ (they) purify verb
13 4:49 يُزَكِّى (he) purifies verb
14 4:77 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 6 noun
15 4:162 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 7 noun
16 5:12 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 8 noun
17 5:55 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 9 noun
18 7:156 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 10 noun
19 9:5 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 11 noun
20 9:11 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 12 noun
21 9:18 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 13 noun
22 9:71 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 14 noun
23 9:103 وَتُزَكِّيهِم and cause them increase verb
24 18:19 أَزْكَىٰ the purest noun
25 18:74 زَكِيَّةًۢ pure (innocent) noun
26 18:81 زَكَوٰةً purity noun
27 19:13 وَزَكَوٰةً and purity noun
28 19:19 زَكِيًّا pure adjective
29 19:31 وَٱلزَّكَوٰةِ and the zakah 15 noun
30 19:55 وَٱلزَّكَوٰةِ and the zakah 16 noun
31 20:76 تَزَكَّىٰ purifies verb
32 21:73 ٱلزَّكَوٰةِ the zakah 17 noun
33 22:41 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 18 noun
34 22:78 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 19 noun
35 23:4 لِلزَّكَوٰةِ of the zakah (purification works) 20 noun
36 24:21 زَكَىٰ was pure verb
37 24:21 يُزَكِّى (he) purifies verb
38 24:28 أَزْكَىٰ purer noun
39 24:30 أَزْكَىٰ purer noun
40 24:37 ٱلزَّكَوٰةِ the zakah 21 noun
41 24:56 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 22 noun
42 27:3 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 23 noun
43 30:39 زَكَوٰةٍ a zakah 24 noun
44 31:4 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 25 noun
45 33:33 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 26 noun
46 35:18 تَزَكَّىٰ purifies (himself) verb
47 35:18 يَتَزَكَّىٰ (he) purifies verb
48 41:7 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 27 noun
49 53:32 تُزَكُّوٓا۟ purify (ascribe purity) verb
50 58:13 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 28 noun
51 62:2 وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ and (he) purifies them verb
52 73:20 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 29 noun
53 79:18 تَزَكَّىٰ purify verb
54 80:3 يَزَّكَّىٰٓ purifies verb
55 80:7 يَزَّكَّىٰ purifies verb
56 87:14 تَزَكَّىٰ purifies verb
57 91:9 زَكَّىٰهَا purifies her verb
58 92:18 يَتَزَكَّىٰ purifies verb
59 98:5 ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ the zakah 30 noun
  • The verse 23:4 talks about the "doers" of "zakah", so it is not clear whether this is the "purity" meaning or "tax" meaning. Either they are "doers of (paying) the zakah" or "doers of the purification (works)". The word "paying" nor "works" is present, so this occurrence is not clear, but it won't matter for the conclusions about the whole list. In the list this word is counted as zakah tax.

So the word zakah does not appear 32 times, as some apologists like to claim, but it appears only 30 times. This word count includes the forms with prefixes, which were often excluded in other apologetic word counts, so if we used that counting method, than there is even less occurrences.

Apologists probably simply searched for the sequence of Arabic letters زكوة (or زكاة in the Simple Script) and got 32 results, but did not realize that in 2 of those occurrences the word means something else:

  • 18:81 "So we desired that their Lord might give them in his place one better than him in purity (زَكَوٰةً, zakatan) and nearer to having compassion."
  • 19:13 "And tenderness from Us and purity (وَزَكَوٰةً, wa-zakatan), and he was one who guarded (against evil),"

Blessing

This is the list of all the occurrences of the word blessing (بركة‎‎, barakah), as well as all other words derived from the same root (برك, b-r-k), in the Qur'an. The difference here is, that all the words derived from this root have the something to do with "blessing". There are no words with a completely different meaning derived from this root.

Total count Verse Word in Arabic Translation Word class
1 3:96 مُبَارَكًا blessing 1 noun
2 6:92 مُبَارَكٌ blessed adjective
3 6:155 مُبَارَكٌ blessed adjective
4 7:54 تَبَارَكَ bless verb 1
5 7:96 بَرَكَٰتٍ blessings 2 noun
6 7:137 بَٰرَكْنَا (we) blessed verb 2
7 11:48 وَبَرَكَٰتٍ and blessings 3 noun
8 11:73 وَبَرَكَٰتُهُۥ and his blessings 4 noun
9 17:1 بَٰرَكْنَا (we) blessed verb 3
10 19:31 مُبَارَكًا a blessing 5 noun
11 21:50 مُّبَارَكٌ blessing 6 noun
12 21:71 بَٰرَكْنَا (we) blessed verb 4
13 21:81 بَٰرَكْنَا (we) blessed verb 5
14 23:14 فَتَبَارَكَ so is blessed verb 6
15 23:29 مُّبَارَكًا a blessing 7 noun
16 24:35 مُّبَٰرَكَةٍ blessed 8 noun
17 24:61 مُبَٰرَكَةً a blessing 9 noun
18 25:1 تَبَارَكَ was blessed verb 7
19 25:10 تَبَارَكَ was blessed verb 8
20 25:61 تَبَارَكَ was blessed verb 9
21 27:8 بُورِكَ was blessed verb 10
22 28:30 ٱلْمُبَٰرَكَةِ the blessing adjective
23 34:18 بَٰرَكْنَا (we) blessed verb 11
24 37:113 وَبَٰرَكْنَا and (we) blessed verb 12
25 38:29 مُبَٰرَكٌ a blessing 10 noun
26 40:64 فَتَبَارَكَ then (he) was blessed verb 13
27 41:10 وَبَٰرَكَ and (he) blessed verb 14
28 43:85 وَتَبَارَكَ and was blessed verb 15
29 44:3 مُّبَٰرَكَةٍ a blessing 11 noun
30 50:9 مُّبَٰرَكًا a blessing 12 noun
31 55:78 تَبَٰرَكَ (he) was blessed verb 16
32 67:1 تَبَٰرَكَ (he) was blessed verb 17

The word "blessing" in all its forms (including prefixes and plural forms appears 12 times.

The word count 32 can be achieved only by an absurd counting method of counting all the words derived from the root b-r-k, including adjectives and verbs! Actually the majority (17) of the words derived from this root are verbs!

Conclusions

  • The word counts for the words "zakah" (Muslim tax) and "blessing" are not equal. Zakah occurs 30 times and blessing 12 times if we count all forms, that is including forms with suffixes and plural forms. If we exclude the forms which were excluded in other apologetic word counts for not being "basic form" enough, we get even less occurrences.
  • The apologetic word count of 32 for zakah includes 2 occurrences (18:81 and 19:13), where the Arabic word zakah has a different meaning ("purity").
  • The apologetic word count of 32 for "blessing" includes verbs and adjectives and most of the words in this word count are verbs!

See also