By Shaykh Abdool Rahman Khan
We are in the last days of Ramadhan and praises are for Allah SWT. These last ten nights we strive to reach the Night of Power in which actions done therein are better than one thousand months.
This night is not given to us like the day of Eid at a specific time. But Allah SWT wants His servants to strive and exert their efforts for ten nights in order to reach that particular night which is better than one thousand months. So we look for it in the last ten nights based on Hadith Aisha (RA)
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ تَحَرَّوْا لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ فِي الْوِتْرِ مِنْ الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ
Narrated byAisha :Allah’s Apostle said, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.”
There are several narrations that the Sahaabah (RA) said that they found The Night of Power but they differed as to the exact night from the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th even the 29th. Hence it is opined that it changes from year to year and Allah SWT knows best.
However there are signs as reported from Rasoolullah SAS who said:
إِنَّ أَمَارَةَ لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ أَنَّهَا صَافِيَةٌ بَلْجَةٌ كَأَنَّ فِيهَا قَمَرًا سَاطِعًا سَاكِنَةٌ سَاجِيَةٌ لَا بَرْدَ فِيهَا وَلَا حَرَّ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لِكَوْكَبٍ أَنْ يُرْمَى بِهِ فِيهَا حَتَّى تُصْبِحَ وَإِنَّ أَمَارَتَهَا أَنَّ الشَّمْسَ صَبِيحَتَهَا تَخْرُجُ مُسْتَوِيَةً لَيْسَ لَهَا شُعَاعٌ مِثْلَ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لِلشَّيْطَانِ أَنْ يَخْرُجَ مَعَهَا يَوْمَئِذٍ
“Verily, the sign of the Night of Al-Qadr is that it is pure and glowing as if there were a bright, tranquil, calm moon during it. It is not cold, nor is it hot, and no shooting star is permitted until morning. Its sign is that the sun appears on the morning following it smooth having no rays on it, just like the moon on a full moon night. Shaytan is not allowed to come out with it (the sun) on that day.”
[Ahmad in a Mursal narration.]
So it is a time to tighten the belt and search for the Night of Power by focusing on lots of Qiyaam, Du’a, Recitation of The Qur’an, increase in our charity, Azhkaar, enjoining something good and forbidding something evil. One of the best Du’as to do is either of the following:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عُفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
“O Allah! Verily, you are the Oft-Pardoning, The generous, You love to pardon, so pardon me.”
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
“O Allah! Verily, you are the Oft-Pardoning, You love to pardon, so pardon me.”
Finally as the Month of Ramadhan comes to an end there are a few Ibaadaat that are very important and we would like to remind ourselves about them. Among the end of Ramadhan Ibaadaat are Zakaatul Fitr and Eid-ul Fitr.
In this article I would like to remind ourselves about Zakaatul Fitr.
Definition of Zakaat-ul Fitr :
It is a Sadaqah that is compulsory at the end of Ramadhan to be given to the poor. It is called: زكاة الفطر ، وصدقة الفطر
Law governing Zakaat-ul Fitr
Zakaah al Fitr is an obligatory charity on every able Muslim at the end of the month of Ramadan
عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَرَضَ زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ عَلَى كُلِّ حُرٍّ أَوْ عَبْدٍ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى مِنْ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
“The Prophet, SAS enjoined the payment of one Sa’a of dates or one Sa’a of barley as Zakaat al-Fitr on every Muslim, young and old, male and female, free and slave.” (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
- Ibn Mundhir said: There is a consensus on all whom we have taken knowledge from that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is compulsory.
The Amount of Zakaat al-Fitr
As the Hadith indicated, the amount of Zakaah al-Fitr is one Sa’a. Sa’a is a volume measure corresponding approximately to the volume of 5 lb of good wheat. The material of the Zakaah can be either:
o Or similar items considered as basic foods.
أَبَا سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيَّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ يَقُولُ كُنَّا نُخْرِجُ زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ صَاعًا مِنْ طَعَامٍ أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ أَقِطٍ أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ زَبِيبٍ
“We used to give for Zakaat al-Fitr one Sa’a of food, or one Sa’a of dried yogurt, or one Sa’a of barley, or one Sa’a of dates, or one Sa’a of raisins.” (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
|Sa’a medium dates
|Sa’a split peas
Please note that in our times money is easier to give to the poor in many cases and thus it is accepted whereas in the past grains were preferred.
The Time for Zakaat al-Fitr
Zakaat al-Fitr has to be paid by the end of Ramadhan either one or two days before Eid as ‘Umar used to do, or the day of Eid before the Eid prayer. However in our circumstances here in the USA we need to pay much earlier so that it could reach the poor in time for Eid. This year like previous years we are witnessing the suffering of our Muslim brothers and sisters across the globe and so we would like them at least to have a day iin which they would have something to eat and drink.
The purpose of Zakaat al-Fitr is to purify the one who has fasted from any type of indecent act or speech he might have committed while fasting. It also helps the poor and the needy.
عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ فَرَضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ طُهْرَةً لِلصَّائِمِ مِنْ اللَّغْوِ وَالرَّفَثِ وَطُعْمَةً لِلْمَسَاكِينِ مَنْ أَدَّاهَا قَبْلَ الصَّلَاةِ فَهِيَ زَكَاةٌ مَقْبُولَةٌ وَمَنْ أَدَّاهَا بَعْدَ الصَّلَاةِ فَهِيَ صَدَقَةٌ مِنْ الصَّدَقَاتِ
Ibn Abbas said: “The Messenger of Allah, SAS, enjoined Zakaat al-Fitr on the one who fasts to shield him from any indecent act or speech and for the purpose of providing food for the needy. If one pays Zakaat al-Fitr before the Salaah, it is considered an accepted Zakaat, if he pays it after the Salaah, it is considered an ordinary charity.” (Related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.)
Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet, SAS:
عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَمَرَ بِزَكَاةِ الْفِطْرِ قَبْلَ خُرُوجِ النَّاسِ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ
The Prophet SAS ordered that Zakaat-ul-Fitr should be paid before people leave for the (Eid) prayer.
To whom is Zakaat ul Fitr given?
Zakaat al-Fitr is to be given to the poor and the needy are the most deserving ones since the Prophet, SAS, said that it had “…the purpose of providing food for the needy.”
عن ابن عباس : ” فرض رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم زكاة الفطر طهره للصائم عن العفو والرفث وطعمه للمساكين” .
Ibn Abbaas said: The Prophet SAS made Zakaat-ul-Fitr compulsory as a means of purifying the fasting from any immorality and lewdness and a means of feeding the poor”.
The Purpose of Zakaat-ul-Fitr
- Every Muslim is required to pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan as a token of thankfulness to God for having enabled him to observe fasts.
- Its purpose is to purify those who fast from any indecent act or speech and
- To help the poor and needy, spreading of love and happiness among its members, particularly the poor and needy, during the day of `Eid. In addition, it provides for the needs of the poor and the indigent and relieves them from having to ask others for charity on the day of `Eid. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Fulfill their need on this day (i.e., the day of `Eid)”.
Rasoolullah SAS said:
زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ طُهْرَةً لِلصَّائِمِ مِنْ اللَّغْوِ وَالرَّفَثِ وَطُعْمَةً لِلْمَسَاكِينِ مَنْ أَدَّاهَا قَبْلَ الصَّلَاةِ فَهِيَ زَكَاةٌ مَقْبُولَةٌ وَمَنْ أَدَّاهَا بَعْدَ الصَّلَاةِ فَهِيَ صَدَقَةٌ مِنْ الصَّدَقَاتِ
“The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, enjoined Zakaat-ul-Fitr on those who fast to shield them from any indecent act or speech, and for the purpose of providing food for the needy. It is accepted as Zakaah for the one who pays it before the `Eid prayer, and it is Sadaqah for the one who pays it after the prayer.”
Some Questions on Zakaatul Fitr:
Question: Is Zakaat-ul-Fitr Waajib on servants?
Answer: If the servant is among whom you pay their expenses for food, clothes and housing then you should pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr on his/her behalf. However, if the servant receives a salary then you do not have to pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr on his/her behalf.
Question: Who pays Zakaat-ul-Fitr an orphan?
Answer: An orphan who has wealth should pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr according to the majority of scholars. Muhammad bin Hasan (Student of Abu Haneefah) says that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is not Waajib upon an orphan.
For the fetus it is considered Mustahabb (recommended) not compulsory.
Question: Is Zakaat-ul-Fitr Waajib on the Fetus?
Answer: It is Mustahabb (highly recommended) not Waajib (compulsory)
Question: Is Zakaat-ul-Fitr compulsory on a person if he has not consummated his marriage?
Answer: Zakaat-ul-Fitr is not compulsory on a man who has not consummated his marriage because he is not yet responsible for her maintenance
Question: If a man’s wife is from Ahl-ul Kitaab does he pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr on her behalf?
Answer: If his wife from Ahlul Kitab then Zakaat-ul-Fitr is not compulsory for her
Question: Can you give Zakaat-ul-Fitr to someone who does not use it properly
Answer: It is not proper to give Zakaat-ul-Fitr to some one who does not utilize it for the obedience to Allah(SWT). So who ever does not pray should not be given Zakaat until they make Tawbah and perform their prayer
Question: Can Zakaat ul Fitr be given before the time when it becomes compulsory?
Answer: Yes it is permissible to give Zakaat-ul-Fitr a day or two before Eid-ul-Fitr. According to Shafai it is permissible to take out Zakaat-ul-Fitr any time in the month of Ramadan
Question: Can you disburse Zakaat ul Fitr from one country to another country?
Answer: It is preferable to give Zakaat-ul-Fitr to the people with in a country. However if the need is greater outside of a country or a city then it is permissible to send your Zakaat-ul-Fitr to them.
For this please contact our Head-quarters or ICNA Relief or Helping Hand.
Question: Can you give the value of Zakaat ul Fitr?
Answer: Yes it is permissible to give the monetary value for Zakaat-ul-Fitr