Zakatul Fitr & Eid

The rulings of Zakaat al-Fitr

Praise be to Allah, Who has endowed us with the legislation of Islam and prescribed for us such kinds of worship as to attain nearness to Him. We praise Him for making fasting and optional night prayer easy for us. He rewards those who observe them with faith and anticipation of His good reward and forgiveness of sins.

I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, with Whom there is no associate. To Him all glory and honour are due. I testify that Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is His servant and Messenger, the best of worshippers of Allah and the best of those who observe Prayer, fasting and pilgrimage. May Allah bless him, his family, his Companions and those who will follow them until the Day of Resurrection.

O people! Fear Allah, glorified is He. Contemplate on your affairs, what you have done in this honourable month (Ramadan) whose end is approaching. It will be a witness, either for or against you, depending on the deeds you have done in it. So, hasten to make use of its remaining days through repentance and asking Allah’s forgiveness and doing good deeds and saying good words, so that you may make up for what have lost in previous days because of negligence and carelessness.

The days of this month have been occupied by fasting, remembrance of Allah and recitation of the Noble Qur’an. Performing obligatory and optional night Prayers has illuminated its nights. The affairs of the righteous have been on the optimum level of worship. These honourable nights and blessed days, however, have come to an end, as if they were an hour in a day.

How great is the grief for these days and nights in which carelessness and negligence were obvious. We ask Allah to bless the remaining days to make up what we have lost and to conclude it by offering us forgiveness, emancipation from the Hellfire and to return it again with safety and faith.

O Muslims! Your Lord has prescribed for us certain kinds of worships to be observed at the end of this month, with which we can increase our faith and perfect our worship. By the end of this month Allah has ordained for us Zakaat al-Fitr, Takbir and Eid Prayer. Zakaat al-Fitr has been prescribed by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) as a Sa’ of food, dried dates, barley or any other kind of food. Abu Sa’eed (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet prescribed Zakaat al-Fitr as a Sa’ of food [above 2 kg]. Whenever these kinds of food are good for the poor it is better to pay Zakaah from them.

Give it willingly of best quality since you will not get the reward except by expending of that which is dearest to you. Thanks to Allah, it is a small amount, which is obliged once a year. Why is a Muslim not desirous of the good, which is better in the sight of Allah and more in reward? He is allowed to give this Zakaah to more than one person and to give more than one Zakaah to one person because the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) prescribed it as one Sa’ but he did not specify the amount to be paid.

This indicates that the matter is open to the tradition of people. Therefore, if a family used to gather their Zakaah in one container from which they give the poor without measuring, there is no harm but they should tell the person they give, lest he should pay it as Zakaah on behalf of himself. Zakaat al-Fitr is due upon every Muslim, whether young or old, man or woman. Pay it on behalf of yourself and on anyone for whom you are responsible of wives and relatives. It is not due upon the pregnant but it is better to pay Zakaah on her behalf.

It is better to pay it on the day of Eid al-Fitr before the Eid Prayer, if it is easy for you. You may also give it a day or two before the Eid, but not earlier than that. It should not be delayed until after the Eid, except for an excuse, such as the case of sudden announcement of the advent of the Eid or he believes that there is no harm to pay after the prayer. It is not allowed to be paid to anyone other than the poor or his deputy. It must be paid to the poor or to his deputy because it is lawful for the poor to assign a person to be his deputy to receive Zakaah on his behalf.

If you want to pay Zakaah to any person and you fear that you might not be able to see him when paying it, let him assign a person to be his deputy to receive it or to assign you as his deputy to be with you as a trust until you meet him.

As far as Takbir is concerned, Allah ordains it. Almighty Allah says: “Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also Clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” (Al-Baqarah: 185).

Eid Prayer

You should recite Takbir right from the sunset of the day preceding the Eid day until Eid Prayer. Recite Takbir in mosques, homes and streets. “Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar la ilaha illal-lah, Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-hamd” (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, to Allah all praise is due). Say this with loud voice as a sign of glorification of Allah and highlighting of Islamic rituals. Women, however, should recite Takbir quietly.

As for the prayer, the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) ordered all people even women to perform it, so go out for the prayer whether men, women, young or old. Women should go out neither applying perfume nor disclosing their ornaments. However, menstruating women should keep away from their Musalla (place of Prayer) because this place is regarded as a mosque. As to men, they should go out perfumed, wearing the best of their garments after taking a bath.

According to the Prophet’s tradition (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), one may eat three, five or any odd number of dates before getting out to perform Eid Prayer. Some women may be aware of the announcement of Eid but refrain from breaking their fast except at the place of prayer. This action has no basis in Shari’ah, rather they should intend breaking the fast once they get the announcement of Eid because keeping fast on this day is prohibited.

May Allah guide us.

Seeking Laylatul Qadr

This is known as the Night of Decree. It has a special merit and is described in the Quraan as follows:

1. 1,000 Months

Verily! We have sent it (this Quraan) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree), And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] by Allahs Permission with all Decrees, Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.” (Al-Qadr 97:1 - 5)

Therefore, worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months! Which is about 83 years and 4 months! This is probably longer then most of us will even live! So which of us will be crazy enough to waste this opportunity?

2. Quraan Revealed and Decrees sent down

We sent it (this Quraan) down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. Amran (i.e. a Command or this Quraan or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers), (As) a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (Ad-Dukhan 44:6)

How blessed must the night, the Quraan was sent down, be?

There are two things perhaps its worth pointing out though. We all known that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was given the Quraan is segments:

And those who disbelieve say: "Why is not the Quran revealed to him all at once?" Thus (it is sent down in parts), that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages. (It was revealed to the Prophet SAW in 23 years.).” (Al-Furqan 25:32)

And (it is) a Quraan which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by stages. (in 23 years).” (Al-Isra 17:106)

So if that the case, how could the Quraan have been revealed during Laylatul Qadr?

Muslims also believe in something known as the al – Lawh ul – Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet). In this, Allaah recorded everything that was going to happen in the future, Since Allaah has infinite knowledge and well aware of our future actions. This same books has all the decrees and is described in the following narration:

Narrated Abdullah b. Amr b. al-As (may Allah be pleased with him): I heard Allahs Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “Allah ordained the measures (of quality) of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, as His Throne was upon water.” [Saheeh Muslim, Book 033, Number 6416]

And it is Narrated Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit said, “O my little son, you will never find the taste of Eemaans reality until you know that whatever caught you would not have missed you and what missed you would never have caught you.

I heard Allaahs Messenger say: “Indeed the first thing which Allaah created was the pen and He told it to write.

It asked: O my Lord, what should I write?

Allah said: Write the destiny of everything until the Final Hour comes

O my little son! I heard Allaahs Messenger (peace be upon him) say, “Whoever dies believing in other than this is not a true follower of mine.” [Sunan Aboo Daawood, vol. 3, p. 1317, Number 4683 and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albaanee in Sharh al - Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah, p. 264 and in as-Silsilah, vol. 1, no. 207]

Therefore, when people say it was written in your Destinty, they are referring to the above book.

So on laylatul qadr, the Quraan was revealed from this book.

When is the Night?

Narrated Aishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): Allahs Apostle (peace be upon him) said, "Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan." [Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 234]

Therefore, it could be 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th. Some narrations indicate its on the last seven days and others say 27th. However, its best to seek it on all the odd nights (only 5 days!) and perhaps you will be rewarded for a lifetime!

One thing to note, we start our nights at maghrib. So, if today is the 20th fast. However, the prayer of tonite is the 21st. If you recall, we startd taraweeh the night before fasting. Also, when the moon is sighted at the end, we dont pray taraweeh the night before Eid.

How should one approach and benefit from this night?

1. Stand in Qiyaam

Qiyaam means standing and Qiyaam ul layl means standing at night. Its basically the night prayer and has other names such as: tahajjud, taraweeh, etc.

Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven ." [Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 231]

Ideally, you should go and pray Taraweeh in the Mosque and complete the prayer with the Imaam, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever stand in prayer with the Imaam until he (the Imaam) concludes the prayer, it is recorded for him that he prayer the whole night.” [Sunan Aboo Daawood, Sunan at – Tirmithee and others. Its chain of narrations is authentic. See Irwaa ul – Ghaleel, Number 447]

However, if you are unable to, then pray it at home.

Remember, make sure that you have made wudoo correctly, your clothes are clean, the area you are praying is clean and that you pray in a moderate pace and recite correctly. Its ok if you cant recite big soorahs, its the intentions that counts.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.”

[Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 1]

4. Make Dua

There was a sheikh who said when he was 12, he thought to himself, if Allaah will give us anything on this night, what are the main things I really wish for. He made a list of about 6 and asked for them every night (in the last ten days). He said 2 years later he had memorized the Quraan

So similarly, Look into your lives and see what it is you need to make them complete. Make your list, then after your Witr prayer, raise your hands up and ask Allaah, from the bottom of your heart, what it is you want. Also, cry if you can, and if you cant, then make yourself cry. I know it sounds strange, but once you break that shell around your heart, you will become more sincere.

Also, its Sunnah to say the following Dua:

"Allahumma innaka
afuwwun tuh ibbul afwa
fa fu annee

(O Allah! You are forgiving,
and you love forgiveness.
So forgive me).

Remember, ask for whatever you wish, but dont forget to say for forgiveness, because the last place we all want to end up is in Hell…

Just incase you’r not sure what to ask for:

· Forgives for yourself, your family and the who muslim nation (ummah)

· Guidance to the straight path

· Purification of mind, body and soul

· Knowledge of the religion

· Wisdom

· The best of the world and the next

· A righteous spouse

· Paradise

· Etc etc

Dont ask for things like long life, more money, etc because all of this has already been apportioned for you and it cannot be changed.

As for those of who you may not be able to pray, you should recite Quraan instead. Quraan can be recited in any state, according to the strongest opinion (according to Dr. Bilal and others scholars), so dont follow the views of those who dont know! Allaah would not restrict the Quraan to certian people and certain times only!! So recite Quraan, perhaps recite a soorah that you love and read its translation. Or you can read other stuff like islamic articles, or some of the stories of the Prophets, or even ahadeeth. The point is to do something good. and after that, make your Dua sincerely.

And Finally, be consistent. Its only 5 nights, dont waste them. Repeat the same thing every night. Anyone and everyone who trys to distract you in these nights, are no doubt soldiers of shaytaan. Any friends who ask you to go out on this night, are the ones that will lead you to Hell. So take heed of your actions and Fear Allaah in all you do…

Remember..this might be your last Ramadaan…The last thing you want is to be in your grave, regretting not being a better Muslim in this life…Once you die, your judgment starts and there is no returning back!

compiled by Imran Ayub