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.