Thursday, August 8, 2013
Allah (SWT) says in the Quran-e-Majid that one who gives "Zakat"
and remembers Him will get salvation. Here, Zakat means "Fitra"
and remembrance of God means the recitation of the following
Takbir on the night and morning of Eid al-Fitr.
"Allaaho Akbar, Allaaho Akbar, Laa ilaaha illallaah wallaaho
Akbar, Allaaho Akbar, Wa lillaahil hamd. Alhamdulillah alaa
maa hadaanaa walahu Shukr alaa maa aulana."
The meaning of the above is: "Allah is Great, Allah is Great there is
no one worthy of prayer but Allah, and Allah is Great; Allah is Great,
all praise be to Allah, it is He Who guides."
Zakat al-Fitr is a small amount that Muslims are obliged to pay as
charity at the end of Ramadan. Zakat al-Fitr is often referred to
as Sadaqah al-Fitr (voluntary charity). The word Fitr means the
same as Iftaar, breaking a fast and it comes from the same root word
as Futoor which means breakfast. Thus, Islamically, Zakat al-Fitr is the
name given to charity which is distributed at the end of the fast of
Fitr is compulsory on those who can afford it, and it is a sin not to
Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.) has said that fasts do not attain
perfection without Fitr just as Namaz is not accepted without invoking
the blessings of Allah on Mohammad (S.A.W.) and his Aaal (A.S.) in
Tashahhud. Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.) used to instruct his
accountant to take out Fitr for each individual including slaves and
servants male and female of his household without exception, as,
he feared that one whose Fitr was not taken out might die within
Fitr is dependent on the major item of food consumed by a person
during the year. These may be rice, wheat, barley, dates, etc.
In weight Fitr should be three Kilograms per person. It is also permissible
to pay cash to the value of three Kilograms food grains.
It is obligatory on the head of the family to give Fitr of all persons
(including servants of both sexes of any cast or creed) that take food in
If a guest Muslim or non-Muslim arrives at one's house before the night
of Eid al-Fitr and dines with his host, it is incumbent on the latter to
give the former's Fitr. If the guest arrives after sunset of the night of
Fitr is not obligatory even if he dines with his host. Even when the
guest arriving before sunset does not dine, Fitr is obligatory on the host.
In this it is better if both the host and the guest give Fitr.
If one's wife is at her parent's on the night of Eid al-Fitr, her parents
should take out her Fitr.
Fitr should be given to deserving Momins who do not have enough income
for the maintenance of their families for the whole year.
Fitr cannot be given to one's dependants. But, it is better to give it to
non-dependant deserving relatives. Next in order of preference are
deserving neighbors and then any other deserving pious persons.
Fitr from Syeds can be given to Syeds or non-Syeds. Fitr from non-Syeds
cannot be given to Syeds.
If deserving persons are not really available, Fitr should be sent to
places where such persons are found, or the amount should be sent
to a Mujtahid who would do the needful in distributing the same.
It is not essential that the recipient of Fitr is an "Aadil" (just), but it
is necessary to ensure that it is not given to anyone likely to use it
in acts of sin, e.g. drinking liquor, gambling, etc.
Although it is permissible to send Fitr to any place it is preferable
if it is distributed to a deserving person locally.
The time for giving Fitr is from the night of Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan Eid)
up to the noon (Zohr) of Eid al-Fitr. If this is not possible for some
reason the amount of Fitr should be set apart from his other monies
and disbursed when deserving person is available or it may be sent
to a Mujtahid for required distribution.
It is stated that Fitr ought to be given to pious persons and not
those who indulge in sin.
And now that the Holy Month of Glory (Ramadan) has departed and
Eid is over, let us look back to the lessons it has taught us, and let us
pray to God that the things we observed the recitation of the Holy Quran,
the saying of Prayers (Namaz) regularly, the charity which we did,
the poor that we fed, the good manners and self-restraint that we
observed, should be with us in our everyday lives and these are the
very ACTS that take us nearer to Allah.
And Allah has said, "Therefore remember Me, I will remember you,
and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me."
(2:152 Holy Quran )
"If ye are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; But if ye show
ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed."
(14:7 Holy Quran )
And to those who have been indifferent and have wished that there was
no such thing as this month of Ramadan and who on sighting the New Moon
had a dejected face, should remember this Ayat of the Holy Quran.
"Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant
to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell - in humiliation!"
(40:60 Holy Quran)
But can ye not see, O men, the mighty workers of God in the heavens and
the earth? The dark-some splendor of the night with the stars, and the
daylight splendor of the sun? How the earth with its spacious expanse and
its mountains, yields moisture and pasture, and feeds and sustains men and
cattle, through God's Providence?
AH! Transgress not all bounds and earn not the fire of punishment, but fear
God and His Judgment, and prepare for the Garden of Perpetual Bliss.
ZAKAT AL-FITR and ZAKAT (ZAKAH) are different: (Alms giving, Charity)
Over the centuries, it has become a practice among the Muslims to offer
their Zakat (Zakah) in the month of Ramadan. This is generally done to
increase one's blessings. However, we should remember that Zakat
(Zakah) becomes due, one year after a person's wealth reaches the
value of Nisab (minimum amount) for a type of item (Gold, Silver,
Savings, etc) and according to most scholars, his wealth has to remain
above that Nisab level throughout the course of the year.
So it is impossible for the whole Ummah to have reached the obligation
of paying Zakat (Zakah), at the onset of Ramadan. We should be clear in
our minds that Zakat (Zakah) is not tied in with the month of Ramadan.
An individual can bring forward his Zakat (Zakah) due date (notice: not
push back), in order to take advantage of the multifold blessings of
Ramadan. In fact, to make it easy on the recipients whose needs have
to be met, one might chose Ramadan for the extra Sadaqa he gives out.
Finally, Zakat (Zakah) is not simply the calculation of your dues on your
Gold and Silver ornaments. Its scope and implication is wide-ranging.
As such, it requires us to be diligent and aware of various details relating
to our context and various forms of wealth. At the minimum,
a learned scholar should be consulted.
Imam Jafer As-Sadiq (as) said: "Allah shall ward off 70 kinds of Calamities
from one who gives Charity in the month of Ramadan."
The day immediately following the end of the holy month of Ramadan
is called Eid Fitr. In other words, it falls on the first day of Shawwal
Al-Mukarram. It is one of the greatest Islamic festivals.
Eid Fitr is the Day of Thanksgiving to Allah, for giving His servants
the opportunity to fast and to worship Him in the month of Ramadan.
On this Day, Muslims leave their jobs, wear clean clothes, offer special
Eid Prayers, and after prayers go to visit one another and take part in
festivities. Small children wear beautiful new clothes, and are very
busy enjoying the festival. Their angelic faces beam with joy.
Islam wants that all Muslims, whether rich or poor, should enjoy Eid.
It has, therefore, commanded all the well-to-do people to pay
the Zakat-e-Fitr. This Zakat-e-Fitr is paid on the very day of Eid Fitr.
It consists of 3 kilograms of one's daily food or its equivalent in cash.
The payment of Zakat-e-Fitr is obligatory upon every person who is
adult, sane and free at the time of the sunset on the last day of Ramadan,
and is also not dependent upon others for means of subsistence.
If the person concerned is the head of a family, it is incumbent upon
him to pay his own Zakat-e-Fitr as well.
Zakat-e-Fitr is the right of the poor and the needy, and can be spent
for those purposes only, for which Zakat, payable on property,
This includes helping the deserving people and building hospitals, bridges,
schools, etc. Nowadays, Zakat-e-Fitr is paid without any planning, with
the result that the deserving people do not derive any suitable benefit
from it. It would be better if the Zakat-e-Fitr paid by all the people,
is collected in one place and spent after proper planning, so that the
condition of a good number of needy persons may improve.
Eid Fitr is one of the two great Islamic festivals, the other being
Eid-ul-Azha. Its importance can be judged from the fact that
Almighty Allah Himself ordered the believers to celebrate it.
It is celebrated at the end of the month of fasting (Ramadan)
and has a special significance for the Muslim society.
Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) established the Islamic
egalitarian society, free of all kinds of exploitation and corruption,
and maintaining the sanctity of this society was made the obligation
of the believers in every age. For this purpose, the holy month of
fasting (Ramadan) was selected to help prepare believers for this
In this training, during the specific fasting periods believers are required
to refrain from enjoying such things, which are otherwise lawful for them.
The purpose of this exercise is mentioned in the following verse of
the Holy Quran:
"So that you may learn restraint."
(2:183 Surah Baqara, Holy Quran)
Believers happily obey these injunctions to please Almighty Allah.
Such an exercise has pleasant effects on the practical life of believers
and, in their practical life, helps them refrain from adopting corrupt ways.
Some jurists maintain that Itikaf (Etekaaf) during the last 10 days of
the month of Ramadan is also a part of this training. In this worship,
the believer confines himself in a mosque for the specified period of
The Islamic society, established in the light of the above teachings
was a symbol of the greatness of Almighty Allah on this earth.
Actually it was a gigantic achievement, which deserved all kinds of
rejoicing. That is why Almighty Allah Himself asked the believers to enjoy
In this respect the Holy Quran says: "Say in the grace of Allah and in
His mercy in that they should rejoice."
(Chapter Yunus, Verse 58)
The celebration of the festival of Eid Fitr is itself a model of an
egalitarian Islamic society, and Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) best
explained this model by his personal example. It is reported that he used
to wear a special dress to grace the occasion, but it was never a costly
one and was always within the reach of everybody. Once Umar brought
a costly dress for him requesting him to wear it on Eid days and other
ceremonial occasions. Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) immediately
returned the dress observing that it did not behave a believer to wear
such a costly dress.
The result was that all the Companions dressed simply on this occasion
and consequently this simplicity became a symbol of the Islamic society.
Today, the provision of shelter, dress and food are enumerated as the
three basic human needs, and equality in meeting these needs results
in all egalitarian society. Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) already
solved the issue of shelter once and for all. He himself lived in a
simple house and expected his Companions to follow him in this
Once when a wealthy Companion built a palatial building, Holy Prophet
Muhammad (S.A.W.) disliked it to such an extent that he socially
boycotted that Companion (Sunnan Abu Daud, vol.4, p. 487).
As a result of the Holy Prophet's stern attitude in this respect, none of
the Companions ever dared to have an edge over his fellow believers
in the matter of construction of buildings. Due to this policy, even
the poor in the society were able to have shelter for themselves.
By dressing simply on this happiest occasion of Eid Fitr, Holy Prophet
Muhammad (S.A.W.) solved the issue of the second basic need of
The third basic need of society is food. Today this need has attained
such an importance that it results in political change in many developing
countries. By taking various steps, Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)
ensured that nobody was deprived of this basic need in the Islamic
society. But the situation on festivals is usually different. On this day,
everybody tries to enjoy special dishes, which normally the poor
Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) held this point in view, and he made
such an efficient arrangement that not only was good food guaranteed
for all the poor of the society on that day, but also some of their other
needs were met.
He ordered the rich believers to pay a fixed amount of money to the
poor on that day or before that day. This is known as "Sadaqa-ul-Fitr
(Zakat-e-Fitr)", and its rate varies according to the price of grain.
A huge amount of money can be collected under this system which may
be sufficient to meet the needs of the poor on this day, and some of it
may be saved to meet their needs in other difficult times.
Nowadays in many localities, (Sadaqa-ul-Fitr) is adjusted against the
emoluments of the Imams of the local mosques, and the poor in the
Muslim society air deprived of a big chunk of money which may
practically convert the present-day Muslim society into an egalitarian
It may be mentioned here that the sacred festival of Eid Fitr has been
selected by Almighty Allah Himself to guide the believers to establish
an egalitarian Islamic society on the face of this earth.
The Holy Quran was revealed during the month of Ramadan about which
it was marked: "It (the Holy Quran) is better than that which they hoard."
(Chapter Yunus, Verse 58)
Hoarding symbolizes a non-egalitarian society, which encourages the
hoarding of essential articles. This is done to fleece the needy persons.
The Holy Quran was revealed to eliminate this evil in all its details, and
the month of Ramadan was selected for this purpose.
The successful completion of all the various steps for establishing such
an egalitarian society deserves rejoicing.
Nowadays the Muslims with great pomp and show celebrate Eid Fitr,
but unfortunately its real spirit is ignored. That is why the present-day
Muslim society age, instead of becoming an egalitarian one, has been
divided into haves and have-nots.
This state of affairs has not only robbed the majority of Muslims of their
peace of mind, but has also converted them into the weakest nation of
the world. Such a situation demands that steps be taken to celebrate
this occasion of Eid Fitr in the same sprit as during the life of Holy
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).
In this way Muslims will be able to convert their present day society
into an Islamic egalitarian one. It will prove beneficial for humanity
as it proved so during the early periods of Islam.