Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ZAKAT AL-FITR (Alms giving, Charity)

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 Zakat al-Fitr is often referred to as Sadaqah al-Fitr 

(voluntary charity)at the end of The Ramadan.

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 Ramadan. Fitr is compulsory on 

those who can afford it, and it is a sin not to give it.
                        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 that year.
                  Fitr is dependant 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 his house.
                        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 Eid al-Fitr. 
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.
              On the last day of the month of Ramadan, if a person arrranges a Majlis
 which finishes afer sunset (Magrib) and if, he offers Niyaz or food 

to his guests, he does not have to give Fitr for them.
                          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.
                                            " Holy Quran (2:152)

"If ye are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; 
But if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is 
terrible indeed." 
Holy Quran(14:7)                       

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!" Holy Quran (40:60) 

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 Ramada

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."