بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Somehow, I knew that word would catch your eye.
What is “Al-Muhajiroon”?
Well, that’s the name of a bi-monthly magazine run by the sisters at the Enlightened into Islam Center in Kuwait. [Here’s their blog.]
And it’s quite nice indeed. [Those of you who want to know more about the Names of Allah will REALLY like it. They have an article on a Name in each issue.]
You can download all the previous issues here.
Here are the Ramadan issues:
[Click on the picture to download the issue.]
1) Servitude in Fasting (Year 1429 AH)
2) What is after Ramadan? (Year 1430 AH)
3) Two Occasions of Joy for the Person Observing Saum (Fasting) (Year 1431 AH)
4) Patience and Gratitude during the Month of Ramadan (Year 1432 AH)
5) Lailatul Qadr – The Night of Decree (Year 1433 AH i.e. this year’s edition)
The Centre has also produced a couple of books. You can find them all online here.
Two of them are related to Ramadan:
[Click on the picture to download the book.]
1) The Verdicts of Fasting
2) Zakaat-ul-Fitr (The Breaking Fast Charity)
PS. It’s a total coincidence that three of the last four posts (including this one) have links to Islamic magazines.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Remember this series? The last part discussed khushoo (humility) in prayer.
Salaah (prayer) is the second pillar of Islam. After this comes the zakaah (the obligatory charity).
[Note: It is zakaah and not zakaat. And while we’re having a language lesson, I’d also like to point out that “namaz” is an Urdu/Farsi/Turkish word, not an Arabic word so could we please stop using it in the English language? Baarakallahu feekum.]
Prayer is the right of Allah, whereas zakaah is the right of the slaves of Allah.
Allah has mentioned salaah and zakaah together 82 times in the Quran (according to Shaikh Saleh Al-Fawzan), thereby showing how intertwined these two really are.
So it’s strange to find people who pray but do not give zakaah. [Of course, it’s even stranger to find people who give zakaah but do not pray!]
If one wants to be a complete Muslim, one should fulfill both the rights of Allah and the rights of creation. Safeguarding one’s prayers and paying the zakaah are the first steps towards that.
I’m completely useless with the fiqh (jurisprudence) of zakaah so I won’t even go there. [I studied it 4 times and it just keeps going above my head.] You may find many resources here though.
However, I’d like to point out the following important points:
1) Zakaah is obligatory but sadaqah (charity) isn’t.
Zakaah is a bit like the five obligatory prayers and sadaqah is a bit like the voluntary prayers, in the sense that you have the obligatory part for everyone and you also have the voluntary part for those that want to go the extra mile.
2) Zakaah is not necessarily due in Ramadan. It is due when one (lunar) year passes on the wealth.
You might have multiple times where you pay zakaah during the year as you might have zakaah due on different things.
4) Zakaah and Zakaatul fitr are two totally different things.
The former is due after one (lunar) year. The latter is due at the end of Ramadan and is paid in the form of food.
5) Zakaah is not due on everybody. It is only due on those who fulfill the required conditions .
6) The one who doesn’t pay the zakaah out of stinginess is a major sinner. However, the one who doesn’t pay the zakaah because he doesn’t think it it obligatory is a disbeliever.
7) Zakaah can only be given to one of eight categories of people, whereas there is no restriction on who sadaqah can be given to.
Apart from the fasts and the night prayers, what also distinguishes Ramadan from the other months is the brotherhood (which is shown through the zakaah and sadaqah). So we need to extend this brotherhood to the other months as well.
Unfortunately, one of the issues that we’re facing today as an ummah (nation) is that the money flows in during Ramadan and all the people in need get enough.
However, in the other 11 months, the well seems to dry up.
Why is that? Well, I guess it’s the same reason that some people pray only in Ramadan but not outside of it.
The reason is that they don’t understand the Names and Attributes of Allah, nor do they know about His Rights. Due to this, they cheat themselves by only worshipping Him during Ramadan.
So, it is incumbent for the one who is truly sincere in worshipping Allah that he does so 12 months a year, not just one!
So we not only need to work on improving our prayers but we also need to be more consistent in giving charity.
An amazing story of consistency in giving charity would be Shaikh ibn Baz (rahimahullah). I heard that he gave so much charity that he never paid zakaah (because his wealth did not fulfill the conditions as he gave it away before the year passed), subhan Allah.
Insha-Allah, in the next post of this series, I’ll clear up some misunderstandings that people have about charity.
Zakaatul Fitr is a charity that is due at the end of Ramadan. A few points regarding it:
1) It is an obligation according to the majority of scholars.
2) It is paid by the head of the household for ALL those under his care.
3) It is to be paid in the form of 1 saa (Don’t ask me for the measurement. I always get confused.) of dates, barley, cheese or wheat, according to the majority.
Brother Abu Taubah (in the lecture below) says that it’s an innovation to pay cash instead of money. I wouldn’t go that far because there is a group of scholars (a minority) that say it is allowed. While I don’t agree with them (the evidence doesn’t support their view), I wouldn’t call it a innovation, just a mistaken ijtihaad on their part (in my view).
Unfortunately, the “zakaatul fitr can be money” view is very popular with the laymen although it was NOT the practice of the early generations.
Do people give zakaatul fitr as money because they believe that it is the right view or because it is easier than giving food? Allah knows better.
[I think the cost of 1 saa of rice is something like AED 15. I’d advise all the brothers and sisters to encourage their children to pay it from their own pocket money. This will instill in them a sense of responsibility.]
4) It HAS to be paid before the Eid prayer.
How long before the Eid prayer? Some scholars said any time before Ramadan but many of then said it should be within the last two days and not before that. So it’s best not to pay it too early.
You can delegate someone to do it though. For example, Dar Al Ber offers zakaatul fitr services. If you pay AED 10 or 15 (I can’t remember the amount), they’ll buy the food on your behalf and feed the poor person towards the end of Ramadan.
5) The recipients are the same as the 8 categories of people who can receive zakaah.
6) Like zakaah, it is better to pay it in one’s own place of residence.
I’ll put up some resources on Zakaatul Fitr, insha-Allah.
Here’s the first one:
Zakaatul Fitr – Is it money or food? By Abu Taubah
Many people seem to pay their zakaah in Ramadan so here’s a simple book to help them with this issue: Zakaah by Shaikh Ibn Baz (rahimahullah).
Note: It is BETTER (according to the Shariah) to give your zakaah / sadaqah (charity) / zakatul fitr in the country in which you reside. Therefore, if you live here (i.e. United Arab Emirates), then please pay your zakaah/ sadaqah / zakaatul fitr to someone who lives in the United Arab Emirates. If you want to give it to poor relatives overseas, then that’s fine but if not, then the priority is helping out your own community*.
[*That means the people around you regardless of their nationality.]
And please don’t tell me that there are no poor people here because then I’ll send you a long list of poor people here who are totally suffering.