The Blessed Days of Dhul-Hijjah

The Blessed Days of Dhul-Hijjah

- From Islamic Newsletter ‘As-Sunnah’ Issue no: 10 Compiled by Shawana A. Aziz

The month of Dhul-Hijjah is a season of worship, and seasons of worship bring along blessings, benefits and opportunities to correct one’s faith and make up for shortcoming. Every one of these special opportunities involves some kind of worship, which brings the slave closer to his Lord. And Allah bestows His blessings and Favours on whom He wills. The fortunate person is he who makes good use of these special months, days, and hours, while worshiping Allah. He is most likely to be touched by the blessings of Allah. [Ibn Rajab, al-Lata’if pp. 8]

The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are marked blessed for both, the pilgrims and the non-pilgrims. Rewards of good deeds are multiplied in these days. Imam Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullah) (d. 751H) said:

“Indeed, its days are the most excellent of all the days with Allah. It has been confirmed in Sahih Al-Bukhari from Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“No deed are more virtuous than deeds on these days.”

The companions asked: ‘Not even Jihad (fighting in Allah’s Cause)?’ He (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied:

“Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out risking himself and his wealth for the sake of Allah, and does not come back with anything.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari vol: 2, no: 457]

And it is these ten days, of which Allah takes an oath saying:

“By the dawn; by the ten nights.” [Surah Al Fajr 89: 1-2]

This is why it is recommended to increase in making Takbir, Tahlil and Tamhid during these days.

Yawm al-Arafat

The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day of Arafat. It is this day when the pilgrims gather on the mountain plain of Arafat, praying and supplicating to their Lord. The day of Arafat holds great importance in Islam since this is the Day when Allah completed his revelation on His Messenger (sAllahu alaihe wa-sallam). It is reported in the Sahihayn (i.e. Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim), from Umar Ibn al-Khattab (radhi Allahu anhu) that a Jewish man said to him:

“O Amir al-Muminin (O head of the Muslims)! There is a verse in the Quran, which if was revealed on us, the Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival). Umar asked: ‘Which verse?’ He said:

“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Surah Al Ma’idah 5: 3]

Umar (radhi Allahu anhu) said: ‘We know on which day and in which place was this verse revealed to Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu alaihe wa-sallam). It was when he was standing in Arafat on a Friday.’

Arafat is the day on which Allah took the covenant from the progeny of Adam (alaihis-salam), it was reported that Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) related:

“(When Allah created Adam (alaihis-salam) Allah took covenant from him in a place Na’man on the day of Arafat, then He extracted from him all the descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying:

“Am I not your Lord?”

and they all replied: ‘Yes, we testify to it’. Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their Creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said:

“That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Surely, we were unaware of this. We had no idea that You, Allah, were our Lord. No one told us that we were only supposed to worship You.”

[Sahih by Shaikh al-Albani in Silsilah al-Ahadith as-Sahihah vol: 4, no: 1623]

Indeed, the day of Arafat is a blessed day and there is no other covenant greater than this covenant! Arafat is a day of Forgiveness from sins, freedom from the Hell-Fire for the people who are present in the plain of Arafat. A’ishah (radhi Allahu anha) narrated the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying:

“There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the day of Arafat. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels saying, ‘What do these people (the Hajis) want?’” [Sahih Muslim]

This Hadith mentions forgiveness for the pilgrims. In addition to this, fasting on the day of Arafat is a Sunnah and an expiation of sins for the residents. Hunaydah ibn Khalid reported from his wife that some of the wives of the Prophet (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to fast on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, on the day of Ashurah, on three days of each month, and on the first two Mondays and Thursdays of each month.” [(Sahih) by Shaikh al-Albani in Sahih Abu Dawud vol: 2, no: 462]

It is reported in Sahih Muslim that when the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) was asked about the fasting on the day of Arafat, he said:

“It expiates the sins of the previous year and that of the following year.” [Sahih Muslim]

This fasting is Mustahabb only for the non-pilgrims and not for the Hajis (the pilgrims) because it was not the practice of Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) to fast on the day of Arafat during pilgrimage and in a narration he also forbade doing so. Imam at-Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) (d. 275H) said:

“The People of Knowledge consider it recommended (Mustahabb) to fast on the day of Arafat, except for those at Arafat.” [Jami’ut-Tirmidhi (3/377)]

Yawm an-Nahr

The tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the greatest day of Hajj. It is known as Yawm an-Nahr (the day of Sacrifice), since it marks the ending of the major rite of Hajj – the Sacrifice. And it is on this day that the Muslims commemorate the bounties and blessings of Allah. It was recorded in a Hadith by Imam Ahmad (in his Musnad vol: 4, no: 350) that the day of Nahr is the most virtuous day to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“The greatestday of Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” [(Sahih) by Shaikh al-Albani in Irwa al-Ghalil (no: 1101). Abu Dawud no: 1945]

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said:

“The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jum’uah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. Some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina).” [(Sahih) by Shaikh al-Albani in Irwa al-Ghalil (no: 2018). Related by Abu Dawud no: 1765].” [Majmu al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]

The day of An-Nahr is also known as ‘Eid al-Adha’ meaning the festival of Sacrifice and it is one of the two festivals which Allah has granted to the Ummah of Prophet (sAllahu alaihe wa-sallam). Anas (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated, Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) came to Madinah and the people of Madinah in the days of Jahiliyyah had two days of play and amusement. So, Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“I came to you and you had in Jahiliyyah, two days of play and amusement. Allah has replaced something better for you. The Day of an-Nahr and the day of al-Fitr.” [(Sahih) by Hafidh Ibn Hajr in Bulugh al-Maram. Related by Musnad Ahmad vol: 3, no: 103]

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“The day of al-Fitr, and the day of an-Nahr, and the days of at-Tashriq (the three days after an-Nahr) are our days of Eid (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” [(Sahih) by Shaikh al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami (no: 8192). Related by Musnad Ahmad (no: 1945)]

Glorifying Allah with Takbir: (Takbir al-Muqayyid):

From the day of Arafat until the Asr prayer of the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah, one should make Takbir after every obligatory Salat. Ibn Abi Shaybah relates that Ali (radhi Allahu anhu) used to make the Takbir beginning after the Fajr prayer on the day of Arafat, until after the Asr prayer on the last day of at-Tashriq. [(Sahih) by Shaikh al-Albani in al-Irwa. Related by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf]

Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:

“The most correct saying concerning the Takbir – that which the majority of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), and the Scholars from the Companions and Imams were upon – is to begin making the Takbir from Fajr (dawn) on the day of Arafat up until the last day of at-Tashriq (the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah), after every Prayer.” [Majmu al-Fatawa (24/220)]

Imam al-Khattabi (rahimahullah) (d. 456H) said:

“The wisdom behind saying the Takbir in these days is that in the times of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their Taghuts (false objects of worship). So the Takbirs were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allah alone, and by mentioning only His Name.” [Fath al-Bari]

As regards to the actual wording of the Takbirs, then nothing authentic has been related from the Messenger of Allah. However, the following have been reported from the Sahabah:

1. Ibn Mas’ud (radiyAllahu anhuma):

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd. [(Sahih) Irwa al-Ghalil (650), Daraqutne, Ibn Shaibah]

(Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises)

2. Ibn Abbas (radiyAllahu anhuma):

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allahu Akbar wa-ajal, Allahu akbaru ala mahadana. [(sahih) – Bayhaqi (3/315)]

(Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises. Allah is the Greatest to that which He has guided us to)

3. Salman (radhi Allahu anhu) :

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabira. [(sahih) – Bayhaqi (3/316)]

(Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest)

“Increase in these days with Tahlil, Takbir and Tamhid. (Takbir al-Mutlaq). And mention the name of Allah on the appointed Days.” [Surah Al Hajj 22:28]

This verse has been explained (by some) to mean the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Scholars consider it desirable to increase Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) in these days, because the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) is reported to have said:

“There are no days that are greater to Allah or in which deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so increase your Tahlil, Takbir and Tamhid during these days.” [Musnad Ahmad]

Tahlil, Takbir and Tamhid mean saying ‘La ilaha illa Allah’, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘al-Hamdu lillah’, respectively.

Ishaq narrates from the scholars of the Tabi’in that in these ten days they used to say: Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; La-ilaha-ill-Allah; wallahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; Wa-lillahil-hamd.

It is a beloved act to raise the voice when saying the Takbir in the markets, the houses, the streets, the masjids and other places, because of the saying of Allah Most High in Surah al-Hajj verse 37:

“…that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you…”

Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) said in the book of al-Idayn in the chapter of the Virtue of good) deeds during the days of Tashriq, Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah (radhi Allahu anhuma) would go out in the marketplace during the ten days and say Takbir, and the people would say Takbir when they said Takbir. [Sahih al-Bukhari]

The Sunnah is to say the Takbir individually. The saying of Takbir in congregation, i.e., everyone pronouncing the Takbir with one voice, is not permissible since this has not been transmitted (to us) from the early generations of the Sahabah and those who followed their ways. This is applicable for all Dhikr and supplications, except if the person doesn’t know what to say. In that case he may repeat after someone else until he learns (the words to be said).

‘Eid Mubarak!

'Eid Mubarak!

‘Eid Khutbah : Continuation of good deeds after Ramadan

‘Eid Khutbah : Continuation of good deeds after Ramadan

The Transcript

First Khutbah (sermon)

Praise be to Allah Who has guided His believing servants to do acts of obedience and has made the ways of good and righteous deeds easy for them. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah Who has no partners, and that our leader and Prophet Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger, the best of those who observed fasting and the optional night prayer, and the best of legislators who enacted laws and explained judgments. O Allah grant Your mercy, blessings and peace on the leader of the righteous and the leader mankind and jinn, and on his family, Companions and those who follow their way until the Last Day.

Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest], Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahi Al-Hamd [praise be to Allah].

Praise be to Allah Who has guided us to Islam. We can never be guided except with the help of Allah. Praise be to Allah Who has favored the month of Ramadan over all other months and made it a great opportunity to attain rewards by committing good deeds. During Ramadan, the believers compete in doing acts of obedience and spending in the cause of Allah. During this month, righteous deeds are doubled, mistakes are remitted, ranks of men are raised and supplications are answered by Allah. It is the month of benevolence and blessings. It is the month of mutual consolidation. During this month the provisions of Muslims increase, their faith becomes deeper and they compete in performing Taraweeh prayer, late optional night prayer, recitation of the Quran and giving charity to the needy among relatives, neighbors and poor people in general. This is in accordance to Allah’s saying which means:

“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.” [Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:133]

Allah also Says (what means):

“…And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:195]

The verses that encourage doing good in the cause of Allah are many. Therefore, we should continue the good deeds that we have initiated in Ramadan and extend them after its termination. You should know that the sign of the acceptance of a good deed by Allah is that you follow it with another good deed, and the sign of rejecting good deeds by Allah is that you follow it by committing sins. This should be well understood by those people who feel happy and relieved after the termination of Ramadan as they think that with the end of Ramadan they will be free to commit whatever sins they wish, and rebel against the commands of their Lord.

Allah is the Greatest – with every fasting and breaking of Fast, with each instance of growing of trees and the blooming of fruits, whenever a crescent appears and then grows and becomes a full moon, whenever rain falls and pours forth — Allah is the Greatest! Allah is the Greatest! Praise be to Allah.

Servants of Allah! Turn in repentance to your Lord and supplicate Him sincerely by offering your duty to Him. Be sincere in worship, supplication, in your fear of Allah and in your wish to attain His mercy. Rely on Allah in all your affairs. Seek His aid and protection, as He is the best supporter and disposer of affairs. He is the Savior and the Answerer of whoever asks Him with sincerity. Allah Says what means:

“And when My servants ask you [O Muhammad] concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:186]

Let us then listen to Allah’s call and believe in His Messenger. Let this assemblage be a reminder of His assemblage of the Resurrection when all the creations be gathered naked and barefooted, as they were originally created. We will be gathered at one place. The believers will be received by the Angels with good tidings and congratulations for the salvation from torture. The Angels will say to the survivors on that day:

“Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised!” [Surah Fussilat 41:30]

Allah describes the state of the believers on that day saying:

“[Some] faces, that Day, will be bright – Laughing, rejoicing at good news..” [Surah ‘Abasa 80:38-39]

As for the unbelievers on that day Allah describes them as such:

“And [other] faces, that Day, will have upon them dust. Blackness will cover them. Those are the disbelievers, the wicked ones.” [Surah ‘Abasa 80:40-42]

Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest], Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar La Ilaha Illa Allah [there is no god but Allah], Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahi Al-Hamd [praise be to Allah]. Allahu Akbar as numerous as the number of our sins until they are forgiven (by the virtue of this expression).

Glorified be Allah, Who is worthy of all glorifications? Allah Says what means:

“So exalted is Allah when you reach the evening and when you reach the morning. And to Him is [due all] praise throughout the heavens and the earth. And [exalted is He] at night and when you are at noon.” [Surah Al Rum 30:17-18]

O Allah! As you have sent to us Your Prophet Muhammad, make our houses well maintained and full of life (due to worship practiced therein) and do not condemn us on account of our bad deeds and be merciful to us as You are the most Merciful of those who show mercy.

O Allah! As You are The Most Gracious of those who show graciousness, and the Greatest of all those who claim greatness, make for us a way out of each distress and grief.

O Allah! Grant blessings on Prophet Muhammad, son of Abdullah, the Prophet of mercy and the Messenger of guidance, as many times as the number of those who offered prayers on him right from his mission until the Day of Resurrection.

O Allah! Grant him intercession on our behalf and resurrect us in his group and under his banner and decree for us to drink from his font (the Hawd) so that we never feel thirsty thereafter.

O Allah! Grant us a joyful life, a bounteous provision and a righteous deed! O Allah! Grant mercy on this gathering and grant us protection from error after departing!

Servants of Allah! Your actual joy of festivals should be through continuing to practice acts of obedience and good deeds, kindness to parents, maintaining the ties of kinship and kindness to relatives, the poor and orphans. Hasten in reconciliation among yourselves, since this occasion is the appropriate time for this purpose. Give measure and weight with full justice. Give preference to Allah’s judgment above your whims. None of us can be a true believer until his liking complies with the teachings of Allah’s Messenger. Know that: “Injustice will cause darkness on the Day of Resurrection.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

The Prophet  also said: “Whoever causes harm to others Allah will harm him, and whoever makes it difficult for people Allah will make it difficult for him.” [At-Tirmithi]

Let us raise our children according to the precepts of Islam. Let us teach them to lead a frugal life and manage financial affairs well. Let us teach them how to spend their money properly on the occasion of the festival of ‘Eid. Let us help those who have attained puberty to marry, in accordance with the Prophet’s saying: “O youth! Let those who can afford marriage among you marry! For marriage is apt to give stronger ability to restrain one’s gaze and protect one’s chastity.” O you youth who can afford marriage, let all of you hasten to marry. O you guardians of the girls, who are entrusted to you by Allah, hasten to marry them without imposing too many restrictions and complications with regard to dowers, by the coming festival they should be married to their suitable mates.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahi Al-Hamd [Allah is the Greatest. Praise be to Allah.] I seek Allah’s forgiveness for you, for me and all Muslims.

Second Khutbah (sermon)

Praise be to Allah, Who blesses us with repeated assemblies and festivals. He is the gatherer of mankind together against a Day about which there is no doubt, for Allah never fails in His promise. I praise Him for the success and bounties that He offers. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah to Whom all creatures will return. He has power over all things. I bear witness that our Prophet Muhammad is the leader of the righteous and the master of the followers of Allah’s way. May Allah grant blessings on him and all those who have followed his way until the Last Day.

Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest], Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa Lillahi Al-Hamd [praise be to Allah].

Servants of Allah! Know that charity obliterates sin, extinguishes the wrath of the Lord and protects from evil destinies. On that day ‘Eid, a Muslim should not forget his brother Muslims who are deprived of the joy of the festival on account of perishing due to famines and destructive wars that are taking place in their countries. Know that whoever is not concerned about the affairs of Muslims will not be counted as belonging to them. Let’s then remember the poor and the needy, especially those inflicted by drought in Africa, and those who strive in the cause of Allah. O Allah support them with Your victory and give them dominance in their land. O Allah support them and gather their hearts. You are the Answerer of all supplications.

O Muslims! Beware of arrogance and its manifestations, since the arrogant people will be resurrected the size of atoms and people will tread them with their feet. O pious Muslim women! Preserve your adornment and do not disclose it nor apply perfume in the presence of any men other than your Mahram relatives [those who are not allowed to marry you] or your husbands. Allah Says what means:

“And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance…” [Al Ahzab 33:33]

Let’s enjoy the ‘Eid festival without pride. Let’s entertain ourselves without neither exposure nor intermingling between the opposite sexes. Let’s proclaim Allah’s greatness, since Takbeer [proclaiming Allah’s greatness] is the slogan of Muslims during their festivals.

Allahu Akbar [Allah is The Greatest], Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Illa Allah [There is no god but Allah] Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa Lillahi Al-Hamd  [Praise be to Allah.]

Lastly, do not forget to observe fasting for six days in the month of Shawwaal, as the Prophet  said: “Whoever fasts (the month of) Ramadan then follows it with six days in Shawwal, will be considered as if he has observed Fasting during the whole year.” [Muslim]

Source : Islamweb

Takbeer ‘Eid-ul Fitr

Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
La-ilaha Illallah
Wallahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
Wa-lil-lahil hamd
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
La-ilaha Illallah
Wallahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
Wa-lil-lahil hamd
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
La-ilaha Illallah
Wallahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
Wa-lil-lahil hamd
Allahu Akbaru kabira
Wal-hamdu lillahi kathira
Wa subhanallahi bukrataw wa a’sila
Wa sallallahu a’la sayidina Muhammad
Wa a’la a’alihi wa as-habihi wa-sallama tasliman kathira

Also Read:

Eid ul-Fitr : The gift of Ramadan

The Feast… OUR FEAST!

Zakat-ul-Fitr (post-Ramadan obligatory charity)

Zakat-ul-Fitr (post-Ramadan obligatory charity)

Sadaqat Al-Fitr (or Zakat Al-Fitr) is prescribed by the Shari’ah based on the general indication of the texts of the Quran and the Sunnah, as well as by scholarly consensus. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): “He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself. And mentions the Name of his Lord and prays.” [Surah Al A’la 87:14-15]

The Commander of the Believers, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-Azeez would command the Muslims to give Sadaqat Al-Fitr and recite the above mentioned verse. As for the Sunnah, it was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar  that he said, “The Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, enjoined the payment of one Saa’ (double handful) of dates or one Saa’ of barley as Zakat-ul-Fitr for every Muslim, slave or a free person, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it should be paid before people went out to offer the ‘Eid Prayer.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

In another narration, Naafi’  added, “Ibn ‘Umar used to give Zakat-ul-Fitr on behalf of every young and old person. He even used to give on behalf of my children. Ibn ‘Umar  would give Zakat-ul-Fitr to those who had been officially appointed for its collection. People used to give Zakat-ul-Fitr (even) a day or two days before the ‘Eid.” [Al-Bukhari]

It was narrated on the authority of Abu Sa’eid Al-Khudri  that he said, “We used to give one Saa’ of food, or one Saa’ of barley, or one Saa’ of dates, or one Saa’ of cottage cheese or one Saa’ of raisins (dried grapes) as Zakat-ul-Fitr.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas  that he said, “The Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, made Zakat-ul-fitr obligatory as a means of purifying the fasting person from idle talk and foul language and to feed the needy. Whoever pays it before the prayer, it is an accepted Zakat (for him), and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is simply a type of charity.” [Abu Daawood and Ibn Maajah] [Al-Haakim: Saheeh; it meets the conditions stipulated by Al-Bukhaari] [Al-Albaani: Hasan]

It was narrated on the authority of Qays ibn Sa‘d  that he said, “The Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ordered us to pay Sadaqat-ul-Fitr before the obligation of Zakaah. Once Zakaah was ordained, he neither ordered nor forbade us while we were still paying it.” [An-Nasaa’i, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad] [Al-Haafith in Al-Fat’h: Saheeh]

The scholars have unanimously agreed on the obligation of Zakat Al-Fitr, which has two stipulations:

1- Its amount (one Saa’) should be over and above one’s own need and the need of his dependants for the day and night of ‘Eid.
2- It should be given upon (and not before) the arrival of its due time, which is sunset of the last day of Ramadan.

Zakat Al-Fitr is an individual obligation upon every Muslim who can afford it. It was ordained, along with fasting, in the second year after Hijrah (prophetic emigration). The recipients of Sadaqat Al-Fitr are the same recipients of general Zakaah, based on what Allah The Almighty Says (which means): “Zakaah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy…” [Surah Al Tawbah 9:60]

The amount to be given of Sadaqat Al-Fitr is a single Saa’ for each Muslim, but it can be less than one Saa’ if the Muslim does not find any more than that. Sadaqat Al-Fitr is obligatory upon every Muslim individually, and the Muslim is not obligated to give it on behalf of others according to the preponderant opinion of scholars. However, one can give it on behalf of those under his care with their consent. An exception to this ruling is the slave, for whom Sadaqat Al-Fitr is, of course, an obligation, but in his case it is alright for his master to pay on his behalf. The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There is no charity to be paid on the slave (i.e. for owning him) except Sadaqat Al-Fitr.” [Muslim]

It is recommended that the Muslim gives Sadaqat Al-Fitr on behalf of the fetus if it becomes four months old as ‘Uthmaan did so, and he was one of the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs regarding whom we are ordered to follow their practices.

It is permissible to give Zakat Al-Fitr early but only by a maximum of two days before ‘Eid as this was authentically reported from Ibn ‘Umar : In a Hadeeth, it was said, “Ibn ‘Umar gave Sadaqat Al-Fitr for those who would accept it, and they used to receive it one or two days before ‘Eid Al-Fitr.” [Al-Bukhari] However, it is preferable to give it before the ‘Eid Prayer due to the Hadeeth which was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar where it was mentioned that the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ordered Sadaqat Al-Fitr to be distributed before Muslims go out for the ‘Eid Prayer. It is not permissible to delay it until after the ‘Eid Prayer, and if it is, it would not be valid. The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever introduces something to our affairs (i.e. religion) which does not belong to it, it will be rejected.”

Therefore, the time for giving Zakat Al-Fitr can be one of three:

1- Permissible: which is two days before ‘Eid Al-Fitr
2- Recommended: which is the morning of the day of ‘Eid before the Prayer
3- Prohibited: which is after the ‘Eid Prayer, when it would not be valid

It is permissible for the Muslim to authorize someone to give it on his behalf. Also, there is no sin on him who delays giving it for a valid reason and therefore gives it late. Sadaqat Al-Fitr can be given out of the common staple-food of the country, and according to the majority of scholars it is not permissible to give the monetary value of the Sadaqat Al-Fitr. The Muslim may give one person many Saa’s or one Saa’ for many people.

The classical Maaliki, Shaafi’ee and Hanbali positions on the type of Zakat-ul-Fitr offering discusses payment only in terms of weights and measures of provisions, or foodstuffs. It is the Hanafi opinion, however, that holds sway in this matter, which states that Muslims may give the price of Zakat-ul-Fitr, originally determined for grains and dates, in contemporary currency equivalents. They argue this position on the basis of a higher good or more practicable benefit, saying that money enables the needy person to buy what he or she deems to be most desirable or necessary on the day of ‘Eid. They point out that a person may, for example, not be in need of a provision of corn, or the like, but rather in want of clothing, or meat, etc.

Finally, it is preferable for the Muslim to give it personally so that he would be sure of delivering it to its due recipients on time.

Benefits and rulings:

First: Zakat-ul-Fitr is obligatory for every Muslim and it was ordained even before the obligatory Zakaah on property and wealth. The obligation of Zakat-ul-Fitr remained as it was even after the obligation of Zakaah on property and wealth.

Second: It is obligatory for every Muslim to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr on his behalf and on behalf of those whom he is obligated to provide for, like his wife and children.

Third: If the wife and children earn their living or have money, it is preferable that every person pays it on his or her behalf because they are obliged to pay it. However, it is permissible for their guardian to pay it on their behalf even if they have their own money.

Fourth: It is not permissible for the Muslim to pay the monetary value of Zakat-ul-Fitr. This is the opinion of the majority of scholars, because the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, neither ordered paying it in the form of money nor paid it as such and none of the Companions paid Zakat-ul-Fitr as money despite its occurrence every year. Also, when food is given to the poor man, it benefits him as well as his family. This is unlike giving him money, which he may save and leave his family hungry. Additionally, paying the value of Zakat-ul-Fitr does not manifest this great ritual.

Fifth: The starting time of paying Zakat-ul-Fitr is the night of 28th of Ramadan. The Companions  would pay it one or two days before ‘Eid. The deadline of paying it is the time of the ‘Eid Prayer as supported by Hadeeths.

Sixth: Zakat-ul-Fitr is paid to those who deserve it, such as the poor and the needy, since the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “…and to feed the needy.” It is not correct to pay it to neighbors or relatives who do not deserve it, as some people exchange it like the meat of Udh’hiyah (Sacrifice) or ‘Aqeeqah (a celebration of birth). However, this is different. Zakat-ul-Fitr must be given to those who deserve it; the meat of the Udh’hiyah and ‘Aqeeqah, however, can be gifted. It is also incorrect to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr every year to a specific family who was once poor and are not so anymore. It is not permissible for the Muslim to keep on paying them Zakat-ul-Fitr after they have become well-off.

Seventh: It is preferable for the Muslim to give Zakat-ul-Fitr to the poor people in his country; yet, it is also permissible to transfer it to other countries particularly if their people desperately need it and he does not know any poor person who needs it in his country, or that there are other Muslims who can give the needy in his country Zakat-ul-Fitr.

Eighth: Zakat-ul-Fitr involves many pearls of wisdom and benefits, such as:

1- Showing gratitude for the favor of Allah The Almighty that one has completed fasting and finished after Ramadan. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): “…To complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:185]

2- It is a Zakaah on the body which Allah The Almighty has sustained for a whole year.

3- It purifies the slave’s fasting from the idle talk, foul language and the like. The Hadeeth stated that Zakat-ul-Fitr purifies the fasting person from idle talk and foul language.

4- It gives comfort to the poor and the needy and prevents them from begging on the day of ‘Eid, so that they will be happy and satisfied like all other Muslims on ‘Eid.

5- It trains the fasting person in generosity and giving, and protects him from stinginess and niggardliness.

Ninth: It is permissible for a group of Muslims or one family to pay their Zakat-ul-Fitr for a single needy person just as it is also permissible for a single Muslim to distribute his Zakat-ul-Fitr among several needy people.

Tenth: Zakat-ul-Fitr becomes obligatory by the sunset of the last day of Ramadan. So, if the Muslim dies before sunset, Zakat-ul-Fitr would not be obligatory for him because he died before it became obligatory for him. Similarly, if the Muslim had a baby after sunset on the night of  ‘Eid, it would not be obligatory for him to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr on behalf of the baby. Yet, it is recommended to pay it on its behalf.

Eleventh: Zakat-ul-Fitr is not obligatory for the Muslim on behalf of his workers and servants unless this is stipulated in the contract. However, it is permissible for the employer to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr on behalf of his employees as a type of donation and kindness towards them.

Twelfth: If the Muslim forgot to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr at its due time and did not remember to do so except after the ‘Eid Prayer, he should pay it. There would be no blame on him because he is excused by his forgetfulness.

Thirteenth: If the Muslim authorized someone to deliver Zakat-ul-Fitr to its legal recipients, it should be delivered to them before the ‘Eid Prayer. However, if the poor man asked the giver to keep it with him till the former would come to the latter, it would be permissible for the person authorized to keep it even till after the ‘Eid Prayer.

The scope of worship in Islam is universal, in the literal sense. For the Quran tells us that each and every constituent of creation near or far, seen or unseen, animate or inanimate – worships The True and Only God. “Indeed, every being in the heavens and the earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a worshipper.” [Surah Maryam 19: 93] It is only human beings, then, that are called upon to voluntarily join in the wonderful symphony of worshipful creation.

Islam’s five pillars are the cornerstones upon which we build such an outstanding and worshipful life. But no such establishment of a dignified life of faith on earth, either personally or socially, can take place without one essential pillar that represents the intersection of our professed convictions and our practical lives. Zakat is that pillar, for it is the primary instrument that Allah has placed at our disposal to spiritually and socially uplift every Muslim and the entirety of our community and thereby to assert a benevolent hand for the commonweal of humanity. And among Zakat’s most blessed manifestations – and certainly its most widespread – is the obligatory annual giving of the Zakat-ul-Fitr charity, before the solemnizing of Ramadan by ‘Eid prayer.

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