Monthly Archives: June 2013

The End of Ramadan – Chapter from Ibn Rajab’s book: Lataif al Maa’rif , Translated by Mustafa George

The End of Ramadhan

Source : Lata’if al-Ma’arif


Ibn Rajab’s book: Lataif al Maa’rif. A portion of this book pertaining to Ramadan was summarized by Sheikh Abdur Rahman bin Muhammed bin Qassim the compiler of Majmu al Fatawa by Ibn Taymiyyah, with several additions by Sheikh Abdur Rahman himself.


Translated by Mustafa George

Chapter: The End of Ramadan

Several narrations related to the merits of this month have proceeded, and from them is that which is recorded in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, that The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- said:

“Whoever fasts Ramadan with faith and seeking the reward will have his past sins forgiven.”

In the narration recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed there is an additional portion of the same hadith stating:

“his past and future sins will be forgiven”
The chain of narrations for this additional wording is good (hasan). The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem also said:

“Whoever stands the night of decree (Laylatul Qadr) with faith and seeking the reward will have his past sins forgiven, and whoever fasts Ramadan with faith and seeking the reward will have his past sins forgiven.”

An additional wording is recorded in An Nisaee stating: “…his past and future sins will be forgiven”

Later the author states: Forgiveness of sins during this blessed month is conditional to the preservation of what one is instructed to preserve (i.e. Fulfilling the orders of Allah, and abstaining from what is forbidden). The majority (jemhoor) of the scholars hold that this expiation of sin is specifically referring to minor sins. This is because of the hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim, that The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- stated:

“The five daily prayers, Friday prayer to the following Friday prayer, and Ramadan to the following Ramadan are expiations for sins as long as one abstains from major sins.”

The author also states: (Some scholars held a different view) Ibn Munthir mentioned pertaining to Laylatul Qadr: “It is hoped that the major and minor sins are all forgiven”
But the majority hold that one must make sincere repentance from all major sins ( in order for them to be expiated).

The aforementioned hadith of Abu Hurairah informs that those three elements mentioned within the hadith are an expiation for past sins. Therefore, it is understood (after combining all the hadiths related to Laylatul Qadr) that one receives this expiation of sins even if one was unaware of the specific night of Laylatul Qadr. And as for the fasting of Ramadan, then one receives this expiation upon commencement of the month. It is also said that one receives expiation for the fasting of Ramadan the last night of the month. The proof for this is what is recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad on the authority of Abu Hurairah who said: Those fasting will be forgiven the last night in Ramadan. The people said: Oh Messenger of Allah, will this take place on Laylatul Qadr? The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- responded: “No, verily the worker receives his pay upon completion of his duties”

The author later states: Az Zuhree used to mention: On the day of Fitr (eid), once the people gather to perform the prayer Allah will look at them and say:

“Oh my servants, verily for Me you fasted, and for Me you stood in prayer! Return (to your homes), indeed your sins are forgiven.”

The author later states: The person who fasts and performs all other obligatory actions is from the best servants of Allah. And those who are negligent in fulfilling their obligations and do not give Allah His full due, then woe be to them. If the individual who deals unjustly with the scales (Mutaffif) in this worldly life is warned of a terrible punishment, then what is the case with the individual who deals unjustly with the scales of the hereafter!

(Poetry)

Tomorrow the souls will be granted what they worked for, and the farmers will harvest what they planted. If they did good, then they did so for themselves, and if they did evil, then what terrible actions they have prepared.

The Salaf worked diligently in perfecting their actions and making them faultless, then after that, they showed great concern for acceptance of their actions. They did this because they feared that their actions would be rejected. They are those who gave what was incumbent upon them while their hearts were in a state of fear. It is reported that Ali bin Abi Taleb said: Be more concerned that your actions are accepted than your concern of performing the action itself. Did you not hear the statement of Allah:

{Verily Allah only accepts the actions of the Mutaqeen (pious)}

Fudalah said: For me to know that Allah has accepted from me an action the size of a mustard seed, is more beloved to me than this world and everything within it. This is because of the statement of Allah:

{Verily Allah only accepts the actions of the Mutaqeen (pious)}

Malik bin Dinar said: Fear that an action is not accepted is more difficult than performing the action itself.

“Ataa as Sulamee stated: The pious fear that their righteous actions were not done sincerely for Allah.

Abdul Azeez ibn Abee Ruwaad said: I have met people very diligent in performing actions, and upon completion of those actions they are faced with sadness in fear of the action being accepted or not. Some Salaf used to say: The people of the past would supplicate 6 months to Allah to allow them to reach the month of Ramadan, and then upon completion of the month, they would again supplicate 6 months (begging) for acceptance of their fast. Some of the Salaf would display sadness on the day of Eid. It was said to them: This is a day of happiness and joy! They would respond: You have spoken the truth, but I am a servant, my Lord has ordered me to perform an action but I am not sure if He will accept it from me or not.

Wahb noticed people laughing on the day of Eid, upon seeing this he stated: If their fast was accepted, then know that this is not the action of those who are grateful, and if it was not accepted, then this is not the action of those who are afraid.

Hasan (al Basri) stated: Indeed Allah has made Ramadan a means of gain for His creation. (Within this month) they race to gain His pleasure through obedience to Him. Some individuals will gain (win), while others will remain back and lose. It is amazing to see a person playing and laughing on a day that the good doers will be rewarded, and the wrong doers will be defeated.

It is reported that Ali bin Abee Talib would call out on the last day of Ramadan: Where is the winner so that we may congratulate him, and where is the loser so that we may give him condolences. Oh winner, we congratulate you! Oh loser, may Allah give you ease in your time of calamity!

The author continued to say: The blessed month of Ramadan has within it several means of forgiveness, and from them:

– Feeding the fasting person
– Lightening the burden (work) of the slave
– Remembrance of Allah


It is stated in a hadith: “The one who remembers Allah in Ramadan will have his sins forgiven, and the one who calls on Him will not be disappointed”

(Continued means of forgiveness)

– Seeking forgiveness
– The supplication of the fasting individual is answered during the fast and at the time of breaking it.

It is reported that Abu Hurairah said: Everyone will be forgiven except he who rejects. Those around him asked: Oh Abu Hurairah, who will reject? He responded: The one who does not seek Allah”s forgiveness has rejected.

(continued reasons for forgiveness)

– The Angels will seek forgiveness for the fasting person until they break their fast.

Due to these numerous means of forgiveness during the month of Ramadan, the one who misses this great opportunity has indeed been afflicted with extreme, great lose. The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- climbed the minbar and said:

“Ameen, Ameen, Ameen”

The companions inquired concerning this, and he responded:

“Verily Jabriel approached me and said: Whomsoever reaches the month of Ramadan but does not have his sins forgiven before his death and due to this he enters the Hell-fire, may Allah distance this person” Jabriel then ordered me to say Ameen, so I said Ameen. (Ibn Hiban)

Qatadah said: It used to be said: Whoever does not have his sins forgiven in Ramadan, he will not have his sins forgiven in other than Ramadan (meaning: if one did not take advantage of such great opportunity in Ramadan, more than likely he will not take advantage of any other opportunity). There is also a hadith similar to this, its wording is: “Whoever does not receive forgiveness in Ramadan, then when will he receive forgiveness?”

The author continues to state: When will a person be forgiven if he is not forgiven in this month?! When will a person”s actions be accepted if they are not accepted on Laylatul Qadr?! When will a person correct their affairs if they can”t correct them in Ramadan?! When will a person correct himself from the disease of negligence and ignorance?!

The author later says: Indeed the day of Fitr is an Eid (celebration) for the whole Ummah, this is because the sinners who fasted the month will be forgiven and saved from the Hell-fire. When this takes place, the sinners will join with the righteous (on the day of Eid). Just as the day of Nahr (Eid celebrating the conclusion of Hajj) is considered the Great Eid (Eid al Akbar), because before this day is the day of Arafat. There is no day of the year that more people will be freed from the Hell-fire than this day. Therefore, whoever is freed from the Hell-fire during these two times of the year (Ramadan, Dhul Hijjah) enjoys two days of celebration (Eid al Fitr, Eid al Adha), and whoever is not freed from the Hell-fire will bear a day of torture.
Due to forgiveness and salvation from the Hell-fire being related to fasting the month of Ramadan and standing in prayer during this month, Allah has ordered that glorification and gratitude are shown to Him upon completion of the month. He said:

{” in order for you to complete the prescribed amount of days and to glorify Allah for guiding you and so that you may show gratitude}

Therefore, one shows gratitude due to the blessing of Allah in allowing one to fast and pray, His assistance to the servant and His forgiveness of his sins and his salvation from the Hell-fire. Due to all of these blessings, one is instructed to remember Allah and show gratitude to Him, and fear Him with true fear.

Oh you, who your Lord has freed from the fire, be warned of returning to the servitude of the wretched after being freed! Will your Lord distance you from the fire, while you seek to become nearer to it?! He (Allah) saved you from it, while you seek to throw yourself in it, and don”t care to protect yourself from it! If mercy is shown to the good doers, then the wrong doer should not despair from it, and if forgiveness is shown to those who have piety, then one who has wronged himself will not be deprived of it.

(Poetry)

Oh Allah, if the only one that calls on You is the good doer, then who should the sinner call on!

Why should we despair of the pardoning of our Lord, and how can one not seek His gentleness?! It is mentioned in a hadith that Allah is more forgiving and merciful to His servants than their own mothers. Allah says:

{Oh My servants who have wronged themselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah, verily He forgives all sins}

Oh sinner -and all of us are sinners, do not despair from the mercy of Allah because of your evil deeds. How many people will be freed from the Hell-fire during these days, and their affair is similar to yours. It is upon you to think good of your Lord, and repent to Him, for verily no one will be destroyed except he who destroys (himself).

(Poetry)

If your sins are harming you, then cure them by raising your hands during the dark night. Do not despair from the mercy of Allah, for verily your despairing from His mercy is a greater fault than the sin you committed.

It is incumbent upon one who desires salvation from the Hell-fire to perform the actions that warrant this salvation”.

The author continues to say: The declaration of Tawheed eliminates sins and wipes them away. No sin will remain nor will any action out weight Tawheed, and it is similar to freeing a slave which warrants one”s salvation from the Hell-fire”.

He further says: As for the speech of Istigfar (Kelimat al Istigfar), then it is the greatest reason for forgiveness. Verily Istigfar means supplication for forgiveness, and the supplication of the fasting individual is answered while he is fasting, and at the time of breaking the fast.

Hasan (al Basri) said: Increase in you seeking of forgiveness, for verily you don”t know when the mercy of Allah will befall you.

Luqman said to his son: Oh my son, condition your tongue to constantly seek forgiveness from Allah. Verily Allah has specific hours that He does not reject supplication.

There is also a narration that Shayton mentioned: I have destroyed mankind with sins, and they have destroyed me with La illaha illa Allah and Istigfar.

Istigfar is the conclusion of all actions. One completes prayer with istigfar, along with Hajj and night prayer. It is also used to close gatherings. If these gatherings are gatherings of obedience, then istigfar is considered a brand to the gathering. But if the gathering was one of vein talk, then istigfar is considered expiation. Likewise, it is befitting that one concludes the month Ramadan with istigfar. Umar bin Abdul Azeez wrote to his governors informing them to end the month of Ramadan with istigfar and charity (sadaqatu fitr), for verily sadaqatu fitr is a means of purification for the fasting person from vein talk and lude acts, and istigfar mends the fault caused by actions that harm one”s fast. Umar bin Abdul Azeez mentioned in his letter:

Say as your father Adam -alayhi salam- has said: {Oh my Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will be from the losers}

And say as Nuh -alayhi salam- has said: {If you do not forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be from the losers}

And say as Musa -alayhi salam- has said: {Oh my Lord, I have wronged myself, so forgive me}

And say as Dhu Nun -alayhi salam- has said: {There is no deity worthy of worship except You, glory be to You, indeed I have been amongst the oppressors}

The author continues: Fasting is a fortress from the Hell-fire, as long as one does not damage his fortress with evil talk. Istigfar patches what harms this fortress.

The Messenger “salAllahu alayhi wa salem- instructed “Aisha on the night of Laylatul Qadr to seek pardoning from Allah, this is because the believer is diligent in fasting and standing the full month of Ramadan, and once the end of the month nears and Laylatul Qadr approaches, one is instructed to ask pardon from Allah due to the deficiency present during the month.

Yahya bin Muaadh said: The smart individual is not the one whose greatest goal is other than seeking the pardon of Allah. (The smart individual is not the one who) seeks forgiveness with his tongue, while his heart is firmly attached to sin, and he truly intends to return to sin after the completion of Ramadan. This individual”s fast is rejected, and acceptance is closed in his face.


Ka”b said: Whoever fasts Ramadan while inwardly saying: Once the month is over, I will disobey Allah; this person”s fasting is rejected. And whoever fasts the month while inwardly saying: Upon completion of the month, I won”t disobey Allah, this person will enter Jennah without questioning or debate.

The author further states: Oh servants of Allah, indeed the month of Ramadan has prepared to leave, and nothing remains except a few more days. Whoever has done well during the month should continue to do well, and whoever was deficient, should try to end the month in good, for indeed actions are according to their completion. Therefore, take advantage of what remains of the month, and give the month the best farewell and peace.

The hearts of the believers yearn for this month and morn over its departure. If this is the case with those who have gained during this month, then what is the case with those who have been negligent during its days and nights? What will the crying of this negligent person benefit him, when his trial and calamity is so great and tremendous? How many times was this poor individual advised, but he did not accept this advice! How many times was he called to correction, but he did not answer this call! How many people did he view gaining in this month, while he distanced himself from gain! How many times have the obedient passed him by, while he sat! (And now) time is constrained and reality has befallen him, now he regrets, but there is no benefit in this regret.

Trans. Note: This is a small, quick translation of a portion of Ibn Rajab”s book: Lataif al Maa”rif. A portion of this book pertaining to Ramadan was summarized by Sheikh Abdur Rahman bin Muhammed bin Qassim “the compiler of Mejmu” al Fatawa by Ibn Taymiyyah, with several additions by Sheikh Abdur Rahman himself. May Allah have mercy on Ibn Rajab, Sheikh Abdur Rahman and all the Muslims and forgive us for our shortcomings.

Mustafa George

Taken from: http://salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=11&Topic=6255

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Exerting Oneself During the Last Ten Days of Ramadaan – by Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan

Exerting Oneself During the Last Ten Days of Ramadaan


Author:’Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Source:Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 133-135)
Translator:isma’eel alarcon (for al-manhaj.com)

‘Aa’ishah (raa) said: “When the last ten days (of Ramadaan) would come, the Prophet (saws) would spend his night in worship, wake his family (at night), exert himself and tighten his Izaar (waistcloth).” [1] 

This hadeeth is proof that the last ten days of Ramadaan have a special virtue over any other (set of days), in which one should increase in obedience and acts of worship, such as prayer, making dhikr (remembrance) and reciting the Qur’aan.

‘Aa’ishah (raa) has described our Prophet and role model, Muhammad (saws), with four attributes:

1. He (saws) would “spend his night in worship”, meaning he would not sleep during it. Thus, he (saws) would remain awake throughout it in worship and he would liven his soul by spending the night in sleeplessness. This is since sleep is the brother of death. The meaning of “spend his night” is that he (saws) would spend all of it in the state of qiyaam (night prayer) and performing acts of worship that are done for the sake of Allaah, Lord of the worlds. We must remember that the last ten days of Ramadaan are fixed and numbered.

As for what has been reported concerning the forbiddance of spending the entire night in prayer, which has been mentioned in the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr (raa), then it is in regards to someone who does that consistently throughout every night of the year.

2. He (saws) would “wake up his family” meaning his (saws) pure wives, the Mothers of the Believers, so that they may take part in the profiting of good, the dhikr (remembrance) and the acts of worship during these blessed times.

3. He (saws) would “exert himself”, meaning he (saws) would persevere and struggle in worship, adding more to his deeds than what he had done in the first twenty days (of Ramadaan). He only did this because the night of Al-Qadr occurs during one of these (last ten) days.

4. He (saws) would “tighten his Izaar (waistcloth)” meaning he would exert himself and struggle intensely in worship. It is also said that it means he (saws) would withdraw from women. This seems to be more correct since it inclines with what was mentioned previously and with the hadeeth of Anas (raa): “He (saws) would rollup his bed and withdraw from women (i.e. his wives).” [2]

Also, he (saws) would observe ‘Itikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadaan and the person who is in the state of ‘Itikaaf is restricted from interacting (sexually) with women.

So, O Muslim brother, strive to characterize yourself with these attributes. And guard the prayer you make in the depths of the night (tahajjud) with the Imaam in addition to the Taraaweeh prayer (which is prayed in the early parts of the night), so that your exertion in these last ten days may go beyond that of the first twenty. And so that you may achieve the attribute of “spending the night in worship” by praying.

And you must be patient in your obedience to Allaah, for indeed, the tahajjud (night) prayer is difficult, but its reward is great. By Allaah, it is a great opportunity in ones life and a profitable thing to take advantage of, for the one whom Allaah grants it to. And a person does not know if perhaps he will encounter one of Allaah’s many rewards during the night prayer, thus serving as assistance for him in this world and in the Hereafter.

The righteous predecessors of this ummah would lengthen the prayer at night, exerting themselves. As-Saa’ib Ibn Yazeed said: “‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab ordered Ubay Bin Ka’ab and Tameem Ad-Daaree to lead the people in prayer with eleven raka’aat. The reciter would recite one hundred verses, to the point that we had to lean upon wooden staffs due to the long standing. And we would not stop until the early parts of Fajr.” [3]

‘Abdullaah Ibn Abee Bakr reported: “I heard my father (i.e. Abu Bakr) say: ‘During Ramadaan, we would finish (the night prayer) late and we would hurry the servants to present the food (of suhoor) for fear that Fajr (morning) would come upon us.” [4]

There are two struggles of the soul that the believer faces during Ramadaan: the struggle by day with fasting and the struggle by night with qiyaam (night prayer). So whosoever combines these two and fulfills their rights, then he is amongst the patient — those who will “be given their reward in full without any reckoning.” [5]

These ten days are the last part of the month and a person’s actions are based on his last ones. So perhaps, he will encounter the night of Al-Qadr, while standing in prayer for Allaah and thus have all his past sins forgiven.

And one must incite, animate and persuade his family to perform acts of worship, especially in these great times in which no one neglects it except that he has been deprived. What is more incredible than this is that while the people are performing prayer and making tahajjud, some individuals spend their time in forbidden gatherings and sinful events. This is indeed the greatest loss. We ask Allaah for his protection.

Therefore, embarking on these last days means entering into the profiting from righteous deeds in what remains of the month. From the unfortunate matters is to see that some people excel in righteous actions, such as prayer and recitation of the Qur’aan, in the first part of the month, but then signs of fatigue and weariness begin to show on them afterwards, especially when the last ten days of Ramadaan come in. And this is in spite of these last ten days possessing a greater standing than the first ones. Thus, one must persevere in striving and struggling and increase his worship when the end of the month draws near. And we must keep in mind that a person’s actions are based on his last ones.

Footnotes:

[1] Al-Bukhaaree (4/269) and Muslim (1174)

[2] See Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif: pg. 219

[3] See Al-Muwatta (Eng. Dar El-Fiker): vol. 1, pg 154

[4] Also in the Muwatta of Imaam Maalik: vol. 1, pg. 156

[5] Surat-uz-Zumar: 15

Zakat-ul-Fitr – from Sahih Bukhari

Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Book 25:
Obligatory Charity Tax After Ramadaan (Zakat ul Fitr)

Volume 2, Book 25, Number 579:

Narrated Ibn Umar:

Allah’s Apostle enjoined the payment of one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of barley as Zakat-ul-Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the ‘Id prayer. (One Sa’ = 3 Kilograms approx.)

Volume 2, Book 25, Number 580:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

Allah’s Apostle made it incumbent on all the slave or free Muslims, male or female, to pay one Sa’ of dates or barley as Zakat-ul-Fitr.

Volume 2, Book 25, Number 581:

Narrated Abu Said:

We used to give one Sa’ of barley as Sadaqatul-Fitr (per head).

Volume 2, Book 25, Number 582:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

We used to give one Sa’ of meal or one Sa’ of barley or one Sa’ of dates, or one Sa’ of cottage cheese or one Sa’ of Raisins (dried grapes) as Zakat-ul-Fitr.

Volume 2, Book 25, Number 583:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar

The Prophet ordered (Muslims) to give one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of barley as Zakat-ul-Fitr. The people rewarded two Mudds of wheat as equal to that.

Volume 2, Book 25, Number 584:

Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri:

In the life-time of the Prophet we used to give one Sa’ of food or one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of barley or one Sa’ of Raisins (dried grapes) as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr. And when Muawiya became the Caliph and the wheat was (available in abundance) he said, “I think (observe) that one Mudd (of wheat) equals two Mudds (of any of the above mentioned things).

Volume 2, Book 25, Number 585:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

The Prophet ordered the people to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr before going to the ‘Id prayer.

Volume 2, Book 25, Number 586:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

In the life-time of Allah’s Apostle , we used to give one Sa’ of food (edible things) as Sadaqat-ul-Fit,r (to the poor). Our food used to be either of barley, raisins (dried grapes), cottage cheese or dates.

Volume 2, Book 25, Number 587:

Narrated Nafi’:

Ibn ‘Umar said, “The Prophet made incumbent on every male or female, free man or slave, the payment of one Sa’ of dates or barley as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (or said Sadaqa-Ramadan).” The people then substituted half Sa’ of wheat for that. Ibn ‘Umar used to give dates (as Sadaqat-ulFitr). Once there was scarcity of dates in Medina and Ibn ‘Umar gave barley. ‘And Ibn ‘Umar used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr for every young and old person. He even used to give on behalf of my children. Ibn ‘Umar used to give Sadaqatul-Fitr to those who had been officially appointed for its collection. People used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (even) a day or two before the ‘Id.

Volume 2, Book 25, Number 588:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

Allah’s Apostle has made Sadaqatul-Fitr obligatory, (and it was), either one Sa’ of barley or one Sa’ of dates (and its payment was obligatory) on young and old people, and on free men as well as on slaves.

Clarifying the Rulings of Sadaqat’ul Fitr By the Noble Shaykh Saleh ibn Fawzan al-Fawzan Translated by AbuAbdulMalik

Clarifying the Rulings of Sadaqat’ul Fitr

By the Noble Shaykh Saleh ibn Fawzan al-Fawzan

 Translated by AbuAbdulMalik

 

All praise is due to Allah who by His Favour has completed Righteousness, and Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad who was the first of the predecessors to guide towards good. And Peace and Blessings be upon his progeny and his Companions, and whomsoever hold on to his Sunnah until the Day of Resurrection. Know that Allah (subhaanahua wa ta a’laa) has made Sadaqat’ul Fitr the seal of Fasting and we praise Him (Allah) for giving us this perfect realization. We ask Allah to accept from us and to make us from those who are protected from the Fire in the end. (Ameen)

 

The Obligation of Giving Sadaqat’ul Fitr

 O Muslims, Allah (subhaanahua wa ta a’laa) has set for you at the end of this great Month religious acts of worship that would increase you all in closeness to Him (subhaanahua wa ta a’laa). For Allah has set for you Sadaqat’ul Fitr as a purification for those who fasted from vain speech and sins. The Messenger of Allah (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has made it compulsory upon the young and old, the male and female, the liberated slave and the servant. Sadaqat’ul Fitr is a purification for the body, food given to the poor, and comfort to the needy. The Muslim man is required to give Sadaqat’ul Fitr on behalf of himself, as well as those who are under his care such as his wife, children, family, etc. It is upon him to give Sadaqat’ul Fitr for each one of them, and it is even recommended that an individual fulfills it for his unborn child.

 

The Place of Giving Sadaqat’ul Fitr

 The place which one gives his Sadaqat’ul Fitr is the city in which he resides, and where he completed the whole Month. In addition, if the people on behalf of whom he fulfils the Sadaqat’ul Fitr is from a different city (from which he resides) then it becomes permissible for him to give it on behalf of them, along with his own Sadaqat’ul Fitr in the city where he lives. It is also permissible for him to give it on behalf of him and them in their city (where they reside).

The Time of Giving Sadaqat’ul Fitr

 The time for giving Sadaqat’ul Fitr begins from the setting of the sun on the night of Eid (i.e., when the new moon is sighted on the night before), and it continues until the Eid Salaah (on the next day), and it is permissible to distribute it one or two days before Eid. The evidence for this is the hadeeth collected in Sahah al-Bukharee on the authority of Ibn Umar (radhi-yAllâhu ‘anhu) that the Companions used to give Sadaqat’ul Fitr one or two days before the Feast (meaning the Eid Prayer). The delaying of giving Sadaqat’ul Fitr until before the Salaah on the morning of Eid is better, and if one does not fulfill this obligation before the Eid Salaah without a valid excuse, then he has sinned. It then becomes an obligation upon him to fulfill giving Sadaqat’ul Fitr throughout the rest of the day. And if he does not fulfill the obligation of Sadaqat’ul Fitr on the day of Eid, then he must make up for it after the day of Eid. This is based on the hadeeth collected by Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah on the authority of ibn Abbaas that the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“If anyone pays it (Sadaqat’ul Fitr) before the feast prayer, it will be accepted as zakaah, and if anyone pays it after the prayer, it will be considered a charity like other charities.”

 Therefore this clearly means that Sadaqat’ul Fitr must be given in its correct time in order to receive its reward.

 The times for giving Sadaqat’ul Fitr can be separated into four:

Permissible: this means one or two days before Eid;

The best time: this is between the setting of the sun on the night of Eid until before the Salaah;

A time that will suffice, but with a sin: this is the time after the Salaah until the end of the day;

The expiation time: this time is after the day of Eid.

 

The one who has the right to Sadaqat’ul Fitr

 The one that has a right to Sadaqat’ul Fitr is the one who has a right to Zakaatul Mal (i.e. the wealth from the compulsory Zakaat), from the poor and needy and similar to them. Therefore it must be given at its due time to the due recipients entitled to receive Zakaah, or to his Wakeel (i.e. his representative). It is not acceptable to give it to a person who is not a Wakeel (representative) of the one who has the right upon it.

 

The types of foods that should be given as Sadaqat’ul Fitr

 As for the type of foods that should be given and the permissibility for people using the staple food of their country, then there is a hadeeth related in the two Saheehs and other books of hadeeth stating that Allah’s Messenger (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) enjoined Sadaqat’ul Fitr to be paid with one Sa’a of dates, or one Sa’a of barley on every Muslim, free or slave, male or female, young or old. The five staple foods in the time of the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) were: wheat, barley, dates, raisins, and cheese. Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyah (raheemullah) states these (the five food types) used to be the staple food in Madeenah, thus people living in a village or city were staple food differs from the above are to pay one Sa’a (approximately 3 kilograms) of their own staple food (as Sadaqat’ul Fitr). Thus, if their staple food is other than grain, such as milk, meat or fish, they are to give Sadaqat’ul Fitr thereof, whatever it may be. This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars, which is regarded as the correct one in this regard, and there are no other contrary opinions to be followed. This is because Sadaqat’ul Fitr is legally legislated to support the needy on the day of the Feast with the same staple food of the people in the same place where they live. Therefore, it is sufficient for the Muslim to give the needy flour as Sadaqat’ul Fitr, though it is not one of the five food types of the food mentioned in the hadeeth of the Prophet (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in this regard. Though bread and cooked food can be useful for the needed, and cost little to prepare for eating, grains are likely to be more useful to them since it can last for a longer time.

The Permissibility of Giving Money as Sadaqat’ul Fitr

 It is not sufficient for a Muslim to give money which is equivalent to the value of the legally prescribed amount of staple food as Sadaqat’ul Fitr, and that is because it contradicts the Quran and the Sunnah of Messenger of Allah (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Know that money was present in the time of the Prophet (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and had it been sufficient to give money, he would have clarified this to his Ummah, therefore whoever gives a legal opinion to use money instead of grain for Sadaqat’ul Fitr, has given a legal opinion based on his own Ijtihaad (assessment), and he has wronged himself and sinned in his Ijtihaad. This giving of money instead of grain for Sadaqat’ul Fitr is a contradiction to the Sunnah, likewise the one that makes Ijtihaad in this affair cannot transmit a narration from the Prophet (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and none from his companions that money was used for Sadaqat’ul Fitr.

 Imaam Ahmad (raheemahullah) said: “A Muslim is not to pay the poor money instead of the prescribed amount of staple food for Sadaqat’ul Fitr.” It was said to him, “Umar ibn Abdul Aziz used to accept money for Sadaqat’ul Fitr.” He (Imaam Ahmad) replied, “How could they adhere to the sayings of so-and-so, and ignore the hadeeth of the Prophet (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) stated in this regard. Ibn Umar said Allah’s Messenger (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) enjoined Sadaqat’ul Fitr to be paid with one Sa’a.”

 

From the Acts of Worship on the Day of Eid

 O Muslims, and from that which Allah (subhaanahua wa ta a’laa) has set for you as an act of worship at the completion of this month is the Takbeer (the saying of AllahuAkbar, AllahuAkbar, Laillahaillah, waAllahuAkbar AllahuAkbar, waLillahilhamd), and this begins from the setting of the sun from the night of Eid (ie. sighting of the new moon of Shawwal), and continues up until the Eid Salaah.

 Allah (subhaanahua wa ta a’laa) says in Surah al-Baqarah, ayah 185:

 

“(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allâh [i.e. to say Takbîr (Allâhu Akbar: Allâh is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.”

 And from that which Allah has set for you as an act of worship at the end of this month is the Eid Salaah, and this is the greatest form of remembering Allah, the Most High (i.e., Salaah), for Allah says in Surah Al-A’laa, Ayaahs 14-15:

 “Indeed whosoever purifies himself (by avoiding polytheism and accepting Islâmic Monotheism) shall achieve success, And remembers (glorifies) the Name of his Lord (worships none but Allâh), and prays (the five compulsory prayers and Nawâfil – additional prayers)”

 Some of the Scholars say about these verses that they refer to Sadaqat’ul Fitr and Salaatul Eid, and the Best Knowledge is with Allah. May Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), his progeny and Companions.

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