The Etiquettes of Fasting in the Light of Ramadhan

RAMADHAN IS COMING VERY SOON!

Suhoor (The pre-dawn meal)

It is recommended to eat a pre-dawn meal and there is no sin upon one who does not do so. Anas may Allah be pleased with him reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “Eat a pre-dawn meal, for there are blessings in it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The reason is that it strengthens the fasting person, makes him more energetic, and makes fasting easier for him.

i) The minimum amount to eat in the pre-dawn meal
Eating a small or large quantity of food, or even by drinking just a sip of water suffices the person and he is considered to have adhered to the Prophetic recommendation. Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “The pre-dawn meal is blessed, so do not neglect it even if you only take a sip of water. Verily, Allah and the angels pray for those who have the pre-dawn meals.” [Ahmad]

ii) The time for the pre-dawn meal
The time for the pre-dawn meal is between the middle of the night and dawn. It is considered best to delay it (that is, as close to dawn as possible). Zayd Ibn Thabit, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: “We ate the pre-dawn meal with the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) and then we got up for the prayer. He may Allah be pleased with him was asked: ‘What was the amount of time between the two?’ He may Allah be pleased with him responded: ‘The time it would take to recite fifty verses.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

iii) Doubt concerning the time of Fajr (dawn)
If one is in doubt whether or not the time of Fajr has begun, he may continue to eat and drink until he is certain that it is Fajr. He should not base his action on doubt or suspicion. Allah has made the signs for beginning the fast very clear and unambiguous. Allah Says (what means): {…Eat and drink until the white thread of the dawn becomes distinct from the black thread [of the night]…} [Quran 2:187]

A man said to Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him,: “I eat until I suspect that its time (i.e. Suhoor) has ended so I stop.” Ibn ‘Abbas may Allah be pleased with him observed: “Continue to eat until you are certain about the time.” Abu Dawood, may Allah have mercy upon him, reported that Ahmad Ibn Hanbal may Allah have mercy upon him said: “If you are not sure whether or not it is time for Fajr, then eat until you are sure dawn has come.”

Hastening in breaking the fast

It is preferred for the fasting person to hasten in breaking the fast when the sun has set. Sahl Ibn Sa’d, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “People will continue to be upon virtue so long as they hasten in breaking the fast.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is recommended to break the fast by eating an odd number of dates or, if that is not available, then by drinking some water. Anas may Allah be pleased with him reported: “The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray. If those were not available, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) would eat dried dates. If those were not available, he would drink some water.” [Abu Dawood, Al-Hakim and At-Tirmithi]

Sulayman Ibn ‘Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “If one of you is fasting, let him break his fast with dates. If dates are not available, then with water, for water is purifying.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]

The preceding narration also shows that it is preferred to break the fast in the above manner before praying. After the prayer, the person may continue to eat, but if the evening meal is ready, one may begin with that. Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “If the food is already presented, eat before praying the sunset prayer and do not eat your meals in haste.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Supplications while breaking the fast and while fasting

It is confirmed that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) would say upon breaking his fast: “The thirst has gone, the glands are wet and, Allah willing, the reward is confirmed.” [Abu Dawood]

The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) also said: “Three people will not have their supplications rejected: a fasting person until he breaks his fast, a just ruler, and an oppressed person.” [At-Tirmithi]

Refraining from performing any actions that do not befit fasting

Fasting is an act of worship that draws one closer to Allah. Allah has prescribed it to purify the soul and to train it in good deeds. The fasting person must be on guard against any act that may cause him to lose the benefits of his fast. Thus, his fast will increase his Taqwa (God-consciousness), as Allah Says (what means): {O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you may attain God-consciousness.} [Quran 2:183]

This entails that fasting is not just refraining from eating and drinking, but it is also refraining from everything else that Allah has forbidden. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “Fasting is not abstaining from eating and drinking only, but also from vain speech and foul language. If one of you is being cursed or annoyed, he should say: “I am fasting, I am fasting.” [Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim]

To stress the importance of having one’s fast reflecting on his actions, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “Allah does not need the fast of one who does not abandon false speech or acting according to his false speech.” [Al-Bukhari]

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “Perhaps a fasting person will get nothing from his fast save hunger, and perhaps the one who stands to pray at night will get nothing from his standing except sleeplessness.” [An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim]

Using Miswak (a tooth stick) or a brush

It is preferred for the fasting person to use a tooth stick or a brush. There is no difference if he uses it at the beginning or the ending of the day. It is confirmed that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) used tooth stick [Miswak] while fasting.

Being generous and studying the Quran

Being generous and studying the Quran is recommended during any time, but it is especially stressed during the month of Ramadhan. Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy upon him, recorded that Ibn ‘Abbas may Allah be pleased with him said: “The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) was the most generous of people, but he would be most generous during Ramadhan when he would meet with Jibreel [the angel Gabriel]. He would meet with him every night and recite the Quran. When Jibreel met him, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) would be faster in spending charity than a fast wind.”

Striving to perform as many acts of worship as possible during the last ten days of Ramadhan

Al-Bukhari and Muslim, may Allah have mercy upon them, recorded from A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that during the last ten days of Ramadhan, the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) would awaken his wives during the night and then remain apart from them (refrain from sexual relations with his wives and concentrate on worship). A version in Muslim reads: “He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) would strive [to do acts of worship] during the last ten days of Ramadhan more than he would at any other time.”

Source: https://www.islamweb.net/en/article/135512/the-etiquettes-of-fasting


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Did You Make Any of These Ramadan Mistakes?

Now that Ramadan is just over, it’s time to look back and reflect on how things went. It’s time to see if there was anything we could have done better and what lessons were learned.

  • Did you accomplish all of your goals?
  • Did you finish Ramadan a better Muslim than when you began?
  • Are you more appreciative of the gifts that Allah has given you?

Chances are, like most people, there are some things you could have done better. Perhaps you got a little ticked off for no reason during that difficult first week of Ramadan. Or perhaps you didn’t give enough voluntary charity when you could have afforded it. (I’m assuming you have all the mandatory charity i.e. Zakat al-Fitr that you were supposed to give).

Anybody can make mistakes like this. But there are some people who have done things that just totally screwed up their Ramadan. These are people who made big, colossal, mistakes in intention and action.

I hope you weren’t one of these folks. If you were, it’s time you check yourself out and see if this indicates the need for a total attitude readjustment. You might really need to work on your Aqidah.

So let’s make a list of big, fat, stupid mistakes Muslims do during the month of fasting. These aren’t just simple, human errors. These are practices and actions that call into question just how strong a person is in their faith.

Here’s my list of big mistakes you might have made during Ramadan.

1. Backbit, Slandered or Lied
This is probably the easiest “mistake” we can make. Controlling our tongues is difficult all year round. It can be even more difficult when you’re working on an empty stomach, haven’t drank anything all day, and it’s 95 degrees outside.

Still, it’s no excuse to commit sin and especially sins against another person. Fasting is supposed to increase your Taqwah (piety, God-consciousness) and make you stronger against your nafs (desires). But if you had a hard time refraining from backbiting, slandering or lying, then you may have just starved yourself for nothing.

Abu Huraira related that the Prophet said (which means): “If a person does not avoid false talk and false conduct during fasting, then Allah does not care if he abstains from food and drink.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]

Now let’s get one thing clear: just because you commit one of these sins, doesn’t mean you don’t have to fast for that day. You still are obliged to fast. However, you have lost all the blessings that come from fasting during Ramadan.

If you did make this mistake, the best thing to do is to make Tawbah (repentance) and resolve not to do it again.

2. You Made Taraweeh in Congregation But Missed Fajr and Isha at the Mosque
This one gets me so riled up.

People make such a big, friggin’ deal about making the Taraweeh prayers. They bust their humps to get to the Masjid every night for the entire month and pray for about an hour or so.

Then they neglect Salatul Fajr and Salatul Isha in the congregation!

What gives? Why are people (especially men since it’s better for women to pray at home) so committed to making Taraweeh and hearing the entire Quran, but can’t commit to making Fajr and Isha throughout the rest of the year?

It’s because too many people have made Islam into a set of rituals. Their parents emphasized Taraweeh and neglected Fajr and Isha, and now they’re doing the same thing. And then they’re going to pass this same misguided thinking to their children.

People, wake up! I can think of at least two hadiths (stories from Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) that indicate how important the dawn (Fajr) and evening (Isha) prayers in congregation are.

One who performs `Isha’ prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation is as if he has performed Salat the whole night. [Related in Muslim].

Do you see how much rewards there are for making these two prayers in a congregation? You can get all the rewards of making 8 or 20 rakaat (units of prayer) of Taraweeh in just 2 or 4 rakaat of Fajr and Isha respectively. It seems logical to focus more on those two than Taraweeh.

Here’s one more hadith that should scare any believing Muslim to get their priorities straight.

(Which means): “No Salat is more burdensome to the hypocrites than the Fajr (dawn) prayer and the `Isha’ (night) prayer; and if they knew their merits, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim].

There are no authentic traditions from our Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) that give this much importance to the Taraweeh prayer.

3. Overeating For Sahur and Iftar
Have you heard any of these statements before?

I eat more during Ramadan than I do during the rest of the year.

I actually gained weight this Ramadan.

That’s what I love most about Ramadan…the food!

People who say this are usually people who are fasting for the wrong reason. They’re fasting for nightly feasts. Or they’re fasting because everybody else is fasting. But they’re not fasting to please Allah. They might be fasting to appease Allah. Just to get the obligation out the way and get it over with. How the heck do you fast 30 days and gain weight? Unless you’re pregnant or nursing or something, it should be impossible to gain weight during Ramadan.

When you get up in the morning to fast, you should not eat as if the world’s coming to an end. Just eat a light meal. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) would just have some olive oil, water, dates, and bread. So why are you having pancakes, sausages, three scrambled eggs, biryani, and toast in the morning? How can you feel the struggles of fasting if you’re stuffed with food? And then you eat a gigantic feast for iftar (breakfast). Where’s the struggle? Where’s the sacrifice?

4. Focus Your Efforts On One Night Of The Last Ten
We do the same thing every year.

No matter what country you’re from. No matter what country you live in.

Every year, in the last ten nights, most Muslims put all their focus on one of the last 10 nights as if they know exactly when the Night of Power is going to occur. Definitely, trying to catch Laylatul Qadr is a good thing. But there is no solid proof that it occurs on the 27th night only or the 25th night only. Allah in His wisdom decided to withhold that knowledge from us. Perhaps He did this so we would get the reward of searching all ten nights.

So why are people so intent on claiming the Night of Power on one specific date? And they try their best to make this one day of the entire 365 days of the year, full of worship. Certainly, it’s a good thing to pray and read the Quran during the Night of Power. But let’s not get into the habit of claiming knowledge that only Allah has. No one knows when the Night of Power is. Therefore, it is mistaken to declare the 27th of the 25th or the 23rd as Laylatul Qadr to the exclusion of all others.

Instead, you should take advantage of all of the last 10 nights and maximize your worship during this time.

5. Increase Your Good Deeds With No Intention To Continue
This is probably the saddest of all mistakes.

You spent all month improving yourself and sacrificing and struggling. Your prayers increased. Your qiraat (recitation of the Quran) increased. Your dua (supplication) increased.

  • You cut back on TV and wasting time.
  • You tried to control your tongue and your nafs.
  • You worked hard to reign in your anger and emotions.

And as soon as Eid al-Fitr is done, it’s back to business as usual. Don’t do it again this year. I know. You’ve probably heard this a thousand times from a thousand different websites and a thousand different authors.

But it’s serious. Don’t stop striving to be a good Muslim just because it’s the 1st of Shawal.

Of course, it’s going to be more difficult to maintain this momentum outside of Ramadan. The Devils are back on the prowl. Your stomach is full all the time. Everyone else is acting like a jerk.

Still, it’s important that you improve yourself from one Ramadan to the next. Maintain the momentum you’ve built up over the past 30 days. And make at least some of these good deeds a permanent part of your life.

You’ve already proven you can do it.

  • You’ve proven you can make it to the Masjid for congregational prayer on a regular basis. So now, go to the Masjid every day for Salaatul Fajr and Isha.
  • You’ve proven you can read Quran every day. So now, continue reading Quran every day after Ramadan.
  • You’ve proven you can fast every day. So now, fast twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays according to the Sunnah) and three times a month (the 13th, 14th, and 15th of the lunar month) after Ramadan.

You Can Fix These Mistakes

The good thing about these mistakes is that they can all be corrected. You can make changes so that these mistakes don’t follow you throughout the year. If Allah gives you life to see the next Ramadan, make intentions to improve. Have the intention to get better and avoid these pitfalls and errors.

Inshallah, your next Ramadan will be full of even more blessings.


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Fasting Six Days of Shawal: Ruling whether Consecutive and Combining Intentions?

On the authority of Abu Ayyub, the Messenger of Allah said, “Fasting Ramadan and following it with six days from Shawal is like continual fasting.” [Narrated by Muslim]

This is because the reward of actions is multiplied (at least) ten-fold. So Ramadan is like fasting 300 days, and the six days of Shawal like fasting 60 days. The Prophet himself stated this explicitly: “Fasting Ramadan is like fasting ten months and fasting six days [of Shawal] is like fasting for two months. That is like fasting a full year.” [Narrated by Ahmad and An-Nasa’i]

1. Religiously recommended. Based on the outward purport of this above hadith, the majority of the scholars–including Imam Shafi’i, Imam Ahmad, and Imam Abu Hanifa consider it a recommended sunnah to fast six days in Shawal. There are narrations from Abu Hanifa indicating its disliked-ness, but these are understood to relate to considering it a duty to fast these days. [Refers Nawawi, Majmu’; Ibn Qudama, Mughni; Ibn al-Humam/Marghinani, Fath al-Qadir ‘ala al-Hidaya; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

2. Consecutive or not? Some of the scholars considered it recommended to fast these days consecutively after Eid al-Fitr, including Imam Shafi’i. They based this on a hadith related by Tabarani and others in which the Prophet is reported to have said, “Fasting six consecutive days after Eid al-Fitr is like fasting the entire year.”

Other scholars, including both the Hanbalis and Hanafis, considered it the same to fast consecutively or not–because they deemed the above hadith to be excessively weak.

However, they caution that one shouldn’t put it off such that one ends up missing the great reward of fasting six days. It is also a consideration that avoiding difference of opinion is religiously recommended–so trying to fast the six days consecutively would appear to be superior.

3. Combining intentions with missed fasts. It is valid to combine the intention of making up missed Ramadan fasts and the Sunnah of fasting the six days of Shawal, though performing both separately is greater in reward.

The wisdom of fasting these six days.

Among the benefits of fasting the six days of Shawal is:

  1. Sign of acceptance. It is a sign of the acceptance of one’s Ramadan fasts. This is because a sign of Allah’s accepting a good deed is to be granted the success to perform similar good deeds, with consistency.
  2. Consistency itself is beloved. The actions most beloved to Allah and the Messenger are those done most consistently.
  3. Sign of thankfulness. Fasting these six days is an expression of thankfulness for the reward of fasting that Allah grants on the day of Eid. Continuing to fast is a sign of being, as the Prophet described himself, “A truly thankful servant.” Thankfulness is the key to increase, and a means of securing one’s blessings and good.
  4. Sign of commitment to continue. Fasting these six days is a sign of one’s commitment to continue in worship and submission to Allah, willingly–and not merely out of obligation.

What if Unable to Fast Six Days of Shawal?

If unable to fast the six days of Shawal due to some genuine excuse, one should make the firm intention that if this excuse didn’t exist one would have fasted. If one is sincere & true in one’s intention, then one will–by Divine Grace–have the full reward of fasting these days, because, “Actions are by their intentions, and each person shall have whatever they intended,” as the Prophet explained [Narrated by Muslim]. The signs of being true in one’s intention is that if one’s excuse is lifted, one hastens to fulfill the intended matter.

And Allah alone gives success.


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E-Book Share: Western Muslims and the Future of Islam by Tariq Ramadan.

Western-Muslims-and-the-Future-of-Islam-200x300In a Western world suddenly acutely interested in Islam, one question has been repeatedly heard above the din: where are the Muslim reformers?

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As the number of Muslims living in the West grows, the question of what it means to be a Western Muslim becomes increasingly important to the futures of both Islam and the West.

While the media are focused on radical Islam, Ramadan claims, a silent revolution is sweeping Islamic communities in the West, as Muslims actively seek ways to live in harmony with their faith within a Western context.

French, English, German, and American Muslims–women as well as men–are reshaping their religion into one that is faithful to the principles of Islam, dressed in European and American cultures, and definitively rooted in Western societies.

Ramadan’s goal is to create an independent Western Islam, anchored not in the traditions of Islamic countries but in the cultural reality of the West.

He begins by offering a fresh reading of Islamic sources, interpreting them for a Western context and demonstrating how a new understanding of universal Islamic principles can open the door to integration into Western societies.

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Grounded in scholarship and bold in its aims, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam offers a striking vision of a new Muslim Identity, one which rejects once and for all the idea that Islam must be defined in opposition to the West

Earning The Rewards of Al-Qur’an in The Noble Month of Ramadan.

It is generally known that Ramadan is a month in which we are highly recommended to increase our ‘ibadah (worship). Allah will reward every good deed, and even multiplies the reward of ‘ibadah performed in this month far greater than those performed in other months. In addition to obligatory acts, we are highly encouraged to increase our deeds by performing the Sunnah (supererogatory) acts. For example, performing the sunnah prayers specifically Taraweeh, giving sadaqah (charity), performing i’tikaf, attending circles of knowledge, and reciting al-Qur’an. Its virtues have been explained by Rasulullah in the hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa, where the Prophet said (which means):

“The sleep of the fasting person is worship, his silence is tasbeeh (glorification), his du’a (supplication) is answered and his good deeds will be multiplied.” [Narrated by al-Bayhaqi]

Al-Qur’an was revealed as rahmah (mercy) to the worlds. This holy book is filled with advice and guidance for mankind in wading through the life of this world and also the Hereafter. Al-Qur’an is the Word of Allah, and it is a mu’jizah (miracle) that was revealed to Rasulullah through angel Jibreel. It is a noble book that was sent down on a night that is full of barakah (blessings). Allah mentions in verse 3 of surah ad-Dukhan (which means):

“Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn.” [Al-Quran, surah ad-Dukhan, verse 3].

Reciting al-Qur’an is an ‘ibadah in Islam and its reciters will be rewarded for doing so. Regarding this, in the hadith of ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud, Rasulullah said (which means):

“[Whoever recites a letter] from Allah’s Book, then he receives the reward from it, and the reward of ten the like of it. I do not say that Alif Lam Mim is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.” [Narrated by at-Tirmidhi].

Reciting al-Qur’an has tremendous virtues. In addition to attaining rewards from Allah, its reciter will also be granted shafa’ah (intercession) on the Day of Judgment. In the hadith of Abu Umamah al-Bahiliy, Rasulullah said (which means):

“Recite the Qur’an, for on the Day of Resurrection it will come as an intercessor for those who recite it.” [Narrated by Muslim].

In the hadith of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr, Rasulullah said (which means):

“Fasting and the Qu’ran will intercede for the servant on the Day of Resurrection.” [Narrated by Ahmad].

Therefore, with all the chances and opportunities bestowed upon us in this glorious month, let us altogether strive to increase our provision of good deeds with the following deeds. Among them is increasing the recitation of al-Qur’an. Imam an-Nawawi mentioned that it is from the sunnah to fully concentrate upon the recitation of al-Qur’an in the month of Ramadan. This is especially in the last ten days, and specifically on the odd nights.

Let us strive to increase our recitation of al-Qur’an far above other months. If we are used to only complete reciting the entire al-Qur’an in six months or even a year, then in this noble month let us instill the determination to complete it once within one month. It is truly a blessing for those that can complete the recitation twice or thrice in this noble month of Ramadan. Let us substitute our leisure times with the recitation of al-Qur’an, instead of browsing the Internet, Facebook, and others. With the increased recitation of al-Qur’an, may we attain multiple rewards offered by Allah.

In revitalizing this noble month, many mosques are determined in organizing various spiritual programs. Among the ones that are given emphasis and due attention are tadarrus (recitation) and tadabbur (reflection) of al-Qur’an, qiyam al-layl (night prayer), dawrah kitab (intensive study of a book), i’tikaf, and others.

To sum it up, let us altogether derive lessons upon the following matters:

  1. The Muslim Ummah must have certainty that reciting al-Qur’an will increase one’s iman in Allah.
  2. The Muslim Ummah must be passionate about increasing righteous deeds so as to earn all of the virtues and rewards in the month of Ramadan.
  3. The Muslim Ummah must tadabbur (ponder) and thoroughly practice upon the teachings of al-Qur’an, for they are guidance in our worldly lives in attaining blissfulness in this world and the Hereafter.

Where Should One Pay His/Her Zakatul-Fitr?

Where should one pay his zakatul-fitr (zakat fitrah)? Should it be paid at his place of residence (where he works) or his hometown?

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Definition of Zakatul-Fitr

Zakatul-fitr is a compound word from zakat and fitrah. Fitrah means returning to the original state (refers Qamus al-Muhith and others). Imam al-Nawawi explained, the term fitrah used by fuqaha is a fact or reality in sya’riah according to the selected opinion of scholars, such as prayer and zakat.

Zakatul-fitr is an obligated charitable donation given after breaking of fast to celebrate Eid at the end of Ramadan [refers Haasyiah as-Syalabi Syarh al-Zailaie (1/306) and Nail al-Maarib (1/255)].

The Obligated Times for Zakat Fitrah

The scholars have differing opinions regarding this issue:

  • Mazhab Hanafi state the obligated times for zakatul-fitr starts on the sunrise of Eid. This is also one of the agreed opinion of mazhab Maliki.
  • The chosen opinion in of Imam al-Syafie’ and mazhab al-Hanbali state the obligation times of zakatul-fitr starts when the sun sets on the last day of Ramadan (the night of Eid). This is also the opinion of some Maliki scholars.

The Time When It is Obligated to Pay Zakat Fitrah

The scholars have differing opinions regarding this issue:

  • Majority Hanafi scholars hold the opinion that there is a broadness to zakatul-fitr.
  • According to al-Hasan bin Ziyad, a Hanafi scholar the time is localised to certain time such as the worship of qurban (sacrifice). Thus, whoever pay their zakat after the day of Eid, without valid reasons (according to sya’riah), then it is sinful. This is also the opinion of mazhab Maliki, Syafie and Hanbali.

Paying Zakat Before the Obligated Time

In this issue, the scholars have several opinions:

According to mazhab Maliki and Hanbali, it is permissible to hasten the payment up to two days before the time, according to the statement of the Prophet’s companion Ibn Umar (which means):

“People (the companion) used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (even) a day or two before the Eid.”

The opinion from mazhab Syafie state that it is sunnah to pay zakatul-fitr before performing the sunnah Eid prayer and makruh (undesirable) to delay it until after the prayer.

Al-Hasan bin Ziyad hold the opinion that it is permissible to pay zakatul-fitr one or two year from the obligated time (this is a undesirable and isolated opinion).

Some Hanafi scholars state that zakatul-fitr can be hasten and be paid only during Ramadan. This is the chosen opinion in mazhab Hanafi and Syafie.

Where Should One Pay his Zakat Fitrah?

After analysing the above opinions, zakatul-fitr is obligated to be paid starting at the beginning of the obligated time of zakatul-fitr, which is on the night of Eid, until before the sunnah Eid prayer. However, looking at the reality we live in today, we are inclined towards the opinion of being cautious (ihtiyat), which in this context, we hasten our payment of zakatul-fitr to a day or two days earlier, in accordance to the practise of the companions of the Prophet.

Hence, if someone is still at his place of residence and has not went back to his hometown, it is prioritised for him to pay his zakatul-fitr in his residential area, for it is a certainty (tahqiq), while his journey back to his hometown is still a notion or presumption, which may not happen.

Furthermore, early payment will settle one’s responsibility properly to prevent any obstacles that could result in him missing the obligatory time for paying zakatul-fitr.

The Statement of Imam al-Nawawi in al-Majmu’

Imam Nawawi said (which means):

“If someone in is a time where zakat fitrah is an obligation (on him) in a certain state, while his property is in another state, then in which state should he pay his zakat fitrah?

[Imam Nawawi in al-Majmu’]

There are two opinions; one of the opinions is to pay his zakat at which the property is located.

The sound opinion from the two opinions is to pay the zakat at which where the owner is at. Among the scholars that agree with this opinion is the author of al-Tanbih Imam Asy-Syirazi, al-Jurjani in his book al-Tanhir, al-Ghazali, al-Baghawi, al-Rafi’e and others.”

Conclusion

This issue is regarding where someone is suppose to pay his zakat when he is in a certain state and his property is in another state. Thus, it should be paid at the location where one is located during the time it is obligated for him to pay zakatul-fitr, and he can hasten the payment up to two days before the obligated time in accordance with the practise of the companions of the Prophet.

May this explanation resolve this issue and let us focus our efforts in seeking Allah’s blessings and guidance in this blessed month of Ramadan.

Taken with slight changes from http://muftiwp.gov.my

E-Book Share: All About Zakat al-Fitr by E-Da’wah Committee.

5016Every Muslim is required to pay Zakat al-Fitr at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan as a token of thankful¬ness to God for having enabled him to observe fasts. Its purpose is to purify those who fast from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy.

E-Da’wah Committee (EDC) presents this ebook “All About Zakat al-Fitr” for new Muslims to learn how, when and why Zakat al-Fitr is paid.

Zakatul-Fitr Rate In Malaysia for Year 2019/ 1440H.

The glorious month of Ramadan is back again. This post will show the rate of Zakatul-Fitr for year 2019 for all states in Malaysia. The payment of zakatul-fitr can be done during the month of Ramadan from the beginning until the end of Ramadan (eid).

Zakatul-fitr or also known as zakat of self/body, zakat fasting or zakat Ramadan. Zakatul-fitr is a compulsory duty on every Muslim. Paying Zakatul-fitr is a mandatory requirement for every Muslim who is independent and capable of removing it in time to cover the old and the young, the male or the female and the mind or not.

Zakat al-fitr can cleanse and purify the fasting souls of futility and thus the payment of the al-fitr can be used to help poor people prepare to celebrate Eid-ul-fitr. The rate issued is based on the basic food of a country such as rice. The rate released is one bushel of Baghdad equivalent to a metric weight 2.60 kilograms (2600 grams). The value of this rate varies from time to time depending on the price of rice consumed by most Muslims in a country.

Here are the zakatul-fitr rate fees for the year 2019/1440H for all states in Malaysia: –

There are states that have more than one zakat rate. Zakat payers should choose the rate of zakatul-fitr base on the type of rice that becomes their daily food. For example:

State of Perak:
-5% Local Special Super Rice: RM7.00
-Imported White Rice, Brown Rice, Spice Rice, Fragrance Rice, Herb Pony: RM14.00
-Basmathi Rice Type, Japanese Rice, Red Rice: RM21.00

State of Kedah:
-5% Local Special Super Rice: RM7.00
-Super Rice Import, War Rice, Spice Rice, Fragrance Rice, Herb Pony: RM14.00
-Basmathi Rice Type, Japanese Rice, Red Rice: RM21.00

State of Melaka:
-5% Local Special Super Rice: RM7.00
-Imported rice such as Fragrant Rice, Basmathi Rice and the like: RM14.00

State of Johor:
-Local Super Rice: RM7.00
-Apart from the Local Super Rice varieties such as Import Rice (Fragrant Rice, Basmathi Rice) and the like: RM10.00

Where should I pay Zakat al-Fitr?

According to the honorable Shaikh Mohammad bin Salih Al-‘Uthaimeen, it does allowed for a person to pay Zakatul-Fitr for himself or his family if they are not in the city or country with him.

This means that, if he was in Kuala Lumpur (KL) and they were in Selangor, it is permissible to pay Zakatul-Fitr for them in KL, but it is better for a person to pay Zakatul-Fitr in the place in which the time for its payment overtakes him, so if it overtakes him when he is in KL, he should pay it in KL and if he is in Selangor, then he should pay it in Selangor. If some of his family members are in KL and some of them in Selangor, then those in Selangor should pay it in Selangor and those in KL should pay it in KL, because Zakatul-Fitr is due from each person.

Hopefully this post will benefit all Muslims especially who live in Malaysia.

A First Day Ramadan Life of a Muslim (We Do This for a Month!)

We are now into the month of Ramadan, so it is quite likely you are fasting now. You know, people seem to fill pity toward Muslims when they are fasting from dawn until sunset, especially in these longer days (12 hours) of the year. However, it is important to know that although Muslims love their tasty food, Ramadan is our favorite time of the year!

A healthy sahoor to take early in the morning

The typical day in Ramadan starts earlier than most are used to. Muslims are to wake before dawn (for me, that is about 5:00AM) to partake in a predawn meal called sahoor. The Prophet Muhammad (may the blessings and peace of God be upon him) said, “Partake in the predawn meal, for truly in the predawn meal there is blessing” [Narrated by al-Bukhari]. It is a really early morning—or rather, the very end of the night. Although Muslims have running jokes about looking and feeling like zombies at this odd hour, they do their best to remove themselves from their beds to eat a super early breakfast. Not being able to consume a meal or sip a glass of water for another sixteen to seventeen hours is quite the motivation!

In all seriousness however, this time is the most precious of both the day and the night. Muslims believe God is closest to us during these last moments of the night before dawn. After eating their sahoor, many Muslims try to spend the time before dawn praying the Tahajjud prayer. The Prophet (may the blessings and peace of God be upon him) said, “God descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains and says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?’”[Narrated by al-Bukhari]. This last third of the night is the perfect time to turn to God, pour our hearts out and ask Him for whatever we need.

At the time of dawn, the first of the five daily prayers called Fajr becomes obligatory to perform before sunrise. After praying this, depending on the individual’s schedule, they may sleep until they need to wake for school or work, or they may engage in Quran recitation. The remainder of the daylight hours consists of the regular activities one would experience outside of Ramadan (minus the food and drink), but with an added awareness that one is fasting for the sake of God. Muslims need to pass on the refreshments offered at meetings and skip their morning coffee. Lunch at school can be challenging with the aroma of food surrounding a person as well as the questions about the missing meal. But the hunger pangs and thirst due to dehydration are a lot more meaningful and a lot more worth it when keeping the reason for fasting in mind.

Normally we start break fast with dates (it’s a sunnah!)

Prior to sunset, Muslims scurry to get iftar ready. This is the meal eaten when breaking the fast. The Prophet Muhammad (may the blessings and peace of God be upon him) used to break his fast with dates, so many Muslims do the same. The last moments of the fasting day are another time when supplication is highly encouraged, for it is said to be a time of acceptance. When the sun sets, Muslims break their fast and feel a sense of satisfaction and gratefulness. They made it through a fasting day!

How taraweeh normally look like

At night, many Muslims opt to head to the mosque for the last obligatory prayer of the day as well as a special Ramadan prayer called Taraweeh. This worship can take up to two hours because many imams try to finish the entire recitation of the Quran over the course of the month during the prayer. Now replenished with their iftar, Muslims find the energy to stand in prayer and listen to the recitation of the holy Quran as well as meet fellow people in the community at the mosque.

Upon the completion of the prayer, it is time to head back home. Some may be able to squeeze in a couple of hours of sleep before the time of sahoor comes in again. Others may engage in more worship or eat an early sahoor and call it a night. Soon enough, another day of fasting will begin.

Fasting in Ramadan is definitely challenging, and Muslims learn to exhibit much self-control during the month. While it can be difficult, it is overflowing with opportunities for reward and the pleasure of God. It is in this month that lives are changed. It is in this month that charity is generously given. It is in this month that many Muslims finally find the strength and motivation do what they have been wanting to do all year—refocus their lives on their faith.