ZAKAT AL-FITR (Alms giving, Charity

ZAKAT AL-FITR (Alms giving, Charity)

Allah (SWT) says in the Quran-e-Majid that

one who gives "Zakat" and remembers Him

will get salvation. Here, Zakat means "Fitra"

and remembrance of God means the

recitation of the following Takbir on the

night and morning of Eid al-Fitr.

"Allaaho Akbar, Allaaho Akbar, Laa ilaaha

illallaah wallaaho Akbar, Allaaho Akbar,Wa

lillaahil hamd. Alhamdulillah alaa maa

hadaanaa walahu Shukr alaa maa aulana."

The meaning of the above is: "Allah is

Great, Allah is Great there is no one worthy

of prayer but Allah, and Allah is Great; Allah

is Great, all praise be to Allah, it is He Who

guides."

Zakat al-Fitr is a small amount that Muslims

are obliged to pay as charity at the end of

Ramadan. Zakat al-Fitr is often referred to

as Sadaqah al-Fitr (voluntary charity). The

word Fitr means the same as Iftaar,

breaking a fast and it comes from the same

root word as Futoor which means

breakfast. Thus, Islamically, Zakat al-Fitr is

the name given to charity which is

distributed at the end of the fast of

Ramadan.

Fitr is compulsory on

those who can

afford it, and it is a

sin not to give it.

Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-

Sadiq (A.S.) has said that fasts do not attain

perfection without Fitr just as Namaz is not

accepted without invoking the blessings of

Allah on Mohammad (S.A.W.) and his Aaal

(A.S.) in Tashahhud. Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-

Sadiq (A.S.) used to instruct his accountant

to take out Fitr for each individual

including slaves and servants male and

female of his household without exception,

as, he feared that one whose Fitr was not

taken out might die within that year.

Fitr is dependant on the major item of food

consumed by a person during the year.

These may be rice, wheat, barley, dates, etc.

In weight Fitr should be three Kilograms

per person. It is also permissible to pay

cash to the value of three Kilograms food

grains.

It is obligatory on the head of the family to

give Fitr of all persons (including servants

of both sexes of any cast or creed) that

take food in his house.

If a guest Muslim or non-Muslim arrives at

one's house before the night of Eid al-Fitr

and dines with his host, it is incumbent on

the latter to give the former's Fitr. If the

guest arrives after sunset of the night of Eid

al-Fitr. Fitr is not obligatory even if he dines

with his host. Even when the guest arriving

before sunset does not dine, Fitr is

obligatory on the host. In this it is better if

both the host and the guest give Fitr.

If one's wife is at her parent's on the night

of Eid al-Fitr, her parents should take out

her Fitr.

On the last day of the month of Ramadan,

if a person arrranges a Majlis which finishes

afer sunset (Magrib) and if, he offers Niyaz

or food to his guests, he does not have to

give Fitr for them.

Fitr should be given to deserving Momins

who do not have enough income for the

maintenance of their families for the whole

year.

Fitr cannot be given to one's dependants.

But, it is better to give it to non-dependant

deserving relatives. Next in order of

preference are deserving neighbors and

then any other deserving pious persons.

Fitr from Syeds can be given to Syeds or

non-Syeds. Fitr from non-Syeds cannot be

given to Syeds.

If deserving persons are not really available,

Fitr should be sent to places where such

persons are found, or the amount should

be sent to a Mujtahid who would do the

needful in distributing the same.

It is not essential that the recipient of Fitr is

an "Aadil" (just), but it is necessary to

ensure that it is not given to anyone likely

to use it in acts of sin, e.g. drinking liquor,

gambling, etc.

Although it is permissible to send Fitr to

any place it is preferable if it is distributed

to a deserving person locally.

The time for giving Fitr is from the night of

Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan Eid) up to the noon

(Zohr) of Eid al-Fitr. If this is not possible for

some reason the amount of Fitr should be

set apart from his other monies and

disbursed when deserving person is

available or it may be sent to a Mujtahid for

required distribution.

It is stated that Fitr ought to be given to

pious persons and not those who indulge

in sin.

IN RETROSPECT:

And now that the

Holy Month of Glory

(Ramadan) has

departed and Eid is

over, let us look back

to the lessons it has

taught us, and let us pray to God that the

things we observed the recitation of the

Holy Quran, the saying of Prayers (Namaz)

regularly, the charity which we did, the

poor that we fed, the good manners and

self-restraint that we observed, should be

with us in our everyday lives and these are

the very ACTS that take us nearer to Allah.

And Allah has said, "Therefore remember

Me, I will remember you, and be thankful

to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me."

(2:152)

"If ye are grateful, I will add more (favors)

unto you; But if ye show ingratitude, truly

My punishment is terrible indeed." (14:7)

And to those who have been indifferent

and have wished that there was no such

thing as this month of Ramadan and who

on sighting the New Moon had a dejected

face, should remember this Ayat of the

Holy Quran.

"Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but

those who are too arrogant to serve Mewill

surely find themselves in Hell - in

humiliation!" (40:60)

But can ye not see, O men, the mighty

workers of God in the heavens and the

earth? The dark-some splendor of the night

with the stars, and the daylight splendor of

the sun? How the earth with its spacious

expanse and its mountains, yields moisture

and pasture, and feeds and sustains men

and cattle, through God's Providence?

AH! Transgress not all bounds and earn not

the fire of punishment, but fear God and

His Judgment, and prepare for the Garden

of Perpetual Bliss.

ZAKAT AL-FITR and ZAKAT (ZAKAH) are

different: (Alms giving, Charity)

Over the centuries, it has become a practice

among the Muslims to offer their Zakat

(Zakah) in the month of Ramadan. This is

generally done to increase one's blessings.

However, we should remember that Zakat

(Zakah) becomes due, one year after a

person's wealth reaches the value of Nisab

(minimum amount) for a type of item (Gold,

Silver, Savings, etc) and according to most

scholars, his wealth has to remain above

that Nisab level throughout the courseof

the year. So it is impossible for the whole

Ummah to have reached the obligation of

paying Zakat (Zakah), at the onset of

Ramadan. We should be clear in our minds

that Zakat (Zakah) is not tied in with the

month of Ramadan. An individual can bring

forward his Zakat (Zakah) due date (notice:

not push back), in order to take advantage

of the multifold blessings of Ramadan. In

fact, to make it easy on the recipients

whose needs have to be met, one might

chose Ramadan for the extra Sadaqa he

gives out.

Finally, Zakat (Zakah) is not simply the

calculation of your dues on your Gold and

Silver ornaments. Its scope and implication

is wide-ranging. As such, it requires us to

be diligent and aware of various details

relating to our context and various forms of

wealth. At the minimum, a learned scholar

should be consulted.

Imam Jafer As-Sadiq (as) said: "Allah shall

ward off 70 kinds of Calamities from one

who gives Charity in the month of

Ramadhan."