Dear respected Imam. How much is Zakat Al-Fitr for each individual?
Br. As-Salamu Alaykum. Regarding your question, Zakatul Fitr is
calculated in each country according to the cost of a meal and to the
currency. In the United States, the equivalent of $5 dollars is more
than enough. A 5-10 pound bag of rice for few dollars suffices. Usually,
check with your local Islamic Center about the appropriate value. If you
don't know someone who qualifies to receive the Zakatul Fitr, your
Islamic Center also should help out. Thank you for asking and we hope to
be able to serve you more efficiently in the future. And Allah knows
it true that we should pay Zakatul-Fitr in the place where we have
sighted the moon of Shawwal? Many of us expatriates arrange for that
Zakah to be paid in our home countries. One reason why we do that is
because we cannot identify genuine beneficiaries of Zakah here. Back
home, there are many poor and needy people. Is it acceptable if we send
our Zakah to be paid to its beneficiaries back home?
is normal procedure to pay Zakah where one lives. If you are normally
resident in this country, you should pay Zakah here. However, there are
many cases where expatriates work in a well off country. It is difficult
to find poor people who suffer from poverty. In such a situation, there
is no harm in sending your Zakah to be paid in your home country,
provided you are pretty certain that the poor of the place you live can
be easily looked after. This is not a case which applies to Saudi Arabia
and Gulf countries, but many Muslims living in Europe or America also do
it permissible to collect Zakatul-Fitr and pool it together so that the
money collected maybe used for the purpose of financing the marriage of
poor Muslim girls in our locality?
Zakatul-Fitr is a charitable donation which is payable as a duty by every Muslim who has any amount of money over and above what he needs for the food which he and his family eat on the last day of Ramadan. If he has any amount in excess of that, then it is obligatory for him to pay Zakatul-Fitr which is a small amount of money estimated normally by a certain measure of the staple diet of the city or area in which he lives. Thus it maybe measured by flour, barley, corn, dates, rice, raisin, etc. It may be paid in cash if such produce is plentiful and widely available and if cash is more beneficial to the recipients, as it is nowadays in most Muslim countries. Every head of a Muslim family is required to pay Zakatul-Fitr for himself and his dependents including his wife and children whom he supports and also for either or both of his parents who are his dependents. It is also payable on behalf of every child, even one who is born a few minutes before the `Eid prayer on the first day of the month of Shawwal.
Some scholars are also of the opinion that it is payable for an unborn baby as long as the pregnancy is confirmed. The purpose of Zakatul-Fitr is to make the poor feel rich or at least self-sufficient on the day of `Eid which is a joyous occasion succeeding the month of fasting. The Prophet has impressed on his followers that they should make the poor feel in need of nothing on that day.
Zakatul-Fitr is payable a few days before the end of Ramadan, with some scholars arguing that it may be paid at any time during Ramadan, while others insist that it is payable on the last day. In the light of the foregoing, you can see that the purpose of Zakatul-Fitr is different from that of getting Muslim girls married. This is a worthy cause, no doubt, since it enables the poor girls to have homes and families of their own. But, if you collect Zakatul-Fitr and establish a fund for the marriage of poor Muslim girls, you are actually depriving the community of achieving a goal for which Zakatul-Fitr has been made a duty, namely, that the poor should not feel in need on the day of `Eid. Moreover, Islamic marriage is not costly for the girls or her family. From the Islamic view-point, it is the bridegroom who must pay a dower to his wife, so that the marriage can go through.
Moreover, he has to provide her with a home and he must look after her. Social traditions in some parts of the Muslim world have, however, made marriage a difficult task for either of the two parties or both. Islam is not responsible for that. The community should change its traditions in order to bring them in line with Islamic teachings. We should not make Islamic legislation subservient to social traditions. If it is the tradition in a certain Muslim society that a girl should give her husband some articles of gold on her marriage, we should make it clear to that community that this is not part of an Islamic marriage.
It is a social tradition, which has been most probably picked up from a non-Muslim community. We should try to change this tradition, not to institutionalize it by spending Zakatul-Fitr for a purpose which is not its own. Zakatul-Fitr is payable to the poor in the Muslim community. It is indeed the purpose of all Zakah to help the poor overcome the burden of poverty. The Prophet instructed his governor of Yemen that Zakah should be taken "from the rich among them and paid to the poor." This applies more strongly to Zakatul-Fitr which must be paid to poor Muslim people. Having said that I should add that when the Muslim community is affluent and poverty is virtually non-existent in it, Zakah maybe paid to the poor among the Christians and the Jews.
At the time of `Umar ibn `Abdel
`Aziz, one of his governors wrote him that he could not find poor people
to whom he should give Zakah. `Umar instructed him to pay it to poor
Christians and Jews. When the governor said that he could not find any,
`Umar suggested that he should buy Muslim slaves and set them free. If
we have such a situation when the Muslim community is so affluent that
there are no poor in its ranks, then we consider paying Zakatul-Fitr to
you please tell me what this `Eid is about? I mean the history of it,
what and why you celebrate this `Eid?
R. As-Salamu alaykum. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF `EID - Anas (ra), a companion
of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reported that when the Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, the people of Madinah
used to have two festivals. On those two days they had carnivals and
festivity. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked the Ansar (the Muslims of
Madinah) about it. They replied that before Islam they used to have
carnivals on those two joyous days. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told
them: 'Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days
which are better, the days of `Eid-al-Fitr and `Eid-al-Adha.' (Hadith)
is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, at the completion of Ramadan.
Shawwal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The `Eid-al-Fitr is a
very joyous day; it is a true Thanksgiving Day for the believing men and
women. On this day Muslims show their real joy for the health, strength
and the opportunities of life, which Allah has given to them to fulfill
their obligation of fasting and other good deeds during the blessed
month of Ramadan.
is celebrated on the tenth day of Zul-hijjah, the 12th and the last
month of the Islamic calendar. It is also very joyous day; it is a feast
of self-sacrifice, commitment and obedience to Allah. It commemorates
the great act of obedience to Allah by the Prophet Ibrahim (as) in
showing his willingness to sacrifice his son Isma`il (as). Allah
accepted his sacrifice and replaced Prophet Isma`il (as) with a lamb.
Hajj has no relation with the `Eid-al-Adha, but the five days long
rituals of Hajj are also done during this month culminating on 9th of
Dhul Hijjah. Many rituals of Hajj are enactment of the struggle of the
family Ibrahim (as) specially his second wife Hajirah (as) and her son
Prophet Isma`il (as).
wanted to know what the significance of the `Eid was. Why is it
celebrated? I am referring to both the `Eid that signifies the end of
Ramadan, and the `Eid that was just recently celebrated. Thank you for
Alaykum. Each nation and religion has its special days and occasions
which it celebrates. When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came to Madinah, the
local Muslims had two days which they celebrated. So, when he inquired
about them, the people replied that they used to celebrate these days in
Jahiliyah time (pre- Islamic Time). Afterwards, he told them that Allah
Almighty had replaced these two days with two better holidays: the Adha
and Fitr. These two occasions were considered better because of their
ul Fitr reminds the Muslims of the importance of eating, sharing food,
and giving it to the poor after having fasted and endured hardship
throughout the whole month of Ramadan. It also brings mental joy for
having completed a pillar of Islam.
to `Eidul Adha, it comes during the happy season of the pilgrimage
period, to thank God for sending a lamb for prophet Abraham (pbuh) to
slaughter instead of his son Isma`il (pbuh). This important occasion
commemorates how true believers are willing to offer everything from
their wealth to their life in obedience to God. Thank you for asking and
God knows best.
Allakum. How is it possible to have two `Eid al-Fitr dates, when there
is only one moon. This is a very distressing and would appreciate an
answer to ease my discomfort on this topic?
Br. H. As-Salamu Alaykum. During the early times of Islam, it was not
uncommon to have separate villages celebrate `Eid at different dates
because the sighting of the moon was not obvious to all of them and
there were no fast means of communication between them. Hence, during
the early times, this was not a problem.
in our days, you are correct, it is unfortunate that some Muslims are
still divided and are not making full use of scientific and
communication methods to unify their `Eid. We all hope that this will
change in the future and actually, there are actually some signs that
the Muslims are going towards the right direction.
Also, please note that since the world is divided into several times zones, and since there are areas that get separated by 24 hours simply by crossing the international time zone, it would be only natural that the `Eid falls on different calendar days between different countries, and this would have nothing to do with disunity among the Muslims, but simply it becomes a matter of a country’s geographical location. This is why there is what we call the International Lunar Date that takes such difference into consideration. For a good explanation about this topic, please visit: http://www.ummah.org.uk/ildl/.
Thank you for asking
and God knows best.
you cannot pray Salat al-Fitr on time, do you have to make it up the
Br. M.Y.: As-Salamu Aalaykum. According to Imam Shafi`i, yes, it is
permissible to perform it later as (Qada’) at any time either alone or
within a Jama`ah because it is a Nafilah (optional/extra/supererogatory)
and all prayers of this kind can be made up. Thank you for asking and
God knows best.
it ok if I skip the `EID Salah?
Br. A.Z.: As-Salamu Alaykum. The prayers of two Muslim `Eids or holidays
are Sunnah according to the three schools of thought (Maliki, Hanbali,
to the fourth one, the Hanafi school, it is considered a duty (wajib)
and everyone that is required to perform the Friday prayer is also
required to perform the `Eid prayer. Therefore you may take either
to abandon a Sunnah which constitute a symbol of Islam on purpose is not
a good manner for a Muslim especially in the absence of an acceptable
reason such as illness. Thank you for asking and God knows best.