Ramadan Concludes..What happens now?

The end of Ramadan ushers in one of two major celebrations in the Islamic calendar. A day of festivities called Eid ul Fitr.  In Arabic Eid means something which returns and is repeated every certain period of time.  The word eid, however, has evolved to mean a festivity.  The word Fitr is the root of the word iftar (breaking the fast) and denotes the end of the fasting month.  It would be wrong to assume that Muslims celebrate the fact that they no longer have to fast, as Muslims indeed are saddened by the passing of the month of Ramadan.  The reality is that Muslims celebrate because God has allowed them to participate in and complete the month of fasting and spiritual reflection.  Muslims celebrate the fact that God, in His infinite mercy and wisdom, may accept their deeds and reward them.
“…that you should complete the number [of fasting days] and that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you and that you may give thanks.” (Quran: 2:185)
The Eid (or celebration) is not carried out in the way you might expect.  After the previous night’s moon sighting, indicating that the blessed month of Ramadan is over, Muslims wake for the dawn prayer and the beginning of a very special day.  In the early morning Muslims bathe and put on their best clothes in preparation for the special Eid prayer.  It has become customary to wear new clothes in celebration of Eid.  “God is beautiful, and He loves that which is beautiful,”[1]  and Eid is a time to display the favours of God.  It is an act of worship to eat a few dates before setting out for the prayer in emphasis of the fact that the fasting month has indeed ended, and thus, fasting on the Day of Eid is forbidden, as it is a day of celebration and remembrance of God.
The Eid prayer is to be held outdoors in a large open ground.  In inclement weather, or due to a lack of adequate arrangements, Eid prayer is sometimes performed in the mosques.  Muslims can be seen walking and driving to the praying area, carrying prayer rugs and glorifying God.  His or her words ringing out – “God is great, there is none worthy of worship but God; God is great, Praise be to Him.”  As Muslim families begin to congregate at the prayer place, the praising of God is joined with words of congratulations such as, “Eid Mubarak” (a celebration full of blessings) and Happy Eid, as well as prayers for each other, “May Allah accept our righteous works”.  Children dart about in anticipation of gifts and feasts, older people reflect on the success of Ramadan and the Magnificence of God.  A quiet hush then spreads across the crowd as the Eid prayer begins.  It differs slightly from the normal prayers, and although it is not obligatory, it is highly recommended that Muslims attend.  Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder and give thanks to God not only for the joy of Ramadan, but also for the countless blessings He bestows upon us every day.
Before the prayer begins a special charity is to be offered.  It is called Zakaat al-Fitr.  Each adult Muslim, who is financially able, is expected to offer a small amount, roughly equivalent to $10 U.S, from which foodstuff is bought and distributed to the poor.  Ramadan was a time when Muslims attempt to give generously and the celebration at the conclusion of Ramadan is conducted with the same spirit of generosity, ensuring that all Muslims have the opportunity to enjoy the day with feasting and celebration.
At the end of the prayer the congregation disperses and travels home or onto celebrations via a different route.  Muslims try to emulate the guidance of Prophet Muhammad to travel to and from the Eid praying place using different routes.  This and the fact of the prayer being held in open areas are done to show the strength of the Muslims, to induce pride on one’s faith, and to celebrate the praises of Allah openly. The actual Eid ul Fitr is one day, but in many Muslim countries, businesses and offices may close for up to a week.  Due to time constraints and the fact that this Muslim holiday is not always recognised in western countries, some Muslims are unable to participate in more than a few hours of celebration.  Muslims in different countries and different families celebrate in different ways.
There are gatherings of family and friends for breakfast, brunch or lunch. It is an occasion for visits, greetings, love and good wishes.  It is a time to heal lost bonds, make amends, and revitalize relationships. Special foods are prepared and often dishes are sent to neighbours and friends.  Each country or community has its signature dish, and a special benefit to being part of a Muslim community in the west means being able to sample delicious cuisine from around the world.  Gifts, money and sweets are usually given to children and some adults exchange gifts too.  Celebrations differ from community to community.  There are picnics and barbeques, fairs and neighbourhood feasts, community events lasting into the night, and fireworks or laser light displays.  New friends are made, old acquaintances renewed and families spend quality time together.
The celebration of Eid demands contact with relatives, kindness to parents, empathy for the poor and distraught and compassion for neighbours.  It is a day of visiting and well wishing, and some Muslims take the opportunity to visit the graveyards.  It is important not to make visiting the graveyards an annual Eid ritual. However, the remembrance of death and the hereafter is important at all times.  Even at this time of celebration, one truly submitted to God understands that we are all but a breath away from death.  In the midst of life is death and a Muslim realises that this life is but a transient stop on the way to the final abode – Paradise or Hell.  Ramadan was a time of reflection and Eid is a time of celebration; however, lavish displays of wealth and materialism are to be avoided.  Muslims who seized the benefits inherent in Ramadan are grateful for this time to celebrate and understand it is but one of the ways that God bestows His mercy upon us.  Life can sometimes be full of tests and trials, but through the trying times as well as the celebrations God, there is with wisdom, mercy and forgiveness.  A Muslim is encouraged to celebrate by glorifying God ,but reminded never to forget that the ability to love life and to celebrate, is but one of God’s bounties.

[1] Saheeh Muslim

Guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) regarding Eid prayers

Guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) regarding Eid prayers


Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid


 Praise be to Allah.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to offer the Eid prayers in the prayer-place (musalla). There is no report of his offering the Eid prayer in his mosque. 
Al-Shaafa’i said in al-Umm: It was narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to go out on the two Eids to the prayer-place in Madinah, as did those (caliphs) who came after him, unless there was an excuse such as rain etc. The people of other lands did likewise, apart from the people of Makkah. 
He used to wear his most beautiful garments to go out to pray. He had a suit (hullah) which he would wear for Eid and Jumu’ah (Friday prayer). A hullah is a two-piece suit of the same kind of fabric. 
He used to eat dates before going out on Eid al-Fitr, and he would eat an odd number of them. 
Al-Bukhari (953) narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not go out on the morning of Eid al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates, and he would eat an odd number. 
Ibn Qudaamah said: We do not know of any differing opinion concerning the fact that it is mustahabb to eat early on the day of Eid al-Fitr. 
The reason for eating before the prayer is so that no one will think that it is essential to fast until the prayer has been offered. 
And it was said that this was in order to hasten to obey the command of Allah Who enjoined breaking the fast after He enjoined fasting. 
If no dates are available, he should have something else for breakfast, even if it is only water, so that he can fulfill the Sunnah in principle, which is to have something for breakfast before praying on Eid al-Fitr. 
With regard to Eid al-Adha, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used not to eat anything until he came back from the prayer-place, then he would eat some of the meat of his sacrifice. 
It was narrated that he used to do ghusl for both Eids. Ibn al-Qayyim said: Two weak (da’eef) hadiths have been narrated concerning this… but it was proven from Ibn ‘Umar, who was very keen to follow the Sunnah, that he used to do ghusl before going out on the day of Eid. 
And he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to go out to the Eid prayer walking, and come back walking. 
Ibn Maajah (1295) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to go out to the Eid (prayer) walking and come back walking. Classed as sahih by al-Albaani in Sahih Ibn Maajah. 
Al-Tirmidhi (530) narrated that ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib said: It is Sunnah to go out to the Eid (prayer) walking. Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Sahih al-Tirmidhi. 
Al-Tirmidhi said: Most of the scholars followed this hadith and said that it is mustahabb for a man to go out to the Eid (prayer) walking. It is mustahabb for him not to ride unless he has an excuse. 
When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) reached the prayer-place, he would begin the prayer with no adhan or iqamah, and without saying “Al-salaatu jaami’ah (prayer is about to begin).” The Sunnah is not to do any of these things. 
And he did not offer any prayer in the prayer-place before or after the Eid prayer. 
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would start with the prayer, before the khutbah. He prayed two rak’ahs, with seven consecutive takbeers in the first rak’ah, including takbeerat al-ihraam (the takbeer with which the prayer begins), and a brief pause between each two takbeers. There is no report of him saying any particular dhikr between the takbeers, but it was narrated that Ibn Mas’ood would praise Allah and send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). 
But Ibn ‘Umar, who was always keen to follow the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), used to raise his hands with each takbeer. 
When he had completed the takbeers, he would start to recite. He would recite al-Faatihah then recite Qaf wa’l-Qur’aan il-majeed (Soorah Qaaf 50) in the first rak’ah and Aqtarabat il-saa’ah wa anshaqqa al-qamar (Soorat al-Qamar 54) in the other. Sometimes he recited Sabbih isma rabbika al-A’la (Soorat al-A’laa 87) and Hal ataaka hadith al-ghaashiyzah (Soorat al-Ghaashiyah 88). Both were narrated in sahih reports, but no other soorahs are mentioned in sahih reports. When he had finished reciting he would say takbeer and bow. When he had finished bowing and prostrating and had stood up again, he would say five takbeers. When he had completed the takbeers he would start to recite again. The takbeer was the first thing that he would do in each rak’ah and his recitation was followed by rukoo’ (bowing). 
Al-Timridhi narrated from the hadith of Katheer ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf, from his father, from his grandfather, that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited takbeer in the Eid (prayer), seven times in the first rak’ah before reciting Quran and five times in the second rak’ah before reciting Quran. Al-Tirmidhi said: I asked Muhammad – i.e., al-Bukhari – about this hadith and he said: There is nothing more sound than this concerning this topic. And I say likewise. 
When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had finished the prayer, he would move away and stand facing the people, with the people sitting in their rows, and he would address them, preaching and exhorting, with commands and prohibitions. If he wanted to dispatch anyone on a mission he would do so, and if he wanted to enjoin anything he would do that.  
There was no minbar on which he would stand, and the minbar of Madinah was not brought out. Rather he would address them standing on the ground. Jaabir said: I attended Eid prayer with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He started with the prayer before the khutbah, with no adhan and no iqamah, then he stood, leaning on Bilaal, and enjoined us to fear and obey Allah. He preached to the people and reminded them, then he went over to the women and preached to them and reminded them. Agreed upon. 
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to go out on the day of al-Fitr and al-Adha to the prayer place. He would start with the prayer, then he would go and stand facing the people, with the people sitting in their rows… This hadith was narrated by Muslim. 
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) started all his khutbahs with praise of Allah. It is not narrated even in one hadith that he started the khutbah of Eid with takbeer. Rather Ibn Maajah narrated in his Sunan (1287) that Sa’d al-Qaraz, the muezzin of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say the takbeer between the two sermons and he used to say takbeer a great deal throughout the khutbah of Eid. This was classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in Da’eef Ibn Maajah. Although the hadith is da’eef, it does not indicate that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to begin his khutbah with takbeer. 
It says in Tamaam al-Mannah: Although it does not indicate that it is prescribed to begin the Eid khutbah with takbeer, its isnaad is da’eef and includes one man who is da’eef (weak) and another who is majhool (unknown), so it is not permissible to quote it as evidence that it is Sunnah to say takbeer during the khutbah. 
Ibn al-Qayyim said: 
People differed as to how the khutbah on Eid and on the occasion of prayers for rain (istisqa’) should begin. It was said that they should begin with takbeer and it was said that the khutbah of istisqa’ should begin with prayers for forgiveness, and it was said that they should begin with praise. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: this is the correct view. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to begin all his khutbahs with praise of Allah. 
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) granted a concession allowing those who attended the Eid prayers either to sit and listen to the khutbah, or to leave. 
Abu Dawood (1155) narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Saa’ib said: I attended Eid (prayer) with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and when he had finished the prayer he said: “We are going to deliver the khutbah, so whoever wants to sit and listen to the khutbah, let him do so, and whoever wants to leave, let him go.” Classed as sahih by al-Albaani in Sahih Abi Dawood. 
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to vary his route on the day of Eid. He would go by one route and come back by another. 
Al-Bukhari narrated (986) that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: On the day of Eid, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would vary his route.
Allah knows best.

What After Ramadan

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of mankind, jinn and all that exists, and peace and blessings of Allah be upon the most honorable of all Prophets, our Messengers, Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.
Here are the beautiful days of Ramadan going away quickly. The winner is whoever exploits them in obeying Allah. The loser is whoever wastes them. One should consider all deeds and use the days and nights in obeying and worshipping Allah, and in drawing closer to Him, Glorified and Exalted. Allah Almighty has said, {And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness).} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:197].
{وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ} البقرة: 197
Transliteration: watazawwadoo fainna khayra alzzadi alttaqwa 
Piety is the provision of hearts. The souls are strengthened by it; they draw closer to survival. If we want to observe obeying Allah and continuing in doing it, we have to take provision from the following elements:
1-   Praying in congregation in the mosque (a provision).
2-   Obligating oneself in spending in charity and in the sake of Allah (a provision).
3-   Performing a lot of optional acts of worship and committing oneself to spending the night praying and remembering Allah (a provision).
4-   Being charitable to and behaving in good manners with neighbors and people (a provision).
5-   Enjoining Al-Ma’rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islâm has forbidden), (a provision).
6-   Committing to fasting and following the fast of Ramadan with fasting six days of Shawwâl, along with fasting Mondays and Thursdays, (a provision).
The things that help you take provisions:
a.    Good company and righteous friends help you obey Allah, and to do more.
b.    To make your dealing with Allah, Glorified and Exalted, for His sake, hoping to attain His reward, without waiting for the praise of people. O people, all the good is in the piety to Allah, and all the success is to follow the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
{And be not like her who undoes the thread which she has spun,} [Surat An-Nahl 16:92]
{وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّتِي نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا} النحل: 92
Transliteration: Wala takoonoo kaallatee naqadat ghazlaha 
My beloved brother, my Muslim sister: if you are among those who benefited from Ramadan, who established the attributes of the pious, you have truly fasted the month and sincerely spent its night in worshipping, if you strived hard against yourselves, you should praise Allah and thank Him, ask Him to keep you firm on that till the day you die.
Beware, O beware of undoing the thread after spinning it (do not waste your righteous deeds after performing them). What if a woman spun some thread making a dress or a garment out of it, and when she looked at it and she liked it, she started cutting the thread and undoing it one after the other with no reason for that.
What would people say about her?
This is the condition of whoever returns to performing acts of disobedience, immorality and promiscuity and quit performing acts of obedience and righteous deeds after Ramadan. After enjoying the bliss of obedience and the joy of intimacy with Allah, they return to the hell of sin and debauchery!!
Evil are the people who do not know Allah but only in Ramadan.
O beloved, breaking the covenant has many manifestations with people. They include, for example but not limited to:
1. What we see of people’s missing prayers in congregation on the first day of Eid; after the worshipers have filled the mosques for the taraweeh (night optional prayers of Ramadan) prayer which is a Sunnah, we see the dwellers of the mosques are becoming less for the five daily prayers which are obligatory; they are the pillars of religion.
2. The songs and movies, the wanton display and unveiling of women, intermingling in the parks, going to nightclubs; men and women together, flirting, and so on.
3. It includes travelling abroad which is an act of disobedience (if it is not for a necessary reason). We see people at the gates of travel agencies in droves; they are racing to buy tickets to travel to the countries of infidelity, promiscuity, and corruption and so on. This is not the way to be grateful for the blessings. This is not the way we conclude the month and thank Allah for the achievement of fasting and performing the night remembrances and prayers. This is not a sign of acceptance; rather this is ingratitude for the grace, it is not thanking for having it. This is one of the signs of the rejection of the deeds, Allah forbid. The fasting person, in fact, is happy on the day of Eid. He praises and thanks his Lord for the completion of fasting. However, he cries for fear that Allah does not accept his fasting as the ancestors used to cry for six months after Ramadan, asking Allah for acceptance. As a sign of acceptance is that you see the slave of Allah in better condition than the previous one, you see him embarking in performing the acts of obedience. {And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: {If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allâh), I will give you more (of My Blessings);} [Surat Ibrâhîm 14:7];
{وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ} إبراهيم: 7
Transliteration: Waith taaththana rabbukum lain shakartum laazeedannakum 
which means more in physical and spiritual goodness. It includes the increase in faith and righteous deeds. If the slave of Allah thanked his Lord His due thanks, you will see him increasing in doing good, in being thankful, and in performing acts of obedience. He will, as well, keep away from performing acts of disobedience.
The ancestors said, “being grateful is to keep away from performing acts of disobedience.”
{And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).} [Surat Al-Hijr 15:99]
{وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ} الحجر: 99

Transliteration: WaoAAbud rabbaka hatta yatiyaka alyaqeenu

This is how the slave of Allah must be; continuous to obey Allah, constant in abiding by His laws, straight on his religion and does not elude like foxes; to worship Allah in a certain month leaving the other, or in a place rather than the other, with some people but without other people. No. And a thousand times no!!
Rather, he should know that the Lord of Ramadan is the Lord of other months and days, and that He is the Lord of all times and places. He should be straight following the laws of Allah until he meets his Lord while He is satisfied with him.
Allah Almighty has said, {So stand (ask Allâh to make) you (Muhammad) firm and straight (on the religion of Islâmic Monotheism) as you are commanded and those (your companions) who turn in repentance (unto Allâh) with you,} [Surat Hûd: 112]. He has also said, {therefore take Straight Path to Him (with true Faith - Islâmic Monotheism) and obedience to Him, and seek forgiveness of Him.} [Surat Fussilat 41:6]
{فَاسْتَقِيمُوا إِلَيْهِ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ} فصلت: 6
Transliteration: faistaqeemoo ilayhi waistaghfiroohu 
The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Say I believe in Allah then be straight (on His path).” [Reported by Muslim 38]
«قل آمنت بالله فاستقم» رواه مسلم
When the fast of Ramadan ends there is the optional fast; the six days of Shawwâl, Mondays and Thursdays, the white days (the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of every Hijri month), the day of Ashura (the tenth of the Hijri month of Muharram), the day of Arafat (the ninth of the Hijri month of Dhul-Hijja), and others.
When the optional night acts of worship in Ramadan end, performing optional night prayers and remembrances is permitted every single night; {They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord (Allâh) and praying, with fear and hope].} [Surat Adh-Dhâriyât 51:17]
{كَانُوا قَلِيلًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ} الذاريات: 17

Transliteration: Kanoo qaleelan mina allayli mayahjaAAoona

While the charity and zakat al-Fitr is not due but in Ramadan, the obligatory zakat as well as many aspects of charity are open the whole year. Charity, righteous acts and striving with the soul, reading and studying the Quran are not particularities of Ramadan alone; they are to be observed all the time.
Thus, the righteous deeds are for every time, so strive hard my brother in performing acts of obedience. Beware of slackness and apathy. If you reject performing the optional acts of worship, you should not quit the obligatory ones such as the five prescribed prayers in their due time in the mosque in congregation, and others.
You should not fall into committing the forbidden such as saying forbidden words, eating from forbidden money or eating the forbidden food, drinking it (such as alcoholic drinks and drugs), looking at it or listening to it (obscene songs and movies).
Accordingly be firm and constant on the religion of Allah. You do not know when the Angel of Death will meet you, so beware that it might come upon you while you are committing a sin. “O Controller of the hearts, keep my heart firm on your religion.”

Zakah al-Fitr Q&A

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, Muhammad, his family and all his Companions. The following is a clarification of the rulings concerning Zakah al-Fitr, this great symbol of Islam, for Muslims residing in Britain and other non-Muslim countries.
1. What is Zakah al-Fitr?

Zakah al-Fitr is a zakah which is given at the end of the month of Ramadan by every Muslim, small or old, male or female, whether free or a slave.
2. What is the wisdom behind it?

This was explained by the great exegete [mufassir] of the Qur’an, the noble Companion, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas when he said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah praise and send peace and blessings upon him, obligated Zakah al-Fitr to serve as purification for the one fasting for any vain speech or indecent behaviour; and also to serve as food for the indigent. Whoever gives it before the prayer (of ‘Id), it is an accepted zakah, whoever gives it after the prayer, it is to be regarded as sadaqah.’1
3. What is the legal ruling?

In the view of the majority of scholars, both early and latter generations, it is obligatory. This is due to the saying of Ibn ‘Umar, ‘The Messenger of Allah obligated Zakah al-Fitr as one sa‘ of dates, or one sa‘ of barley upon the slave, the free, the male, the female, the young and the old Muslim. He ordered that it be given before the people leave for the prayer.’2
4. On whom is it obligatory?

It is obligatory upon the Muslim, male or female; whether a slave or free, if he finds that he has a surplus of property after having catered for his core needs on the day and night of ‘Id such as food, shelter, clothes etc. He must give this on his own behalf and on behalf of all Muslims who are dependant upon him, whether young or old, free or a slave, provided that the dependant is not able to give the zakah on his or her own behalf. If they are able, it is better that they give on their own behalf due to the generality of the address that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, gave to the Muslims.
With regard to the young and insane, it should be paid on their behalf by their legal guardian from their own wealth if they have wealth, or if not, they take the ruling of those who are unable to pay on their own behalf. If a woman is the head of the household, she must pay on her own behalf and for her dependants as previously explained.
The meaning of ‘dependant’ is the person on whom it is a duty upon another to provide for. If someone were to give on behalf of a dependant who is a disbeliever, there is no harm in this insha'Allah in accordance to the Hanafi school.

5. To whom should it be given?

It is best for Zakah al-Fitr to be given to the poor and indigent. They are the first two categories of the eight to whom Zakah is normally given to. This is due to his (peace and blessings be upon him) saying, ‘…and as food for the indigent’. The majority of scholars are of the opinion that Zakah al-Fitr is not to be given to non-Muslims.
It is possible for a person to give his and his dependants Zakah al-Fitr to one person just as it is possible that the Zakah al-Fitr of one person be distributed amongst a number of indigent people.

6. When should it be given?

It is best that it be given one or two days before the ‘Id prayer, meaning that it should be given on the twenty-ninth day of Ramadan onwards; al-Bukhari records, ‘They would give Zakah al-Fitr a day or two before (‘Id).’
In the case that one giving Zakah al-Fitr gives money to an Islamic organisation which acts as a representative on his behalf to convert this money to food, there is no harm in giving the value in money to such an organisation a number of days before ‘Id. This is because in this case someone else is acting on his behalf and he is not giving Zakah directly; the person to whom he is giving money is acting as his representative and hence he is not actually giving the Zakah at the time he hands over the money.
It is best for a person to give it before his ‘Id prayer and that to not delay it till after the prayer due to the saying of Ibn ‘Umar, 'The Prophet ordered that it be given before the people leave for the prayer.’ Agreed upon.
If the person is to pray in a Mosque in which a number of ‘Id congregations will be held, and he decides to pray in the second congregation, for example, then the deadline for his Zakah al-Fitr is extended until just before he prays his prayer.
7. What should be given?

Zakah al-Fitr should be given as staple food of the country in which one resides. Hence it is possible that it be given as rice in some countries and flour or wheat in others etc. It is also possible to give it as modern day food items, provided that the food can be stored, such as pasta. The proof for this is the hadith of Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri who said, ‘We would give zakah al-Fitr as a sa‘ of food, or a sa‘ of barley, or a sa‘ of dates, or a sa‘ of dry cheeseor a sa‘ of raisins.'3
8. How much should be given?

sa‘ of food in modern day usage translates to approximately 2.25kg.
9. Can the monetary value of food be given as Zakah al-Fitr? 

The majority of scholars say that this is not permissible whereas the Hanafis say that it is. It is best for a person to not give its monetary value but give it as food because this is what the texts specify. Moreover, the specific reasoning of the text further proves that this is what should be given. Therefore, it is not possible to exercise ijtihad on this issue by claiming that one is looking to the reasoning behind the ruling. Furthermore, Zakah al-Fitr is a very specific form of Zakah and one cannot make an analogy between it and the Zakah of one's wealth and property: its source is different, the ones upon whom it is obligatory are different and its timing is different. As such, it cannot be said that it has the same purpose and can be associated to it in this manner.
10. How should one give Zakah al-Fitr in the UK and other similar countries?

If a Muslim finds one who is deserving of Zakah al-Fitr, he must give them a sa‘ of food. If he does not find anyone, he can give an amount of money which is equivalent to the cost of food in these countries to an Islamic organisation that can distribute it as food in other lands. His intention should be that he is giving this money to a representative who can act on his behalf to buy food. The scholars have allowed this transferral, especially in demanding situations. Our state of affairs here, where it is hard to find the poor and indigent; the difficulty that exists in trying to give it as food; along with the dire need that exists in other lands presents a compelling case for the allowance of food to be distributed in other countries.
And Allah knows best.
1. Recorded by Abu Dawud.
2. The hadith is agreed upon and the wording is that of al-Bukhari.
3. Agreed upon.

Ramadan: The Month of the Qur'an

Ramadan: The Month of the Qur'an

Abbas Dhami
I inquired as to why children in madrasah’s were not required to learn the Arabic language as well as the Qur’an...
The Qur’an begins the description of this blessed month with, {Ramadan is the month in which was revealed the Qur'an - a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (between right and wrong)} [Al-Baqarah 2:185]
{شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِالبقرة: 185
Transliteration: Shahru ramadana allathee onzila feehi alquranu hudan lilnnasi wabayyinatin mina alhuda waalfurqani
Ever since divine revelation was inspired to Muhammad (peace be upon him), people (Muslims as well as non-Muslims) have marvelled at the Qur’an’s inimitability, both in reference to its content and language. Great scholars such as Imam al-Shafi’i have stated that if no other chapter were to be revealed except al-'Asr, it would be sufficient for mankind. This is due to the concise text and meaning which provides a wealth of information and direction although the chapter only consists of three verses. The Qur’an carries such conciseness throughout being a light of guidance[1]and wisdom[2], admonition[3] and a clear message[4] in the Arabic language[5].
In this article I would like to discuss two main points: the importance of the Qur’an as a source of guidance and its relationship with the Arabic language. As is evident to all Muslims, the Qur’an is Allah’s supreme word to mankind revealed in the Arabic language, and thus, both the Qur’an and the Arabic language have become synonymous with one another.
The Qur’an was revealed over a period of twenty three years to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and is the first source of Islam and the speech of God. It is referred to as the book, guide, glad tidings and criterion amongst others, although most titles tend to point to the same semantic meaning. It delivers guidance to mankind by providing them with a criterion between truth and falsehood and thereafter gives glad tidings to those who successfully adhere to it.
Inevitably, being a source of guidance, The Qur’an is a manual for our lives, encouraging and ordering the believers towards righteousness and warning the evil doers and disbelievers. Its commandments are full of divine wisdom and those who adhere to them will attain felicity. However, how can a person adhere to something that he or she does not understand?
As a result of a lack of understanding, many people neither study the Qur’an nor ponder over its verses. Many argue that a study of the Qur’an is time consuming and that such study is not viable due to other commitments such as work, study etc. However, throughout life we read many things in an attempt to gain a better degree of understanding such as newspapers, books and magazines. Throughout our schooling we study various languages and books on various disciplines seeking to learn not only their contents but to also enhance skills of reading, writing, speaking etc. Thus we must also equally dedicate time to study Arabic and the Qur’an which will not only save us in the hereafter but also enhance our intellectual abilities and life skills. Studying increases the individual in reading and comprehension ability, and seeking a deeper insight into specific verses enhances one’s analytical ability. Additionally, the Qur’an provides life skills which if adhered to, would create an exceptional society whereby citizens would be prime examples of good manners, etiquette, patience and humility, as well as other traits. For example, with regard to interaction between one another we are commanded {when you are greeted with a greeting (of peace), answer with an even better greeting, (or at least) with the like thereof.} [An-Nisa 4:86]
{وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا} النساء:86
Transliteration: Waitha huyyeetum bitahiyyatin fahayyoo biahsana minha aw ruddooha
Thereafter you should {abstain from lewd speech, from all wicked conduct, and from quarrelling.} [AlBaqarah 2:197]
{فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ} البقرة: 197
Transliteration: fala rafatha walafusooqa wala jidala fee alhajji
If the Muslims ‘hear vain talk, they turn away from it and say {To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you - we seek not the ignorant.} [Al-Qasas 28:55]
{لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَا نَبْتَغِي الْجَاهِلِينَ} القصص: 55
Transliteration: lana aAAmalunawalakum aAAmalukum salamun AAalaykum la nabtaghee aljahileena
If anybody engages in moral and conceptual bankrupt speech about Islam, we are commanded {leave them to indulge in idle talk and play [with words] until they face that [Judgment] Day of theirs which they have been promised.} [AlMa’arij 70:42]
{فَذَرْهُمْ يَخُوضُوا وَيَلْعَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يُلَاقُوا يَوْمَهُمُ الَّذِي يُوعَدُونَ} المعارج: 42
Transliteration: Fatharhum yakhoodoo wayalAAaboohatta yulaqoo yawmahumu allathee yooAAadoona
When we do speak we {enjoin in virtue and forbid vice} [Al-i-Imran 3:110]
{تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِآل عمران: 110
Transliteration: tamuroona bialmaAAroofi watanhawna AAani almunkari
{extol His (Allah) limitless glory and praise} [Al-Furqan 25:58]
{وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِهِالفرقان: 58
Transliteration:wasabbih bihamdihi
and {invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching.} [Al-Nahl 16:125]
{ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِالنحل: 125
Transliteration: OdAAu ila sabeeli rabbika bialhikmati waalmawAAithati alhasanati
Additionally, you should be humble and {be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass.}[Luqman 31:19]
{وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ} لقمان: 19
Transliteration: Waiqsid fee mashyika waoghdud minsawtika inna ankara alaswati lasawtu alhameeri
This is just a snippet of the beautiful conduct encouraged in the Qur’an. However, due to the lack of knowledge of the Arabic language in the West, we are seemingly oblivious to the wisdoms found in it.
In addition, there tends to be a culture of ignorance particularly among South Asian communities where the emphasis is on the recitation of the Qur’an while neglecting its translation and meanings. Thus, there has been an air of ignorance among such communities, although surprisingly, such ignorance is either encouraged or overlooked by scholars respected by these communities. It would be true to say that many of these scholars do not know Arabic themselves and are ignorant in terms of Islamic laws and rules of conduct. Recently, in a discussion about the importance of Arabic language with a colleague (a teacher in the UK madrasah system), I enquired as to why children in madrasah’s were not required to learn the Arabic language as well as the Qur’an. I was informed that the majority of teachers (as well as parents) among the South Asian community believe that learning the entire language is not important, learning to read the Qur’an by deciphering the alphabet is sufficient to accrue blessing and fulfill the obligations of prayers. They have completely disregarded the importance of understanding the words they recite, and are content in blindly following the ‘Maulana’s’ in the community.
Such beliefs are unislamic and it is certainly time that we as Muslims procure adequate facilities to learn Arabic alongside the Qur’an for both ourselves and our children as they will be the flag bearers of Islam in the West tomorrow.
It is most certainly a blessing to be able to read the Qur’an in Arabic, but understanding it holds equal weight as both are considered by the vast majority of scholars as fard al-ayn (incumbent upon all individuals). Ibn Taymiyyah wrote,‘Arabic language is from the religion and knowledge of it is an obligation. Understanding the Qur’an and the sunnah is an obligation, and they cannot be understood except by understanding the Arabic language. Whatever it takes to complete an obligation is in itself an obligation.[6] Allah states: {We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran, in order that you may learn wisdom.} [Yusuf 12:2]
{إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ} يوسف: 2
Transliteration: Inna anzalnahu quranan AAarabiyyan laAAallakum taAAqiloona
 How can we learn the divine wisdom if the wisdom revealed is not even understood? Additionally, Allah states: {And certainly We have set forth to men in this Quran similitudes of every sort that they may reflect. (27) An Arabic Qur’an without any crookedness that they may guard (against evil).} [Az-Zumar 39:27-28]
{وَلَقَدْ ضَرَبْنَا لِلنَّاسِ فِي هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ مِن كُلِّ مَثَلٍ لَّعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ (27) قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا غَيْرَ ذِي عِوَجٍ لَّعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ} الزمر: 27-28
Transliteration: Walaqad darabna lilnnasi fee hathaalqurani min kulli mathalin laAAallahum yatathakkaroona (27)Quranan AAarabiyyan ghayra thee AAiwajin laAAallahum yattaqoona
Allah specifically mentions that the Qur’an is an Arabic one, which we must use to guard ourselves, although this task is unfeasible for those who have no command over the language. It is evident from the above verses that the purpose of Qur’an was not only to be recited, but also to be understood.
In the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), people submitted to the religion of Muhammad by merely overhearing a few verses (as opposed to now where people recite it repetitively although their hearts are empty). Famous is the story of Umar bin Khattab who heard the opening of chapter TaHa which brought him to tears and consequently led to his conversion. For over a millennium people have been memorising the Qur’an, and the best practice is that of the early generations [salaf] whereby the sahabah (companions of the prophet) would commit ten verses to memory, study their meanings and explanations, and then act upon them before memorising another ten. Memorising the divine scripture is a great act which Allah encourages {Saad. Consider this Qur’an, endowed with all that one ought to remember!} [Sad 38:1]
{ص وَالْقُرْآنِ ذِي الذِّكْرِ} ص: 1
Transliteration: Sad waalqurani thee alththikri
The noble companions of the prophet memorized the book of Allah in its entirety and fashioned their lives, actions and beliefs around the divine revelation. The fact that it was the main source from which they understood and acquired their deen was a major factor in making them not only some of the most distinctive individuals in history, but also the most honored and pleased with by Allah.
It is incumbent upon us (may Allah have mercy upon us) to understand the Qur’an, its warnings, stories, laws and glad tidings so that we may be successful. If we believe it to be a manual, how do we expect to benefit from it? Knowledge of the Qur’an and its language is essential for protection against misguided innovated ideas and beliefs such as shirk, forbidden types of tawassul etc. which become rampant due to ignorance of the correct beliefs. Allah states, ‘And [on that Day] the Apostle will say {O my Sustainer! (some of) my people have come to regard this Qur’an as something (that ought to be) discarded!} [Al-Furqan 25:30]
{وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا} الفرقان: 30
Transliteration: Waqala alrrasoolu ya rabbi inna qawmee ittakhathoo hatha alqurana mahjooran
This will not only be the disbelievers, but also those individuals who pay no heed to it, ignoring its heightened importance and disregarding its significance as a communication from Allah the Most High. As was discussed in the previous paragraph, the sahabah’s relationship with the Qur’an was one of the fundamental reasons as to why Allah gave them status and honor, to the extent that people 1400 years later still read their stories and aspire to imitate their heroic actions.
We must also recognize that the Arabic language has a much larger part to play then we as a community in the West have previously assumed. Ibn Taymiyyah wrote ‘As for becoming accustomed to talking to one another in a language other than Arabic…undoubtedly this is makrooh (disliked)…Such was also the case in Khurasaan in the past (that they spoke Arabic), then they became lax with regard to the language and got used to speaking Farsee (Persian) until it became prevalent and Arabic was forgotten by most of them. Undoubtedly this is disliked. The best way is to become accustomed to speaking Arabic so that the young people will learn it in their homes and schools, so that the symbol of Islam and its people will prevail. This will make it easier for the people of Islam to understand the Qur‘aan and Sunnah, and the words of the salaf…Know that being used to using a language has a clear and strong effect on one’s thinking, behavior and religious commitment. It also has an effect on making one resemble the early generations of this Ummah, the Companions and the Taabi’een. Being like them improves one’s thinking, religious commitment and behaviour.’[7]Research undertaken by Coffman (in Algeria) reiterates this whereby he states ‘My research shows that the language of study is the most significant variable in determining a student's attachment to Islamic or Islamist principles.’[8] During the occupation of Algeria by the French, officials noted that they would never be able to fully colonialize Algeria unless they were able to remove the Arabic language from Algerian society.[9]
Learning from the mistakes of those before us, we come to realize that many follow scriptures recorded in dead languages. For example, the Christians first spoke Aramaic and some spoke Hebrew. Both languages died out (among Christians) and in their stead Greek was adopted as the language of Christianity. Later on, Latin (the language of the Romans) was adopted and now English has become the main language of Christendom. As a result of the loss of the first languages, Christianity and the Bible have found themselves in a dilemma. The bible has changed through so many languages that the semantics of many words were either corrupted and altered or lost. The original manuscripts of the bible no longer exist and with regards to the oldest copies of the Gospels, no two are identical. This led to the division of Christianity into many different sects where each sect claims to hold the ‘truth’. However, as Allah stated in the Qur’an {and from them are illiterate (people) who do not know the scriptures, but they rely upon false desires and they follow nothing but conjecture.} [Al-Baqarah 2:78]
{وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ} البقرة: 78
Transliteration: Waminhum ommiyyoona layaAAlamoona alkitaba illa amaniyya wain hum illa yathunnoona
From this verse we may deduce that the people were illiterate and could not read, and that they were also considered ‘illiterate’ due to their lack of knowledge about the scriptures. As a result, they had to speculate parts of their faith and in their attempt they resulted in following their desires (what they wanted to believe in, and what seemed correct to them) as their conjecture was baseless.
As is evident, the impact of the Qur’an and Arabic as its language is multifaceted; enhancing an individual’s behavior and providing them a deeper understanding about the world around them, as well as benefiting Muslims as a community by improving their religious commitment and sense of Islamic culture. Fundamentally, studying both Arabic and the Qur’an is important for our success in this life and in the hereafter. What better language than the one with which Allah spoke to mankind, and what better speech is there than the speech of Allah?
Source: www.islam21c.com
__________________________________________________ __
1. Al-Quran [42:52]
2. Al-Quran [10:1]
3. Al-Quran [38:1]
4. Al-Quran [43:2]
5. Al-Quran [20:113]
6. Ibn Taymiyyah. Iqitidaa Siratul Mustaqeem. 1/470
7. Ibn Taymiyyah. Iqitidaa Siratul Mustaqeem.
8. James Coffman. Does the Arabic Language Encourage Radical Islam? http://www.meforum.org/article/276
9. The role of Arabic language in Muslim societies may be discussed in another article as it is beyond the scope of this one.