Islamic Voice
Logo

News from
Islamic World

.................................
Community
Roundup

.................................
Editorial Editorial
.................................
Reader's Comments
.................................
Features
.................................
Children's Corner
............................
RAMADAN SPECIAL
.................................
Profile
.................................
Understanding Qur'an
.................................
Hadith
.................................
Prophet's Medicine
.................................
Qur'an & Science
.................................
Women in Islam
.................................
Our Dialogue
.................................
Why I Embraced
Islam

.................................
Matrimonial
.................................
Subscription
.................................
Guest Book
.................................
Previous Issues
.................................
Home
.................................
Islamic Links
.................................
Al-Nasr Exports
.................................
Islamic Voice Logo

DECEMBER 1999

MONTHLY    *    Vol 13-12 No:156    *   DECEMBER 1999/ Ramadan 1420H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

RAMADAN SPECIAL


What does Eid celebration mean?
Allah Is Watching Us
Crucial Time
What is Ramadan?
What are the benefits of fasting?
The Significance and Rewards of Fasting
The Saum of Ramadhan
Niyyat
Kaffarah of Ramadhan
What is Sahri?
What is Iftar?
Who Should Fast?
What Makes Fast Valid?
Makrooh during Saum
Qadha Saum
Things which Break the Fast
Things which do not break the Fast
Last Ten Days of Ramadhan
Taraweeh and night worship
Conditions that make Zakat Obligatory
Nisab
On whom Zakat is obligatory
Zakat on the woman's Mehr
Zakat on the Business Goods or Stock-in-Trade
Zakat on company or partnership, Silver, Gold, Currency and Shares
Zakat on the Ornaments of a woman
Zakat of the Bank Deposit and on Provident Fund
Zakat on Agricultural Produce
Zakat on Animals
Zakat on Minerals and Buried Wealth / Treasure
To Whom Zakat cannot be Given
Zakat -ul- Fitr
The Days when it is Forbidden to Fast

What does Eid celebration mean?

God’s bounty and His Mercy

By Khurram Murad

Namaz

As the sun sets on Ramadan, multitudes of expectant jubilant eyes become glued to the skies, eager to sight the new moon. For that new moon heralds the coming of the Eid day -- one of the two days Muslims all over the world celebrate each year in thanksgiving festivities and rejoicing.

Why do we celebrate Eid again and again? In what manner do we rejoice? Obviously, in the first instance, we are thankful for that grace from God which carried us through the month of earnest, joyous labour, of constant, faithful toil, spent in fasting, prayers, and Qur’an recitation. But upon a little reflection, we can immediately see that our joyous festivities, in fact, hail and celebrate that unique moment when God’s infinite mercy, the first light of His last guidance, dawned upon mankind.

That is why Ramadhan has been reserved for the fasting; that is why the end of Ramadhan has been earmarked for rejoicing:

‘O mankind, now there has come unto you an admonition from your Lord, and a healing for all that you may rejoice; for it is better than all that they may amass! (Al-Qur’an 10:57-58)

‘Come, ye thankful people, come’, the Eid seems to be echoing the Qur’anic call - ‘that you complete the number (of Fasts) and proclaim the greatness of God for having guided you, and so that you may render thanks and rejoice’ (Al- Qur’an 2:185). How many and priceless are the riches and gifts from God to us, how abundant are His bounties - who could count them? Yet the most priceless undoubtedly are his words that illuminate the pathways of life and guide the steps of His servants to success, here and in the Hereafter, the joy and the glory of those who submit to them. Hence, from the moment the new moon heralds the coming of the Eid day the constant cry of the heart and tongue is ‘God alone is great; to God belongs all thankful praise’. This cry remains on the lips while the festivities of Eid remain, in response to God’s command.

The two Muslim festivals are just one measure of how Islam emphatically and totally centres our lives on the Qur’an. If Eid-al-Fitr celebrates the beginning of its coming dawn, the other festival, Eid-al-Adha, marks its completion. For if in Ramadan is the night in which the first revelation came, on the Day of Hajj came the verse proclaiming the perfection and completion of the guidance it brought (Al-Qur’an 5:3). All our days are crowded by God’s blessing, the varying seasons have their own rounds of bounties, but no day and no season can be like the day and season which were crowded by God’s guidance.

No people live without festivals of their own. They are essential means for keeping collective consciousness, for sustaining unity and cohesiveness. But no festival is like Eid, it is unique among all of them.

Some centre their celebrations on the person of the one who created their identity, but not on Eid; they do not celebrate even the birth day of the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), the last Messenger who brought Divine Guidance to mankind, and a great mercy from God unto the worlds, rather they celebrate the sending down of the word of God -- the Qur’an, and its triumph. Some rejoice in the beginning of the New Year, but not Eid; they rejoice in the dawn upon mankind of a new era of light and peace. Some celebrate the end of the dark winter days and the coming of the spring of light and warmth, but not Eid; they celebrate the end of the dark, cold night of ignorance and the coming of a warm spring of Justice and Equality. Some give thanks for the harvest of grain, fruit or cattle, but not Eid; they give thanks for the harvest of the richest blessings of God for soul and intellect, for mind and heart, for living and conduct. Could not one say that Eid raises man’s festivities from the physical, from the level of flesh and blood, space and time, to the spiritual and intellectual and then roots them there, symbolising what Islam does to man’s entire life, vision and hope. Thus, while providing a radical new mould for Muslim collective memory and identity, Eid symbolises a radically new basis for human unity as well. Those who form their identities by persons and events, temporal and physical, erect barriers that are insurmountable. Who can change his race, colour, place of birth, or who can share in the physical harvests of another except by their permission? But not so in Islam, says the Eid; anyone who is prepared to turn away from all the false gods, and return to his Creator and surrender himself unto Him by following his guidance, can always join a new unity.

Yet, the solemn, spiritual character of Eid does not rob Muslims of delights, pleasures and merriment that must accompany any human celebrations. Muslims begin to look ahead to the day as Ramadan sets in. As Eid approaches, joyful expectations increase, the day is more talked of. Houses are cleaned and decorated, especially on the day and the night before. New clothes are prepared, for everyone must wear his best. Near sunset all turn their eyes to the horizon in corners, in open grounds. Some exchange cards and gifts as a recent addition. There is no selfish spending spree though; Eid is not a commercial venture. Delicious meals are cooked and, in sharing, heartily eaten. But not a morsel should be thrown away. Every worldly thing is from God, a bounty, and must therefore be made use of to honour His occasion, to rejoice in His greatest bounty. It is this spirit which pervades Eid celebrations.

Ramadan is a time to reap; and every obligatory good deed increases seventy fold; a voluntary one becomes like the obligatory; the doors of hell are closed and the Satans are chained, doors of Paradise are opened. It has a night better than a thousand months. It is a period of heightened devotion and quickened piety, of self-discipline and generous sharing. Only the festival of Eid softens the sadness in the heart, the tears in the eyes, as Ramadan bids farewell. It seems, does it not, to be over too soon, to have sped too quickly? Eid brings joy and promises a certain of Ramadan (for Eid literally, means to recur, to come again and again) and incites to even greater celebrations that lie in store for those who proclaim the Greatness of God, mention His name and live by His name, in hearts and in homes, market places and corridors of power, thereby seeking admittance to God’s pleasure and rewards, here and in the Hereafter.

[Khurram Murad was a prominent member of the Islamic Movement. Throughout his early childhood until his death on December 19th 1996, Murad diligently dedicated his life to the service of Islam and Muslims. (May Allah bless and grant him the supreme success, al Jannah.) The above is an article he wrote for Impact International magazine on Eid.]

Top


Allah Is Watching Us

On a sweltering hot day your throat has be-come parched. You are in the privacy of your home and the refreshingly cool water is within hand’s reach. You desperately want to drink it, but you do not. Why? Simply because you are fasting and while fasting you cannot eat and drink. If somebody prompts you to nevertheless drink it and says; Nobody is watching, you will immediately rebuke him with the words: But Allah is watching !

Allah is Watching Us!

Subhan Allah! Allah Taala is watching. Allahu Akbar! Allah Taala is All Hearing, All Knowing, He is Omnipresent. He seeds and Knows when we cheat while fasting, thus we resist all temptations of food, drink and lawful conjugal relations from dawn to dusk. We have learnt the lesson of Taqwa. We have learnt that lesson which the fasting was meant to teach us. Allah Taala is watching us! Yes, Allah is watching us !

Every time there is an urge to eat or drink, the voice from within cries out: Allah Taala is watching! Dozens of times daily for an entire month this reality is re-affirmed. Allah Taala is watching! So deeply is it embedded in the heart that by the time Ramadhan is over, a person becomes conscious of Allah Taala to such an extent that he is now guided by an inner force that propels him in the direction of righteousness and turns him away from sin.

Taqwa

The fasts of Ramadhan were prescribed for the purpose and object of attaining Taqwa. This is clearly declared in the Qur’an-al-Kareem. Taqwa simply is to obey the commands of Allah Taala and refrain from all sin. The increased rewards for Ibaadah (worship) in Ramadhan and all the blessings of this great month should be considered as the bonus. The object is Taqwa. If one performs an abundance of salaah, completes the recitation of the Qur’an thirty times and engages in many other acts of Ibaadah, but fails to give up sins, one has failed to achieve the object and purpose of Ramadhan. One has failed to firmly embed the reality of Taqwa in the heart, the Taqwa that cries out, ‘Allah is watching’ whenever one contemplates committing any transgression.

Temptation

The dictates of Taqwa are not restricted to abstaining from drinking, gambling, adultery, transacting in interest and other such vices. Indeed Taqwa demands that while abstaining from all the above vices one also observes Taqwa in one’s business. When the temptation to cheat the customer beckons, or when one is tempted to buy stolen goods, or to indulge in fraud, at that time also the heart should cry out,’ Allah is watching’ and it should restrain one from the sin.

Rights

Similarly, Taqwa demands the fulfilment of the rights of the husband/wife. It also demands the joining of family ties. It demands respect for the elders and kindness for the young. Taqwa entails, among other aspects, being honest and clear in all monetary dealings and social interactions. Hence when there is a wedding or funeral, or at the time of distributing the inheritance of the deceased, the same level of consciousness of Allah must be displayed as was apparent when refraining from drinking the cold water while fasting.

Hijaab

Likewise, when the laws of Hijaab are violated, does the heart cry out, ‘Allah is watching?’ Or when one intends to watch something on TV which will most definitely involve one in zina of the eyes and ears, does one hear the voice from within: ‘Allah is watching’, as a result of which one refrains from that sin? The same pertains to the sharia aspects of appearance and clothing. How often have we done things to appease and please even the enemies of Allah Taala and Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)? How often have we abandoned the dictates of Taqwa in order to earn a few coppers? Now is the time to sincerely repent. It is the time to say, ‘Allah is watching’ and to do everything to please Him. It is a time to acquire Taqwa.

Abstaining from Sin

This then is the object of Ramadhan. This will only be achieved if we conduct ourselves in this great month with Taqwa. Or else the object of Ramadhan will be defeated. Hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: If he who does not forsake lying and other futile actions, Allah Taala has no need for him to give up his food and drink. Thus together with fasting, performing Salaah, reading the Qur’an, serving the cause of Deen, etc., one must totally abstain from every sin in the month of Ramadhan and adorn oneself with Taqwa. Insha-Allah this will then carry one along for the rest of the eleven months to abstain from all sins.May Allah Taala enable us to make this Ramadhan a month where we will truly attain Taqwa. Aameen.

Top


Crucial Time

The word “curse” itself evokes an unpleasant feeling. How much more terrible it would be if that curse is invoked by the greatest angel of Allah Ta’ala? Surely any true Mu’min (Believer) would do everything in his capacity to avoid becoming a target of that curse. Hazrath Kaab bin Ujrah (R.A.) reports that once Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) called the Sahaaba (R.A.) close to the mimbar (pulpit). He then ascended the mimbar and upon ascending each step he said “Aameen.” When he descended, the Sahaba (R.A.) asked him the reason for having said “Aameen” on each step. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied: “When I ascended the first step Jibraeel (A.S.) appeared before me and said: “Woe to him who found the blessed month of Ramadhan and let it pass him by without gaining forgiveness.” Upon that I said: “Aameen.” When I ascended the second step he said: “Woe to him before whom thy name is mentioned and he does not recite Durood on you. I replied “Aameen.” When I ascended the third step he said: “Woe unto him in whose presence both his parents or either one of them attains old age and (through failure to serve them) he is not allowed to enter Jannah. I said: “Aameen” (Targheeb).

In the light of the above Hadith can any Mu’min be casual and careless about the great month of Ramadhan and risk the curse of Hazrath Jibraeel (A.S.)? Can any person afford to let this great month go by without having exerted himself in order to gain the forgiveness of Allah Ta’ala? How then is this forgiveness gained and how is it lost?

Sincere Repentance

The answer to both the above questions are clear as day light. Make sincere Tawba (repent), keep all the fasts, perform all the salaah including tarawih, recite as much of the Qur’an as possible, engage in Deeni efforts that are totally in conformity with the Shariah and keep yourself occupied in other righteous deeds. Insha-Allah the mercy of Allah Ta’ala will pour down upon you and complete forgiveness will be attained. However, failing to sincerely repent, neglecting the fasts, salaah and other obligations or engaging in any sin will deprive one of the forgiveness of Allah Ta’ala. This also exposes one to the curse of Hazrath Jibraeel (A.S.) mentioned above.

The month of Ramadhan is a month of reaping tremendous rewards and blessings, not a time to incur curses. It is a month when rewards of righteous actions are multiplied manifold and blessings are showered down. It would be the height of ingratitude and also utter foolishness to ignore these blessings and become involved in sins.

Millennium Celebrations ?

This Ramadhan is a crucial one. It is coming at a time when the fitna and vices will be intensified to a degree unwitnessed by people of this era. The distractions and temptations will be at their highest level. Ramadhan could not have come at a better time. With the barakah of Ramadhan it is hoped that people will easily refrain from all the fitna and evil of the millennium celebrations and other such activities. It will indeed be a tragedy of unimaginable magnitude if Muslims fall into the trap of Shaitaan and become involved in these evil celebrations in the month of Ramadhan. It is something to greatly fear. The wrath of Allah Ta’ala descends where many people openly and recklessly indulge in sins.

Involvement in these evil celebrations could either be by personally going to the venues where they are taking place, or to be glued to the idiot box and participate by watching. (In fact Ramadhan is a time to finally cast out this instrument of Shaitaan forever - the instrument that brings all the evil right into one’s home at the flick of a button.) Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “The one who is not present where an evil takes place but is happy about it is like the one who was present (at the place of evil)” (Mishkaat).

While it is hoped that Muslims will insha-Allah refrain from these fitna celebrations completely, nevertheless since the fitna and vices will escalate to an alarming level it is a time to be very fearful. When people in their multitudes start sinning openly, one should fear the azaab (punishment) of Allah Ta’ala. To save ourselves and the Ummah from the azaab, one must at least do the following:

Enjoin the Good and Forbid the Evil

One of the aspects that bring down the azaab is forsaking the duty of amar bil ma’roof and nahy anil munkar (enjoining the good and forbidding the evil). Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “You must most certainly enjoin the good and forbid the evil or else a punishment from Allah Ta’ala will overcome you. Then you will call unto Him but your prayers will not be answered” (Mishkaat). This duty is to be fulfilled at every level with wisdom and in an appropriate manner, especially in our own homes.

Dua

One should also engage excessively in dua in these trying times. Dua should be made earnestly and as often as possible. Dua is the weapon of the Believer. However, it should be remembered that the acceptance of dua is dependent greatly on halaal sustenance. Haraam sustenance is an obstacle to the acceptance of dua.

Sadaqa

Another important aspect is Sadaqa (charity). It is reported that during the month of Ramadhan Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was much more charitable than at other times. Sadaqa also holds back calamities and hardships. Therefore to the extent of one’s ability one should give Sadaqa daily, even if one can only afford to give a few cents.

The month of Ramadhan is not to be wasted. Let us use this crucial time to gain the best rewards and gain the forgiveness of Allah Ta’ala. If we fail, we could become the target of the curse of Jibraeel (A.S.). Then who can save us? May Allah Ta’ala enable us to be steadfast on Deen and to refrain from all sins. Aameen. (Courtesy Al-Haadi)

Top


What is Ramadan?

Islam is one of the world’s major monotheistic religions, constituting over one billion adherents world-wide. One of the major characteristics of Islam, when compared to the doctrinal teachings of the other major religions, is the call that it makes to mankind to live a life of piety, discipline, sublime morality, justice, and peace, based on a strict set of rules laid out in the Holy Qur’an.

One of the major obligations of every Muslim is that he or she must fast during the holy month of Ramadhan, which is the ninth month of the lunar calendar followed by the Muslims. For thirty days, Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and sexual relations from shortly before sunrise to shortly after sunset.

One who has fasted during this month shall be rewarded accordingly in the life hereafter, in Heaven, if he or she lives a good life according to the laws of Islam. One who takes this obligation lightly shall be condemned to eternal torment in the fires of Hell in the life after death.

Top


What are the benefits of fasting?

By pledging to abstain from these three things, Muslims are, in effect, learning self-discipline. The word learning is used in this context, because life is a journey in which we learn and prepare ourselves for the life to come in the hereafter. They are becoming aware of their own true nature as spiritual beings, by being able to allow their minds to control them, and not their baser lusts and material desires.

After all, man, though he may biologically be like an animal, is much more elevated. He is set above the animals by his ability to think, reason, make decisions, and consciously express himself.

By fasting, he is able to realize that he is something more than just an animal, but that he is a conscious being with the will to choose between doing what is right and doing what is wrong.

Top


The Significance and Rewards of Fasting

  1. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “He who fasts solely for the sake of Allah Ta’ala, his previous sins are all forgiven”.

  2. “The odour of the mouth of a Sa-im (fasting person) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk”.

  3. It is narrated in the Hadith that on the Day of Qiyamah, even before Reckoning has taken place, the fasting people will be sumptuously fed under the shade of Allah’s Arsh (Throne) while others will be still embroiled in the hardships of Reckoning.

  4. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The sleep of a Sa-im is Ibadat and his silence is Tasbeeh (recitation of Subhanallah); (the thawab of) his deeds is considerably increased; his dua is accepted and his sins are forgiven”.

  5. “Saum is a shield and a powerful fort to save one from Jahannam.”

  6. According to the Hadith, fasting is a shield as long as the Sa-im does not rupture it with lies and back-biting (gheebat). Although the fast will be discharged, the thawab and efficacy of the Saum are destroyed by the commission of sin.

  7. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said that the Sa-im has been promised by Allah Ta’ala that at the time of Iftar (at least) one of his duas will most certainly be accepted.

  8. The person who gives a Sa-im something with which to break his fast, will receive the thawab (reward) of the fast while nothing will be reduced of the Sa-im’s fast. This thawab will apply even if some water is presented with which to break fast. (Hadith).

  9. On the first night of Ramadhan the Doors of Heaven are opened up and all Doors remain open until the end of Ramadhan. (Hadith).

  10. Every raka’t of Salat performed during the nights of Ramadhan gains for the Saim the thawaab of one and half thousand good deeds. In addition, special mansions will be constructed in Jannat for this person. (Hadith)

  11. On the first night of Ramadhan the sins committed since the previous Ramadhan until now are forgiven. (Hadith).

  12. During Ramadhan, 70,000 Mala-ikah daily make Dua of Maghfirah (forgiveness) on behalf of the Saim, from the time of Subah Salat until sunset. (Hadith).

  13. Whoever engages in gheebat (back-biting) or consumes liquor during the month of Ramadhan, Allah Ta’ala will erase the good deeds which he had rendered throughout the year. (Hadith).

  14. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Every good deed of the son of Aadam is increased (in reward) from ten times to seven hundred times - and Allah Ta’ala said: ‘Except Saum, for verily, it (Saum) is for Me and I, Myself will reward it. The Saim abstains from desire and food for My sake.’ For the Saim there are two (occasions of) pleasure -- pleasure at the time of breaking fast and pleasure at the time of meeting his Rabb”.

  15. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Saum and the Qur’an will intercede on behalf of the servant (of Allah). Saum will say ‘My Rabb! I forbade him from sleep at night and desires during the day, therefore, accept my intercession on his behalf.’ The Qur’an will say: ‘I forbade him from sleep at night, therefore accept my intercession on his behalf.’ Thus, their intercession will be accepted”.

Top


The Saum of Ramadhan

  1. The Saum of Ramadhan is Fardh. One who denies the fardhiyat (being Fardh) of the Saum of Ramadhan becomes a Kaafir while one who accepts its fardhiyat but neglects its observance is described as a Faasiq.

  2. The Saum of Ramadhan commences when the sighting of the Ramadhan Hilal (crescent moon) has been confirmed in accordance with the rules of the Shairah. Niyyat for the Saum of Ramadhan should be renewed each day. A single Niyyat at the beginning of Ramadhan will not suffice for the Saum of the entire month. Partaking of the Sahri meal will be an adequate Niyyat for the validity of the Saum. While it is better to recite a verbal Niyyat as well, the mere act of rising from sleep to participate in Sahri with the intention of fasting constitutes the actual Niyyat.

  3. The Saum of Ramadhan belongs to the first class of Wajib fasting. Therefore, the niyyat for the Ramadhan fasting will be valid until Nisfun Nahar. However, there is greater merit in making the Niyyat at night, i.e. before Subah Sadiq.

  4. A Mutlaq (i.e. without any descriptive condition) niyyat will suffice for the Saum of Ramadhan. Thus, it is not incumbent to say: ‘I am fasting the Saum of Ramadhan or Fardh Saum’. It will suffice to intend that one is just fasting.

  5. During the month of Ramadhan only the Saum of the prevalent Ramadhan can be kept. No other Saum is valid in the month of Ramadhan. Thus, previous Qadha fasts, Kaffarah fasts, Nafl fasts, etc. are not discharged during the month of Ramadhan. Even if the Niyyat of other Saum is made during Ramadhan, such Niyyat will not be valid and only the Saum of the existing Ramadhan will be discharged. By the Niyyat not being valid here, means that in regard to other fasts the Niyyat will not operate. In terms of the Shariah this Niyyat, although made for other Saum, will operate as valid for only the Saum of the existing Ramadhan.

  6. If on account of a reason accepted as valid by the Shariah, one does not fast during Ramadhan, one should not eat in the presence of others.

  7. If one’s Saum is nullified by error, e.g. water slips down the throat while rinsing the mouth, one should remain the whole day as a fasting person although Qadha is incumbent. It will be sinful to indulge in eating once the fast is erroneously broken.

  8. If Haydh (mensuration) begins during the course of the fasting day, the fast is not valid. It is not incumbent to abstain from eating during the remaining part of the day. However, one should not eat in the presence of others.

  9. A woman whose Haydh (period) ends during the course of the day (i.e. during Ramadhan) should compulsory abstain from eating, etc. Her fast on the particular day her haydh ended is not valid, hence she has to make Qadha inspite of having refrained from eating etc. on that day.

  10. A fast of Ramadhan broken deliberately without valid reason, after having made the Niyyat for fasting during the night, brings about the penalty of Kaffarah.

  11. A musafir is permitted to refrain from Saum although it is meritorious for him/her to fast, if the journey is not a difficult one. However, the shariah allows a Musafir to refrain from fasting during Ramadhan even if he/she encounters no difficulty on the journey. The Musafir shall make Qadha of all Saum omitted during the journey.

  12. A Musafir ceases to be a Musafir on returning to his hometown or on forming a Niyyat of staying 15 days or more at any place along the journey. The non-Musafir is termed as a Muqeem. When a Musafir becomes a muqeem, he has to compulsorily abstain from eating, etc. If he becomes a muqeem prior to Nisfun Nahar (see above) and he has yet not committed any act which nullifies Saum, then his Niyyat for the day’s fast will be valid.
    However, if he has already eaten, etc. prior to becoming a muqeem, then although his fast will now not be valid, nevertheless, he has to compulsorily abstain from eating, etc. for the rest of the day. In addition he has to make Qadha of that day.

  13. A muqeem (one who is not a Musafir) who has started fasting and then goes on a journey, should continue with the fast. It is not permissible for this person who has become a Musafir to break the fast.

  14. A musafir who returns home (becomes a muqeem) and dies before having obtained a sufficient number of days to make Qadha of the fasts which he/she missed while on the journey, is liable for the Qadha of only the number of days he/she remained alive and capable of fasting. Example: The musafir did not fast for 20 days. On returning home he/she died after 12 days, but did not make any Qadha inspite of having had the opportunity to do so, he/she is, therefore, liable for only 12 days of Qadha, not for the 20 days which were missed while on the journey. He/she has thus to make wasiyyat (a bequest) for the payment of Fidyah for the Saum which could no longer be discharged.

  15. The same rule, viz.14, will apply to a sick person who regained health after Ramadhan, but did not live a sufficient number of days to discharge all the Salaat missed.

  16. If a musafir dies along the journey or the sick person dies without having regained sufficient health to fast, the Saum is waived. They are not required to make wasiyyat for payment of Fidyah.

  17. When a pregnant woman has a genuine fear for either her own life or the life of the child she is bearing, it will be permissible for her to refrain from Saum. She will have to make Qadha of the Saum she misses as a result.
    Should she break her Saum during the course of the day i.e. after having started it, the penalty of Kaffarah does not apply to her. She is liable for only Qadha. She cannot compensate for the missed fasts with Fidyah as long as she has the ability to fast. Qadha is necessary.
    Fear in this context will mean a genuine fear supported by either previous experience or by the advice of a pious Muslim physician. The word of a Kaafir doctor or of a Muslim Fasiq doctor is not valid grounds for her to break her fast, nor to abstain from fasting.

  18. If a mother who breast-feeds her baby genuinely fears for her baby if she fasts- that the baby will suffer by her milk drying up during the fast, then it will be permissible for her to refrain from fasting. She has to make Qadha of the missed fasts. She too cannot compensate for the omitted fasts by means of Fidyah.

  19. A very old person who is truly unable to fast, is permitted to refrain from Saum. He has to offer compensation by means of paying the Fidyah.

  20. When a child, (a nan-baligh-one who has not attained the age of puberty) becomes Baligh during the course of the day in Ramadhan, he/she has to compulsorily refrain from eating the rest of the day although there is no Qadha for that day.

  21. When a non-Muslim embraces Islam during the course of the day in Ramadhan, he/she has to refrain from eating the rest of the day although there is no Qadha for that day.

  22. If the child mentioned in mas’alah 20 and the Muslim mentioned in mas’alah 21 eats during that particular day, there will be no Kaffarah on them although their action of eating is sinful.

  23. The Saum of a person who becomes unconscious after having commenced the fast remains valid as long as medicine was not administered to him via his/her mouth.

  24. A person who lapsed into unconsciousness before having made Niyyat for the Saum during the night or before Nisfun-Nahar, shall make Qadha of that day, i.e. if he/she had no intention of fasting that day.

  25. A person who lapsed into unconsciousness before commencement of Ramadhan and remained in this state the entire month. After regaining consciousness Qadha of the whole month is obligatory.

  26. When a person lapses into unconsciousness on the first night of Ramadhan and remained in this state the entire month or for a number of days. Then Qadha of the first day is not obligatory. Qadha of all the subsequent days, viz. The days after the day when unconsciousness started, is compulsory.

  27. If a person becomes insane, prior to Ramadhan and, the insanity endures until after Ramadhan, the Saum of the whole of Ramadhan is waived even if sanity is regained.

  28. An insane person who regains sanity during Ramadhan has to make Qadha of the fasts missed during the duration of insanity.

  29. If a non-Muslim embraces Islam during Ramadhan and learns of the obligation of fasting only after Ramadhan, then Qadha is not compulsory on him.

  30. When a child reaches the age of seven years, he/she should be ordered to observe Saum. However, there is no Qadha if the child breaks the fast. By the age of ten, the child should be compelled to keep the Ramadhan fasts. This is the normal rule. Parents should use their discretion and introduce their children to Saum according to their health and strength.

Top


Niyyat

It is preferable to make the Niyyat of Saum during night, i.e. prior to the entry of Subah Sadiq. When the fast starts, if the Niyyat was not made during the night, the Saum will be valid if the Niyyat is made approximately one hour before zawaal. One hour before zawaal is an approximate time taken as a precautionary measure. The exact time limit for the validity of the Niyyat for Saum is before the time of Nisfun-Nahar, i.e. mid-day in terms of the Shariah.

Nisfun-Nahar is determined by dividing by two the time duration from Subah Sadiq to sunset, and adding the result to Subah Sadiq time.

Example:

Subah Sadiq : 5.30 a.m, Sunset : 5.35 p.m
Time duration from Subah Sadiq to Sunset.
12 hrs. 5 mins divided by 2= 6 hrs. 2 mins.
Add this result to Subah Sadiq : 5.30+6.02 = 11.32 a.m.= Nisfun-Nahar

If Niyyat is made for the Saum before 11.32 a.m. (in this example), the wajib Saum will be valid. It is not essential that any particular Niyyat formula be recited. Niyyat merely means to intend that one will be fasting, or is fasting. The Niyyat could also be made verbally in any language, e.g.
One may say: O Allah! Tomorrow I shall be fasting for You.
Or one may recite it in Arabic e.g.
I make Niyyat of Tomorrow's fast,
Remaining without food and drink the whole day will not, render such abstention a Saum if no Niyyat was made.

During the month of Ramadhan only Niyyat of the existing Ramadhan's Saum will be valid. Even if a Niyyat for any other Saum is made during Ramadhan, then too only the Saum of the existing Ramadhan will be discharged and not the Saum for which the Niyyat was made.

Top


Kaffarah of Ramadhan

Kaffarah (compensation) is the penalty which is imposed by the Shariah for the deliberate and flagrant nullification of the Saum of Ramadhan.

  1. Kaffarah applies to only the Saum of Ramadhan.

  2. Kaffarah comes into force only if the Niyyat for fasting was made at night, i.e. before Subah Sadiq. Thus, if Niyyat was made during the night to fast the following day, and then the fast is broken without valid reason, the Kaffarah penalty comes into effect.

  3. Kaffarah for flagrantly breaking a fast of Ramadhan is to fast 60 consecutive days- sixty days, one after the other, without missing any day in between.

  4. Since Kaffarah Saum belongs to the second class of the Wajib category of Saum, it is essential to make Niyyat for this type of fasting from the night, i.e. before Subah Sadiq. If the Niyyat is not made before Subah Sadiq the Kaffarah will not be valid.

  5. The Kaffarah will be rendered invalid if for any reason be it a valid reason, even a single day is omitted during the 60 day-Kaffarah course. Thus if a person fasted for 59 days and failed to fast on the sixtieth day due to illness, he will have to start the Kaffarah all over again. The only interruption which will not invalidate the Kaffarah is Haydh (the monthly menses of women).

  6. A Kaffarah interrupted by the intervention of Nifaas will be rendered invalid.

  7. A person who is unable to discharge the Kaffarah because of ill-health or very old age, will have to feed 60 poor persons. Each miskeen (poor) should be given two full meals for the day or the amount in cash which is given as Sadaqah Fitr. This amount is the price of approximately 2 kilograms bread flour. Instead of the cash, the flour may also be given.

  8. If the grain, food or cash of 60 persons is given to only one man on a single day the Kaffarah will not be discharged. It will be regarded as an amount/quantity given to only one person. If the entire Kaffarah amount/quantity is distributed on a single day to only two persons, the Kaffarah will not be discharged thereby. Another 58 persons will have to be given, each the Sadaqah Fitr amount.

  9. The Kaffarah option of feeding 60 Masakeen (poor persons) may be discharge on a single day by feeding 60 persons or giving the cash or grain to sixty persons.

  10. The Kaffarah may also be spread over a period of 60 days. Daily, one Miskeen may be fed or given the grain/cash until 60 days.

  11. If after having paid the Kaffarah one recovers from the illness and is able to execute the 60 day fast, then fasting 60 days becomes obligatory. The money, etc. previously given to the poor will become a Nafl charity.

  12. If any Miskeen among the sixty is a small child, the Kaffarah will not be discharged. If small children were fed, an equal number of adults will have to be fed in lieu. However, if the full Sadaqah Fitr amount was given in cash to a poor child, the Kaffarah will be fulfilled.

  13. Where the Kaffarah option of feeding or payment is valid, another person may pay it on the instruction of the one who is liable for the Kaffarah. Without such instruction it will not be valid.

  14. Where the Kaffarah option of feeding or payment is valid, an interruption during the course of feeding or paying will not invalidate the Kaffarah. Thus if a person who is unable to fast the 60 days, undertakes to feed one Miskeen for 60 days, but does not feed the Miskeen for consecutive 60 days, the Kaffarah will be valid. As long as the Miskeen is fed for 60 days, the Kaffarah will be valid even if the 60 days are spread over a long period.

  15. A single Ramadhan makes Wajib only one Kaffarah irrespective of the number of fasts flagrantly broken during that Ramadhan.

  16. If fasts were flagrantly nullified in more than one Ramadhan, the number of Kaffarah will be equal to the number of Ramadhan. Thus, if fasts were flagrantly broken in three different Ramadhans, three different Kaffarah will be obligatory.

  17. When the Kaffarah is commenced on the 1st day of the Islamic month, then fasting two full Islamic months will suffice for the Kaffarah even if the total number of days in the two months are 58 days (29 day months). If, however, the Kaffarah is started during the course of the month, then it will be necessary to fast a full 60 days.

Top


What is Sahri?

Sahri is the act of arising from sleep during the course of the night to partake of some food or drink in anticipation of the next day’s fasting.

  1. Sahri is Sunnat regardless of whether one feels like eating anything or not. One should rise and eat even a date or two or merely take a gulp of water.

  2. It is desirable to delay Sahri. But it should not be delayed so much that Subah Sadiq has almost set in, causing doubt in the validity of the fast.

  3. It is not permissible to forgo a fast because of failure to wake up during the night for Sahri.

  4. It is not permissible to eat after the expiry of Sahri time. Sahri time expires with the commencement of Subah Sadiq.

  5. Some people continue eating even when the Fajr Adhaan is being proclaimed. This act breaks the fast since the Adhaan is proclaimed after expiry of Sahri time.

  6. While the best method of observing Sahri is in the later part of the night, after rising from sleep, the Sahri will be valid if for some reason one remained awake until late in the night and then partook of Sahri before going to sleep.

  7. Eating by error after the ending of Sahri time necessitates Qadha of the fast. If one ate under the mistaken impression that it was still Sahri time, the fast of the following day will not be valid. However, it is Waajib (compulsory) to abstain from all acts which break Saum and to remain like a Saim ( a fasting person). Qadha of the fast will have to be made after Ramadhan.

  8. A doubt in the ending of Sahri time will not invalidate the fast although it is Makrooh (a sinful act) to eat when there is a doubt as to the existence of Sahri time. But Qadha will not be compulsory. Nevertheless, in view of the doubt, it will be better to make Qadha of such a fast.

  9. It is Mustahab to delay Sahri as late as possible, but not to the Makrooh time, i.e. when one starts doubting the validity of Sahri time.

  10. Some Ramadhan time-tables indicate a recommended time for the cessation of eating, etc. at the time of Sahri. It is not obligatory to stop eating at such recommended times. One is allowed to eat right until the ending of Sahri time which coincides with Subah Sadiq although it is best to stop a couple of minutes before Subah Sadiq.

  11. If Sahri was missed due to having overslept, one should not forgo fasting. It is not permissible to refrain from Saum because of having missed Sahri.

Fast in Abnormal Time Zones

In abnormal time zones where the sun either does not rise or set for months, the times of the nearest normal region should be taken for beginning and ending the Saum.

Top


What is Iftar?

  1. It is considered desirable to hasten with Iftar (breaking the fast) as soon as the sun has set.

  2. Iftar should be made before the Maghrib Salat.

  3. The muazzin should break his fast before proclaiming the Adhaan.

  4. At the time of Iftar it is Sunnat to recite the following dua: "O Allah! I have fasted for you. I believe in you. I have trust in you and I make Iftar with the rizq (food) provided by you."

  5. Iftar should preferably be made with dates. In the absence of dates, water is best. Although this is best, it is permissible to break the fast with any lawful food or drink.

  6. It is Makrooh to make Iftar when in doubt regarding sunset. If it is overcast, Iftar should be delayed until there is absolute certainty that the sun has set.

  7. If Iftar is made even a minute before sunset, Qadha of the fast is incumbent. It is Makrooh to unnecessarily delay Iftar.

  8. The time of Iftar is very auspicious. Dua is readily accepted at the time when the fast is about to end.

Top


Who Should Fast?

Fasting Ramadhan compulsory for every Muslim male or female, who meets the following requirements:

  1. Is mentally and physically fit i.e., sane and able;

  2. Is of full age, the age of puberty and discretion, which is normally about 14. Children under this age should be encouraged to start practice by stages, so that when they reach the age of puberty they will be mentally and physically prepared to observe the fasting.

  3. Is present at their permanent settlement, hometown, farm, business premises etc. This means not to be travelling on a journey of about 50 miles or more;

  4. Is fairly certain that the fasting is unlikely to cause any harm, physical or mental other than the normal reactions to hunger, thirst etc.

Top


What Makes Fast Valid?

  1. Niyyah : (intention of fasting) is a must. This means to have intention of observing the fast, either while taking the Sehri meal or before noon on the day on which one observes fasting.
    "I have the intention of observing a fast today of the month of Ramadhan."

  2. From dawn to dusk one should abstain from eating, drinking, sex, foul talk and evil thoughts.

Top


Makrooh during Saum

Some things, while not breaking the fast, are nevertheless Makrooh to do during fasting. Makrooh means detestable and in this context Makrooh things are sinful. Makrooh things bring about a decrease in the thawab reward of the Saum.

It is, therefore, essential to abstain from committing Makrooh acts. The following acts are Makrooh during fasting.

  1. Tasting food, etc., is Makrooh if done unnecessarily. If an ill-tempered husband shows his unjustified wrath when food has not been prepared to satisfy his taste, it will be permissible for the wife to taste the food while she is preparing it. As long as nothing goes down her throat, her fast will be valid and her act of tasting will not be Makrooh.

  2. Using powder or paste to clean the teeth. If anything of these substances slips down the throat, the Saum is nullified.

  3. Caressing, fondling or kissing the wife. If ejaculation does not occur, the Saum will be Valid.

  4. To put water in the nose at times other than when making Wudhu.

  5. To rinse the mouth at times other than when making Wudhu.

  6. To take ghusl merely for cooling.

  7. To swim.

  8. To unnecessarily apply ointment to the lips. If, however due to pain caused by cracked lips, ointment is applied, care should be taken to prevent licking the ointment.

  9. To unnecessarily chew when in doubt as regards the existence of Sahri time. If later it transpires that Sahri time had in fact expired, Qadha will be obligatory.

  10. To eat when in doubt as regards the existence of Sahri time. If later it transpires that Sahri time had in fact expired, Qadha will be obligatory.

  11. To make Iftar (i.e. to break the fast) when in doubt as to the time of sunset. If it transpires that the time when Iftar was made the sun had not yet set, Qadha will be obligatory.

  12. Participating in un-Islamic activities such as watching television and playing games such as chess, draughts, monopoly, etc. The thawab of the Saum is destroyed by indulgence in such unlawful activities.

  13. Gheebat or backbiting.

  14. To gargle the mouth when making Wudhu.

Top


Qadha Saum

Qadha means to fulfill or to compensate for fasts which are not executed when they were due.

  1. It is necessary to make Qadha of Saum as soon as possible since one does not know when death will overtake one. While it is not Wajib to make the Qadha immediately after Ramadhan or on any other specific days, Qadha should not be unnecessarily delayed.

  2. Qadha Saum belongs to the second class of Wahjib fasting. For the validity of Qadha Saum it is essential to make Niyyat during the night, i.e. before Subah Sadiq.

  3. Saum omitted on account of Haydh and Nifaas has to be made Qadha.

  4. It is not necessary to specify in one's Niyyat for Qadha the particular days which are omitted. It will suffice to merely intend that: " I am keeping Qadha fast". However, if the Saum missed belongs to more than one Ramadhan, then it will be essential to specify in one's Niyyat for Qadha the year, e.g. " I am making Qadha of the Saum of Ramadhan of the year 1409", etc.

  5. It is not obligatory to keep the Qadha Saum all at once (consecutively). The Qadha Saum may be spread over a period or they may be kept consecutively.

  6. Saum which is broken in anyway whatsoever, deliberately or erroneously, voluntarily or under compulsion, has to be made Qadha.

  7. Qadha has also to be made of Nafl fasts which were broken.

  8. If by the time death approaches, the Qadha has not yet been discharged, it will then be obligatory to make a wasiyyat (bequest) for payment of Fidyah.

  9. Similarly, if due to old age or sickness one is unable to fast and the Qadha has not yet been executed, wasiyyat to pay Fidyah will be wajib(obligatory).

Top


Things which Break the Fast

  1. Eating or drinking breaks the Saum.

  2. Sexual intercourse even if there is no emergence of semen.

  3. Smoking.

  4. Inhaling smoke by one’s own action, e.g. inhaling the smoke of incense, etc.

  5. Application of medication into the anus.

  6. Swallowing any substance or object which is not normally consumed as food or medicine, e.g. pebbles, paper, a coin, etc.

  7. Pouring oil into the ears.

  8. Saliva mingled with blood will break the fast if the taste of blood is discernible when swallowing it.

  9. Eating deliberately after having eaten mistakenly. (Eating by mistake does not break the fast).

  10. Water slipping down the throat while making wudhu even if not done deliberately.

  11. Deliberately inducing oneself to vomit will break the fast if the vomit is mouthful. If the emergence of the vomit cannot be restrained, the vomit will be said to be a mouthful. Vomiting less than a mouthful will not break the fast even if deliberately induced.

  12. A food particle the size of a chana (about the size of half a pea) becoming unstuck from the teeth and slipping down the throat.

  13. Applying drops of medicine into the nostrils.

  14. Masturbation. In addition to it nullifying the Saum, it is an immoral and a sinful act. The perpetrator has been cursed by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).

  15. Medical tests undertaken by women in which any instrument, etc., is internally inserted.

  16. Ejaculation as a result of caressing and fondling the wife even if there was no sexual intercourse.

Top


Things which do not break the Fast

  1. The using of Miswak
  2. To take bath during the day or to pour water, overhead due to the pang of summer heat.
  3. To smell perfume.
  4. To apply Surmah (Kohl) in the eyes, or oil to the hair.
  5. To eat or drink in forgetfulness.
  6. To inhale a fly or smoke or dust without one’s will or intention.
  7. To pour water into the ear unintentionally.
  8. To swallow saliva or phlegm.
  9. To gargle or take water in the nose, while performing ablution (Wadu), but care should be taken that no part of water enters the throat.
  10. To kiss one’s wife. It is sexual intercourse which is prohibited during fast. One is allowed to kiss one’s wife, provided one is sure that one would not yield to sexual lust.
  11. To take out blood from the body for treatment.
  12. To have a wet dream in the day.
  13. Where one is in need of a Ghusl (Bath) due to a wet dream or intercourse during the night, and did not perform bath before Subh Saadiq (dawn).

Top


Last Ten Days of Ramadhan

Though the entire month of Ramadhan are full of blessings and rewards, its last ten days hold a special status reflected in the recommendations and practices of the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam, and his companions. I will focus here on three major practices of the Prophet, Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam, and his companions during these days.

1. Praying in the last ten nights of Ramadhan.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from ‘Aishah that during the last ten days of Ramadhan, the Messenger of Allah would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship). A narration in Muslim states: “He would strive [to do acts of worship during the last ten days of Ramadhan more than he would at any other time.” Aisha reported that With the start of the last ten days of Ramadhan, the Prophet (Pbuh) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Bukhari]

2. Performing I‘tikaf in the Masjid (seclusion in the Mosque)

I‘tikaf is the seclusion and staying in the mosque with the intention of becoming closer to Allah. This was the practise of the Prophet, Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam, during the last ten days of Ramadhan especially. He would do it during other months as well.

‘Aisha reported that the Messenger of Allah, Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam, used to practise I`tikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadhan and used to say, “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadhan” [Bukhari]

Sayyid Sabiq says in Fiqhus-Sunnah : The Sunnah or preferred I‘tikaf has no specific time limit. It can be fulfilled by staying in the mosque with the intention of making i‘tikaf for a long or short time. The reward will be according to how long one stays in the mosque. If one leaves the mosque and then returns, he should renew his intention to perform I’tikaf. Ya’la ibn Umayyah said: “I secluded myself in the mosque for some time for I‘tikaf.” ‘Ata told him: “That is I‘tikaf, as long as you secluded yourself there.”

One who is performing Sunnah (like in Ramadhan) i’tikaf (i.e. not the obligatory one that is made after a vow) may end his i‘tikaf at any time, even if it is before the period he intended to stay.

It is preferred for the one who is making I‘tikaf to perform many supererogatory acts of worship and to occupy himself with prayers, reciting the Qur’an, glorifying and praising Allah, extolling His oneness and His greatness, asking His forgiveness, sending salutations on the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and supplicating Allah - that is, all actions that bring one closer to Allah. Included among these actions is studying and reading books of tafsir and Hadith, books on the lives of the Prophets, upon whom be peace, books of fiqh, and so on. It is also preferred to set up a small tent in the courtyard of the mosque as the Prophet did. Permissible Acts for the Mu‘takif (the person performing I‘tikaf).

3. Seeking Lailatul-Qadr (the Night of Decree)

It is the greatest night of the year like the Day of ‘Arafah is the greatest day of the year. It is a night about which Allah revealed a full Surah, Suratul-Qadr [97:1-5] and the 3rd to the 6th verses of Surat ad-Dukhan [44:3-6]

It is the night when the Qur’an was revealed. It is the night when the Message (the Final and seal of all messages) sent to Muhammad, Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam, started It is the night when the light, that would illuminate mankind to the end of life, started. It is the night when every matter of ordainment is decreed. A person who misses Lailatul-Qadr is really a deprived person!

Top


Taraweeh and night worship

Taraweeh is the same as night worship, or Tahajjud, which is recommended to Muslims on all nights, whenever they find it possible. In Ramadhan, it is given this particular name, which suggests that the prayer alternates with other types of worship, or with relaxation intervals. The Taraweeh prayer started when the Prophet (Pbuh) offered it on two consecutive nights in the Mosque in Ramadhan. On the first day, he was joined by a small number of his companions, and on the second a large group came to join him. On the third day the Mosque was full, but the Prophet (Pbuh) did not show up. He explained that he did not wish such night worship to become obligatory. He continued to offer it at home. So, his practice is well documented, but this prayer need not be offered in a Mosque or with others in a congregation.

It was Umar ibn Al-Khattab who first started this prayer in a congregation in a Mosque. He was in the Mosque one night when he noticed that there were several congregations doing the Taraweeh prayer and some people praying individually. He grouped them together and appointed Ubbai ibn Ka’ab, one of the best reciters of the Qur’an at the time, to lead the prayer. Ubbai used to lead the prayer offering 20 rak’ahs.

It is well known that night prayer has no maximum number of rak’ahs. If one prays 50 or 70 rak’ahs i one night, he does well and he hopes for a rich reward from God. No one may object to him doing so. What we have to guard against, however, is to take one report and consider it to be binding on all people at all times without an express order by the Prophet (Pbuh). Some people may ask how we can say that when the Prophet (Pbuh) never offered more than 11 or 13 rak’ahs on any one night.

The answer is found in the fact that the Prophet (Pbuh) did not say anything about a maximum number of rak’ahs. Hence the matter is left open.

Top


Conditions that make Zakat Obligatory

There are two conditions for Zakat to be obligatory on the wealth.

  1. Being in possession of Nisab i.e. possessing property in excess of a minimum exemption limit.

  2. On completion of one Lunar year on the wealth. According to Hanafi if a person possess wealth equal to or in surplus of Nisab in the beginning and at the end of the lunar year, (even though in between the year, the wealth was less than the Nisab), Zakat is obligatory, but if at the end of the lunar year if the wealth is less than the Nisab(though one had wealth equal to or in surplus during the year) zakat is not obligatory. According to Shafie the passage of one lunar year is a must on the wealth (Nisab) (in Hanbali almost a year). The zakat is calculated on the day on which a year is completed on that wealth (Nisab).

Top


Nisab

Zakat is paid on the surplus of wealth which is left over after the passage of a year (Lunar Year). It is thus a payment on the accumulated wealth, leaving our animal and agricultural yield. Zakat is paid at almost a uniform rate of 2 1/2%. The minimum standard of surplus of wealth over which Zakat is charged is known as Nisab. It differs with different kinds of property. In case of silver it is 52 1/2 Tolas (634 grams), in case of gold it is 7 1/2 Tolas (88 grams). The Nisab for cash is the same as that of gold and silver.

Top


On whom Zakat is obligatory

Zakat is obligatory of every Adult free Muslim man and woman provided the above two conditions are fulfilled. According to Imam Malik, Shafie and Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Zakat is obligatory of the wealth of the Minor and insane person, and it has to be paid by the guardian. Where as according to Imam Abu Hanafi it is not obligatory. Since Zakat is an act of worship the intention is a must and hence it is not obligatory on the wealth of a minor and the insane person.

Top


Zakat on the woman's Mehr

According to Imam Abu Hanafi and Imam Malik, the wife need not pay Zakat on the Mehr amount still due by her husband. However Zakat will have to be paid on the amount she has claimed provided it is equivalent to or more than the Nisab and on which one year has been completed. According to Imam Shafie the wife has to pay the Zakat every year (though she herself is not claiming the Mehr, even though it can be claimed). According to Hanbali the Wife has to pay the Zakat for the entire number of years at the time when she gets it.

Top


Zakat on the Business Goods or Stock-in-Trade

All types of goods for sale, whatever may be its form, whether hand made or machine products or fruits or books or jewellery or clothes or cattle or property brought with the intention of buying and selling etc., are liable for zakat. Provided it is in one's possession for one complete lunar year and the rate of zakat applicable is 2 1/2% on its total value. The prescribed limit on goods is after conversion, in terms of its value, the total amount thus evaluated must be equivalent to the price of 634 grams of silver. If less, then zakat is not obligatory.

Top


Zakat on company or partnership, Silver, Gold, Currency and Shares

If any wealth or property is held jointly by two or more persons, then according to Imam Abu Hanafi and Imam Malik Zakat is not obligatory on any person until each individuals share is equal to the value of the Nisab. Zakat on Silver, Gold, Currency and Shares. The minimum prescribed limit on which Zakat becomes obligatory on silver is 52 1/2 Tolas (634 grams), and of gold 7 1/2 Tolas (88 grams) and is known as Nisab. Zakat on silver or gold items is one fortieth of its weight, i.e. 2 1/2%. Zakat on silver or gold is not calculated on its value but on its weight. However if one possesses some gold and some silver and neither of them is in the prescribed limit, then if their total cost is equal to the price of 634 grams. of silver, Zakat becomes due on it.

Top


Zakat on the Ornaments of a woman

Zakat is due on all the gold and silver ornaments, jewellery, and gold or silver lace woven into clothe, gold thread embroidered dresses for ladies, etc. Hadrath Umm Salmah says that she used to put on (gold) bracelets. When she asked the Holy Prophet whether it was Kanz (Hoarded wealth) he replied.

" When a piece of property reaches upto the prescribed limit and Zakat is duly paid on it, it is not Kanz".(Abu Dawood)

Imam Abu Hanafi, his disciples and some scholars hold the above opinion. According to Imam Malik, Shafie, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal and other scholars there is no Zakat on the woman's ornaments. According to some other scholars the Zakat on ornaments is due only once in a lifetime. The difference of opinion among scholars is only on the ornaments in use by the woman, but there is a consensus among all the scholars that Zakat is liable on the excess of the ornaments held in possession as wealth.

Top


Zakat of the Bank Deposit and on Provident Fund

Both these fall under the status of debt. According to Hanafi school of thought: Both of them are liable for Zakat for all the years and it has to be paid when out of it an amount equivalent to the value of 10 1/2 Tolas of silver or more is claimed. According to Hanbali school of thought also that Zakat is liable on both for all the years. It has to be paid when an amount equivalent to the Nisab or more is claimed.

According to Malliki school of thought the Zakat on Bank deposit is liable for all the years. And it has to paid when the amount is received. On the provident fund, since the person does not have any power to claim it, so Zakat is liable at the time when it is received and it has to be paid for one year only. According to Shafie school of thought the Zakat on the Bank Deposit has to be paid every year. The Zakat on provident fund has to be made for all the years and it has to be paid when he is entitled to receive it, though he may claim it or not in time.

Top


Zakat on Agricultural Produce

The Prophet (Pbuh) said: "On a land irrigated by rain water or by natural water channels or if the land is wet due to a near by water channel Ushr (i.e. one-tenth) is compulsory (as Zakat); and on the land irrigated by the well, half of an Ushr (i.e. one twentieth i.e. 5%) is compulsory (as Zakat on the yield of the land)".

A basic principle has been laid down for the Sadaqa (Zakat) in the agricultural produce. If the land is irrigated by artificial methods, one twentieth part (5%) of the yield is to be paid is irrigated by rainfall, streams, rivers, fountains or by the inner moisture of the earth, i.e., by natural resources of water, then one tenth (Ushr) 10% is to be paid as Zakat. There is some difference of opinion whether Ushr is levied on all types of agricultural yield or on some particular types.

According to Imam Abu Hanafi, Zakat is to be paid on all types of agricultural yield, provided the aim of cultivation is to improve upon the land and make it more useful for growing of crops. Thus only fuel, bamboo, grass and trees which bear no fruits are exempted from Zakat. He considers Zakat to be compulsory even on vegetables and fruits, which according to some Hadith, are exempted from Zakat. The scholars have reconciled the two views saying that the exemption granted in case of vegetables implies that the proceeds of the Zakat are not to be sent to the Bait ul Mal, but the owner may himself distribute it among the poor.

Ushr is to be paid at the time of harvest. Whereas in the other types of Zakat one should be in possession of the wealth for one complete year.

Top


Zakat on Animals

Zakat is obligatory on goats, sheep, cows, buffalos and camels which graze on wild grass, plant leaves and on some feed now and then given by the owner, and on the above animals meant for sale.

The Prophet (Pbuh) said: "By Allah in whose hand my life is, whoever had camels or cows or sheep and did not pay their Zakat, those animals will be brought on the Day of Resurrection far bigger and fatter than before and they will tread him under their hooves, and will butt him with their horns and (those animals will come in circle) when the last does its turn, the first will start again and this punishment will go on till Allah has finished the judgments amongst the people." (Bukari)

Top


Zakat on Minerals and Buried Wealth / Treasure

Zakat on Minerals and hidden wealth is one twentieth 5%. According to Imam Abu Hanifa, minerals are classified into three groups:

  1. Gold, Silver, Brass, Bronze, Iron etc.
  2. Crude Oil, etc.
  3. Diamonds, precious stones etc.

Zakat on the first group only is Waajib (compulsory) and is to be paid at the time of acquiring. Here minimum period of one year in possession does not apply.

Top


To Whom Zakat cannot be Given

  1. Zakat cannot be given to a person who owns atleast 7 1/2 tolas of gold or 52 1/2 tolas of silver or equivalent wealth in cash, kind or in trade goods. If Zakat money is given to such a person, then the obligation will not be discharged. For such a person to receive and accept Zakat is forbidden and to use it is haraam.
    If a person owns household goods over and above that which are necessary for his normal use, such as carpets, utensils or other goods which are owned and kept in possession but are hardly in frequent use, then such goods do not come under essentials but in accumulated wealth, and Zakat cannot be given to the person possessing them.

  2. To non-Muslims
  3. To some relatives: Zakat cannot be given to one’s mother, father, paternal and maternal grandparents, great grand-parents, etc. Likewise, Zakat cannot be given to one’s offspring-sons, daughters, grand-children, great grand-children, etc. Zakat cannot be given by husband to wife, nor by wife to husband. Except for these, Zakat can be given to other relatives such as brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, etc.

  4. To children: The position of a minor child is linked with his or her father. If the father is wealthy, then the child will also be considered as rich and Zakat cannot be given to him If the father is poor enough to receive Zakat. but the mother is rich, then Zakat could be given to the child because the child’s financial position is linked with that of the father, not the mother.

  5. To Sayyeds : Sayyeds are the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) through his daughter Fatima and the descendants of his uncle Abbas and his cousins Aqeel, Haris, etc., Zakat as well as Sadaqah and Fitra cannot be given to them.
  6. Zakat cannot be given to a person in payment of services rendered by him or in payment of wages to a teacher, caretaker, etc. It can, however, be given to such a person as a gift, if desired.

  7. Zakat cannot be given to domestic or other servants as wages. Zakat money can be given to them as a gift over and above the wages paid to them.

Some other points
  • One of the conditions of the discharge of Zakat is that the receiver must become the unfettered owner of the amount of Zakat paid to him.

  • Zakat cannot be given for building repairing or maintaining a mosque because a mosque is a place of worship which does not belong to anyone.

  • To pay debts of a deceased : If a poor man dies in debt and someone uses Zakat money to pay the debts of the deceased, then the actions will be invalid and the obligation to pay Zakat will not be discharged, because the deceased did not become owner of the money paid for the discharge of the debt.

    The heirs of the deceased, however, if they are poor, can receive Zakat and discharge the debt of the deceased, if they desire to do so.

  • To pay funeral expenses : Zakat money cannot be used to pay expenses relating to the funeral and burial of a person. But the heirs of the deceased, if they are poor, can receive and accept Zakat and use the money for the burial expenses of their deceased relative.

  • Zakat must be given on, and from, a commodity-that is, a portion of the wealth itself can be given in charity to discharge the obligation. But we are also permitted to determine the Zakat due and give its value in cash The topic of Zakat is this series of articles has been dealt with in the light of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence.(SKH)

Top


Zakat -ul- Fitr

  • Zakat -ul -Fitr is a type of Sadaqah which must be paid by every Muslim, young and old, male and female, free and slave, at the end of the Month of Fasting (Ramadan).

  • The purpose of Zakat -ul- Fitr is to purify one who fasts from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy.

  • Zakat ul Fitr is incumbent on every free Muslim who possesses one Sa of dates or barley which is not needed as a basic food for himself or his family for the duration of one day and night. Every free Muslim must pay Zakat ul Fitr for himself, his wife, children, and servants. (One Sa’ equals approximately three kilograms).

  • The required amount of Zakat ul Fitr is one Sa’ of wheat, rice or corn or similar items considered as basic foods.

  • Abu Hanifah made it permissible to set aside, as a Zakat ul Fitr, an equivalent value and also said that if the payer pays in wheat, one half of a Sa’ would be sufficient.

  • Most scholars believe that it is permissible to pay Zakat ul Fitr a day or two before Eid. According to Abu Hanifah, it is permissible to pay it even before Ramadan. Ash-Shafi holds that it is permissible to do so at the beginning of Ramadan. Malik and Ahmad maintain that it is permissible to pay it only one or two days in advance.

Top


The Days when it is Forbidden to Fast

There are five days during the year on which it is forbidden to fast. These five days are: The two days of Eid and the three days of Tashreek, viz. 11th, 12th and 13th Zil-Hajj. (The 3 days following Eid-ul-Adhaa) fasting on these days is not valid.

Top


| News from Islamic World | Community Roundup | Editorial | Reader's Comments | Features | Profile | Children's Corner | RAMADAN SPECIAL | Understanding Qur'an | Hadith | Prophet's Medicine | Qur'an & Science | Women in Islam | Our Dialogue | Why I Embraced Islam | Matrimonial | Subscription | Guest Room | Previous Issue | HOME

Top