ZAKAT-UL-FITR IS WAJIB
PRESS RELEASE(Press release about the significance of Zakat-ul-Fitr by Imam Ali Siddiqui, California Muslim Institute, 7153 Twinspur Ct. , Corona Valley , CA 92880 , Phone: 951-734-4599, email: siddiqui@... Please publish/distribute as you see fit. Reasonable editing is permitted)
ZAKAT-UL-FITR IS WAJIB©Imam Ali SiddiquiINJUNCTIONIt is reported that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "Remember! Zakat-ul-Fitr is Wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) on every Muslim, man or woman, free or in servitude, adult or child.” (Hadith: Tirmidhi's Sunan)
PURPOSEIbn Abbas (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) made the Zakat-ul-Fitr obligatory for the purpose of: purifying our fasting from vain talk and shameful mistakes, to make arrangements for the poor and the needy for food and clothing (for the festival of Eid). (Hadith: Abu Dawud, Ibn Maja)WHO SHOULD PAY?Every adult Muslim, with sufficient food for the family for a day, should pay Zakat-ul-Fitr for himself/herself and all his/her dependents. Even those who did not fast should pay it. Zakat-ul-Fitr should also be paid for the child born or the person died before the Fajr (dawn) on the day of Eid.
HOW MUCH SHOULD BE PAID?At the time of the Prophet (saw), payment of Zakat-ul-Fitr was made in terms of weight of grain. It is one Sa for each person. One Sa is approximately equal to 3.15 kg or 6.94 lbs. The Muslim jurists agree that Zakat-ul-Fitr can also be paid in cash equivalent to the cost of 3.15kg/6.94 lb. of grain including rice, wheat, lentils, corn, and dry cheese.WHEN TO PAY?Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said, "Whoever paid it (Zakat-ul-Fitr) before Salatul Eid, it is acceptable Zakat before Al'lah. Whoever paid it after Salat-ul-Eid, it is just a charity." The companion of the Prophet (ra) used to pay it a few days earlier. (Hadith: Bukhari)Imam Shafi'i held the opinion that Zakat-ul-Fitr can be paid as early as the beginning of Ramadan. I suggest that Zakat-ul-Fitr should be paid early enough so it will reach the needy and the poor before the Eid day. It will enable them to use it for food and clothes and give them the opportunity to enjoy the happiness of Eid-ul-Fitr.WHO SHOULD BE PAID?Zakat-ul-Fitr should be paid directly to the needy and the poor. However, you can also pay it to an organization, which would distribute it in accordance with the teaching of Islam. Remember! It is still your responsibility. So, make sure before paying that the organization will distribute it according to the teaching of Islam and before Salat-ul-Eid.There is a new concern in collection and distribution of Zakat-ul-Fitr and Zakat-ul-Maal. Millions of dollars have been confiscated by government agencies. This requires additional care on our part to select an organization carefully and rationally so that Zakat is delivered to the rightful person. Best method is still the personal contact.Year after year Zakat is sent to deserving persons in the Muslim World. Let’s try to spend some of it in our own communities including Moaliful Qoloob, non-Muslims to turn their hearts and minds as friends of our communities. This will require knowing our own communities and friendly and deserving non-Muslims. It may be difficult at first but it will be better for us.
How to Calculate Zakat-ul-Fitr?I heard many amounts over the years. It is a tendency to fix a higher amount by many organizations so that they may collect sufficient amount to distribute among the poor and the needy. One year it even went up to $15 per person. When specifying an amount it should be fixed at a minimum amount in accordance with the teaching of Islam so that every one can pay it with ease; however, we should encourage Muslims to pay a higher amount according to their life style.Minimum Zakat-ul-Fitr is one Sa in weight of grain. One Sa is approximately equal to 3.15 kg or 6.94 lbs. Every person should look at the price of grain where they shop. One either pays Zakat-ul-Fitr a weight of 6.94 lbs. or 3.15 kg in grain or its cash equivalent. Additional point, if in your life style you eat top-of-the-line fancy rice, then pay in its cash equivalentMay Allah accept your fast of Ramadan, your Zakat-ul-Fitr, your Taraweeh, your recitation of Quran, your Salat and your struggle for the Pleasure of Allah (mirdadi(A)llah! Ameen!© Imam Ali Siddiqui, 1982, 2003, 2006Revised September 28, 2007Additional information can be acquired through e-mail: siddiqui@...About the authorImam Ali Siddiqui with 35 years of service, is a Friday Khatib, Islamic teacher, Muslim Chaplain, youth advisor, family counselor, educator, poet and writer with a vision who has been involved in the teaching Islam, history, comparative religion, contemporary issues to Muslims and non-Muslims. He is actively involved in the community service including spiritual/educational development, service to the sick and the incarcerated. He has been on speaking tours to the Belgium , Canada , Germany , Great Britain , Switzerland , India , Iran , Pakistan , and across the USA . He frequently presents Islamic Prospective and Muslim Point of View on current affairs to Non-Muslims and Muslims. He has been very active in organizing seminars, workshops, conferences, and teach-ins to promote Islamic awareness and inter-faith understanding. He has received numerous commendations for his work, service, and scholarship. Presently, Imam Siddiqui is the President of California Muslim Institute; Vice Chair/Director, Peace with Justice Center of the Pomona Valley; and member of the Board of Directors: Corona-Norco Interfaith Association, and Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Los Angeles. For additional information about author’s involvement, please Google: “Imam Ali Siddiqui”Zakat-ul-Fitr is Wajib - Prophet Muhammad (saw)