[ Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. ]
Sadaqatul Fitr, Zakaah and Spending in the Path of Allah
November 2003 / Ramadaan 1424 AH
Sadaqatul Fitr is a compulsory charity, which is given at the end of Ramadaan to the poor and needy. It is given to help them particularly on the day of Eidul Fitr and also serves as a purification for the giver against mistakes made while fasting.
Sadaqatul Fitr is incumbent on every Muslim, male or female, who is sane, has reached the age of puberty and possesses the Nisaab of Zakaah on the day of Eidul Fitr beyond the basic necessities of life. Some scholars have mentioned that Sadaqatul Fitr is compulsory on every Muslim who possesses approximately 4 3/4 lbs. of barley, raisins or dry cottage cheese, which is not needed as a basic food for himself or his family for the day of Eidul Fitr. To be cautious in this matter, every Muslim who may not even be well to do must also pay the Sadaqatul Fitr (or Fitrah).
Those who have the means to do so must pay on behalf of themselves and those under their care. For example, a father must pay on behalf of his wife, children- both minor and adult, as well as those under his care such as adopted children or others maintained by him. However if the wife earns an income or has sufficient means to pay Sadaqatul Fitr then she should pay on behalf of herself.
Similarly if adult children have sufficient means to pay Sadaqatul Fitr then they should pay on behalf of themselves.
Sadaqatul Fitr can be given in the following items: dates, barley, raisins, cottage cheese, wheat, corn, flour or money. The amount to be given is one Saa which is equivalent to 2.174 kgs. or 4 3/4 lbs. or its value in money.
Sadaqatul Fitr becomes compulsory on the day of Eid and should be given before the Eid Salaah. If however one did not give it before the Eid Salaah then he must give it after the Salaah. To delay its payment after the day of Eid is Makruuh and against the Sunnah, but must still be given if it was not given before. It is also permissible to give it during the month of Ramadaan.
Sadaqatul Fitr should be given to the poor and needy i.e. those who are entitled to receive Zakaah. Those who cannot receive Zakaah are also not entitled to receive Sadaqatul Fitr. However poor and needy non-Muslims can be given the Sadaqatul Fitr.
Zakaah is that portion of ones wealth, which must be given to a particular person or persons. It is an act of Ibaadah which becomes compulsory on a person when he or she possesses a certain amount of wealth which is known as the 'Nisaab (Minimum Zakaatable amount).
Zakaah is a command from Allaah, which is mentioned in many different verses of the Holy Quraan and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (S.A). In the Holy Quraan, Allaah says, Establish Salaah, pay Zakaah and bow your heads with those who bow'. (2:43)
Zakaah has many benefits. Besides being very beneficial to the poor and needy, it brings great rewards to the one who has given it. In the Quraan, Allaah informs us that those who pay their Zakaah. will achieve the Mercy of Allaah, which is indeed a great reward. The Quraan states, And My mercy embraces all things. I shall ordain it for those (in particular) who fear Allaah and pay Zakaah and those who believe in our revelations. (7:156)
Zakaah brings about an increase in ones wealth. Allaah states in the Quraan, That which you give as interest (usury) in order that it may increase on (other) peoples property, has no increase with Allaah. But that which you give as Sadaqah (Zakaah etc.) seeking Allaahs pleasure has increased manifold. (30: 39)
Zakaah is a means of purifying the remaining wealth and it also purifies a person from sins. Allaah says in the Holy Quraan, Take Sadaqah (Zakaah) of their wealth, wherewith you may purify them. (9:103)
The Messenger of Allaah (S.A) said, Allaah has made Zakaah obligatory in order to purify the property that remains with you after the payment of Zakaah. (Abuu Daauud)
In another tradition the Prophet of Allaah (S.A) said, Pay Zakaah, it is a great purifier and through paying it Allaah will purify you of your sins Another tradition states, Protect your wealth from the impurities of sins by paying Zakaah.
In a tradition reported by Jaabir (R.A) the Messenger of Allaah (S.A) said, If a man pays the Zakaah due on his property, it causes the evil influence to vanish. (Tibraanii) This means that wealth can cause many evils to come about; through it many sins can be committed; it can be invested in prohibited avenues thus bringing a prohibited profit. This Hadiith informs us that through the payment of Zakaah, Allaah will remove the evil influence of the wealth.
In another tradition reported by Hassan (R.A) the Messenger of Allaah (S.A) said, Protect your wealth by payment of Zakaah.
In this tradition we are informed that through payment of Zakaah, Allaah will protect our wealth. In another tradition the Messenger of Allaah (S.A) said, Whenever any wealth is destroyed in a jungle or in the sea, it is because of the non-payment of Zakaah. This is a clear indication that the payment of Zakaah helps in protecting our wealth from all calamities, which can befall it.
Zakaah being a command from Allaah must be given from all the different forms of wealth, whether a person has cash or valuables. Zakaah must also be given on the produce harvested by farmers and it should not be considered as only an optional charity.
Failure to pay Zakaah brings about a terrible punishment from Allaah. In the Quraan Allaah warns us about hoarding money (wealth) and not paying its due rights. He says, those who hoard gold and silver (money) and do not spend it in the way of Allaah, announce to them a grievous penalty. On the Day when heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks and their backs and it will be said to them, This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves Taste you, then, the treasure which you buried. (9:34 -35).
In a tradition reported by Abu Hurairah (R.A) the Messenger of Allaah (S.A) said, If anyone possesses gold and silver (money) and does not pay what is due, then, on the Day of Resurrection, his gold and silver will be converted into plates that will be heated in the fire of Hell until they become like plates of fire itself, and then his sides, his forehead and his back will be branded with them again and again, during a day which will be fifty thousand years long. (Muslim)
Another tradition states that the Messenger of Allaah (S.A) said, Whomsoever Allaah has given property and he does not pay Zakaah on it, then his property will be transformed for him into a large bald snake with two black spots over its eyes, which will be put round his neck on the Day of Judgement. It will hold both of his jaws and say to him, I am your treasure. (Bukhaarii)
In another tradition reported by Ali (R.A), the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.) said, Allaah has enjoined upon the rich to pay Zakaah of their wealth, as much as should suffice for the poor ones among them. And nothing distresses the poor, when they are hungry or naked, than the neglectfulness of the rich who do not pay what is due from them. Beware! Allaah will call such people to a stern account and punish them with a severe punishment. (Tibraanii)
It is clear from these traditions that failure to pay the Zakaah incurs a severe punishment from Allaah. Muslims need to pay more serious attention towards Zakaah. They should understand that it is not an optional charity but it is a command of Allaah, which must be fulfilled by a person who has the Nisaab. It is very sad to see that there are many people who own businesses and do not pay Zakaah. They should pay careful attention to the words of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A) about not paying Zakaah.
There are many others who are entitled to pay Zakaah but do not pay. We must realise that non-payment of Zakaah is a serious crime against Allaah. Allaah is the One who has given this wealth and He has ordered us that we should give a portion of it, for His sake, to the poor and the needy. Let us not be neglectful of our duties to Allaah.
Spending in the Cause of Allah
Besides the payment of Zakaah, a believer is encouraged to spend his money and his wealth for the sake of Allaah, for it is through such assistance the propagation of Islaam can continue. It is a great act of Ibaadah for which Allaah multiplies the rewards, and through which a person achieves much blessings in his wealth. AIlaah says in the Holy Quraan, Who is it that will lend to Allaah a beautiful loan, so that He (Allaah) may give it increase manifold? (Do not fear poverty) Allaah stretches and enlarges your provisions and to Him you will return. (2: 245)
It means, who is there that will give his money or wealth for the sake of Allaah. In helping the religion of Allaah He will increase his wealth for him and put much blessings in it. Further in the verse, Allaah informs us that by giving, we should not fear that our wealth will decrease and that we will become poor. This should not come to our minds for it is Allaah who increases our wealth and He decreases it.
Another verse of the Quraan informs us that not spending for the sake of Allaah is in reality bringing destruction to our own souls. Allaah says, And spend your wealth for the cause of Allaah, and make not your hands contribute to your destruction. And do good, certainly, Allaah loves those who do good. (2:195)
While explaining this verse some Companions of the Prophet (S.A) have stated that, Do not contribute to your own destruction means giving up charity for fear of becoming poor. Abdullaah bin Abbaas (R.A) has said, To get killed in the Path of Allaah is not destroying oneself. In fact, destruction lies in withholding the charity for the sake of Allaah.
In another verse Allaah encourages us to give now, while we are alive, for indeed there will come a day when we will wish to give large amounts but it will not be accepted from us. He says, 0 you who believe, spend out of that which We have provided for you before the Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession (without Allaahs permission). (2:254)
In another verse Allaah informs us of the great rewards of giving for His sake. He says, The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allaah is as the likeness of a grain which grows seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. Allaah gives manifold increase to whom He wishes. (2:261)
It is therefore quite rewarding to give charity to a Masjid, to the poor and needy, to old people or even for an Islamic school whose main objective is the propagation of the religion of Allaah. We should know that whatever we have given for the cause of Allaah, we would certainly be repaid for it. Allaah says in the Quraan, All that you give for the cause of Allaah shall be repaid fully to you and you shall not be wronged. (8:60)
The Messenger of Allaah (S.A) has also exhorted us to give freely for the Cause of Allaah. In one Hadiith, he states, Two angels come down (from the Heavens) every morning. One of them prays, 0 Allaah, grant a return to him who spends, while the other says, 0 Allaah, destroy the wealth of him who withholds it. (Bukhaarii, Muslim)
Once someone asked the Messenger of Allaah (S.A) as to what kind of charity was the most virtuous. The Messenger of Allaah (S.A) replied, To give at a time when you are in good health, you have the hope of becoming rich and at the same time you fear becoming poor by parting from the wealth. That is the best time. Do not postpone it until the last moment of your life and then say, Give so much for so and so and so much for so and so. Your property has already gone to its heirs. (Bukhaarii, Muslim)
This Hadiith teaches us that we should not postpone doing good actions as charity etc. Many times it may happen that death comes upon us before we could even give what we wanted to give for the sake of Allaah.
Abuu Saiid (R.A) states that the Messenger of Allaah (S.A) said, Whosoever gives clothes to a naked Muslim; Allaah will give him a green dress to wear in Paradise. And one who gives something to eat to a hungry Muslim; Allaah will feed him with the fruits of Paradise. And one who gives a drink of water to a thirsty Muslim; Allaah will give him a drink of sealed non- alcoholic wine in Paradise. (Abuu Daauud, Tirmidhii)
The Messenger of Allaah (S.A) also informed us that charity is a means of getting continuous rewards from Allaah. We will be very happy after our death to know that we will continue to receive rewards for certain things which we have done in the world while we were alive. The Prophet of Allaah (S.A) said, When a man dies, his actions are cut off from him except three things - continuous charity, beneficial knowledge or a pious child supplicating for him. (Muslim)
Continuous charity is a charity given to anything that continues to be useful and beneficial.
Let us therefore take this opportunity to give much charity in this special and blessed month of Ramadaan. For indeed charity given in this month is far more rewarding than charity given in other months. A person asked the Messenger of Allaah (S.A), Which charity is the best? He replied, Charity given in the month of Ramadaan.
Sadaqah Jaariyah - Continuous Rewards
Death heralds the next phase of man's existence: life in Barzakh (the barrier) or life in the grave. As the Qur'aan tells us: And behind them is a Barzakh (barrier) until a day they will be resurrected.
Death, then, marks the end of man's sojourn on this earth, and with it his actions also cease. He can no longer do good deeds nor increase in sin. But Allaah, in His mercy and wisdom has endowed man with instruments that allow him to perpetually reap the rewards of certain actions done in this worldly existence. One of these is Sadaqah Jariyah.
The following Hadith bears proof to this: Narrated from Abu Hurairah, he said, The Messenger of Allaah (S.A) said, When a man dies, his actions are cut off from him except from three things: continuous charity or beneficial knowledge, or a pious child supplicating for him. Muslim.
And the Qur'aan says, Let a soul see what it has sent forth for tomorrow, and we may ask ourselves what have I done in this world to reap rewards in the hereafter? Dear brothers and sisters in Islaam, use the tool of Sadaqah Jaariyah! Spend out of your wealth and let it grow and earn for you while you are in Barzakh. There, is no scheme in this! It is reality, for Allah and His messenger would never lie.
Sadaqah Jaariyah is charity given to anything that continues to be useful and beneficial.
The Darul Uloom is an institute that seeks to build the Islamic character by educating, counseling and issuing Islamic legal opinions (fatwas) after careful research.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Darul Uloom humbly asks you to spend of your wealth in support of its educational programmes, social services and building projects. This, Insha Allah, will return to you in rewards unimaginable, as Sadaqah Jaariyah.
The Darul Uloom
The Darul Uloom T&T is an Islamic institution disseminating primary to tertiary Islamic Studies and secondary academic education. We are a non-profit organization whose objective is to educate Muslims about the Sacred Deen of Allaah. To achieve this end the Darul Uloom offers many programmes and courses on a full-time and part-time basis for brothers and sisters separately.
Our five-year full-time secondary programme offers training in Islamic and academic studies up to O'levels. Graduates can further their studies for the next three years in the full-time A'alim course where they can qualify as Maulana. There is also a full Hifz programme where students can memorize the entire Quraan with the aid of qualified teachers. T'here are also classes for adults on a part-time basis on Monday and Wednesday nights for males and on Saturdays for females.
In addition to these programmes, services such as Counselling, the Issuing of Islamic legal opinions, and collection of Zakaah and Sadaqah are done at the Darul Uloom.
Through the Grace and Mercy of Allaah the Darul Uloom is able to conduct these various programmes and courses only through the kind and generous donations of the Muslim Community.
As a service to Islam you are humbly requested to contribute to these efforts as we strive together to establish the Deen of Allaah.
USE ARROWS TO SCROLL ARTICLE: