Special Ramadaan Brochure
August 2009 / Shabaan 1430 AH
Likewise, Allah has favored this nation with the best and most honored Prophet, Muhammad (SA); and the most glorious and holy book, the Quraan. Similarly, out of His divine mercy, He has endowed the Muslims with the most complete and comprehensive modes of worship, like Salaah, Hajj, Zakaah, Fasting, etc; all of which occupy a special place in the lives of Muslims, and carries with them special benefits.
Fasting in the month of Ramadaan, however, has been specially granted to the believers for a fixed period of time as training in Taqwa (piety) and as a fertile time in earning immense rewards, forgiveness and mercy of Allah.
Allah has made the month of Ramadaan among the months of the year since the creation of the heavens and the earth. Allah informs us in the Holy Quraan:
“Verily the amount of months, so decreed, with Allah are twelve, the day He created the heavens and the earth…’ (9:36) All these months, including Ramadaan, existed since then until our time and the blessings and mercy of the month also existed since then. It must be understood that the greatest mercy and gift a person can receive in this worldly life is that of guidance and faith (Imaan). The guidance of Allah came to the people of the world through Prophets and revelations. The scholars of Hadith have mentioned that the previous revelations were also sent to the various Prophets in the month of Ramadaan. The Taurah to Moosa (AS), the Zaboor to Dawood (AS), the Injeel to Esa (AS), the Suhuf (smaller scriptures) to other Prophets and the Holy Quraan, the final revelation, to the Prophet Muhammad (SA), were all received in this blessed month.
However, the instructions to observe the month of Ramadaan with specific Ibaadah like fasting and additional prayer prescriptions were not given to the previous nations. They used to observe the fasting on other days like the fasting of Hazrat Adam on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month (Ayyaamul Biidh); and like the fasting of Moosa (AS) and Bani Israeel on the 10th of Muharram (Day of Aashurah).
Thus, fasting during the days and standing during the nights in Salaah as well as other acts of Ibaadah in the month of Ramadaan are peculiar only to this Ummah. Even though the virtues, mercies and blessings of this month have always existed during the passage of time, it became established and apparent only for the Muslims. This is only through the immense mercy of Allah to the Muslims.
The Rasuul (SA) used to start his preparation for the month of Ramdaan early, knowing the great significance which the month bears. Even as early as the month of Rajab, when he saw the moon to commence the month, he prayed in anticipation of Ramadaan. “O Allah bless us in Rajab and in Shabaan and allow us to witness Ramadaan.”
When the month of Shabaan started, he (SA) intensified his efforts by fasting and by other acts of Ibaadah (worship). When the month of Shabaan came to an end, the Prophet (SA) would advise the Muslims of the great mercy that lies ahead in Ramadaan.
As reported by Salman (RA), he said: “On the last day of Shabaan, Rasuulullah (SA) addressed us and said, 'O people there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night greater in virtue than one thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made fasting compulsory by day and has made Sunnah the Taraaweeh by night.” (Baihaqi)
In another Hadith, Ubaadah bin Saamit reported that Rasuulullah (SA) said when Ramadaan had drawn near. “Ramadaan, the month of blessings has come to you, wherein Allah turns towards you and sends down to you His special mercy, forgives faults, accepts prayers, looks at your competitions for the greatest good and boasts to His angels about you. So show to Allah your righteousness from yourselves. For verily the most pitiable and unfortunate one is the one who is deprived of Allah’s mercy in this month.” (Tabraani)
From the above two mentioned Hadith, the Prophet (SA) described the month of Ramadaan as, ‘a great month’, ‘a most blessed month’, ‘a month of mercy’. Likewise, in other Ahaadith, it has also been described as the month of patience; the month of the Quraan; the month of forgiveness; the month of sympathy; the month of deliverance from the fire; the month of acceptance of Dua; the month of Dhikr; the month of competition towards good deeds; etc. All these descriptions show the extreme virtue of the month to the Muslims even when they commit an abundance of sins, transgression and disobedience. This is indeed the meaning of mercy, to be relenting and kind even when one is not deserving of it.
Many special blessings and rewards of the month have been mentioned. Some of these are listed concisely as follows:
In total, it is a month of enormous benefits for its adherents and at the same time a month of tremendous loss for the neglectful and transgressors. One who welcomes the month with a thankful and eager heart, filled with love and gratitude to Allah, and is hopeful of receiving the rewards will benefit greatly. He would fast and do virtuous actions and would gain the mercy of Allah. After the month, he would have become closer to Allah. On the other hand, one who witnesses the month with a feeling of burden and disgust; with the anticipation of difficulty and hardship; has only shown ungratefulness to the favors of Allah and would be indeed deprived. There would not be any real inclination towards fasting, Salaah or other good actions. He will be among the unfortunate as the Hadith mentions:
“For verily the most pitiable and unfortunate one is the one who is deprived of Allah’s mercy in this month.” (Tabraani)
In another Hadith, the Rasuul (SA) warns of such people: “ Many are the ones who fast, attaining nothing by such fasting except hunger, and many are the ones performing Salaah by night attaining nothing by it, except the discomfort of staying awake at night.” (Ibn Majah, Nasaai)
In fact, the real object of the month of Ramadaan is the learning of Taqwa (piety, God fearing, God consciousness), so that the awareness, love and obedience to Allah will accompany one in all walks of life and at all times, even after the blessed month. This can only be learnt by willingly obeying the laws of Allah over a fixed period of time, like Ramadaan. When a person commits a sin during the month he has, in effect, compromised the virtue of Taqwa.
Therefore, one should not engage in sinful actions but should use the fasting as a protective shield. He should protect the tongue from backbiting, lying, cursing, obscene language, abuses, false swearing etc. The eyes should be protected from indecent sights, immorality, etc. The heart should be protected from evil thoughts, and other sicknesses like pride, anger, hate, malice, selfishness, greed, ungratefulness, etc. Likewise, the entire body and person must abstain from all Haraam and disliked actions.
In order to protect oneself from the many evils that exist, one must be engaged in virtuous actions to counteract them. To achieve the full benefits of Ramadaan, every one should ensure that he fulfils all his obligatory, commendable and optional duties.
ACTIONS TO BE DONE
INTENTION FOR FASTING
Intention of observing the fast is essential upon an individual since it is through this, the fast becomes an act of worship. Once this intention has been made in the heart it is enough, however it is a good act to say it with the tongue also. The intention for observing the fast should be made from the night (i.e. any time preceding the break of dawn of that specific day).
The Intention for starting and ending the fast can be observed by saying their respective duas. (These duas can be seen at the back page)
SUNNAH ACTS OF FASTING
- It is Sunnah to take Sihri (small meal) in the morning before observing the fast. The Prophet (S.A.) himself said, “Take Sihri for certainly there are blessings in having Sihri”.
- It is more virtuous to delay the Sihri from being very early in the morning. However it is Makruuh (disliked) to delay it to the time when it becomes doubtful of the ending time of Sihri (i.e. break of dawn).
- It is Sunnah to break the fast immediately after sunset without delay and it is Mustahab (desirable) to recite the Du’aa for breaking the fast. However, a person should not be so hasty in breaking his fast so as to do it before the sun has set.
THINGS WHICH NULLIFY THE FAST
- To deliberately eat, drink or have sexual relations with one’s spouse while one is observing the fast.
- To use oral medication or nasal sprays while fasting.
- To smoke.
- To enter deliberately anything into the stomach, lungs or brain via the mouth, nostrils, or a wound, etc. will invalidate the fast.
- To mistakenly allow anything to enter the throat/ stomach while being conscious and aware that one is fasting.
- To apply medicine in the nose or ear while fasting.
- To intentionally eat or drink after eating something forgetfully, whether a person thought that the fast was broken or not by his forgetful eating.
- To induce vomiting of more than a mouthful.
- To mistakenly consume anything or to have sexual relation after the time of the break of dawn thinking that it is not yet the break of dawn.
- To mistakenly break the fast before the time of sunset thinking that it is already sunset.
QADAA / KAFFAARAH
Whenever a fast becomes broken, whether intentionally or by mistake, a Qadaa must be performed. Qadaa of fast means to make up for the amount of missed fast in Ramadaan in months other than Ramadaan.
Along with Qadaa, Kaffaarah (an atonement) becomes compulsory for the fast of Ramadaan broken in Ramadaan provided that the fast was broken by sexual intercourse or by eating and drinking of any thing that gives benefit to the body or satisfaction to the desires and provided that it was broken with a free will, intentionally and without a valid excuse.
The Kaffaarah (atonement) in sequence of preference and ability is either : to free a slave; to fast two months consecutively: to feed sixty poor people two meals for a day or to give them each the amount of sadaqatul fitr.
THINGS WHICH DO NOT NULLIFY THE FAST
- Eating, drinking or sexual intercourse forgetting that one is fasting.
- Smoke or dust entering one’s throat in its own accord. The sweet scent of Lobhan, incense, ‘Itr or perfume does not break the fast. However, if the smoke of the Lobhan or incense enters the throat by one’s deliberate action then the fast will be broken and Qadaa is necessary.
- Ejaculation while one is asleep.
- Tasting - Tasting is only with the tongue. To swallow anything which is tasted will nullify the fast. To taste unnecessarily is disliked.
- Vomiting of any amount which is not induced.
- Induced vomiting to less than a mouthful.
- Eating of what is stuck between the teeth which is less than the size of a pea. To eat what is the size of a pea would break the fast which would require Qadaa.
- Unconsciousness or illness does not break the fast. However, it is permissible to break the fast for medical reasons such as illness etc. In such a case, Qadaa will become compulsory after the month of Ramadaan.
- By using a Miswak the fast is not broken.
- If while taking a bath water enters the ear then the fast is not broken.
- If saliva enters the throat and is swallowed then the fast is not broken.
- Taking medication by injection does not break the fast.
- The emission of blood or pus from a wound or pimple does not break the fast even if it is a large amount. It is however disliked to cause the emission of blood in a fasting person.
- To apply Surma to the eyes while fasting.
- Medicine applied to the eyes does not break the fast.
THINGS THAT ARE TO BE AVOIDED WHILE FASTING
- It is not permissible for a fasting person to lie, give false witness or statements, backbite, slander or do immoral, indecent or shameful acts.
- It is not permissible for the fasting person to be unjust to anyone, to entertain hatred, malice and enmity against anyone, cast lustful gazes, meet strange women or go to cinema etc. These acts do not invalidate or break the fast, however they are totally disliked and decrease the blessings and rewards of the fast.
- It is disliked to do cupping or donating blood while fasting since this may lead to weakness.
- It is Makruuh (disliked) to use toothpaste while fasting since there is a high possibility of the effects entering the throat. If it enters the throat then the fast is broken and Qadaa is necessary.
- It is Makruuh (disliked) to be excessive in pouring water down the nostrils or gargling while observing the fast.
- While observing the fast, it is Makruuh (disliked) to touch or kiss one’s wife with excitement or lust.
- It is Makruuh (disliked) to unnecessary chew or taste anything while fasting.
Taraawiih is Sunnah of the Prophet (S.A.) and a highly recommended act of ‘Ibaadah in the month of Ramadhan. It is the Ijmaa’ (consensus) of the Sahaabahs (R.A.) that it consists of twenty Rakaahs.
The time of Taraawiih Salaah begins after ‘Ishaa Salaah. If it is performed before then it is not valid. Taraawiih can be performed before or after the Witr Salaah.
Taking a short break after every four Rakaahs of Taraawiih is permissible. During this time, it is permissible to be engaged in any form of Tasbiih, Dhikr, or Daruud silently. Even to remain silent is permissible. However it is not proper to make anything binding upon oneself or the Jamaa’ah to be read or recited during this pause.
The term ‘Zakaah’ in Islam comes from the Arabic word ‘zakaa’ which literally means to purify, to increase, to grow and to be good. In Islamic terminology, it refers to that portion of ones’ wealth which is given as an act of worship to a particular person or persons with certain conditions. As taught by the Holy Quran the act of giving Zakaah purifies and cleanses the giver from sins and iniquities and it also brings an increase to his wealth. The Holy Quraan states, “Take from their wealth alms in order to purify them and sanctify them with it”. (Chap. 9 Verse 103)
In another verse it states, “Allah will destroy Riba ((usury) and will give increase for charity and alms”. (Chap. 2 Verse 276).
Zakaah which is normally understood to be a ‘poor due’ is in reality, a great form of worship which far exceeds the concept of simply helping the poor or giving charity. According to the teachings of the Holy Quraan and the Prophet Muhammad (SA), it is regarded as one of the five fundamental pillars upon which the religion of Islam rests. In this regard, there are over twenty verses of the Holy Quraan in which the command is given to the Muslims to “establish regular prayers (Salaah) and give Zakaah”. In the same manner, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SA) has said, “Islam is founded on five pillars, - testifying that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah (the one true God) and that Muhammad (SA) is the Messenger of Allah; performing the prayers (Salaah); giving (paying) the Zakaah; making the pilgrimage (of Hajj); and fasting in the month of Ramadaan”. ( Bukhaari and Muslim). In light of these sacred teachings, ‘Zakaah’ has been deemed as a compulsory duty in Islam and has a deep significance in the lives of Muslims.
It should be understood that although Zakaah is known to be a charity or poor due, it differs from the regular optional charity or Sadaqah which can be given by each and every Muslim. In fact, all Muslims are encouraged to be charitable to the extent of their ability.
While outlining the order and command of Zakaah upon the Muslims, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SA) has explained that it is not a duty which has been imposed upon every single Muslim. Instead, it is one which has been placed upon those who are not poor and needy and are well to do. This is clearly established from the tradition of the Prophet (SA) in which he advised his companion Muaz bin Jabal, (when he sent him to Yemen), with the following words: “Tell them also that Allah has enjoined Zakaah upon their wealth which will be taken from their well to do people and distributed to their poor people.” (Bukhaari, Muslim) This tradition along with others, makes it abundantly clear, that with respect to Zakaah, there are two categories of people. They are (a) those who must pay and (b) those who are entitled to receive.
The Holy Quraan as well as the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SA) have given sufficient guidelines regarding both these groups.
As for those who are entitled to receive the Zakaah, the Holy Quraan states, “Alms are only for the poor and the needy, those who collect them, those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the truth), for those in bondage and in debt, those in the cause of Allah, and for the way farer; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is the Knower and the Wise.” (Surah Tauba Verse 60)
In this verse, eight categories of people are listed who can receive Zakaah.
As for those who must pay the Zakaah, the Shariah has also given sufficient guidelines so that each person can fulfill this compulsory duty which has been imposed on him/her.
Zakaah, as an act of worship is connected to ones’ wealth and hence, it is the state of a persons’ wealth which would determine when the Zakaah is compulsory upon him or not.
NISAAB OF ZAKAAH
While identifying this state (of a persons’ wealth), the Shariah of Islam has established a certain amount (in one’s wealth) which must be reached before this duty becomes compulsory upon an individual. This amount in Islamic terminology is called the ‘Nisaab’.
According to the authoritative and authentic works of the early scholars and Jurists of Islam, Nisaab is defined as, ‘The minimum amount of property liable to payment of Zakaah.’ (Pg. 480 - Mu’jam lughah al Fuqaha Dictionary of Islamic Legal Terminology by Dr. Muhammad Rawwas and Dr. Hamid Sadiq)
The same is also mentioned in Mu’jam Al Mustalahaat Ad-deeniya- Dictionary of Religious terms by Dr. Abdullah Ibn Ashiy Al Maliki and Dr. Abdul Latif Sheik Ibraheem, it states, ‘Nisaab is the minimum quantity or amount of property liable to payment of obligatory poor due.’
It is therefore a condition for the obligation of Zakaah that a person’s wealth must be of a certain minimum amount, (Nisaab) after which Zakaah can be paid.
It is important for Muslims to know and understand that the Nisaab (the minimum amount liable to Zakaah), for each category of wealth has been fixed and specified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SA) upon divine guidance from Allah.
It is for this reason, one will see that a Nisaab has already been fixed for livestock, land produce, treasures and minerals, gold and silver. Not only has the Nisaab been fixed, but the rates of payment have also been specified by the noble Messenger of Allah (SA). In this manner the Nisaab was also established for money/currency.
However, due to the fact that during the time of the Prophet (SA) two metals namely, gold and silver, were being used as money, gold in the form of Dinars (gold coins) and silver in the form of Dirhams (silver coins), the Prophet (SA) obliged Zakaah on both, dirhams and dinaars. In this regard, the Prophet (SA) is reported to have said, “There is no Zakaah on anything less than five uqiyyas of silver.” (Reported by Ahmad and Muslim and has been considered sound and authentic by both).
As quoted by the renowned scholar of the past An-Nawawi, he says it is the unanimous consensus of the scholars that one uqiyya equals 40 dirhams, thus five uqiyya equals 200 dirhams. (Al-Majmu’)
Similarly, in another tradition narrated by Imam Muslim, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SA) is reported to have said, “And on silver, for every two hundred dirhams, the due is 2½ %. If there are only one hundred and ninety, Zakaah is not due on them unless the owner volunteers to pay”. In another narration reported by Ibn Qudaamah, he says, ‘It is authentically reported from the Prophet (SA) that he said, “On silver 2½ % is due”. (Al- Mughni)
Based on these traditions, it has become established that the Nisaab of silver was fixed and made specific in the Shariah of Islam. This has been the unanimous agreement of the Sahabahs and the entire Muslim Ummah.
Like the silver coins, a Nisaab was also fixed for the gold coins (Dinar). According to the opinion of the majority of jurists, 20 dinars (gold coins) were fixed as the Nisaab for gold.
It should be understood that both these Nisaab were distinct and separate from each other. In this regard Dr. Yusuf Qardhawi writes, ‘The Nisaab of gold is independent from that of silver’. This is so, since the Holy Prophet (SA) himself specified two separate Nisaab, one for silver and the other for gold.
With respect to the weight content of silver and gold found in these coins, the early jurists and scholars of Islam have given the following guidelines which have been adopted by the Muslim Ummah:
They are: -
1 dirham (silver coin) = 3.06 grams of silver.
200 dirhams = 612 grams of silver.
Based on this weight, the Nisaab of silver has been fixed at 612 grams / 19.7 ounces.
1 dinar (gold coin) = 4.25 grams of gold.
20 dinars = 85 grams of gold.
Based on this weight the Nisaab of gold has been fixed at 85 grams / 2.8 ounces.
It is worth mentioning that during the time of the Prophet (SA) and afterwards, the value of 200 dirhams (silver coins) or 612 grams of silver was similar to the value of 20 Dinaars (gold coins), or 85 grams of gold. As such, the Nisaab of each did not pose a problem to the Muslims. However, when the value of gold began to differ from that of silver, it became necessary to identify which of the two Nisaab must be used for the calculation of Zakaah in cases of money (cash) and articles of merchandise.
While acknowledging and accepting both Nisaab as valid and sound, some of the early jurists and scholars adopted the gold Nisaab simply because of its minimal fluctuation. Many other jurists from the former and latter generations (of Muslims) however, accepted and adopted the silver Nisaab and considered it most appropriate for non-metal money (paper currency). They explained that this should be adopted since:
1) The silver Nisaab is determined explicitly by the authentic Sunnah (teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad [SA]) and the Ijma’ (Unanimous agreement of all the Sahabahs / companions of the Prophet) unlike the gold Nisaab which does not hold this position.
2) It is more beneficial to the poor and needy, which in reality, is the main objective of paying Zakaah.
3) It is more precautious in one’s religious duty.
4) The Nisaab of silver has been clearly specified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SA) and must not be altered due to the change in times. It is a divine injunction which is not subjected to analogy.
5) There is no proof in the Shariah which shows that one Nisaab must constantly be changed to facilitate the value of the other one. If this is the case then the original law of the Shariah would eventually be changed.
In keeping with the most precautious view, the Darul Uloom has adopted the Value of Silver to be the Nisaab of Zakaah. This has also been adopted in many countries.
As such, the present Nisaab (August 09 / Sha’baan 1430 AH) has been calculated as $2,600.00.
It is important for Muslims to understand that the Nisaab is the minimum amount a person must possess over the period of one year as savings or surplus after he has fulfilled the basic necessities of life. Monies set aside for the payment of debts, other costs and daily expenses are not subjected to Zakaah.
In our present time (August 2009), if one’s savings, surplus, extras (in funds) reaches $2,600.00 or above (taking the Nisaab of silver into consideration) then one becomes the owner of the Nisaab. He / she would then wait for a period of one year before he pays the Zakaah of the total amount which is fixed at a rate of 2 1/2 %.
Due to the vast changes in the forms of wealth and money, etc, many issues of Zakaah have become technical which must be discussed and solved by the learned of the Muslim community.
THE DARUL ULOOM
The Darul Uloom 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 Allah (S.W.T.).
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.
In addition to these programmes, services such as Counseling, the issuing of Islamic legal opinions, and collection of Zakaah and Sadaqah are done at the Darul Uloom.
As a service to Islam, you are humbly requested to contribute to these efforts as we strive together to establish the Deen of Allah (S.W.T.).
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