Umrah during Ramadan is equal to Hajj in reward

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Umm Ma’qil narrated that the Prophet said: “Umrah during Ramadan is equal to Hajj.” Graded Sahih by Al-Albani (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 939).

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “(The performance of) ‘Umrah during Ramadan is equal to Hajj (pilgrimage).” Or said, “Equal to the performance of Hajj with me.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

“Equal to the performance of Hajj” means the return and reward to which Hajj is eligible. It does not mean that it will serve as a substitute for Hajj and absolve one from the need to perform it. This distinction of `Umrah in the month of Ramadan is perhaps for the reason, that in this way two acts of worship are combined at one time.

Du’a for when breaking the fast

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Invocations for breaking the fast may be the following:

Dhahaba al-thama’ wa abtalat al-‘urooq wa thabata al-ajr insha’Allah

The thirst is gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is confirmed, if Allah wills.

Reference: Abu Dawud 2/306 and others. See also Al- Albani, Sahihul-Jami’ As-Saghir 4/209.

Allaahumma ‘innee ‘as’aluka birahmatikal-latee wasi’at kulla shay’in ‘an taghfira lee

O Allah, I ask You by Your mercy, which encompasses all things, that You forgive me.

Reference: Ibn Majah 1/557 from a supplication of Abdullah bin ‘Amr. Al-Hafidh graded it as good in his checking of An-Nawawi’s Kitabul-‘Athkdr. See Sharhul- Athkar 4/342.

Only those who fast would enter the gate of Rayyan on the Day of Resurrection

 

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Sahl bin Sa’d (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as saying:

“In the Paradise, there is a gate called Rayyan, through which only the people who fast would enter on the Day of Resurrection. None else would enter along with them. It would be proclaimed: ‘Where are the people who used to fast so that they should be admitted into it?’ And when the last of them would enter, it would be closed and no one would enter it.” (Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans.) Book 6, Hadith 2569)

A variation of this hadith of the same narrator is the following:

“In Paradise there is a gate called Rayyan. On the Day of Resurrection the call will go out saying: ‘Where are those who used to fast?’ Whoever is among those who used to fast will enter it, and whoever enters it will never thirst again.” (Sunan Ibn Majah (Eng.) Vol. 1, Book 7, Hadith 1640 – Graded Hasan (Darussalam))

 

Zakat al-Fitr: How significant and how much?

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Significance

The significant role played by Zakah in the circulation of wealth within the Islamic society is also played by the Sadaqah al-Fitr. However, in the case of Sadaqah al-Fitr, each individual is required to calculate how much charity is due from himself and his dependents and go into the community in order to find those who deserve such charity. Thus, Sadaqah al-Fitr plays a very important role in the development of the bonds of community. The rich are obliged to come in direct contact with the poor, and the poor are put in contact with the extremely poor. This contact between the various levels of society helps to build real bonds of brotherhood and love within the Islamic community and trains those who have, to be generous to those who do not have.

Conditions

Zakah al-Fitr is only Wajib for a particular period of time. If one misses the time period without a good reason, he has sinned and can not make it up. This form of charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains obligatory until the beginning of Salah al-‘Eid’ (i.e. shortly after sunrise on the following day). However, it can be paid prior to the above mentioned period, as many of the Sahabah [companions of the Prophet ﷺ] used to pay Sadaqah al-Fitr a couple days before the `Eid. Nafi reported that the Prophet’s companion Ibn `Umar used to give it to those who would accept it and the people used to give it a day or two before the `Eid.[4] Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) order that it (Zakah al-Fitr) be given before people go to make the Salah (al-‘Eid). And Ibn `Abbas reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever gives it before the Salah will have it accepted as Zakah, while he who gives it after the Salah (will not, for it will only be considered as) ordinary charity.” [5] Therefore, one who forgets to pay this Zakah al-Fitr on time should do so as soon as possible even though it will not be counted as Zakah al-Fitr.

Rate

The amount of Zakah is the same for everyone regardless of their different income brackets. The minimum amount is one Sa` (two handfuls) of food, grain or dried fruit for each member of the family. This calculation is based on Ibn `Umar’s report that the Prophet (peace be upon him) made Zakah al-Fitr compulsory and payable by a Sa` of dried dates or a Sa` of barley. The Sahabi, Abu Sa`id al-Khudri said, “In the Prophet’s time, we used to give it (Zakah al-Fitr) as a Sa` of food, dried dates, barley, raisins or dried cheese”. [6]

*A Prophetic sa’ ( صاع ) is not a weight measurement.  It was and still is a measurement of volume, similar to the size of a large salad bowl.  It is made up of four mudds, and a mudd ( مد ) is a smaller container, close to the size of a small salad bowl. To be precise, a Prophetic mudd in modern volume measurements is .75L (or 750mL), which means that a sa’ is three liters.

Note: In today’s most commonly used scale of measurement of commodities are in kilogram (Kg.), which in this case – one sa’ is approximately between 2.5 Kg t 3.0 Kg. In the middle east, there are ready-made packs of rice in 3.0  Kg/Pack of rice which are intended for individual payee of Zakat al-Fitr.


[4] Collected by al-Bukhari – Arabic/English, Vol. 2, p.339, no. 579

[5] Collected by ibn Majah – English Trans., Vol. 3, Book 8, Hadith 1827 – rated Hasan

[6] Collected by al-Bukhari – Arabic/English vol. 2, p. 340, no. 582

[7] article of Dr. Bilal Philips in Zakat al-Fitr

Zakat Al-Fitr: Its legality and purpose

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Meaning

Zakah al-Fitr is often referred to as Sadaqah al-Fitr. The word Fitr means the same as Iftar, breaking a fast and it comes from the same root word as Futur which means breakfast. Thus, Islamically, Zakah al-Fitr is the name given to charity which is distributed at the end of the fast of Ramadan.

Classification

Sadaqah al-Fitr is a duty which is Wajib (required) on every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so. The proof that this form of charity is compulsory can be found in the Sunnah whereby Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet ﷺ made Zakah al-Fitr compulsory on every slave, freeman, male, female, young and old among the Muslims; one Sa` of dried dates or one Sa` of barley. [1] The head of the household may pay the required amount for the other members. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri said, “On behalf of our young and old, free men and slaves, we used to take out during Allah’s Messenger’s (peace be upon him) lifetime one Sa` of grain, cheese or raisins”. [2]

Purpose

The main purpose of Zakah al-Fitr is to provide those who fasted with the means of making up for their errors during the month of fasting. Zakah al-Fitr also provides the poor with a means with which they can celebrate the festival of breaking the fast (`Eid al-Fitr) along with the rest of the Muslims. Ibn Abbas reported, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) made Zakah al-Fitr compulsory so that those who fasted may be purified of their idle deeds and shameful talk (committed during Ramadan) and so that the poor may be fed. Whoever gives it before the Salat al-Eid will have it accepted as Zakah while he who gives it after the Salah has given (ordinary) Sadaqah.” [3] Hence, the goal of Sadaqah al-Fitr is the spiritual development of the Believers. By making them give up some of their wealth, the believers are taught the higher moral characteristics of generosity, compassion (sympathy for the unfortunate), gratitude to Allah and the righteousness. But, since Islam does not neglect man’s material need, part of the goal of Zakah al-Fitr is the economic well-being of the poorer members of society.


[1] Collected by Bukhari – Arabic/English, vol. 2, p. 339, no. 579
[2] Collected by Muslim – English transl. vol. 2, p. 469, no. 2155
[3] Collected by Abu Dawud – Eng. transl. vol. 2, p. 421, no. 1605 – rated Sahih by Shaikh Naser Al-Albani

[4] article of Dr. Bilal Philips in Zakat al-Fitr

Whosoever performs Qiyam during Lailat-ul-Qadr will have his former sins forgiven

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Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e., worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e., 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees. (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.” (97:1-5)

We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night [(i.e., the Night of Al-Qadr, Surah No:97) in the month of Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments (i.e., the matters of deaths, births, provisions, and calamities for the whole (coming) year as decreed by Allah). As a Command (or this Qur’an or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers). (As) a Mercy from your Rubb, Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (44:3-6)

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, Whosoever performs Qiyam during Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), with Faith and being hopeful of Allah’s reward, will have his former sins forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  Qiyam here means what keeps one awake to one’s capacity and for worship and makes one perform Nawafil, impels one to beg pardon for sins from Allah, urges one to praise Him. Especially, if a person performs ‘Isha prayer and Fajr prayer in congregation, he will hopefully attain all those distinctions which are mentioned in this Hadith.

(Riyad Us-Saliheen, Book of Virtues, Chapter 214, No. 1189)

Seek Lailat-ul-Qadr in the odd nights of the last 10 nights of Ramadan

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`Aishah (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to observe I`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan and say, “Seek Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree) in the odd nights out of the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhari].

Commentary:  We learn from this Hadith that Lailat-ul-Qadr occurs in any of the five odd nights — 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th — of the last ten nights of Ramadan. Its exact date has not been revealed for the reason that people keep themselves awake for prayer for a larger number of nights. Had its date been fixed, people would have kept awake for prayer only on that night. There is a general belief among the scholars that it is fixed, on the 27th night of Ramadan. But this is not correct. Ahadith does not confirm this view.

(Riyad Us-Saliheen, Book of Virtues, Chapter 214, No. 1192)