With the Islamic month of Ramadan upon us, Muslims are reminded once more of the importance of Zakat Al-Fitr that is given at the end of each fasting day.
Zakat Al-Fitr is a vital obligation during this blessed month and one that will earn immense reward from Allah, especially when it’s shared generously with those in need.
It is recorded by Abu Huraira (RA) that Muhammad صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهِ وَسَلَّم said: Whoever gives [zakat al fitr] before the prayer will receive its reward and the reward of [good deeds done later on] until the night comes; and whoever gives it after the prayer will receive its compensation but not [the tip of what he gave before hand].
Zakat Al-Fitr, a must-give charity for every financially stable Muslim who possesses the nisab amount. If one has surplus money that exceeds or equals his or her current expenses in Ramadan, then Zakat al Fitr is obligatory upon them. The nib is currently set at 10 grams for silver and 20 grams for gold, but many scholars have suggested lower amounts to cover basic needs such as food, water, clothing, etc., since nowadays zakat al Fitr can be given in the form of money. It is also recommended to pay beforehand and not wait until Eid day.
Suppose one misses giving it before Eid Salaah. In that case, it can be given after this time during Ramadan with no punishment except for those who do not own 10 grams of silver/20 grams of gold (niqab), but they must give 2 kg wheat, barley, or any other staple grain to those in need instead.
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It is strongly advised that if you cannot donate your Zakat al Fitr, please send the equivalent amount (in pounds) donated by someone else and ask them precisely whom they presented their Zakat al Fitr. This way, you will still receive the same (total) reward for giving your Zakat al Fitr because, in reality, your responsibility is to give it to those who are less fortunate than you.
Due to the importance of giving Zakat al-Fitr in Ramadan, one may wonder if there are further benefits when donations are made during this period. According to classical Islamic scholars, yes, there are! The Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهِ وَسَلَّم has stated that whoever donates in the month of Ramadan, the reward of 100 Hajj will be written for him/her until the day of Judgement.
This is such an incredibly generous gift from our beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهِ وَسَلَّم and one that we should all be very eager to take advantage of. Who wouldn’t like to receive a reward that “will remain” with them until the day of Judgement? Imagine, if we can fulfill this promise then we will forever be in Allah’s favor as He سبحانه وتعالى states: We shall grant to those who intend [to perform] goodness according to the best of what they ever did.
If this isn’t motivation enough, please consider the following: If one does not pay his or her Zakat al Fitr during Ramadan, it will be due on Eid Al-Fitr. The Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهِ وَسَلَّم said: Whoever fails to give their Zakat must fast for two months consecutively (to make up for that). However, if that same person repents and gives their Zakat before the next Ramadan comes in, they are absolved of that sin.
It is reported by Aishah (RA) that the Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهِ وَسَلَّم said: “Whoever feeds a fasting person with what they need to break their fast, will receive the same reward as them without anything being taken away from either’s the reward.”
So how can you take advantage of these fantastic opportunities this Ramadan? How about becoming even more generous than before and increasing your Zakat al Fitr donation?
A person striving to provide himself and his family with basic needs throughout Ramadan can benefit from further rewards by giving Zakat al-Fitr as a lump sum or several payments throughout this blessed month. Suppose one misses giving it before Eid Salaah. In that case, it can be given after this time during Ramadan with no punishment except those who do not have 10 grams of silver/20 grams of gold (niqab), but they must give 2 kg wheat, barley, or any other staple grain to those in need instead.