Don’t Let Your Ramadan Fast Hang By Aremu Lateef Olalekan
We are at the closing days of the holy month of Ramadan. A period when there are many bounties to grab from the mercy of Almighty Allah (SWT). Among the benefits of this period is the opportunity to purify our fasts and foster unity in our societies through the payment of zakatul fitr or sadqatul fitr. Allah (swt) said in the Qur’an, “Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success and remember (glorifies) the name of his lord and prays “87vs14-15
According to popular tradition, the fast of a Muslim will hang in the balance until zakatul fitr is paid
Zakatul fitr derives the name fro iftar or futoor which means breakfast. Therefore, zakatul fitr or sadaqatul fitr means breakfast gift. Every Muslim is required to pay zakatul fitr at the end of the holy month of Ramadan as a token of thankfulness to Allahb (SWT) for having enabled him to fast. The purpose of zakatul fitr is to purify one’s fast from any indecent act or speech, and for the purpose of providing for the needy. It is accepted as zakah for those one’s who pay before eid and sadaqah for those who pay after eid.
Another reason for zakatul fitr is for the society to spread love and happiness among its members. Particularly the poor and the needy also purifies ones soul from such shortcomings as adoration of wealth and miserliness
Zakatul fitr is mandatory on every Muslim who possess one sa’a measure of date or barley which is not needed as basic food for himself or his family. Every Muslim must pay zakatul fitr for himself, his wife or wives, children and every other persons under his care including servants
Although there are divert opinions among scholars as regards when the payment is due but there is no controversy as at when payment ends. Zakatul fitr has to be paid before eid prayer
Islamic scholars hold different views as to the types of food which must be given as zakatul fitr. The Hanbali’s view is that only five foods can be given I.e date, raisins,wheat, barley and cottage cheese. Imam Ahmad is reported to have said that any type of grain is also allowed. The malikis and shafi’is are of the view that it is permissible to give any kind of food as long as it is the staple food in that area. Hanafi permits the use of money as equivalent for zakatul fitr.
The amount of zakatul fitr is one sa’a of food for one person (which is equivalent to four mudd) according to popular opinion. Therefore, a sa’a or four mudd for one person is the amount for zakatul fitr.
Zakatul fitr is to purify our shortcomings during Ramadan and also to serve as final push for our fast into acceptance. Therefore, for our fast to get a safe passage to Almighty Allah and not hang in the balance, it is compulsory on every capable fasting Muslim to pay the breakfast gift
May Allah (SWT) count us among those whom are forgiven, those whom are purified and those who approach their lord with spotless deeds. May Allah (SWT) accept our ibadah (Ameen)
Aremu Lateef Olalekan is a serving Corp member in Gombe state Nigeria
@aremulateef1 on twitter
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