The Night of Al-Qadr & Zakatul-Fitr
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
We are in the last ten days of Ramadan. So it is appropriate to speak about two things in this speech:
The night of Al-Qadr (power, honor, decree) and Zakatul-Fitr (break fast charity).
First: The night of Al-Qadr is a great and blessed night. It is better than one thousand months (i.e.83years&4 month). What are the reasons of this greatness, and what are the blessings in this night? Qur’anic verses and ahadeth answer this question.
Allah (S.W.T.) said, mentioning the revelation of the Qur’an in surat Ad-Dukhan,( verses 3-6) What roughly translates as, "We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed Night (i.e. Night of Al-Qadr). Verily, We are ever warning (mankind of Our Torment). Therein (that Night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. Amran (i.e. a command or this Qur’an or His Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the messenger). (As) a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower."
Also Allah (S.W.T.) said, what roughly translates as, "Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’an)down in the Night of Al-Qadr. And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr is? The Night of Al-Qadr is better than thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh (i.e. Gabriel) by Allah's Permission with all Decrees, Peace! until the appearance of dawn!"
Allah (S.W.T.) had revealed the Qur’an in the night of Al-Qadr from Alluwhul-mahfouz that is (the preserved tablet in the heaven to the house of Al-Izzah in the sky of the earth. In this night, revelation of the Qur’an to the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) had started. Also, in this night everything is laid down in detail with no change. Of these things, are his sustenance and life span etc. In this night, the angels with Gabriel are ordered to come down to earth.
In this night, the angels give their salam to the believers and Allah (S.W.T.) destined goodness and peace. It is a night that is better than a thousand months. Doing good deeds on this night is better than doing good deeds in a thousand months.
There are many ahadith that explain the degree of importance of this night:
Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said,
"Whoever spends the night (Al-Qadr) worshipping Allah and seeking his forgiveness, his past sins will be forgiven."
When is it?
Allah (S.W.T.) had designated the date of this night to the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and made him forget it because of an argument between two people. The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said to his companions, "I went out to tell about the date of the night of (Al-Qadr), but I was made to forget it because so and so started arguing and this may have been better for you. Seek it in the ninth, seventh and fifth night." (i.e. twenty-first, twenty-third, and twenty-fifth of Ramadan.)
Imam Bukhari reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said to his companions, "I have seen this night and I was made to forget it, seek it in the last ten nights especially in the odd nights, In my dream, I had seen myself making sojood in water and mud, it had rained that night, which was the twentyfirst. Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree who narrated that hadith said, "I had seen some mud and water on the prophet's face when he was leaving from fajr prayer.
Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that: a group among the companions of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) had seen the night of (Al-Qadr) in there dream in the last seven night. The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "I see that you dreams are in agreement (that is in the last seven nights) so he who wishes to seek it out then let him seek it in the last seven nights."
What should we say?
Aishah (R.A.) said, "O Messenger of Allah! What if I knew which night (Al-Qadr) was, then what should I say in it?" The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "O Allah you are the one who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me."
Second: Another important issue to be discussed during these blessed days is: Zakatul-Fitr (break fast charity). It is obligatory on each Muslim young or old, male or female, rich or poor, if he owns extra food exceeding his and his dependents needs for one day and one night. A Muslim should pay on his behalf and on the behalf of his dependents that he has to support such as his children and his wife etc.
Zakatul-Fitr was made obligatory in the second year of immigration to Madinah in the same year fasting Ramadan was made obligatory.
The proof of its obligation was found in many authentic Ahadith such as:
Imams Bukhari and Muslim and others reported that Ibn Omar said, "the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) ordered the Muslims to pay Zakatul-Fitr using a saa', measuring of full of dates, wheat, or rye obligatory on the free or slave, male or female, young or old of the Muslims. He also ordered it to be given before Eid Prayer.
What is acceptable to give from?
Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree said: "We used to give Zakatul-Fitr as a saa' of food or a saa' of dates or a saa' of barley, or a saa' of raisins, or a saa' of dried curds. I will continue to give it away as I use to do in my past life.
Saa' is a measuring can used in Madinah and is still used today. The scholars have different opinions when it comes to weighing. The least estimation is 2751 grams, and the most is 3800 grams which is 8.38 lb.
The majority of the scholars said that you could give what is equal (by weight) of the types of food that is mentioned in the last Ahadith and you cannot pay money instead. However, Imam Abu Hanifah said that you could pay money because the purpose of Zakatul-Fitr is to make the poor rich in that day, and money is more beneficial for them. According to that opinion the amount of money that you can pay is from five to seven dollars per person.
When should it be given?
It should be given before Eid prayer. The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "If a person gives it before Eid prayer then it is accepted, and if a person gives it after the prayer, then it is merely a charity."
To whom should it be given?
Zakatul-Fitr is given to poor Muslims, whom their income is less than their basic needs. Because the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) described it as food for poor.
The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) had mentioned two wisdom. As a purification for those who fasted from loose and indecent talk, and also to feed the poor.
NOTE: The Social and Welfare committee in the Islamic Center, collect this charity and distribute it to needy Muslims. If you would like to pay through that committee, deposit your donation in the donation box, in the lobby. Please pay it as soon as possible so they can distribute it before the day of Eid.