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Zakat

Posted on: August 12, 2008

Allah (SWT) says in the Quran-e-Majid that one who gives “Zakat” and remembers Him will get salvation. Here, Zakat means “Fitra” and remembrance of God means the recitation of the following Takbir on the night and morning of Eid al-Fitr.

“Allaaho Akbar, Allaaho Akbar, Laa ilaaha illallaah wallaaho Akbar, Allaaho Akbar, Wa lillaahil hamd. Alhamdulillah alaa maa hadaanaa walahu Shukr alaa maa aulana.”

The meaning of the above is: “Allah is Great, Allah is Great there is no one worthy of prayer but Allah, and Allah is Great; Allah is Great, all praise be to Allah, it is He Who guides.”

Zakat al-Fitr is a small amount that Muslims are obliged to pay as charity at the end of Ramadan. Zakat al-Fitr is often referred to as Sadaqah al-Fitr (voluntary charity). The word Fitr means the same as Iftaar, breaking a fast and it comes from the same root word as Futoor which means breakfast. Thus, Islamically, Zakat al-Fitr is the name given to charity which is distributed at the end of the fast of Ramadan.

Zakat al-FitrFitr is compulsory on those who can afford it, and it is a sin not to give it.

Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.) has said that fasts do not attain perfection without Fitr just as Namaz is not accepted without invoking the blessings of Allah on Mohammad (S.A.W.) and his Aaal (A.S.) in Tashahhud. Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.) used to instruct his accountant to take out Fitr for each individual including slaves and servants male and female of his household without exception, as, he feared that one whose Fitr was not taken out might die within that year.

Fitr is dependant on the major item of food consumed by a person during the year. These may be rice, wheat, barley, dates, etc. In weight Fitr should be three Kilograms per person. It is also permissible to pay cash to the value of three Kilograms food grains.

It is obligatory on the head of the family to give Fitr of all persons (including servants of both sexes of any cast or creed) that take food in his house.

If a guest Muslim or non-Muslim arrives at one’s house before the night of Eid al-Fitr and dines with his host, it is incumbent on the latter to give the former’s Fitr. If the guest arrives after sunset of the night of Eid al-Fitr. Fitr is not obligatory even if he dines with his host. Even when the guest arriving before sunset does not dine, Fitr is obligatory on the host. In this it is better if both the host and the guest give Fitr.

If one’s wife is at her parent’s on the night of Eid al-Fitr, her parents should take out her Fitr.

On the last day of the month of Ramadan, if a person arrranges a Majlis which finishes afer sunset (Magrib) and if, he offers Niyaz or food to his guests, he does not have to give Fitr for them.

Fitr should be given to deserving Momins who do not have enough income for the maintenance of their families for the whole year.

Fitr cannot be given to one’s dependants. But, it is better to give it to non-dependant deserving relatives. Next in order of preference are deserving neighbors and then any other deserving pious persons. Fitr from Syeds can be given to Syeds or non-Syeds. Fitr from non-Syeds cannot be given to Syeds.

If deserving persons are not really available, Fitr should be sent to places where such persons are found, or the amount should be sent to a Mujtahid who would do the needful in distributing the same.

It is not essential that the recipient of Fitr is an “Aadil” (just), but it is necessary to ensure that it is not given to anyone likely to use it in acts of sin, e.g. drinking liquor, gambling, etc.

Although it is permissible to send Fitr to any place it is preferable if it is distributed to a deserving person locally.

The time for giving Fitr is from the night of Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan Eid) up to the noon (Zohr) of Eid al-Fitr. If this is not possible for some reason the amount of Fitr should be set apart from his other monies and disbursed when deserving person is available or it may be sent to a Mujtahid for required distribution.

It is stated that Fitr ought to be given to pious persons and not those who indulge in sin.

Eid al-FitrIN RETROSPECT:

And now that the Holy Month of Glory (Ramadan) has departed and Eid is over, let us look back to the lessons it has taught us, and let us pray to God that the things we observed the recitation of the Holy Quran, the saying of Prayers (Namaz) regularly, the charity which we did, the poor that we fed, the good manners and self-restraint that we observed, should be with us in our everyday lives and these are the very ACTS that take us nearer to Allah.

And Allah has said, “Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me.” (2:152)

“If ye are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; But if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.” (14:7)

And to those who have been indifferent and have wished that there was no such thing as this month of Ramadan and who on sighting the New Moon had a dejected face, should remember this Ayat of the Holy Quran.

“Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell – in humiliation!” (40:60)

But can ye not see, O men, the mighty workers of God in the heavens and the earth? The dark-some splendor of the night with the stars, and the daylight splendor of the sun? How the earth with its spacious expanse and its mountains, yields moisture and pasture, and feeds and sustains men and cattle, through God’s Providence?

AH! Transgress not all bounds and earn not the fire of punishment, but fear God and His Judgment, and prepare for the Garden of Perpetual Bliss.

ZAKAT AL-FITR and ZAKAT (ZAKAH) are different: (Alms giving, Charity)

Over the centuries, it has become a practice among the Muslims to offer their Zakat (Zakah) in the month of Ramadan. This is generally done to increase one’s blessings. However, we should remember that Zakat (Zakah) becomes due, one year after a person’s wealth reaches the value of Nisab (minimum amount) for a type of item (Gold, Silver, Savings, etc) and according to most scholars, his wealth has to remain above that Nisab level throughout the course of the year. So it is impossible for the whole Ummah to have reached the obligation of paying Zakat (Zakah), at the onset of Ramadan. We should be clear in our minds that Zakat (Zakah) is not tied in with the month of Ramadan. An individual can bring forward his Zakat (Zakah) due date (notice: not push back), in order to take advantage of the multifold blessings of Ramadan. In fact, to make it easy on the recipients whose needs have to be met, one might chose Ramadan for the extra Sadaqa he gives out.

Finally, Zakat (Zakah) is not simply the calculation of your dues on your Gold and Silver ornaments. Its scope and implication is wide-ranging. As such, it requires us to be diligent and aware of various details relating to our context and various forms of wealth. At the minimum, a learned scholar should be consulted.

Source: http://www.ezsoftech.com/ramadan/ramadan06.asp

India clinched its first ever individual Olympic gold medal in 108 years when Abhinav Bindra won the 10 meter air rifle event in one of the most pulsating shooting finals in the history of the world’s biggest sporting extravaganza.

The historic victory for the 25-year-old pro from Chandigarh came against heavy odds as he entered the event ranked number 17 in the world and pitted against Athens Olympic champion Zhu Qinan of China and Henri Hakkinen of Finland rated much higher than him.

But Bindra proved that reputation and history counted little as he overcame a two-point deficit against Zhu and Haikkinen after the qualifying round and annexed the title.

Bindra emerged triumphant in the 10-shot final with a finish of 104.5, taking his tally of points to 700.5 as against Zhu’s silver winning performance of 699.7 (597+102.7) and 699.4 (598+101.4) by Hakkinen, which gave the Finn Army marksman the bronze.

His first shot of the final a 10.7 saw him move to the third place and by the time he was preparing to shoot his fourth, the Indian had risen to the second spot.

A 10.6 on his seventh attempt earned Bindra the lead and in the deciding shot he got 10.8, way ahead of 10.5 by the Chinese and 9.7 by the Finn to bring India the first ever gold medal by an individual since the country first participated in Olympics in 1900.

The businessman from Chandigarh also ended India’s wait for a gold since the hockey team fetched a yellow metal in the Moscow Olympics in 1980.

“It can’t better than this. Can it?” an elated but composed Bindra said soon after achieving the feat.

“I sincerely hope my medal changes the face of India’s Olympic sports,” the bespectacled shooter told reporters.

As Bindra bowed his head to receive the gold medal from the Princess of Lichtenstein, a small country in central Europe, and the Indian national anthem was played out for the first time in this edition of Olympics, the shooter had his feet firmly on the ground, betraying little emotions.

“For me, life will go on as usual but I sincerely hope Olympic sports get a leg-up. It’s not a priority back home and I hope more focus is paid to these events like shooting,” he said.

Asked about his scorching run in the finals, Abhinav said it was a conscious plan to pull out all stops and it paid off.

“I entered the final as fourth, which means I had to go all out for it. That’s why I was so aggressive and it paid off in the end. I guess it was my day,” he said.

Bindra, whose career at one stage was jeopardised by a nagging back injury, said it was not easy to keep himself keyed up all along.

“I worked hard, left home and trained in Germany. It only proves that if you keep working hard, you would have your day someday and fortunately, it was my day today.

“My parents, family and coaches stood by me all along and I owe it to them,” he said.

Even in his hour of supreme glory, Bindra was magnanimous towards his rival when he applauded Zhu for his performance and said “he should be happy that he won a medal”.

Bindra’s compatriot Gagan Narang too almost made it to the final but was ruled out on countback. Gagan scored 595, levelled at the fifth place but lost out on a final place in countback.

Source: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/Abhinav-Bindra-wins-Indias-first-ever-solo-Olympic-gold/347366/


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