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The first day after the month of Ramazaan is Eid al-Fitr, the celebration of fast-breaking.  Very likely, in the last few days of Ramazaan, mosque and other organization starts collecting obligatory post-Ramazaan charity due for the poor Muslims called as Zakat al-Fitr.


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Zakat al-Fitr

One of the companions of the Prophet said, "Messenger of Allah made Zakat al-Fitr obligatory to purify the fasting person from indecent words or actions, and to provide food for the needy.  It is accepted as Zakat for the person who gives it before the Eid prayer, but it is mere charity (like any other) for the one who gives it after the prayer." Abu Dawood 1622, Nasa'i Vol 5:550 and Ibn Majah Vol 1:585


Benefits of Zakat al-Fitr

(a)   It purifies the person who fasted Ramazaan and cleanses him of indecent talk and minor sins performed during Ramazaan.

(b)  This Eid is a day of eating and drinking, as the month prior to it was one of fasting. Zakat al-Fitr ensures that even the poorest of Muslims will partake in this outward show of festivity..

(c)   Paying Zakat al-Fitr is required of every Muslim capable of giving for himself and on behalf of every family member under his care.


Social benefits of Zakat ul Fitr

It eradicates begging. Life standard rises since everybody can get the basic necessities of life without spreading their hands before others. Who pays it should have mercy and kindliness on his needy brothers, and God will have mercy on the merciful ones. Strengthening the Muslims and improving their conditions. It breaks down social and economic barriers between Muslims. It distances the Muslims from arrogance. An arrogant man looks down on others, often those with less money. [2]


The Quantity of Food

The quantity of food to be given out per person is roughly equal to four handfuls of the two hands held together.  Its weight will be different for different foodstuffs.  The Prophet'sCompanion Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri said: "In the lifetime of Allaah's Messengerwe used to give Zakatul-Fitr on behalf of the young and the old, the free man and the slave, as one Sa’ of food, or one Sa' of cottage cheese, or one Sa’ of barley, or one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of raisins." Sahih Al-Bukhari 1510 (Vol. 2, Book 25, Hadith 586)


The Type of Food

The staple food of the people in your area may be given.  Dates, barley, wheat, olives, raisins, wheat, and dried yogurt used to be commonly eaten food in the time of the Prophet.  Today,  rice, beans, wheat and similar foods are more common.


Eid al-Fitr

“Eid” means a day of social gathering.  In Islam there are only three festivals:

(a)   The yearly Eid al-Fitr

(b)  The yearly Eid al-'Adha

(c)   The weekly Friday.


Eid al-Fitr is a major festivity for the Muslims, a time for gratitude to Allah and family bonding. On this day people greet one another and visit relatives and friends. Elaborate dishes are prepared and new clothes are worn.


The following are some recommended acts to be performed on Eid:

a)     Ghusl or bathing early in the day before the Eid prayer.

b)     Beautifying oneself: The Prophet used to wear his best clothes to go to the Eid prayer.  He had a cloak that he wore specifically on the two Eids and Friday.

c)     Eating something in the morning: Allah's Messenger would not leave his house on the day of Fitr until he had eaten some dates.

d)     Saying Takbeer is a distinctive feature of Eid and is mentioned in the Quran: "…And that you should exclaim Allah's greatness for having guided you, so that you may be grateful." Quran Surah 2:185


See also

Eid; Eid ul Fitr; Eid ul Adha; Islam; Ramazaan



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