Monthly Archives: July 2014

Ramadan Whispers – what is Eid ul Fitr?

Reproduced from http://www.albalagh.net/general/shawwal.shtml

 

Eid-ul-fitr

The second meritorious aspect of Shawwal is that it has been chosen by Allah Almighty for the celebration of “Eid-ul-fitr”, one of the only two annual festivals recognized by the Shari’ah. This happy day is designed by the Shari’ah as a sign of gratefulness by the Muslims on the accomplishment of Ramadan, and as an immediate reward by Allah for those who spent the month of Ramadan in fasting and performing other forms of ‘ibadah.

Instead of commemorating an event from the past, the Shari’ah has prescribed the first of Shawwal as an annual festival for the Muslims at an occasion when they themselves accomplish a great ‘ibadah. This approach reminds the Muslims that they should not rely only on the accomplishments of their ancestors, rather, they should themselves perform meritorious acts to please their Creator.

In prescribing the ways to celebrate the happy day, Islam has adopted another unique approach. The festivals of other religions or nations normally comprise of some acts of rejoicing and enjoyment. The whole happy day is normally spent in dancing, singing and playing.

In contrast, Islam has prescribed a simple yet graceful way to observe the happy day. First of all, it is mandatory on all the well-off Muslims to start their day by paying “Sadaqat-ul-fitr” to the poor of their society, so that they, too, may enjoy the day along with others, and may not be worried for earning their livelihood at least on that day of happiness.

After paying the “Sadaqat-ul-fitr”, the Muslims are required to proceed to an open place where they can offer the Eid prayer collectively. In this way, they are supposed to present themselves before their Creator and offer two rak’ats of this special type of Salah, which makes them receive blessings from Allah and start their celebration by these divine blessings.

After the Salah also, they are supposed to rejoice the day in a responsible manner, without violating the limits prescribed for them and never indulging in the acts prohibited by Allah.

Keeping this point in view, we will now discuss specific rules prescribed for observing the day of Eid-ul-fitr.

The Night Preceding ‘Eid-ul-Fitr’

It had been the practice of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, that he would not sleep in the night preceding the day of Eid-ul-fitr. This night has been named in a Hadith as the Night of Reward (Lailatul Jaiza). Almighty bestows his rewards on those who have spent the month of Ramadan abiding by the dictates of Shari’ah, and all their prayers in this night are accepted. Therefore, it is desirable to perform nafl prayers in this night. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is reported to have said:

Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die. (Ibn Majah)

To benefit from this opportunity, one should perform as much worship in this night as he can, and should pray for all his needs and desires.

Before Going to Eid Prayer

The following acts are prescribed as Sunnah at the beginning of the day of ‘Eid-ul-Fitr before proceeding to the Eid prayer:

1. To wake up early in the morning.

2. To clean one’s teeth with a Miswaak or a brush.

3. To take a bath.

4. To put on one’s best available clothes.

5. To wear perfume.

6. To eat a sweet food, preferably dates, before the Eid prayer.

7. To recite the following Takbir in the low voice while going to the ‘Eid prayer:

Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar La Ilaha Ila Allah Wa Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahi Alhamd

 

Ramadan Whispers – how to avoid a manic Eid

  1. Avoid cleaning the house from top to bottom
  2. Do not shop for curtains, linens, kitchen or bathroom mats mid year when there is no new stock in or sale on
  3. Do not mow the lawn at 4 ‘o’ clock in the afternoon while fasting and while the sun is blazing hot
  4. Avoid sorting through oodles and oodles of statements, invoices, paper
  5. Order Eid clothes well in advance of two weeks prior to Eid or do not order Eid clothes at all
  6. Include accessories – jewellery, handbag, shoes, scarf
  7. Do not do Eid sweet boxes for any friends or family
  8. Do not bake
  9. Do not attempt to decorate the house
  10. Avoid buying toys for children thereby avoiding having to take off price stickers, wrapping, tagging, and delivering
  11. Avoid giving in to teenaged Baker Daughters who try to convince you that they can execute their grandiose gift ideas with minimal input from you
  12. Avoid assisting teenaged Baker Daughters in the execution of their over-ambitious plans
  13. Avoid giving in to teenaged son’s plug for gifts for his friends
  14. Avoid buying gifts for spouse, children, nieces, friends

Ramadan Whispers – unforeseen sadaqa

On Friday past, BD and I were caught on our way home at fast-breaking time. A stop by Larry’s Old Fashioned Bakery proved futile (BH reminded me it was Larry’s sabbath) and Harold’s fish & chips line was waaayyyyyyyy too long. What to do, what to do, we couldn’t go to the nearest masjid (only 2 of the 6 masjids/musallahs have facilities for women:)), a call to MK, no answer, ah wait, grapes in car, no wait, Uncle Iq nearby, no calling, just driving there, ringing doorbell and voila – soft soft dates, maghrib, biryani, raita, falooda, jello and custard. And thanks flowing both ways – from BD and me for being allowed to eat and from Uncle Iq and Auntie F for being allowed to feed us!2014-07-27 12.49.57

Sadqat-ul-Fitr

You remember that BD and I were helping out with articles for the locally published Ramadan Message in a daily newspapers. So, reviewing Bro S’ article for Saturday, which speaks to sadqat-ul-fitr, and not quite jiving with the phrasing of a particular sentence, I did the usual search. Here are some rules of sadqat-ul-fitr:

 

  1. Sadqat-ul-Fitr is a purification for those who fasted from vain speech and sins that may have been committed by them during their days of fasting. 
  2. The Prophet (s.a.w.s) declared it compulsory upon the young and old, the male and female, the liberated slave and the servant. 
  3. It is a purification for the body, food given to the poor, and comfort to the needy.
  4. A Muslim man is required to give Sadaqat’ul Fitr on behalf of himself, as well as those who are under his care such as his wife, children, family. Please note, Mufti at muftionline.co.za/ responded to a question on this payment for wife and mature children:

    Q: If a father discharges sadaqatul fitr on behalf of his wife and baaligh children without their permission, will the sadaqatul fitr be discharged?

    A: He should take their permission before discharging the sadaqatul fitr. However if he did not take their permission, the sadaqatul fitr will only be discharged in the case where they are under his care. 

  5. Imam Shafi’ee, Malik and Ahmed recommend that an individual fulfils it for his unborn child. 

  6. The place which one gives his Sadaqat’ul Fitr is the city in which he resides, and where he completed the whole Month. That is preferred so that all Muslims rejoice in comfort together.

  7. Eid ul Fitr begins from the setting of the sun on the night of Eid (i.e., when the new moon is sighted on the night before), and it continues until the Eid Salaah (on the next day), and it is permissible to distribute it one or two days before Eid if that is necessary as is found in Bukhari as being the practice of the sahabah. (Rasool s.aw.s said: )

  8. Those worthy of receiving it are those worthy of regular Zakaat.

  9. There are differing views as to whether it is to be given in the food items which the Prophet s.a.w.s gave  or in cash –

    Abdullah Ibn Umar RA is reported to have said; Rasûlullâh SAW instructed us to give Sadaqatul Fitr; 1 Sa’ (a measure used at the time of Rasûlullâh SAW) of dates or 1 Sa’ of Barley. Abdullâh Ibn Umar RA mentions that the Sahabâh RA later gave 2 Mud Sa’) of wheat in place of dates and barley. (Bukhari 1511 and Muslim 7232)

  10. A Saa’ is a volumetric measure and equals 3 Litres zakat-fitr-measurements-saa-three-litres-mudd.htm. Mufti has said 1/2 saa’ is 1.592136 Kg.
  11. There are differing views as to whether the sadqat-ul-fitr is allowed to be remitted overseas.

Move that branch b(r)other

Today, as I was on my way back to the office from jummah salaat, cruising along the byway, there was a man, walking along the tree shaded path outside of the BHL grounds, and what did he do? He paused, bent down and moved a long twig off the flower-strewn path and put it on the grassy verge. It brought to mind the hadith of Rasool (s.a.w.s):

“And removing a harmful thing from the path is a charitable act.”

The gentleman could have very easily stepped over the twig, but chose not to.