Ask the Scholar about Zakat al-Fitr and Eid (Fatwa Session)

Dear Brothers/Sisters,

Thank you very much for joining us in this Fatwa session. We would like also to thank our guest, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, for answering the questions directed to him. You will find the answers of your questions below.

Saturday, May. 08, 2021 | 10:00 - 12:00 GMT

Session is over.
DISCLAIMER
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.  

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Q:

I have a non-Muslim servant at home. Should I pay zakat al-fitr on his behalf? Can he receive zakat al-fitr from me?

A:

Zakat al-Fitr is intended for the poor Muslims to help them celebrate Eid. Abdullah ibn Abbas narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) prescribed Zakat al-Fitr to purify the fasting person from frivolities and indecencies and provide provision for the poor (on the day of Eid). So, whoever gives it before the Eid prayer, it is a valid zakah; however, whoever gives it after the prayer, it is reckoned as an ordinary charity.” (Reported by Abu Dawud and others)

We read in another report attributed to the Prophet:  “Make them self-sufficient for the Day (of Eid).” (Reported by An-Nawawi)

We can infer two points from the above reports:

Zakat al-Fitr is an obligation on the Muslims; it helps redeem them and compensate for the deficiencies in their fasts. So, even as you do not pray on his behalf or give zakah or make hajj on his behalf, you should not give Zakat al-Fitr on behalf of your non-Muslim servant.

Secondly, it is intended for the poor Muslims to help them celebrate Eid.

However, there is nothing wrong with giving some percentage of it to the poor non-Muslims, especially if there is sufficiency.


Q:

What is the rate of zakat al-fitr this year? 

A:

Zakat al-Fitr is ordained for us to help the poor celebrate Eid. So, while giving Zakat al-Fitr, the primary consideration should be to provide them with the provisions for a full day’s meal. 

One should give it in the form of the country’s staple foods or the cash to buy the food.  The average cost of food for a day in Canada is ten dollars. However, as Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said, in the case of those who are in the habit of celebrating Eid through feasts, they should pay more.


Q:

Can we give zakat al-fitr in the form of meat?

A:

If one chooses to give food instead of cash, one should provide the staple foods which vary from culture or country to country. The following are the staple foods in various countries:   Rice, wheat, maize, millet, sorghum, starchy tubers, or root vegetables (potatoes, cassava, sweet potatoes, yams, or taro), and meat, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese, and dried legumes such as lentils in some countries.

Therefore, if we are to reason from the original intent and purposes of the legislation, we can say there is no harm in giving out meat if that is the staple food consumed by people in certain areas or countries.


Q:

Is there any duaa to be said when we pay zakat al-Fitr?

A:

There is no prescribed duaa to say while giving out Zakat al-fitr. However, it is good to offer the following Abrahamic supplication after giving it:

Rabbanaa taqabbal minnaa innaka antha al-ssameeu’l aleem

(Our Lord, accept this good deed from us; Indeed, You are all-Hearing and all-Knowing).


Q:

I forgot to pay zakat al-fitr because I was travelling, should I pay it later?

A:

Since Zakat al-Fitr is an obligatory duty, no one should neglect it as it would be a sin to do so. However, if anyone forgets or could not pay it before time, they should pay it later.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, told us, ‘if you give it before the Eid prayer, it would be reckoned as a zakah, if however, you were to give it after the prayer, it would be reckoned as one of the ordinary charities.


Q:

Is it permissible to give zakat al-fitr to my divorced maternal aunt who has no income?

A:

Zakat al-Fitr is intended for the poor; so, if your maternal aunt is poor, she is eligible to receive it. The Prophet said that giving charity to the poor relatives merits double rewards that of fostering the ties of kinship, and that of charity. Therefore, giving Zakat al-Fitr in this case to your maternal aunt would be a highly rewarding act on your behalf.


Q:

Is it OK to pay zakat al-fitr on behalf of my dead parents?

A:

Zakat al-Fitr is an act of worship; we are not to innovate new practices in the area of acts of worship.

There is nothing in the sources recommending us to pay Zakat al-Fitr on behalf of those who have passed away.

Therefore, we should not give Zakat al-Fitr on behalf of the deceased parents.

However, we may always offer charities on their behalf.


Q:

Is Eid al-Fitr prayer obligatory or sunnah?

A:

Zakat al-Fitr is obligatory on those who have the sufficiency above and beyond providing for themselves and their dependents on the day of Eid.

Therefore, everyone who is in this bracket should take it out to provide for those who are less fortunate and who cannot afford to support themselves on the Eid Day.

Abdullah ibn Abbas reported: The Prophet, peace be upon him, prescribed Zakat al-Fitr as a means of purification for the fasting person from frivolities and indecencies and for providing the provisions for the poor (for Eid Day).”


Q:

Should women offer Eid al-Fitr prayer?

A:

It is sunnah for women to come out to join the Eid prayer. Umm Atiyyah said, “The Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered us to bring the women including those who are young to the Eid place; those who are not eligible to pray should not join the Prayer, and yet they should witness the celebration.” (Reported by Muslim)


Q:

How should we offer Eid al-Fitr prayer?

A:

Like other nafl (optional) prayers, the Eid prayer consists of two rakahs with one difference: In the first rakah, after saying the opening takbir and before the recitation of Surat Al-Fatihah, there are seven takbirs with a brief pause after each. After the seventh takbir, Surat Al-Fatihah and another surah should be read.

In the second rakah, after the takbir of rising from sujud (prostration), one should say five takbirs, after which Surat Al-Fatihah and another surah are recited.

It is recommended to read Surat al-A`la during the first rakah after Surat Al-Fatihah and Surat al Ghashiyah during the second rakah. One may, however, read any other surahs, if he so wishes.

If a person joins the prayer after the imam has finished any of the takbirs, he does not have to do them, and his prayer is not affected.


Q:

What is the correct formula of takir on Eid al-Fitr?

A:

The precise words of the takbir are as follows:

اللّهُ أكبَر   اللّهُ أكبر   اللّهُ أكبر   لا إلَهَ إلا اللّه

اللّهُ أكبر   اللّهُ اكبر   ولِلّه الحمدَ

Allahu akbar-Allahu akbar-Allahu akbar- Laa ilaaha illa Allahu-Allahu akbar-Allahu akbar wa lillahi al-hamd.

(Allah is Great; Allah is Great; there is no deity but Allah; Allah is Great; Allah is Great; all praises to Allah.)

These words are repeated thrice; one may then follow them with a recitation of the following:

اللّهُ أكبرُ كَبيِرَا وَالحَمدُ لِلّهِ كَثِيرا وَسُبحَان اللّهِ بُكرَةً وَأصْيِلا

لا إلَهَ الا اللّه صَدَقَ وَعدَه وَنَصَرَ عبده وأعزَ جُنَده وَهزم الأحْزَابَ وحْدَه لا إلَهَ الا اللّه وَلا نَعبُد الا أياه مُخلِصِّينَ لَهُ الدّيِنَ وَلوْ كَرِهَ الكَافِروُن اللّهمَ صَلِّ على سيْدنَا مُحَمد وَعَلى آلِ سيْدنَا مُحَمد وَعَلى اصْحَابِ سيْدنَا مُحَمد وَعَلى أنصَارِ سيْدنَا مُحَمد وَعَلى أزوَاجِ سيْدنَا مُحَمد وَعَلى ذُرِّيَةِ سيْدنَا مُحَمد وَ سَلّم تَسْلِيماَ كَثّيرا

Allaahu akbar kabeeran wa al-hamdu lilaahi katheeran wa subhaana Allaahi bukratan wa aseelan Laa ilaaha illa Allaahu sadaqa wa‘dahu wa nasara ‘abdahu wa a‘azza jundahu wa hazama al-ahzaaba wahdahu Laa ilaaha illa Allah walaa na‘budu illaa iyyaahu mukhliseena lahu al-ddeena walaw kariha al-kaafiroon Allaahumma salli ‘alaa sayyidinaa Muham-madin wa ‘alaa aali sayyidinaa Muhammadin wa ‘alaa ashaabi sayyidinaa Muhammadin wa ‘alaa ansaari sayyidinan Muhammadin wa ‘alaa azwaaji sayyidinaa Muhammadin wa ‘alaa dhurriyyati sayyidinaa Muham-madin wa sallim tasleeman katheeran.

(Allah is the Greatest And all Praise is due to Him And Glory to Allah in the morning and evening there is no God, but Allah the Unique He has fulfilled His Promise and made Victorious His servant and made Mighty His soldiers and defeated the confederates; there is no God, But Allah, He alone we worship with sincere and exclusive devotion even though the idolaters hate it.

O Allah, bless our master Muhammad; bless the family of our master Muhammad; bless the companions of our master Muhammad; bless the helpers of our master Muhammad; bless the wives of our master Muhammad, and bless the progeny of our master Muhammad; and greet him and them, with abundant blessings and peace.)

There is no need to object to the above words as some people tend to do. It is pertinent to remember on this occasion that Jabir bin Abdullah, while narrating the story of Hajjatul Wada` (the farewell Hajj), said that the Prophet (PBUH) allowed people to add words of their own choice to the original words of talbiyah he was chanting, and he never objected to this (Muslim on the authority of Jabir bin Abdullah). The talbiyah is comprised of words (first sounded by the Prophet Ibrahim) one chants in response to Allah’s call to perform Hajj.


Q:

What surah should we read while offering Eid al-Fitr payer?

A:

Based on the reports from the Prophet, peace be upon him:

It is recommended to read surat al-A`la or Qaf in the first rakah

And surat Al-ghashiya or surah al-Qamar in the 2nd rakah.

However, there is nothing in the sources to suggest that we are not allowed to read any other surahs or verses.


Q:

If I miss Eid al-Fitr prayer, should I make it up?

A:

Yes. Like any other Sunnah prayer we miss, we may make up Eid prayer. However, we learn from some reports that Ali and Ibn Mas`ud recommended that we offer Four rakahs instead of two – if we miss the prayer with the imam.

 Perhaps it is intended to compensate for the khutbah one has missed while praying at home.


Q:

Is there any narration of the reward for Eid al-Fitr prayer?

A:

There is no specific narration from the Prophet (peace be upon him).

However, this does not mean that there are no rewards or blessings associated with Eid al-Fitr prayer.

Indeed, there are great blessings in it as it comes after the completion of the month of fasting; it has tremendous benefits:

It is an occasion of thanksgiving for the blessings of fasting.

Also, it provides an opportunity for Muslims to come together as a community to celebrate the remembrance of Allah and express joy, and exchange felicitations

It was for this reason that the Prophet (peace be upon him), ordered everyone, including women who are not eligible to pray to come out and be part of the communal celebration and festivities:

Allah says in the Quran:

{The month of Ramadan is that wherein the Quran was sent down as guidance to mankind, as clear proofs of guidance, and as the Criterion. Let him among you who is present fast during that [month]. And whosoever is ill or on a journey, it is a number of other days. God desires ease for you, and He does not desire hardship for you. [It is] so that you may complete the number and magnify God for having guided you, that haply you may give thanks.}(Al-Baqarah 2:185)


Q:

What are the sunnah acts of Eid al-Fitr?

A:

Eid al-Fitr is the celebration of the completion of the month of fasting; thus, it is intended to be an occasion for giving thanks to Allah and developing communal bonds by gathering together.

Here are the acts recommended for us to do to celebrate the occasion:

  1. Takbirs to glorify Allah: Takbir should start upon the sunset of the last day of Ramadan until the Prayer.
  2. Bathing before coming out to the gathering; wearing some nice scents and putting on the best of one’s clothes;
  3. Eating a little snack like a few dates to signify the end of the fasting month.
  4. Listening to the khutbah or sermon of Eid.
  5. It is also recommended to change the routes: taking one route while going and another while returning to gain enhanced blessings.

Q:

Should I perform ghusl for Eid prayer before or after Fajr?

A:

It is OK to perform ghusl either before or after Fajr Prayer, for the idea is to appear in a clean state by ridding oneself of all offensive odors or smells.


Q:

Is laylat al-qadr the same in all countries?

A:

We know from the traditions that the Laylat al-Qadr falls on the odd nights; we do not know anything in the sources to speculate on this issue. So, we should leave it to Allah. We ought to apply ourselves to worship so that we can hope to gain the blessings of the most blessed night. We may do well to remember that, unlike His creation, Allah is beyond space and time.


Q:

How should we observe laylat al-qadr?

A:

In answering this question, I would like to cite here one of my earlier answers:

Laylat al-Qadr may fall in any of the last ten nights of Ramadan. It is the most blessed night, and in the words of the Qur’an, it is more superior than a thousand months.

Moreover, the Prophet said, “Whoever spends the night of Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking the rewards from Allah, all of their sins will be forgiven.” (Ibn Hibban)

Aishah, the beloved wife of the Prophet, peace be upon him said, “When the last ten nights of Ramadan approached the Prophet, peace be upon him, would tighten his belt to perform extra acts of worship and also awaken his family to do the same.” (Ibn Hibban)

He also advised us to seek the night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan.

Now coming to specific duties that we can perform while seeking the night of Qadr, let me list the following:

Offering extra voluntary prayers is one of the great deeds to consider:

You may pray as many numbers of rak` ah in two’s and two’s but you should pray witr at the end; if you did pray witr earlier, you don’t need to repeat it.

There is no specific number of rak’ ahs of prayer to attain the blessings of the night of Qadr.

Therefore, you are free to choose to pray as many rak`ahs; however, ideally, it would be best to pray eight rak`ahs on top of taraweeh.

If you are a busy person, you may pray what you can afford to Allah.

Allah is All-Merciful; He rewards each person according to his energy, stamina, and specific circumstances. So, never despair of the mercy of Allah and pray as best as you can, while topping it up with dhikr istighfar and supplications, and offer charities or even other virtuous deeds you can afford.

Here is a special du’a that the Prophet, peace be upon him, told his wife Aishah:

Allaahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbu al-‘afwa fa’fu annee

(O Allah, You are the Forgiving and You love to forgive, so forgive me.”


Q:

How should menstruating women observe laylat al-qadr?

A:

The menstruating women or those who are experiencing post-natal bleeding should not offer prayers. However, this in no way means that they cannot partake of the blessings of the Laylat al-Qadr: They can make dhikr, offer supplications and engage in all other virtuous acts they can do. Allah’s mercy is infinite and embraces everyone; He has told us that He rewards everyone according to their circumstances and abilities.


Q:

Salam, I live in a non-Muslim country.  Everything has animal ingredients in it.  For example plastics, leather, medicine, lotions, creams, shampoos, detergents,  brushes, paints, food containers, and lots more.  I feel like I need to inquire about every single thing, but that is not even possible, and even if its possible these things are almost impossible to avoid.  Even if I become extra cautious myself, I cant expect that from everyone around me.  Because of these things, I have waswasa that everything is filthy and worry that everything has animal fats (which is quite true), and this is causing me immense hardship.  Can you give rukhsa due to hardship living in non-Muslim land?  Can I assume tabdeel mahdiya for everything where the fat was used to make something else?  I cant inquire about everything, and even if I do, it is too difficult to avoid such things.

A:

Wa alaykum as-salam wa rahamtullahi wa barakatuh

There is no need to worry about this issue. As per the rules of jurisprudence, we have relaxation in unavoidable matters. So, even if these things may contain ingredients that are considered haram, they are excusable. There are two rules in fiqh from which the above ruling has been deduced:  The first is the rule of Umum al-Balwa. According to this rule, if something is so rampant or so widely used so that it becomes virtually impossible to avoid them, then we are excused.

Another rule that can apply is the rule of Istihala or Tabdil al-Mahiya. According to this rule, if a substance that was haram has been chemically transformed so that its original traits are changed, then it is no longer haram. An example is the permissibility of alcohol turned into vinegar. Since the vinegar, in this case, has been wholly transformed in such a manner that the original traits of liquor have been diluted and rendered ineffective, it is unquestionably halal.

Based on the above rules of fiqh, the use of the products you have mentioned above can be considered halal.

Finally, I would advise you against being obsessed with this issue. The Prophet, peace be upon him, warned us against being rigid in religion. He said, “Woe to those who are rigid.” He repeated the words thrice. He also said, “Whoever adopts an attitude of rigidity in religion, he will be defeated by it.”

Therefore, you should ignore such issues and instead focus on far more critical matters.

Finally, never leave the habit of reading the last three surahs of the Quran; by reading and reflecting upon them, we can guard against unknown fears and insinuations of Satan.

I pray to Allah to guard us against the whisperings of Satan until we breathe our last.


Q:

Is 3d realistic animation prohibited in Islam?

Assalam o alikum. Can we animate 3d characters that seems to be realistic (vfx)? and  can we animate new character faces and creature that don’t exist?

A:

Wa alaykum as-salam wa rahamtullahi wa barakatuh

The use of animations as a medium of communication is allowed based on how and for its purpose. If used for educational purposes and for conveying ethical and moral ideas or messages and thus conform to the Islamic guidelines, it is halal. Otherwise, it would be considered Haram.

In other words, the rule to apply to it is the rule in regards to any media, print, electronic, or computers, devices, including microphone and others. If they are used for a good purpose, in a halal way, it is halal; if used for spreading corruption, providing fake news, or sowing doubts and confusion and hatred, then it is Haram.

I would cite here the advice of a famous writer:

“Do not write with your hands (or pen) anything you would not wish to appear in your record on the Day of Judgment.”

Therefore, review your work where it would fall. If you are using your work to promote virtue and encourage truth and patience, it is halal. Then it would help if you went forward with it. Otherwise, it would be best if you channel your energies for something better and rewarding.

May Allah inspire us to love faith and good works, and may He make us abhor disbelief and corruption and vices of all sorts.


Q:

As Salam Alakum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

I have a 11 year old daughter, she is extremely stubborn and disrespectful towards me and my family. I have tried everything to help her with her attitude but nothing change. She did therapies, I explain her so many times that how hurtful it is for me and how I feel, I also explained her multiple time that what Quran and Allah says about to be disrespectful towards her elders especially the mother. She always says yes I know and then she is the same after few hours. I am so frustrated with her attitude. She is so so stubborn that if I told her to read namaz, she will wait until it will get kaza. She is never disrespect towards her father (step father, which she doesn’t no). If I will tell her that I am going to tell your dad you are not listening, then she will do it … but with him it feel like she does because she is scared not because she love him, she doesn’t like to communicate with him, even though he loves and care about her more than anyone … But I am scared that once she will grow little older she will stop listening him either. She is always says such a hurtful comments towards me, like one time she said, I am a very dum person, or I am good enough for her or she hates me. It hurts me so much.. I spoke to her Quran teacher and she even explain her all this but no change, she hear from one ear and out from the other and sometimes she will act like she is not even listening what I am saying.. she pretend so well, once she is out in the public she will act like so well behaved that no one can tell that she is the same person.. it seems like she has two faces.. I am scared and frustrated at the same time with this behavior of her.. she never helps me with anything, she has zero interest with any house holds stuff.. all she cares is about what  should she wears and looks, I love her but some times I don’t feel like talking to her, I always pray to Allah to show her the right path and make her heart soften.. I had an endless crying nights bcz she hurts me so much… I don’t no what should I do, my brain stop working now, my patience is giving up, I feel like I am done with everything, I feel zero strength.. I need help!!! Please advise before I completely give up

Jazak Allah Khair

A:

Wa alaykum as-salam wa rahamtullahi wa barakatuh

I can empathize with your situation very well. I pray to Allah to give you comfort in your spouse and children.

I am not a psychologist or therapist.  I would advise you to ask the site editor to refer you to a professional Muslim therapist. He or she would be the best person to advise you on how to deal with this situation.

However, I must also advise you not to be overly concerned about this issue. As an Imam serving the community in Toronto for over four decades, I have seen children who were rebellious once turning out to be excellent and amicable, and loving.

So, it could be a phase she is going through. So, instead of adopting an approach of ordering her around or threatening her and being strict with her, you should simply set an example for her and let her be motivated to emulate your example.

In fact that was the way the Prophet taught the young people. Anas ibn Malik was ten years when he came to help the Prophet in his chores. And he stayed with him for ten years until the Prophet died. Anas says that the Prophet never condemned him for any wrong he did or something good he failed to do. In other words, the Prophet’s way of teaching him was by setting examples. They say that children learn what we practice and not what we order or preach.

So, be gentle and loving with her and pray for her; Insha Allah, she will change.

Again, please ask the editor to refer you to a therapist for professional help.

I pray to Allah to give you comfort in your spouse and children.


Q:

Salam, i have 2 questions if that’s okay.

1. Make-up products that have traces of animal products, are they halal as i assume they go through chemical transformation?

2. How do i stop overthinking, i keep on doubting myself if my good deeds will be accepted, or if i have eaten anything haram, najis etc? More on notes ✍🏾 Section

A:

Please refer to the answer to a similar question posted above.


Q:

Asalam o alaikum Sheikh,

Hope you are well.

One of my friends have committed near to zina sin, but not actual zina, but he is so depressed that he cant feel Allah, he feel like he has lost his emaan, he has lost his connetion with Allah as he used to have, now he has repented, he feel remorsefull, guilty & trying to be better muslim, but his past sin flashbacks in his mind, its been 8.months he doesnt feel Allah, he says will.he be able to feel.Allah.again & do he deserve pious , righteous spouse, as Allah says pious man are for pious woman & vice versa, so does he still qualify for this when he has repented & changed his life? Pls he is in desperate need of answer. So that he can get back to normal life.

A:

Wa alaykum as-salam wa rahamtullahi wa barakatuh

Islam teaches us that no matter how ugly our sins are, the door of repentance is wide open. However, one must take proper steps to seek repentance and change one’s life.

For further details, you may refer to the answer linked below:

The Door of Repentance Is Wide Open


Q:

Asalamulikum plz confirm me what is the exact time for tajjuid prayer and how much before prayer of fajr it can be performing

A:

Wa alaykum as-salam wa rahamtullahi wa barakatuh

Tahajjud prayer can be performed any time before the arrival of Fajr. The time starts when one wakes up from a sleep after Isha; it extends all the way to the time of Fajr.

It is reported that a man asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, how to perform the night prayer (i.e. tahajjud), the Prophet replied, “The night prayer should be prayed in two rakahs cycles; then when one fears the arrival of Fajr they should close it off by praying at least one rakah of witr.”

So, we may pray tahajjud after a brief sleep or more and wake up and pray, and we should finish praying before Fajr and end the entire series of the night prayers with witr at the end.

However, if a person prayed witr early before going to bed, they need not repeat the witr; it is reported ‘there cannot be two witr prayers in a single night.”

I pray to Allah to accept our prayers and devotions in this blessed month.