OPPORTUNITY SELDOM KNOCKS TWICE

OPPORTUNITY SELDOM KNOCKS TWICE

We miss lots of our relatives and friends who are no more amongst us and Allah along knows that how many of us will be missed during the next Ramazaan. The occurrence of death is certain and nobody knows where and when the angle of death will meet him. Wise is one who always gets preparation before the time by taking advantage of the opportunities.

A golden opportunity namely Lailatul Qadr knocks at the doors of every believer during the last ten days of Ramazaan. It is narrated on the authority of Hazrat Aayeshah (RA) that when the last ten days of Ramazaan would come, the Rasool of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم would spend night in Ibaadah, wake his family, exert himself and tighten his Izaar-waistcloth.

Lailatul Qadr is an odd night amongst the last ten days of the blessed month and is greater in spiritual value than a thousand months. Informing the significance of this night Allaah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala says, “Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months. Allaah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala grants a believer who worships Him in this night the reward of the Ibaadah equivalent to the Ibaadah of eighty three years and four months and forgives his previous sins. The Rasool of Allaah صلي الله عليه و سلم is reported as to have said, “Whoever stands (in prayer) during the Night of Al-Qadr with faith and expecting reward (from Allah), he will be forgiven for his previous sins.

One who wants to prepare himself for eternal life will consider the last ten days of Ramazaan as spring season for him. He will happy spend these days and nights in the Ibaadah secluding himself by sitting persistently at the door of his Creator to attain His pleasure and get the reward of the grand night. The man certainly will return home getting his wishes fulfilled from the treasure of his Creator who is the most Gracious and most Merciful.The Rasool of Allaah صلي الله عليه و سلم used to spend the last ten days of Ramazaan secluding himself in Majid in search of Lailatul Qadr. This seclusion is termed as I’tikaaf. It is narrated on the authority of Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) who said, “Allaah’s Messenger would make I’tikaaf for ten days in every Ramazaan.  But he made I’tikaaf for twenty days in the year he parted from this world”. Therefore, it is Sunnah of the beloved Nabee صلي الله عليه و سلم to perform I’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramazaan. 

Fortunate would be those who appreciate the last ten days of Ramazaan and give these days and nights the true importance they deserve. “Opportunity seldom knocks twice”. 

I’TIKAAF

I’tikaaf literally means to seclude oneself and technically it refers to secluding oneself with an intention of I’tikaaf in a Masjid where five daily Salaah are performed.

TYPES OF I’TIKAAF

There are three types of I’tikaaf; Waajib, Sunnah and Nafl.

WAAJIB I’TIKAAF

It is an I’tikaaf which a person makes obligatory on himself by making a conditional or unconditional vow.

SUNNAH I’TIKAAF

It is the I’tikaaf performed during the last ten days of Ramazaan. If some people of the locality perform then it will be accomplished from the rest. But if none does then all will be sinful.

NAFL I’TIKAAF

There is no specific time for this Nafl I’tikaaf. It can be performed for a short period of time. Therefore, it is desirable to make the intention of I’tikaaf when entering Masjid.

I’TIKAAF FOR WOMAN

A woman can observe I’tikaf at the place where she performs five daily Salaah or at any other place in her home specified for Salaah while performing I’tikaaf provided that she has got her husband’s consent for performing I’tikaaf and is not in the state of menstruation and post-natal bleeding.  

FACTORS ESSENTIAL FOR I’TIKAAF

Ø       To perform I’tikaaf in a Masjid where five daily Salaah are performed in congregation. This condition is only for men. As far as women are concerned, their Masjid is the place where they perform the five daily Salaah.

Ø       To make the intention of I’tikaaf

Ø       To be clean from major impurities

ACTS NOT PERMITTED WHILE PERFORMING I’TIKAAF

Ø       To go out of the place where I’tikaaf is performed without any natural need such the need of toilet, having Farz Ghusl or Shari’yee necessity like going to perform Jumu’ah Salaah when it is not performed in the place where I’tikaaf is made. If one comes out from the place of I’tikaaf for the stated needs then he should go back immediately after fulfilling the same. To leave the place of I’tikaaf even for a moment is not permitted. If some goes out without any natural or Shari’yee need then his I’tikaaf will be invalid and the Qazaa will be Waajib. Attending funeral Salaah, visiting relatives or sick person, having common bath, smoking and similar things are not considered amongst the Shari’yee or natural needs.

Ø       To have sexual relation. Kissing, embracing and all other acts that lead to intercourse are also impermissible in the state of I’tikaaf but these things will not invalidate the I’tikaaf as long as they do not cause ejaculation.

ACTS MAKROOH TAHREEMEE IN THE STATE OF I’TIKAAF

Ø       To engage oneself in worldly affairs without any extreme necessity

Ø       To keep silent thinking it Ibaadah

ACTS RECOMMENDED WHEN MAKING I’TIKAAF

Ø       To recite the Glorious Qur’aan

Ø       To perform Nafl Salaah

Ø       To engage oneself in Ibaadah and religious activities 

ZAKAAT-THE GREAT PILLAR OF ISLAM

Zakaat is one of the five pillars of Islaam and it is an important factor in the Muslim society, ridding it of poverty and establishing consideration of the poor in the hearts of the wealthy. This is the pillar that makes Islaam unique and special because it encourages trade and yet it instills the fervor of generosity in the hearts of the believers. Rasulullaah صلي الله عليه و سلم has been reported to have said that the Zakaat will be taken from the rich and given to the poor.

The beauty of the Zakaat is that it is only calculated from excess wealth that is with a person for more than a lunar year. Only 2.5% is taken from the excess wealth and handed over to the poor.Zakaat in reality means purification. In the Shariah it refers to the purification of one’s wealth from all that was accumulated in a manner that the Shariah does not allow but done unknowingly.

The giving of Zakaat is a means of prevention of calamities befalling our society. Rasulullaah صلي الله عليه و سلم is reported to have said “No nation rejects giving of Zakaat except that Alaah inflicts them with drought.” In another Hadeeth it is narrated by Sayyidina Umar رضي اله غنه that Rasulullaah صلي الله عليه و سلم said, “No loss of wealth takes place except due to holding back your Zakaat.”

As for the Zakaat, its compulsion and how it is to be calculated, these are all mentioned in one beautiful Hadeeth of our beloved Rasool صلي الله عليه و سلم which clearly mentions all these factors. Sayyidina Ali كرم الله وجهه narrated from Rasulullaah صلي الله عليه و سلم, “When you possess 200 Dirhams and a year passes over it then you will give 5 Dirhams (in Zakaat). As for gold there is no Zakaat until it reaches 20 Dinars. When you possess 20 Dinars and a year passes over it then you should take out a half Dinar. Whatever amount you have more will be calculated likewise.” The narrator mentions that he does not whether the words ‘the calculation will be likewise’ is the statement of Ali or he has mention it as the word of Rasulullaah.” There will be no Zakaat on wealth until a lunar year passes over it.” The above-stated Hadeeth which has been classified as Saheeh by Imam Bukhaari is a clear proof of the amount to be paid in Zakaat is 2.5 % and not 5 % as some so called scholars claim.

WHO IS LIABLE TO PAY ZAKAAT

Zakaat is obligatory for every sane, adult and free Muslim/Muslimah to pay the 2.5% of property if he/she possesses the Nisaab, free from his/her initial needs and debt for a whole lunar year whether one possesses the same by one’s own earning, gifts or any other lawful sources.

WHAT’S NISAAB

The amount that makes one liable for Zakaat is called Nisaab. The Nisaab of gold is 7.5 Tolas = 87.48 grams while the Nisaab of silver is 52.5 Tolas = 612.36 grams. The Nisaab of assets other than gold and silver such as merchandise, cash and so on, is the equivalent of that of 612.36 grams silver. Moreover, one who possesses gold less than 87.48 grams or silver less than 612.36 grams but after combining, the value of both becomes equate to the value of either the Nisaab of gold or silver, one will be liable to pay Zakaat.When a person becomes liable for Zakaat possessing any Nisaab, the Zakaat of the other assets also becomes Waajib whether it reaches the Nisaab or not. For instance, a man who possesses 87.48 grams gold and silver less than 612.36 grams which is not reaching the Nisaab, is liable to pay the Zakaat of gold and silver as well. This is because he has become liable for Zakaat by possessing the Nisaab of gold.

ZAKAAT ON PEARLS AND DIAMONDS

There is no Zakaat on any other metal except gold and silver. Pearls, diamonds or any other precious stones are not subject to Zakaat unless they are for trade.

ZAKAAT ON ANIMALS

Zakaat is also Farz on animals such as cow, buffalos, sheep, goat and so on. The Nisaab of every animal differs from the other. The detail is not stated here.

ZAKAAT ON LOANED AMOUNT

It is not necessary to pay Zakaat before recovering the loaned amount, but after getting it, Zakaat should be paid for the whole period. (Raddul Muhtaar: 2/12)

ZAKAAT ON AMOUNT DEPOSITED IN BANK

If the person possesses Nisaab then Zakaat will be Waajib on the amount deposited in the Bank.

ZAKAAT ON FACTORY

Zakat will have to be paid on the products and incomes earned by the factory and not on the land or factory if it has not been purchased for business purpose. (Raddul Muhtaar: 2/11)

ZAKAAT ON JEWELRY MIXED WITH GOLD AND OTHER METALS

If the quantity of gold exceeds all other metals that the jewelry contains, the jewelry will be regarded as gold and Zakaat will be Waajib on it, if it is equal to the Nisab, 88 grams approximately. (Fatawa Al-Hindiyyah: 1/179)

TYPES OF SADAQAH

There are two kinds of Sadaqah; Waajibah and Nafilah.Waajibah is the Sadaqah, which is necessary to pay such as Zakaat, Sadaqa-e-Fitr and so on, and Nafilah is the one, which is optional like giving money in charity.

RECIPIENTS OF ZAKAAT AND FITRAH

The Glorious Qur’aan mentions eight Masarif-recipients of Zakaat:

1)       Fuqaraa (those who possess more than basic need but do not possess wealth equal to the Nisaab)

2)       Masaakeen (people who are extremely needy to the extent that they are forced to beg for their daily food ration)

3)       Wal-Aamileen (those who are appointed by the Islaamic head of state or government to administer the funds of Zakaat, though they are rich)

4)       Muallafatul Quloob (the category of those whose hearts are to be reconciled in the interest of Faith and Muslims. It includes the rich as well.)

5)       Ar-Riqaab (liberation of slaves and ransoming of the prisoners of war held by the enemy)

6)       Alghaarimeen (those who are heavily indebted and not able to cope on their own)

7)       Fee Sabeelillah (the needs relating to the defense and protection of faith and supremacy of the Word of Allah)

8)       Ibnussabeel (those who are travelers in the view of Shariah and during the course of their journey do not possess basic necessities, though they are rich at home)

The above-mentioned people are the recipients of Sadaqah-e-Fitr and other Waajib Sadaqaat as well. 

GIVING ZAKAAT OT NON-MUSLIMS

It is not permitted to give Sadaqa-e-Wajibah to non-Muslims while Sadaqa-e-Nafilah can be given to them. One should not give Sadaqa-e-Wajibah to a person unless one becomes certain that the person is a Muslim. Since, non-Muslims are not amongst the recipients of Sadaqat Waajibah. Therefore, if some body gives Zakaat to a person thinking that he/she is a Muslim and then comes to know that the person was a non-Muslim, the Zakaat will not be valid and should be paid once again.

ZAKAAT TO NEEDY RELATIVE

It is not only right to give Sadaqah to a needy relative but also it causes double virtue i.e. virtue of Sadaqah and virtue of Silatur Reham (maintaining ties of kinship). But, here are some conditions; one cannot give ‘Zakaat’ and ‘Sadaqatul Fitr’ to one’s father/grandfather, mother/grandmother, son/grandson, daughter/granddaughter and spouse, since they are one’s own family members on whom one has to spend, while one can give to other relatives. It is undesirable to give Zaakat more than Nisaab to one person, but if a person is immersed in debt or is in need of money more than Nisaab then it is no matter if he is given a big amount of money.As far as the matter of common charity (Nafl sadaqah) is concerned, one can give it to one’s entire relative regardless of the nature of relationship. Better, give Sadaqah to more than one person especially when it is in larger quantity. But, if the relative is in need he/she can be given big amount of Sadaqah.

SADAQA-E-FITR

Sadaqa-e-Fitr is a kind of charity paid on the day of Eid Al-Fitr as recompense of Sawm and a token of thankfulness to Allah for blessing with a sacred month. It also helps poor and needy people share joy of Eid with their family members. The amount paid for Sadaqa-e-Fitr is half Sa’ of wheat or its flour which is approximately 1.769 grams and complete 2 kilograms as a precaution or its equivalent in cash.

ON WHOM SADAQA-E-FITR IS WAJIB 

Sadaqa-e-Fitr is Wajib for every individual, male or female, young or child who possesses Nisaab in any form even it is clothes, furniture etc free from his/her initial needs and debt on the Day of Eid Al-Fitr.

TIME TO PAY SADAQA-E-FITR 

It is better to pay Sadaqa-e-Fitr before leaving for Eid Salah. But if not paid, it must be paid without any delay. 

 PAYING SADAQA-E-FITR IN RAMAZAAN

If someone pays Sadaqa-e-Fitr during Ramazaan then it is paid and no need to pay it again.

RITUAL OF EID DAY

The following rituals are Sunnah on the day of Eid Al-Fitr:

Ø       To get up early in the morning.

Ø       To do Miswaak.

Ø       To take a bath.

Ø       To put on the best available cloths.

Ø       To apply Itr—perfume.

Ø       To eat something sweet like date before going to the Eid Gaah

.Ø       To pay Sadaqa-e-Fitr before leaving for Eid Salah.

Ø       To go to the Eid Gaah as early as possible.

Ø       To perform Eid Salah in the Eid Gaah.

Ø       To walk to the Eid Gaah by one way and return by the other.

Ø       To recite Takbeer ‘اللہ اکبر، اللہ اکبر، لا الہ الا اللہ، و اللہ اکبر، اللہ اکبر، و للہ الحمد’

Ø       (Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Laa ilaaha illallahu, Wallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa lillahil Hamd) in a low voice on the way to the Eid Gaah.

METHOD FOR PERFORMING EID SALAH

The method for performing Eid Salah is as follows:

Ø       Make an intention to perform two Rakaat Eid Salah behind the Imam with six additional Tabeers.

Ø       After the Imam has pronounced ‘Allaahu Akbar’ raise both the hands up to the ears, palms are towards Ka’ba saying ‘Allahu Akabr’ and place them just below the navel holding left wrist with thumb and little finger of the right hand and putting other three fingers on the left hand.

Ø       Recite Sana سبحانک اللھم و بحمدک و تبارک اسمک و تعالیٰ جدک و لا الہ غیرک’(Subhanakallahumma Wabihamdika Wa Tabarakasmuka Wat’ala Jadduka Wa Laailah Ghairuk)

Ø       Before reciting Fateha and other Surah, Imam will pronounce TakbeerAllahu Akbar, three times. Follow the Imam raising hands and putting them on both the sides. After the third Takbeer, put both the hands as you did in the beginning of the Salah.

Ø       Listen to the Imam when he relicts.

Ø       Follow the Imam in Ruku’ and Sajdah as you do in other Salah.

Ø       In the second RakAat, Imam will pronounce Takbeer thrice before going to Ruku. Follow him raising hands and putting them on both the sides. He will go to Ruku’ pronouncing fourth Takbeer. Follow him pronouncing Takbeer without raising hands and go to the Ruku’.

Ø       Other practices of Eid Salah are similar to that of general Salah. The only difference between Eid and other Salah is the additional Takbeers.

EID SALAAH FOR WOMEN

Congregation is necessary for the validity of Eid Salaah while women are not commanded to perform any Salaah in congregation. (Shami1: 410) Therefore, there is no Eid Salaah for women.   But they are also recommended to take bath, put on the best dress they have. Since the day of Eid is the day of rejoicing and adoring within the limit prescribed by Islaamic Shariah. Women can perform two Rakaat Nafil Salaah individually, after the Eid Salah has been performed in the Eid Gaah, as thanks giving to Allaah.   

WISH ONE ANOTHER ON EID OCCASION

It is permitted to wish one another on the occasion of Eid more preferably with ‘Taqabballahu Minna Wa Minkum’–may Allah accept from you and us, and with other similar words too.

SIX SAWM OF SHAWWAL

Observing six Sawm in the month of Shawwal enjoys a great significance in Islaamic Shariah. The Prophet (SAWS) is reported as to have said, “Whoever observes the Sawm of Ramadan and follows it with six Sawm of Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted Dahr (the whole year).”These Sawm may be observed from the next day of Eid continuously or in any six different days in the month of Shawwal

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