Dr. Mozammel Haque :: The blessed month is approaching to the end; only a few days and nights remain. Today is Tuesday, 25 Ramadan corresponding to 20th of June, 2017. Either Sunday, 25th or Monday, 26th of June, there will be Eid, Insha Allah, depending on the sighting of the moon of Shawwal. Eid Mubarak to you all. May Allah accept our good deeds.
I have already mentioned in my last week column the importance and significance of the last ten days and nights of the month of Ramadan. What I am going to write in today’s column seems to be repetition of the same but it is not. It is actually an interview carried out a few years ago with a renowned Islamic scholar, Professor Dr. Ahmad ibn Saifuddin al-Turkistani. He was a Professor at the Imam Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. As early as early 80’s when the Saudi Television started the Second Channel in English, there used to be an Islamic programme entitled “Islam In Focus” run by Dr. Ahmad ibn Saifuddin every Friday just after the Jumah Prayer. It was very popular to the English knowing immigrants, particularly in Jeddah, Hejaz. I was one of them. I had the opportunity to meet him in London when he came here at the Saudi Cultural Bureau, London. I conducted an interview with him at the last week of the month of Ramadan a few years ago.
“This is one of the days that we are so much happy to live, to observe. Today is Friday and Friday is the best day the Sun has ever risen on and today is one of the days of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the master of the months. This is a month of blessings, favours on us. We should be thankful to Allah the Almighty for what he has given us. We are many others deprived of not enjoying the mercy of the month of Ramadan. So Alhamdolillah. Alhamdolillah, Alhamdolillah,” said Professor Dr. Ahmad ibn Saifuddin Turkistani.
We have only a few days and nights are left but still they are very important. Only yesterday we have been receiving the month, just yesterday, 25 days past but still the best is there, the 27th night and 29th night of Ramadan; there is Lailatul Qadr. Professor Turkistani asked do you know what Lailatul Qadris and said, “It is better than 1000 months; by simple calculation, Lailatul Qadr is better than more than 83 years. Just imagine 84 years. The average life of Muslims, most Muslims die before their age; which means you are getting the reward of more than 83 years. Even better, because Allah Subhanahu wa Taala says Lailatul Qadr khairun. This is a golden opportunity; it’s a gift even to this Ummah and we shall take it. It’s worth to take a vacation, to take some days off your work; to leave all things at your hands and get this opportunity. Only a few days. Then they will be gone.”
Narrating the blessing of this month of Ramadan, Professor Turkistani said, “This night is so much blessed. The Angels will come down and will bring blessings and Allah Subhanahu wa Taala will forgive anyone who is committed to Allah on that night reciting the Glorious Qur’an, engage in prayer, doing all the good deeds that a person can do. Even if you stay awake all the night it’s worth it. When the last ten days come on his own life, the Prophet peace be upon him would avoid sleep during the nights of the last ten days. And he would stay away from his wives only concentrating on Ibadah. It’s worth it.”
“It is nine days or ten days for more than 83 years what a bargain. Why can you not use it brothers and sisters. This is what Allah Subhanahu wa Taalahas promised us. This stays until Fajr; until the coming dawn; so we shall be very much interested in this. Anyone who misses that he is a deprived one. Deprived. We shall not be deprived of this great prize, a great opportunity,” said Professor Turkistani.
What a blessing! What a gift!
Professor Turkistani also mentioned what a bargain it is. He said, “Just say a one good thing: SubhanAllah Alhamdo lillah La ilaha Illallah Allahu Akbar. It is like you have done for 83 years and 4 months. What a blessing; what a gift that is given to us this opportunity the biggest bargain. I do not see any bargain better than that. You see that? Even when people bargain, they go to stores and markets and online trying to buy the best thing that they need and they dream of. They say ouh; this is the biggest bargain; no, wallahe, the bargain is Lailatul Qadr. This is the biggest bargain.”
Professor Turkistani urged people “Please do not let it go away without cashing as much as you can; devote the rest of the time for Ibadah; because that will affect the rest of your life. It should, if you surely coming towards Allah with Taubah from your heart, from inside, then Allah will accept you, Insha Allah and then Insha Allah, you would be happy for the rest of your life. You would be guided on the straight path. So you keep on the truck until you meet Allah Subhanahu wa Taala. This is the time and that’s why Allah Subhanahu wa Taala promises that you stand with imaan and Ihtesab. imaan believing in Allah and believing in His Rewards and Ihtesaban seeking the rewards from Allah Subhanahu wa Taala alone; not from any one else and all your previous sins are forgiven. You fast the month of Ramadan all your previous sins are forgiven if again if you stand up in Salah during all the month of Ramadan and you should do it out of Imaan and Ihtesab and all your previous sins are forgiven.”
Professor Turkistani mentioned the first of those Ibadah is the Zakat-ul-Fitr. He said, “Zakat-ul-Fitr is the source of purification and feeding of the poor and the needy. It is a source of purification for yourself in case you have committed some sins and who amongst us has not committed something wrong in the month of Ramadan or any other time and it is something to feed the poor and the needy.”
How Zakat-ul-Fitr is estimated? Enquired Professor Turkistani and promptly answered, “It is estimated Soa as in the Hadith of Abu Sayeed al-Khudri (RA) follow the Rasoolullah peace be upon him. He gave examples, all these types of food. So it means that we should give Zakat-ul-Fitr in food, not in money. I know that Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahimullah) said it is permissible to do in money but the Prophet peace be upon him and the Companions did not give Zakat-ul-Fitr in money. They gave it in food. They could have given in money; they would pay Zakat-ul-Maal or any type of Zakah from wealth, from money. Zakat-ul-Fitr again so that the poor and the needy have not to seek on the day of Eid, they should be happy; they should enjoy with the rest of the Muslim community. That’s why, we should have to give it in food.”
Again, Professor Turkistani enquired, “How do we do it?” and answered, “Well, lets seek the poor and the needy in our community. If we have someone we know who is in need we shall give Zakat-ul-Fitr to these people. If we do not know people, then we shall give the money to the trusted charities and organisations that collect the money, buy the food and give it to the poor and the needy on your behalf. If not in this country; if this country would not have poor people to the extent that they can be receiving Zakat-ul-Fitr, there are many people up there, in Africa, Asia and throughout the Muslim World who need this food who cannot buy who stay at night starving.”
“In Syria, for example, as you have heard from your brothers, telling you that the Ulema in that country in their Fatwa people eat cats and rats because they do not have the food to eat. Situations because of the war going on in Syria; and the same thing with other people who are starving and do not have the food. This is the way to express your own sympathy with your brothers. This is something that you need to do and Zakat-ul-Fitr is a must. It’s not a choice and it is for everyone in the household, everyone. Even those who think they are poor; if they have a food for a day and a night, they should give out Zakat-ul-Fitr. If they have enough for one day, they should give Zakah to other poor people and the needy people and that would be a Saa,” said Professor Turkistani in his Khutba (Sermon).
How that would be translated into today’s measurement? Professor Turkistani asked and promptly replied, “It would be about two kilogram and a quarter. If you pay three kilograms of any types of food, rice, dates, barley, anything that people eat, which is an edible thing; something they can keep and preserve. You cannot give out, in meat, for example, or something that can be immediately consumed; cooked food, for example. It has to be a food that the poor and the needy can save and can prepare their own meals. For everyone in the household, young or old, male or female, the newly born, anyone born before the sun set of the last day of the month of Ramadan has to be given Zakat-ul-Fitr and it is the responsibility of the head of the household; those who spent is the man who is earning and even if it is the woman who is earning and spending in the family then it is their responsibility to pay.”
When shall we pay it? Professor Turkistani again enquired and said, “Not until before Eid day; at least two days before Eid and it shall be given out before Salat-ul-Eid, otherwise it would not be Zakat-ul-Fitr; it would be sadaqah. And it would not do its purpose unless it is done and given to the poor and the needy so that they can go for the Eid prayer and happy. They feel that they have enough and they can share with the Muslim community. Nice occasion and celebrate Eid along with them.”
Think about the people who became homeless due to the terrible horrific London Tower Fire at Kensington West London. Help those people with whatever you have and whatever you can give either food, clothes, material and donations. At this stage, this charity, this donation near to your home, near to your locality, near to your neighbour is most important and they deserve to have your Zakat, alms-giving and charity.
That was for Zakat-ul-Fitr. The second form of Ibadah is Takbeer. Professor Turkistani mentioned, “It is a Sunnah to do Takbeer starting from the Maghreb of the night of Eid until Eid prayer. How do we say, what do we say? Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar La Ilaha Illallah Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar walillahe wal Hamd. Any form of Takbeer is good to announce this and to obey Allah Subhanahu wa Taala as Allah said so you shall complete the number of days fasting and announce Takbeer. That’s why it is Sunnah to do Takbeer from the Maghreb to the Salat-ul-Eid in congregation. You say on yourself, you say it among Muslims, you say in the Masjid, in the house, anywhere wherever it is possible to pronounce loudly just to inform Muslims around you that this is the time of praising Allah and celebrate Eid.”
The third form of Ibadah during the end of the month of Ramadan is Salat-ul-Eid. Professor Turkistani mentioned, “We need to come to Salat-ul-Eid. Salat-ul-Eid is an obligation upon the whole community, but for every individual it is something strongly recommended. Some people choose to sleep on the morning of Eid and miss the prizes because during the day of Eid as people are coming to the prayer the Angels are standing at the doors giving prizes. You wouldn’t see them but belief me, if you have done well in the month of Ramadan you receive prize on the day of Eid. That’s why it is important to come to Eid prayer and to receive the prize and look and see that prize on the day of Eid. So on the Eid, take complete bath and then wear the must you have, put on perfume for man, but not for woman because you will attract the opposite gender, and then come to Salatul Eid to attend and celebrate with the rest of the community Eid. Everyone, man and woman, young or old, shall come to Eid prayer; without exception, even women who are having the menstruation. But they should avoid area of prayer, area of musalla. But they should come and be among the community to enjoy this occasion along with the rest of the Muslims. This is the third Ibadah.”
Fasting is prohibited on Eid Day
Fasting is prohibited on the day of Eid. “We need to break on the day of Eid of fast because it is prohibited to fast on the day of Eid,” said Professor Turkistani and added, “It is a gift from Allah and we shall receive it and how do we break we break it with date, one or three or five or more, eat single or odd number of dates on the day of Eid in your home before you come out. And it is Sunnah to go from one way and to return another way in order to meet as many people and to greet them on the day of Eid. Eid is the day of forgiveness, a day when you really forgive those who have done wrong to you. This is the time to show forgiveness and Allah who give you forgiveness in return.”
25 Ramadan, 1438
20 June 2017