Zakah al-Fitr in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Baghawi

In the midst of surah al-‘Aalaa, Allah informs us:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ * وَذَكَرَ اسْمَ رَبِّهِ فَصَلَّىٰ

He has certainly succeeded – he who tazakkaa * and mentions the name of his Lord and prays [87:14-15]

The word tazakkaa refers to purification, either purification of one’s self (such as in the related term tazkiyyah al-nafs) or purification of one’s wealth (such as in the related term zakah). In his commentary on these ayaat, the famous mufassir Abu Muhammad al-Husayn al-Baghawi wrote:

ـ ( قد أفلح من تزكى ) تطهر من الشرك وقال : لا إله إلا الله . هذا قول عطاء وعكرمة ، ورواية الوالبي وسعيد بن جبير عن ابن عباس وقال الحسن : من كان عمله زاكيا . ـ

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ

He has certainly succeeded – he who tazakkaa

who purifies himself from al-shirk and says laa ilaaha illallaah – there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. This was the explanation of ‘Ataa’ and ‘Ikrimah, as well as being relayed from ibn ‘Abbaas by way of al-Waalibi and Sa’eed ibn Jubayr.

al-Hasan al-Basri explained it by saying, “Whoever’s actions are pure.”

وقال آخرون : هو صدقة الفطر ، روي عن أبي سعيد الخدري في قوله : ” قد أفلح من تزكى ” قال : أعطى صدقة الفطر . ـ

Meanwhile others say that this is referring to the zakah al-fitr. It is relayed from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri regarding this ayah that he explained it by saying, “[He has certainly succeeded – he who] gives the zakah al-fitr.” Continue reading

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“Be more concerned about the acceptance of deeds than the deeds themselves”

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his discussion of saying farewell to Ramadan:

ومَن نقص من العمل الذي عليه نُقِّصَ من الأجر بحسب نقصه ، فلا يلم إلا نفسه . قال سلمان : الصلاة مكيال ، فمن وَفَّى وُفِّي له ، ومن طَفَّفَ فقد علمتم ما قيل في المطففين . فالصيام وسائر الاعمال على هذا منوال ؛ من وَفَّاها فهو من خيار عباد الله الموفّين ، ومن طَفَّفَ فيها فويل للمطففين . أما يستحيي من يستوفي مكيال شهواته ، ويطفف في مكيال صيامه وصلاته ، ألا بعدا للمذنبين . في الحديث < أسوأ الناس سرقة الذي يسرق صلاته > . إذا كان ويل لمن طفف مكيال الدنيا ، فكيف حال من طفف مكيال الدين ! <فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ * الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ >.ـ

Whoever is deficient in actions which then results in a reduction in reward according to his shortcomings, then he has no one to blame except himself. Salman said, “The ṣalaat is a measurement, so whoever fulfills their due then he will be repaid in full for it, and whoever is deficient in fulfilling their due, then you already know what is said concerning the muṭaffifeen [see 83:1-6].” So fasting and the rest of the actions follow this same pattern: whoever fulfills their due then he is from the best of the slaves of Allah who fulfill their due, and whoever is deficient in fulfilling their due then woe to the muṭaffifeen

Isn’t he ashamed, the one who fulfills the full measure of his desires and falls short of fulfilling the full measure of his fasting and prayer? Rather, the sinful one is on the brink of destruction! And the hadeeth mentions, “The worst of people in thievery is the one who steals from his prayer”. Then if there is woe for the one who falls short of fulfilling the due measure in this dunya, then what about the one who falls short of fulfilling the full measure of the deen!?So woe to those who pray but they are heedless of their prayers” [107:4-5] Continue reading