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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Khutbah at the Beginning of Shawwaal: Imam al-Sa’di

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di authored the following khutbah for the beginning of the month of Shawwaal, immediately following the month of Ramadan:

الخطبة الأولى لشوال
Khutbah at the Beginning of Shawwaal

الحمد لله الذي افتتح أشهر الحج بشهر شوال ، وجعله متجرا لنيل الفضائل والإفضال ، فسبحانه من إله عظيم متفرد بصفات الكمال والجلال ، عالم بالسرائر والبواطن وجميع الأحوال . ـ

Allah praise is due to Allah, the One who has opened the months of the Hajj with the month of Shawwaal and has made it a marketplace to obtain virtue and goodness. So exalted is He, the Magnificent deity beyond compare in His perfect and sublime characteristics, the One who knows the secret matters, the concealed affairs, and all things.

نحمده على فضله وكرمه ، ونشكره على أياديه ونعمه ـ

We praise Him for His bounty and generosity, and we thank Him for His blessings and favors.

ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له الكبير المتعال ، شهادة تنفي الشرك وتنافي الضلال ، نرجو أن يختم بها حياتنا ويؤَمّننا بها من المخاوف والأهوال . ـ

We testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, with no partners, the Great and Most Exalted. This is a testimony that negates al-shirk and opposes misguidance. We hope to conclude our lives with this testimony, and it gives us peace in the face of fear and fright. Continue reading

Benefits of Fasting Six Days of Shawwaal: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali begins his discussion of the activities and virtues of the month of Shawwaal by mentioning the famous hadeeth from Abu Ayyoob that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ , ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَهُ سِتًّا مِنْ شَوَّالٍ كَانَ كَصِيَامِ اَلدَّهْرِ

Whoever fasts Ramadan and then follows it up with six days of Shawwaal, it is as if he fasted the entire year.

[Saheeh Muslim #1164]

After a discussion of the hadeeth‘s chain of narration, the different views concerning it and the fiqh positions surrounding it, Ibn Rajab mentions the following points of great benefit about fasting six days of Shawwaal following the completion of Ramadan. He writes:

 وفي معاودة الصيام بعد رمضان فوائد عديدة: ـ

There are a number of benefits in resuming fasting after Ramadan:

 منها : أن صيام ستة أيام من شوال بعد رمضان يستكمل بها أجر صيام الدهر كله ، كما سبق . ـ

○ As has already been mentioned, one benefit is that fasting six days of Shawwaal after Ramadan will complete the reward of fasting all of the time.

 منها : أن صيام شوال وشعبان كصلاة السنن الرواتب قبل الصلاة المفروضة وبعدها ، فيكمل بذلك ما حصل في الفرض من خلل ونقص . فإنّ الفرائض تكمل بالنوافل يوم القيامة ، كما ورد ذلك عن النبي ﷺ من وجوه متعددة . وأكثر الناس في صيامه للفرض نقص وخلل ، فيحتاج إلى ما يجبره ويكمله من الأعمال ؛ ولهذا نهي النبي ﷺ أن يقول الرجل : صمت رمضان كله ، أو قمت كله . قال الصحابي : فلا أدري ، أكره التزكية أم لابد من غفلة . وكان عمر بن عبد العزيز رحمه الله يقول : من لم يجد ما يتصدق به فليصم . يعني من لم يجد ما يخرجه صدقة للفطر في آخر رمضان فليصم بعد الفطر ؛ فإن الصيام يقوم مقام الإطعام في التكفير للسيئات ، كما يقوم مقامه في كفارات الأيمان وغيرها من الكفارات ، مثل كفارة القتل ، والوطء في رمضان ، والظِّهار . ـ

○ Another benefit is that fasting in Shawwaal and Sha’baan is like the sunan al-rawaatib [regularly observed optional] prayers before and after the obligatory prayers, for those make up whatever defects and deficiencies took place in the obligatory prayers. For on the Day of Resurrection, the obligations will be perfected and completed by the optional deeds, as has been narrated from the Prophet (ﷺ) via numerous paths. And most people have some defects and deficiencies in their obligatory fasts, so they are in need of the actions which will make up for those and patch them up. It was for this reason that the Prophet (ﷺ) forbade any person to say, ‘I have fasted the entire Ramadan,’ or ‘I have done all of the night prayers.’ Al-Sahaabi said, “I do not know whether this was in censure of self-praise or that one should be cautious of heedlessness.”

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez (rahimahullaah) said, “Whoever does not find anything to give in charity, then let him fast,” – meaning whoever does not find anything to bring forth as zakat al-fitr at the end of Ramadan should fast after ‘eid al-fitr. For when it comes to expiating one’s sins, fasting can take the place of feeding others, just as it takes the place for expiating a [broken] oath and other such expiations, such as the expiation of murder, sexual intercourse during the days of Ramadan, and thihaar divorces. Continue reading