Zakatul-Fitr: is one of the things that the Prophet, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, mandated upon all Muslims. Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of Allaah, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, made Zakatul-Fitr, one Saa’ (almost 3kg) of dates or one Saa’ of barley, obligatory on the Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old. He ordered that it should be given before people go out to the ‘Eid Prayer” [Al-Bukhaari]
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri, may Allaah be pleased with him said: “During the lifetime of the Messenger of Allaah, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, we used to pay one Saa` of dried dates or of barley, or of cheese, or of raisins.” [Al-Bukhaari]
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him explained the wisdom behind paying Zakatul-Fitr when he said: “The Messenger of Allaah, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, made Zakatul-Fitr obligatory as a mean of purifying the fasting person from idle talk and foul language, and to feed the poor. Whoever pays it before the prayer, it is an accepted Zakaah, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is just a kind of charity” [Abu Daawood]
Other acts of worship during Ramadan: During Ramadan, the Prophet, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, would continue performing the same acts of worship he used to perform before its arrival, and would actually increase, like in the case of the optional night prayers. The following are more acts of worship he, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, used to perform:
The recitation of Qur’aan and spending in charity: The evidence for this is the narration of Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, in which he stated: “The Prophet, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur`aan, and when he met him, he, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, would be more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (i.e. in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds)” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]. This narration proves that he, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, used to reach the highest level of generosity during Ramadan. He, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, did not only offer charity in the form of money, but rather he offered his time, knowledge, conveyed all that would benefit the people and guided them to the correct path, strove to help people fulfill their needs and sacrificed himself for the sake of spreading the religion of Allaah and making it supreme.
Ibn Al-Muneer, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, resembled the Prophet, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, with the uncontrollable wind, because this type of wind is the one that Allaah sends with rain and it spreads the rain on all the lands, fertile and non fertile and benefits it all. Likewise, the benefit of the Prophet, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him, overwhelmed all people”
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported: “The Messenger of Allaah Peace & Blessings be Upon Him used to review the Qur’aan with Jibreel once every year during the month of Ramadan, but on the year he died, he reviewed it twice. He, Peace & Blessings be Upon Him used to perform I’tikaaf every year in the month of Ramadan for ten days, and when it was the year of his death, he stayed in I’tikaaf for twenty days”. [Al-Bukhaari]
When reflecting on the practice of the Messenger of Allaah Peace & Blessings be Upon Him in worshipping one notices the following:
· His continual performance of virtuous deeds.
· Increasing his worship during the month of Ramadan over the rest of the months of the year.
· The feelings of mercy he harbored towards his nation, as he was always keen to guide and instruct them to that which benefits them the most.
· His practical implementation of the commands of Allaah.
· Not neglecting his duties due to fasting, were he used to pray all night and wake his family to pray.
We ask Allaah to enable us all to follow into his footsteps and exert our utmost during this blessed month.