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Aqeedah and Fiqh

UPDATED! The Permissibility of Zakat for Islamic Dawah Organizations: A Detailed Analysis

zakah.gif*The conclusion or answer to the question of permissibility can be found towards the bottom of this article, after an analysis of the many opinions on this issue. Ultimately, the author believes that in light of the evidences, it is permissible to give Zakah to Islamic Dawah organizations. Please take the time to read the discussion here carefully before taking a position one way or the other. JazakumAllah khair*

From one of the most important matters that face every caller to Islam and every organisation, taking on the noble task of calling to this beautiful and perfect religion, is the question of sources of finance. After the terrorist incidents around the world, the ensuing drama and scrutiny over Islamic organisations struggling to do good has worsened and along with it anyone who funds Islamic projects. This has further resulted in large numbers of the general Muslim population not being as charitable as they normally are. I remember a friend of mine from a large charitable Islamic organisation telling me that the charity levels from people go down to less than half, after any major incident around the world. It seems that people become weary of being linked to anyone that may later be found to use the funds inappropriately. This paranoia and fear has gripped many people and has lead to a serious lack of finances for Islamic projects everywhere. In times as difficult as these, it falls upon the Shariah to bring in ease and legislate in a manner that would allow for its rulings to mould and adapt to our time and circumstances, so that its goals and purposes can be realised in all times and circumstances.

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Allah the Most High legislated Zakat as a major source of revenue for the Islamic ummah. It was legislated to cater for some of the neediest sections of the ummah. These days however, when Zakat is given, usually only the poor and miskeen are sought out despite the fact that the poor only comprise one fourth of the recipients of the Zakat described in verse 60 of Surah Tawbah – since they are only two categories out of the 8 mentioned in the verse. It was defined by Allah rigidly enough for there to be divine clarity on the recipients of Zakat, but wide enough to leave the exact definition of each of the types of recipients, upon the ijtihaad of the scholars.

At the beginning of this article it is important to mention an important argument posed by some scholars, may Allah have mercy on them all, that: Ultimately, the Zakat was not intended by the Shariah to be for every cause that is good. If this was the case, then there would be little wisdom in the Quran restricting the recipients of Zakat to the eight categories in Surah Tawbah, verse 60. Therefore, the seventh category: “Fi-sabeelillah” must not mean except a limited number of recipients that fall under the “Fi-sabeelillah” category. Imam Ibn Hazm rahimahullah says: “…And every act of good is ultimately from the path of Allah, the Most High, except that there is no difference of opinion that He did not intend every type of goodness in the division of the obligatory charity. As a result, it is not permissible for the Zakat to be given except where the verse has clearly restricted – and that is what we had mentioned before and Allah is the source of inspiration and clarity.” [AlMuhalla (6/151)] Although what the Imam mentions here “…that there is no difference amongst the scholars in this point” is not entirely accurate . However, it may be more accurate to say that Allah did not intend every act of goodness for giving Zakat to. However, what He did exactly intend, is a matter of difference amongst the scholars, may Allah have mercy on them. What exactly is the benefit of mentioning the other seven categories along with fi-sabeelillah? Is it to restrict the meaning of “fi-sabeelillah” to only a very small limited category, or was it to emphasise the importance of those other categories as the more worthy recipients of Zakat, whilst the Zakat itself being suitable for a larger category than these seven? This article will attempt to shed more light on this issue inshaAllah.

Firstly, all the scholars of Islam are of the agreement that the wording “in the path of Allah” in surah at-Tawbah, verse 60, includes physical struggle in the path of Allah. This is a matter about which there is no difference of opinion amongst the scholars of Islam. [Ahkamul-Quran of Ibnul-Arabi al-Maliki (1/396) reporting from Imam Malik, AlMughni (6/333), AlMubdi’ (2/424), Kasshaf al-Qana’ (2/283) and others]. This is based on the fact that Allah says “Fight in the path of Allah…” [2: 190], “Struggle in the path of Allah…” [5: 35], “Allah loves those who struggle in His path…” [61: 4]. However, this Ijma does not mean that this phrase is to be restricted to this meaning only, since there exists in the body of scholarly opinions – a number of important differences amongst the scholars regarding the exact boundary of the meaning of this phrase. Before I go into the main issue of difference that is the centre point of this article, below are two points of differences that the also differed on regarding adding or restricting from the meaning of “in the path of Allah” which we will allude to towards the end of this article inshaAllah:

· Some of the scholars of Islam were of the opinion that this verse only refers to the poor voluntary conscript Mujahideen and not the rich voluntary conscript Mujahideen. This is the opinion of Imam Abu Haneefah rahimahullah. As for the rest of the scholars, they were of the opinion that it refers to all voluntary conscript Mujahideen whether rich or poor, due to the hadeeth of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam: “Verily, (obligatory) sadaqah is not permissible for any rich person except for five..” [Abu Dawud (No. 1635), Ibn Majah (No. 1841), AlMustadrak of AlHakim (1/566) and others] and amongst them the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam mentioned a mujahid. [For details of the difference, see AlMajmoo of An-Nawawi (6/211)] As for this phrase referring to “voluntary conscripts” and not to salaried army of a Muslim nation, then this is a point of general agreement amongst many of the scholars of Islam. [See Al-Insaaf (3/235), AlMajmoo (6/211) and others]

· Some of the scholars of Islam were of the opinion that the phrase “in the path of Allah” includes Muslims as well as non-Muslims struggling in the path of Allah – such as a non-Muslim who may be spying for Muslims, [Ash-Sharh al-Kabeer Hashiyyah ala ad-Dasooki (1/456)], or to those non-Muslims, if the Muslims require their defence. [Al-Umm of Ash-Shafi (2/60)]

Does the phrase “fi-sabeelillah” only mean those physically fighting in the cause of Allah?

The vast majority of the earlier scholars of Islam such as Imam Abu Haneefah, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi, Imam Abu Thawr, Imam Ibn Mundhir, as well as the official position of the three madhabs, including many Hanbali scholars such as Imam Ibn Qudamah who mentioned that it was the opinion of the Hanbali madhab as well; as well as Imam Ash-Shawkani and many of the earlier scholars of Ahlul-Hadeeth, may Allah have mercy on them all, were of the opinion that “in the path of Allah” is restricted to those voluntary conscripts that were physically battling in Allah’s cause only. Some of them also mentioned the purchasing of weaponry to be included in this meaning. In our time, this was the original and first fatwa of the Kibar-ulema o] Saudi Arabia that was passed in the year 21/08/1394A.H, No. 24 by agreement of the majority with 6 scholars opposing, and from those who consented to the fatwa from the Kibar-ulema, were the majority of the permanent committee for fatwa, such as Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz and others.

Other scholars of Islam were of the opinion that in addition to the voluntary conscripts in the path of Allah, it also included those who were doing Hajj. This is the opinion of a number of the esteemed companions of the Prophet sallallahualaihi wa sallam such as Ibn Umar, Ibn Abbas, Abu Hurairah, Abu Saeed al-Khudri radiallahu anhum and some of the Tabiuun and scholars such as Imam AlHasan AlBasri, Imam Bukhari, Imam Ahmed, Imam Ishaq bin Rahaweih and is the Hanbali madhab according to some of the scholars of the madhab, may Allah have mercy on all the ulema of Islam.

Yet others are of the third opinion that it includes many general acts of goodness, such as building mosques, defending Islam through Islamic dawah and so on and so forth. This opinion states that although those physically fighting in the cause of Allah are more worthy, nevertheless, there are others who are also struggling to uplift His religion, in other forms of struggle in the broader category of Jihad who are worthy as well. This is the opinion of some of the earlier scholars and a large number of the later scholars, such as Imam Ar-Razi [Tafsir Ar-Razi (16/113)], Imam Al-Qasimi [Mahasin a-Ta’weel (8/318)], AlAloosi [Rooh al-Ma’ani (10/123)], Imam Siddeeq Hasan Khan [Ar-Rawdahtun-Nadiyyah (1/206)], Imam As-San’ani [Subul as-Salam (2/198)], Sheikh Rashid Ridha [Tafsir al-Manar (10/585-587)], Sheikh Muhammad Shaltoot [Al-Islam Aqeedah was-Sharee’ah (pg: 97-98)], Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Aalus-Sheikh the former grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia [Fatawa ash-Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim (4/132)]. This is also the later and final opinion of Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Baz the former grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdur-Razzaq al-Afifi professor of Azhar and the former vice grand Mufti to Saudi, and others [Fatwa Lajnah ad-Da’imah (No. 12627, dated 11/2/1410A.H.), also see (No. 7746)] may Allah have mercy on all the scholars of Islam. This is also the decree of the Fiqh council of Makkah consisting of a large number of the scholars of Saudi Arabia under the chairmanship of Sheikh Ibn Baz rahimahullah in its 8th seating in the year 1405 A.H. which states: “The council agrees with total majority, that dawah to Allah and that which helps it and benefits it, is in the meaning of (in the path of Allah) as in the verse.” [AlQararat (pg. 173)]

The proofs of those who hold the first opinion, that “in the path of Allah” is restricted to those voluntary conscripts that were physically battling in Allah’s cause only, state that.:

1. “Fi-sabeelillah” is mentioned in the Quran more than 60 times and in the wording of the Shariah, it usually means Jihad as if the phrase is only always used for it. This is because in the Quran, “fi-sabeelillah” is only used a few times in the general sense, whilst referring to physical struggle in the path of Allah in the specific sense most of the time.

2. The hadeeth of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam: “The [obligatory] charity is not permissible for any rich person, except for five: The fighter in the cause of Allah, or the [Zakat] collector, or the one in debt, or for a person who purchases an item given in Zakat from his own wealth, or for a person who has a neighbour that is poor to whom he gives his Zakat and then the poor neighbour gives the Zakat item as a gift to a rich man.” [Reported by Abu Dawud (2/119), Ibn Majah (1/590), Sunan Al-Baihaqi alKubra (7/15), and AlMustadrak (1/566). Sheikh AlAlbani graded it as authentic due to other reports (Saheeh lighay’rihi)]. So this authentic hadeeth explains the phrase “fi-sabeelillah” and so its meaning should be restricted to it.

3. If fi-sabeelillah were to have a general meaning, then there would be no benefit in mentioning the rest of the types of recipients of the Zakat such as faqeer and miskeen, since they would all be included in the meaning of fi-sabeelillah.

4. Linguistically, it has not been reported in the Quran for there to be a phrase that is general in meaning that occurs in a listing between two phrases that denote specific meaning. Rather what has been reported is that a specific may be mentioned after a general, such as “On that night [of Laylatul-Qadr], the angels and the Ruh descend by the command of their Lord with every decree.” [97: 4] Here, although “Ruh” meaning Jibraeel alaihis salam is from the species of angels, he is mentioned after the angels showing that in a listing, a specific may be named after a general. Similarly is the case in the verse: “Whosoever is an enemy to Allah, His angels, His messengers, to Jibreel and Meekal (Mikaeel), then indeed Allah is an enemy to such disbelievers.” [2: 98] As a result, linguistically, the phrase “fi-sabeelillah” cannot have a general meaning since it occurs between “gharimeen” (those in debt) and “ibnus-Sabeel” (the wayfarer) which are both terms that have specific meaning. This argument was mentioned in a lesson that I was attending in the Prophet’s mosque delivered by Sheikh Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Mukhtar as-Shanqeeti hafidahullah in his explanation of the chapter of Zakat from Umdatul-Fiqh of Imam Ibn Qudamah rahimahumullah.

The proofs of those who hold the second opinion, that in addition to the voluntary conscripts in the path of Allah, it also included those who were doing Hajj, state that:

1. It is authentically reported from the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam that he considered an item that was specifically kept for physical fighting,] to also be suitable for Hajj, with the reasoning that both were from the path of Allah. This is from the Hadeeth of Abu Taleek radiallahu anhu who said that his wife Umm Taleek radiallahu anha asked him: “Give me your camel so that I can perform Hajj upon it.” He (Abu Taleek) replied: “Do you not remember that I have kept it safeguarded only for the path of Allah (fi-sabeelillah)?” She replied: “Verily, Hajj is from the path of Allah – so give it to me, may Allah have mercy upon you.” So Abu Taleek said: So I went to Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam and I passed on her salam to him and I told him what Umm Taleek told me. So the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam replied: “Umm Taleek spoke the truth! If you were to give her the camel, then it would be in the path of Allah.” [Mu’jam al-Kabeer of Tabarani (22/324), Ad-Dulaabi in AlKuna wal-Asmaa (No. 249, 1/121) and AlHaithami reports this hadeeth from AlBazzar in Majma’ az-Zawaid (3/280), however I did not find it. This hadeeth was considered good by Ibn Hajr in AlIsaabah and authenticated by AlAlbani. See Irwa al-Ghaleel (3/376)]

2. Similar to the above is another incident that was reported from the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam from the story of Umm Ma’qal radiallahu anha. She said: “When the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam performed the final Hajj – at that time we used to have a camel that Abu Ma’qal had kept exclusively for the purpose of using it in the path of Allah. Thereafter, we became sick and Abu Ma’qal passed away and the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam set off for Hajj. So when he came back from his Hajj, I went to him, so he asked me: O Umm Ma’qal what prevented you from going out (to Hajj)? So I replied: Abu Ma’qal wanted to (but passed away), and he has a camel that I was going to do Hajj on however Abu Ma’qal willed that it be only for the path of Allah. So he said: So why did you not come out on it? Indeed Hajj is from the path of Allah!” [Reported by Ahmed (No. 27107), Abu Dawud (No. 1979) and others. Graded Hasan by AlAlbani in Al-Irwa (3/376)]

3. Ibn Abbas radiallahu anhuma said: He (the slave) should be freed from the Zakat of his (owners and others) wealth and given from it (Zakat) for Hajj. [Reported by AlBukhari in Ta’leeq form and connected by Ibn Abi Shaibah in his Musannaf (4/41) and declared Hasan by AlAlbani in Al-Irwa (3/377)] Similarly it has been reported by an acceptable chain from Ibn Abbas by Abu Dawud in his Sunan (No. 1990) that Ibn Abbas said: “Verily, Hajj is from the path of Allah.”

4. Ibn Umar radiallahu anhuma said when asked about using a camel for hajj that was originally kept for fighting in battle: Indeed Hajj is from the path of Allah. [Reported with a connected chain by Abu Ubaid in AlAmwal (No. 1976), Sunan Ad-Darimi (2/519) and authenticated by Ibn Hajr in Fathul-Bari (3/332)]

5. Ibn Abbas radiallahu anhuma said: We took Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam for Hajj upon a camel from the camels of (obligatory) charity. [Musnad Ahmed (4/221), AlMustadrak (1/611), Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah (4/73), Sunnan alBaihaqi alKubra (5/252) Also supporting evidence for the narration as mentioned by Ibn Hajr in Fathul-Bari (3/331) and Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaibah (3/180). This narration has Idtiraab in it, however it is most probably authentic up to Ibn Abbas. Also this narration was mentioned by AlBukhari in the introduction of this chapter in a mu’allaq form. Sheikh Shuaib Arnaut said in his checking of the hadeeth in Musnad Ahmed: Its isnad is Hasan (acceptable) See: Musnad Ahmed (4/221)]

6. There is no known difference to the opinions of the companions that they used to permit giving the Zakat for Hajj as well. It is for this reason, that some scholars use the absence of any authentic report of any difference from other companions as silent Ijma on this topic. Sheikh AlAlbani rahimahullah says after mentioning the statements of Ibn Abbas and Ibn Umar radiallahu anhum on this point: “And I say: In the two Abdullahs: Meaning (Abdullah) Ibn Abbas and (Abdullah) Ibn Umar is the best and superior guidance, especially given that there is no known difference to them from the companions, as well as what has preceded mention of from the hadeeths (that support their opinion).” [Irwa al-Ghaleel of AlAlbani (3/377)]

The proofs of those who hold the third opinion, that it includes many general acts of goodness, such as building mosques, defending Islam through Islamic dawah, etc, include the proofs of the second opinion, as well as the following additional proofs:

1. In addition to Hajj, the Sunnah also mentions other matters that are from the path of Allah showing that it is not restricted to physical struggle only. From that, is the hadeeth which is elevated [Ar. Marfu’] to the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam: “Whoever leaves (his home) to seek knowledge then he is fi-sabilillah until he returns.” [Tabarani (8/66)] It is also for this reason that it is reported from Abu Dhar radiallahu anhu that he said: Whoever thinks that seeking knowledge is not Jihad, then there is a deficiency in his intelligence!

2. “Fi-sabeelillah” in the majority of the verses of the Quran means Jihad, however it does not necessarily have to mean the restricted definition of Jihad only – that of physical armed struggle. Rather, Jihad has a deeper and broader meaning.

a. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says: “… And strive against them with it (the Quran), a greater struggle.” [25: 52] This verse very clearly shows that dawah is also a form of Jihad.

b. The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam explained that it has a more comprehensive meaning, when he said: “Fight the [transgressing] Mushrikeen with your money, your bodies, and your tongues.” [Musnad Ahmed (3/124, 153), Abu Dawud (3/10), Ad-Darimi (2/280), AlMustadrak (2/91). Shuaib Arnaut said in the checking of Musnad Ahmed: The hadeeth is authentic upon the condition of Muslim. AlAlbani graded the hadeeth as authentic in Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud]. Explaining the comprehensive meaning of Jihad, Sheikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah says: “That is because the reality of Jihad is to expend effort in achieving that which is beloved to Allah from acts of emaan and righteous actions, and to repel that which is disliked by Allah from disbelief, transgression and disobedience.” [Majmoo al-Fatawa (10/191-192)]

3. From one of the most important proofs that show that the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam used Zakat for that which is generally for the good of Muslims and removal of harm from them, is the incident wherein: The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam gave 100 camels from the camels of (obligatory) charity to the family of Abdullah bin Sahal, when he was killed and no one knew who had killed him. [Reported by AlBukhari (No. 6898) and Muslim (No.1669)] AlQurtubi says about this incident: “Truly he did this on account of his noble nature, perfect governance, in order to achieve the good and ward off all harm, to quell any argument and to rein in the emotions and upon the inability to establish the truth (i.e. the punishment of manslaughter) due to lack of clarity in the matter (i.e. not knowing who the killer was).” [AlMufhim Sharh Sahih Muslim of AlQurtubi (5/15,16)] The point of witness from this hadeeth is that blood money is not one of the places where Zakat can normally be spent, unless we categorise it under the fi-sabeelillah category under the broad meaning of that phrase. Some scholars tried to deny the apparent clarity of the hadeeth of using Zakat for general good by insisting on different arguments such as perhaps the narrator of the hadeeth made a mistake, or perhaps the family of Abdullah bin Sahal were poor and so they were given the 100 camels by way of being poor or by way of being from the category of Mu’allafati quloobihim so that their hearts may be inclined towards Islam – these arguments are not based on any clear evidence and are simply based on conjecture. Imam An-Nawawi rahimahullah says: And the saying of some of them that the guardians of the dead were in need (poor), from those deserving of Zakat, then this is a futile argument since this (100 camels) is a huge amount that is not given to a singular beneficiary of Zakat as against the noblemen of a tribe and also because, he (the narrator) called it Dee’ah (blood money). And also the ta’weel of some of them that he (the Prophet sallallahu aliahi wa sallam) gave it to them from the portion of the Mua’llafati quloobihim from Zakat to soften their hearts perhaps that they may accept Islam, then this is weak! This is because it is not permissible to give the zakat to the disbeliever [Translator’s comment: This is the opinion of the vast majority of the ulema] so the chosen argument is what we have mentioned from the majority, that he purchased it from the camels of (obligatory) charity [Translator: Imam Nawawi mentions this as his preferred opinion since he is upon the opinion of the Shafiyyah that Zakat is not to be given to all worthy causes].” [Sharh Sahih Muslim (11/150)] Therefore, what is clear is that this hadeeth shows that the camels of zakat were used for a matter of general good and forbidding general harm and evil. [See also Fathul-Bari (12/235)]

Discussion of the proofs:

From what is clear from the list of the proofs provided by each opinion, is that:

· There is no clear definitive proof about the explanation of the phrase “fi-sabeelillah” in the verse in surah Tawbah, verse 60 that has been directly reported from the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Although the phrase has been used to mean physical warfare in the Quran the majority of the times, this is not proof enough that it should also only mean physical warfare in this verse as well. Also, a large number of times it has also been used in the Quran to mean the general path of guidance and acts of goodness, such as in [31:6], [4:89], [6:116], [2:262], [38:26], [22:58], [16:125], [12:108], [9:34] (Ibn Hajr mentions this verse 9:34 refers to those that do not spend money in general acts of goodness). There are many other examples of such verses. As a result, to insist on restricting this phrase in the ayah of Zakat to only mean the fighters in Jihad – is not apparent. It is for this reason that Imam Siddeeq Hasan Khan says: “There is no clear proof to restrict the meaning of this portion to them (fighters) only, rather it is correct to give it in every cause that is in the path of Allah, glorified be He. This is the meaning of the phrase linguistically. It is obligatory to restrict oneself upon the linguistic meaning since nothing authentic (and clear) has been reported in this matter from the Shariah.” [Ar-Rawdatun-Nadiyyah (1/206)] Similarly, the hadeeth that mentions that Zakat can’t be given to the rich except 5 and that the rich mujahid is amongst them, cannot be used to restrict the meaning of the verse to fighters only. The hadeeth simply shows how the verse can refer to the Mujahideen, however this does not in any way restrict it to this meaning. Similarly, mentioning the numerous narrations, such as the narrations from the companions and tafsir of ayahs to show that fi-sabeelillah means Jihad – is of no consequence here, since the opposing views already agree that physical warfare is already included in the meaning of the verse and is from the more worthy recipient of the portion of fi-sabeelillah. The point of disagreement is whether it is only restricted to this meaning or whether it can include other acts of goodness as well.

· There are numerous ahadeeth that are authentic as mentioned by those who hold the second and third opinion – that show that fi-sabeelillah is not restricted only to fighters in the path of Allah. The authentic proofs show that Hajj, as well as blood money which were from general good and benefit for the community are also from the sources that deserve Zakat. There is also no known opposition to this understanding from the companions of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam and had there be any opposing narration, then it would have been related to us.

· As for the argument that if “Fi-sabeelillah” were to mean all acts of goodness, then this would defy the purpose of mentioning the other recipients of Zakat in the verse, then this can be explained in the following way: That the mentioning of other recipients that can also be in the greater meaning of fi-sabeelillah is by way of increasing affirmation [Ar. Ta’keed] and not by way of division and separation [Ar.Tafreeq]. Singling out the other recipients who may also be from the general meaning of fi-sabeelillah, shows that the Zakat should not be simply put into the Baitul-Mal as from other sources of revenue, such as should be done with Kharaaj (produce of the land) and Jizyah, rather that is should specifically be used for these 8 types of recipients. Therefore, regarding fi-sabeelillah, the meaning would be that – the Zakat should be used for all those projects and matters that raise the word of Allah, defend it, protect it and sanctify it.

· It should be clear to the one that researches this topic closely, that the vast majority of the ulema of the past, simply reported the other opinions and proofs – and a large number of them did so without actively seeking to clarify which opinion is stronger than the other. [Dr Ahmed Awid Abu Shabab, Majallah alBuhooth alFiqhiyyah alMua’sarah (No. 68, dated 1/7/2005)] They simply reported the view of the majority and moved on from that. An example of this is what Abu Ubaid reports in his book AlAmwal, after authenticating the narration from Ibn Umar that people going for hajj can be given from Zakat: “And the ulema are not upon this, and I do not know of anyone who has given the fatwa that Zakat should be given to those going for Hajj.” [AlAmwal pg. 723] This is largely because of the fact that since physical warfare was regular and constant throughout the centuries of Islamic history, there were hardly any other causes that matched the worthiness and importance of having a capable Muslim army that was well equipped and trained. Thus, there was little need to expand the meaning of fi-sabeelillah. The reader will note that the trend to expand the meaning of fi-sabeelillah occurred more from the scholars of the later centuries and particularly in our time given the fact that our times and situation are so different.

· It is very evident that the scholars of the past would explain the verse of the Zakat upon their prevailing situations at that time. So even though the majority generally agreed that in the path of Allah means physical warfare – they still differed on its exact limits. As has preceded, some allowed Zakat for all types of fighters, other restricted it to only voluntary conscripts; some allowed Zakat only for those far away from their lands, others allowed it for those near and far; some restricted Zakat to the poor fighters, whereas others allowed it for all; some allowed the purchase of weaponry with Zakat money, whereas others disallowed it. This shows how the scholars were applying the verse of Zakat to their situations and times as their situation dictated and called for it. This is also what is noticeable from the opinions of a large number of scholars who have chosen to apply the broader meaning of fi-sabeelillah to the verse, given that in our time, many of the types of recipients of Zakat are difficult to find or limited in different parts of the world only, and there are other similarly worthy causes that fall under the broader meaning of fi-sabeelillah that are also in need in our time today. It is for this reason that interestingly, Syed Qutb rahimahullah says: “Fi-sabeelillah is a broad terms that encompasses every good that uplifts the word of Allah for the muslim community. From the most clear proofs of this is the preparations for battle and equipping and training voluntary conscripts and the sending of missionaries for calling to Islam and to clarify and spread its teachings to all people. Also to setup schools and universities that will teach and raise a generation upon the correct fundamentals, so that we do not leave them to the public schools that teach them everything but Islam, nor to the schools of the Christian missionaries who exploit their childhood and innocence with false teachings about religion – that which they are not able to defend against.” [Fi Dhilaal al-Quran (10/82)] It is also equally interesting to note that the companions of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam – permitted giving the wealth kept for fi-sabeelillah – for hajj, when the times and situation had changed in one of the years – in which there were no wars going on in the Muslim empire, such as the incident reported by the student of Ibn Umar – Nafi rahimahullah who said that a man came to Ibn Umar and said: Verily a man (who passed away) gifted a camel to me in his will, to use in the path of Allah only, and this is not the time when there are any battles going on. Can I use the camel for doing Hajj? So Ibn Umar replied: “Hajj and umrah are both fi-sabeelillah!” [Ad-Darimi (2/519) and authenticated in AlFath (3/332)]

The preferred opinion:

From what has preceded mention, the broader meaning of fi-sabeelillah is the preferred opinion and Allah the most High knows best. In times like we are in today, it is imperative that the scholars, may Allah have mercy on them all, give their fatwas in a manner that caters for the needs of our society to defend against the intellectual onslaught against our values and way of life and aid us in fulfilling our obligation to show case to the world the beauty of our religion. This cannot be done except by appropriate funding for dawah and community development organisations, Islamic radio and media, Islamic institutes and universities, funding students of knowledge and supporting teachers of goodness – and any project or worthy cause that is directly involved in working in the broader meaning of the path of Allah. Such was the guidance of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam when he gave the blood money of Abdullah bin Sahal from the Zakat – that ultimately the Zakat is meant for the attainment of benefit and prevention of harm from the Muslim ummah.

And Allah knows best.

Written by

Tawfique Chowdhury
Director
Mercy
Mission and AlKauthar Institute
8th Shawwal 2007 A.H. corresponding to 20th October 2007 C.E.

PDF Version for Distribution & Dissemination:

is-zakat-permissible-for-islamic-dawah-organisations.pdf

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Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury is the founder of AlKauthar Institute, the unrelated Australian twin of AlMaghrib. A graduate of Islamic University of Madinah, he has also excelled in secular fields: An IT Project Manager, and soon to be a doctor as well (he is completing his medicine degree). He is very active in working with many Islamic organizations around the world and is also an international media contributor appearing on numerous TV and radio stations. The most notable are his appearances on ABC Asia Pacific, AlMajd Channel and the Islam Channel in the UK, where his lectures are frequently shown.

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Amad

    Amad

    October 24, 2007 at 8:22 AM

    jazakAllahkhair Shaykh Tawfique…

    I really believe that this analysis is of great significance to the Muslim communities in the West. Everyday is a struggle for our institutions, our schools, our dawah organizations, etc. to just survive financially. Historically, by earmarking most of our Zakat for needy causes outside America (and no doubt they are needy), we do miss out on building what we need to sustain the future generations of Muslims in the West.

    I hope inshallah that Shaykh Tawfique’s message is spread far and wide so that it may help sustain the next generation of activities and institutions for the protection and betterment of Muslims in the West.

  2. Avatar

    MR

    October 24, 2007 at 10:00 AM

    Wow. You had the daleel on lock, mashaAllah!

    So now what organizations qualifies as an “Islamic Dawah Organization”?

  3. Avatar

    Alex

    October 24, 2007 at 10:53 AM

    Salaam ‘alaikum,

    Assuming that one accepts the legitimacy of the third opinion, there is a lot that has to be worked out in order to actualize such a ruling.

    -Since Zakat is an act of worship and some Muslim organizations are not all that they should be- how much research into the organization should the individual Muslim do in order to insure that their ibadah is accepted?

    -What sort of organizations fall under the definition of fisabilillah? And perhaps more importantly, is that a decision that can be left up to the individual Muslim?

    -What organizations would definitely not qualify?

    -Would it be better to have an oversight committee made up of Ulema and financial professionals to certify organizations that wish to receive zakat funds?

    And I’m sure there’s a lot that I’ve missed.

  4. Avatar

    Comments of Muhammad al Jibaly

    October 24, 2007 at 11:52 AM

    The following is from Muhammad Jibaly’s mailing list ..I have only quoted what is relevant ..

    Jibaly said:
    The author brings many examples where the Prophet (S) considered hajj expenses as legitimate “fee sabeel-illaah” zakaah expenditure. There is little difference among the `ulamaa that hajj counts as “fee sabeel-illaah”, and bringing all those hadeeths serves only to diffuse the issue and make it appear as though there are so many violations to the understanding that “fee safeel-illaah” refers only to the physical struggle for Allaah’s cause.

    The author then brings a lone example other than hajj: The Prophet (S) gave from the sadaqah camels as blood-money to a family whose family-head was killed and his killer was not known. None of the reports I saw in al-Bukhaaree and Muslim indicate that these “sadaqah” camels were “zakaah” camels. And even if they were, this incident can be explained so as not to conflict with the established shar’ee rule regarding “fee sabeel-illaah”: that the deceased’s family was eligible for zakaah under the “mu’allafati quloobuhum” (those who need to be fortified in Islaam) category or the “needy” category. The author waves off the latter possibility as mere conjecture! And why is that? Is he only seeking a conclusion that serves his organization’s needs? The correct fiqhee rule is that an established legislation cannot be overridden by doubts, not that doubts can override the legislation! Since there are doubts in this case as to why the Prophet (S) used the zakaah fund (if it was zakaah), we cannot use this example to override the shar’ee rule regarding “fee sabeel-illaah”.

    Just before his conclusion, the author cites a long quotation from Sayyid Qutub which, in essence, cancels the eight categories mentioned in the aayah of soorat at-Tawbah, making “fee sabeel-illaah” inclusve to most of them! Is Sayyid then, to our friend the author, the final word and “Hujjat ul-Islaam” in this and other issues of Islaam? We seek Allaah’s protection from misguidance.

    A very important note that our Shaykh al-Albani (r) often emphasized is that those who try to widen the scope of “fee sabeel-illaah” provide a great “service” to wealthy Muslims who are reluctant to give any sadaqah besides the required zakaah (if they give it at all). They essentially tell them: “You only need to pay your zakaah, and we will apply it to all paths of good. You do not have to pay anything extra for building schools and masjids, paving roads, different forms of da’wah, etc.” This is far from being true. The welathy Muslimd have a great obligation: to spend much more than the required zakaah for supporting various Islamic projects. Otherwise, Allaah (T) would deprive them of their wealth like He deprived the farmers mentioned in Soorat Noon.

  5. Avatar

    Islam Blog

    October 24, 2007 at 12:58 PM

    Salaamualaykum,

    Here are some additional fataawa relevant to the issue:

    Giving zakaat to a primary school which is in need of funds
    http://www.islamqa.com/index.php?ref=6977&ln=eng

    Printing the Qur’aan is not one of the things that zakaah should be spent on
    http://www.islamqa.com/index.php?ref=21797&ln=eng

    Building mosques from zakaah funds
    http://www.islamqa.com/index.php?ref=13734&ln=eng

    Jazakallah for post. It was very educative

  6. Avatar

    Abu Bakr

    October 24, 2007 at 10:38 PM

    Assalamu Alaykum

    Firstly, I must say that I respect Sh. Tawfique and he has made a good case for his view.

    However, with all due respect, although I feel the words of Sh. Jibaly were a bit harsh I agree with his conclusion. In particular, for some time, I have also felt as Sh. Jibaly mentions:

    ((A very important note that our Shaykh al-Albani (r) often emphasized is that those who try to widen the scope of “fee sabeel-illaah” provide a great “service” to wealthy Muslims who are reluctant to give any sadaqah besides the required zakaah (if they give it at all). They essentially tell them: “You only need to pay your zakaah, and we will apply it to all paths of good. You do not have to pay anything extra for building schools and masjids, paving roads, different forms of da’wah, etc.” This is far from being true. The welathy Muslimd have a great obligation…))

  7. Avatar

    Ardit

    October 25, 2007 at 1:06 AM

    As far as i know the mufti of Saudi Arabia, al-Shaykh, has given a similar fatwa, permitting the zakah per the purpose of dawa or islamic institution.

  8. Avatar

    Tawfique

    October 25, 2007 at 1:07 AM

    Assalamualiakum all

    I will try and answer most of the comments inshaAllah, however let me start off with the arguments and aspersions raised on the article.

    Let me start off which the attempt at refuting the content of the article by Sh Md AlJibaly. With all due respect to the Sheikh, he is a friend of mine, however the arguments he provides are not strong in the least bit and some of them are plainly argumentative without any point being made. Let me take each argument step by step:

    Our beloved Sheikh hafidahullah says: “The author brings many examples where the Prophet (S) considered hajj expenses as legitimate “fee sabeel-illaah” zakaah expenditure. There is little difference among the `ulamaa that hajj counts as “fee sabeel-illaah”, and bringing all those hadeeths serves only to diffuse the issue and make it appear as though there are so many violations to the understanding that “fee safeel-illaah” refers only to the physical struggle for Allaah’s cause.”

    This is incorrect. Rather, there is a huge amount of difference amongst the scholars that Hajj is included in the ‘fi-sabeelillah’ category. Infact the vast majority of the madhabs and including as Ibn Qudamah rahimahullah says, the hanbali madhab as well, as he leaves the established narration from Imam Ahmed about including Hajj in the fi-sabelillah category and chooses the opinion that it is not included. Even a cursory look at the books of fiqh of each madhab will show that. So how can it therefore be said that “there is little difference among the `ulamaa that hajj counts as fee sabeel-illah”? Similarly, I quoted in the article the statement of Imam Abu Ubaid in his book AlAmwaal pg 723 wherein he says: “And the ulema are not upon this, and I do not know of anyone who has given the fatwa that Zakat should be given to those going for Hajj.” So again, how can it be said that there is little difference amongst the ulema that fi-sabeelillah includes Hajj? Rather, there is a lot of difference and it is precisely this reason why I mentioned all the proofs that exist out and all the existing hadeeths and narrations to show that hajj is indeed from the fi-sabeelillah category – and not as you state – “to diffuse the issue”!

    Then the sheikh argues: “The author then brings a lone example other than hajj: The Prophet (S) gave from the sadaqah camels as blood-money to a family whose family-head was killed and his killer was not known. None of the reports I saw in al-Bukhaaree and Muslim indicate that these “sadaqah” camels were “zakaah” camels. And even if they were, this incident can be explained so as not to conflict with the established shar’ee rule regarding “fee sabeel-illaah”: that the deceased’s family was eligible for zakaah under the “mu’allafati quloobuhum” (those who need to be fortified in Islaam) category or the “needy” category. The author waves off the latter possibility as mere conjecture! And why is that? Is he only seeking a conclusion that serves his organization’s needs? The correct fiqhee rule is that an established legislation cannot be overridden by doubts, not that doubts can override the legislation! Since there are doubts in this case as to why the Prophet (S) used the zakaah fund (if it was zakaah), we cannot use this example to override the shar’ee rule regarding “fee sabeel-illaah”.”

    With all due respect, to recollect the fiqhi arguments that were presented by that point, it may have been a single incident from the hadeeth that I reported, but it was by no means the only proof that was presented by that point. By that point, I had already shown that:
    a. There is no authentic hadeeth that fi-sabeelillah is only restricted to physical jihad.
    b. That nothing authentic is established from the Prophetic guidance on this matter.
    c. That even in the Quran, fi-sabeelillah has been used in over 8 different verse for general good and not just for physical warfare.
    d. That the ijmaa of the companions is that hajj is included in the category of fi-sabeelillah showing that it is not just as simple as physical struggle only.

    Also, as for the fact that the camels were camels of Zakat and not of any other charity, is that in the Urf of the shariah, when sadaqah is mentioned in the the ma’rifah form – al-sadaqah – it usually and almost always means the obligatory sadaqah i.e. Zakat. Examples of this is: in the verse of surah tawbah, verse 60 wherein Allah starts the verse by saying: Innama alsadaqaatulil fuqaraa… and others. Also I personally myself have yet to find a narration where in Ibilus-Sadaqah is mentioned and it does not mean the camels of obligatory charity (i.e. Zakat). Also the discussion presented by ibn Hajr in FathulBari for that hadeeth as in alFath (12/235) and by alQurtubi in alMufhim (5/15-16) shows that the ulema understood the hadeeth to mean that the camels were from Zakat.

    Secondly, why did I dismiss the argument that the camels were given to the family of the dead by way of mu’allafati qulubihim or being from the faqeer category – because of the following reasons:
    1. Ibn Hajr mentions in AlFath (12/235) that a number of ulema and fuqaha who did indeed reject the arguments since there is no proof to limit the understanding of the hadeeth to the zakat being given for being poor or mua’llafati quloobihim.
    2. There is little justification for giving 100 camels (!) to the poor. Yes if a family is poor – give him 2, 3, 5, or even 10 camels if you so wish. But 100 camels? Does this not seem even slightly farfetched that Rasulullah sallallahu aliahi wa sallam would give so many camels by way of zakat to a family for being poor? Rather, it as AlQurtubi states in alMufhim (12/15-16) when he comments on this hadeeth saying: “Truly he did this on account of his noble nature, perfect governance, in order to achieve the good and ward off all harm, to quell any argument and to rein in the emotions and upon the inability to establish the truth (i.e. the punishment of manslaughter) due to lack of clarity in the matter (i.e. not knowing who the killer was).”
    3. Another reason that it is clear that the 100 camels from Zakat was not given because of being poor or for being mu’allafi qulubihim and that this is a very weak argument and essentially conjecture and speculation, is what Imam Nawawi rahimahullah mentions in Sharh Sahih muslim in the explanation of this hadeeth and he clearly says: “And the saying of some of them that the guardians of the dead were in need (poor), from those deserving of Zakat, then this is a futile argument since this (100 camels) is a huge amount that is not given to a singular beneficiary of Zakat as against the noblemen of a tribe and also because, he (the narrator) called it Dee’ah (blood money). And also the ta’weel of some of them that he (the Prophet sallallahu aliahi wa sallam) gave it to them from the portion of the Mua’llafati quloobihim from Zakat to soften their hearts perhaps that they may accept Islam, then this is weak! This is because it is not permissible to give the zakat to the disbeliever [Translator’s comment: This is the opinion of the vast majority of the ulema] so the chosen argument is what we have mentioned from the majority, that he purchased it from the camels of (obligatory) charity [Translator: Imam Nawawi mentions this as his preferred opinion since he is upon the opinion of the Shafiyyah that Zakat is not to be given to all worthy causes].” [Sharh Sahih Muslim (11/150)]
    4. What we are arguing with is with the dhahir [Tr. clear, apparent] wording of the hadeeth and our argument is dhahir whereas your argument is an extension upon the nass [Ar. Text] and upon the qaaidah that says: A’yee amr dakhala fihi-ihtimaal batala bihi al-istidlal – which every argument that enters upon it uncertainty, then to use it as a proof is false. So the argument of Sh Muhammad here is not dhaahir and is ziyaadah (extra and extension) of the text and that is muhtamal (speculative) and thus weak in argument.
    5. As for what Sh Muhammad says: “The correct fiqhee rule is that an established legislation cannot be overridden by doubts, not that doubts can override the legislation! Since there are doubts in this case as to why the Prophet (S) used the zakaah fund (if it was zakaah), we cannot use this example to override the shar’ee rule regarding “fee sabeel-illaah” then this argument is absolutely unbelievable! Here you are doing istidlal bi ma’rad alKhilaaf (using the point of difference as if it is an established proof in and of itself)! This is plainly incorrect. Since when has it been an issue of ‘established legislation’? The whole argument of my article is that this is NOT established legislation – so how can someone use the point of difference that I am showing and clarifying in the article to argue that I am wrong?? My argument from the hadeeth is not ‘doubts’, it is holding on to the dhaahir of the text of the hadeeth which is an established point of proof in usul-ul-fiqh and not ‘doubt’.
    6. As for what Sh Muhammad says: “The author waves off the latter possibility as mere conjecture! And why is that? Is he only seeking a conclusion that serves his organization’s needs?” – With all due respect, this is a low blow! I would urge that the Sheikh keeps his arguments on the fiqh dimensions of the article and not speculate on intentions and amaanah behind writing this article. This not a place that anyone should attempt to go to and throws aspersions on people’s characters. This is just not on!

    Then the Sheikh says: “Just before his conclusion, the author cites a long quotation from Sayyid Qutub which, in essence, cancels the eight categories mentioned in the aayah of soorat at-Tawbah, making “fee sabeel-illaah” inclusve to most of them! Is Sayyid then, to our friend the author, the final word and “Hujjat ul-Islaam” in this and other issues of Islaam? We seek Allaah’s protection from misguidance.”

    This is argumentative and raising hue and cry for what? Just because I mentioned Sayyid Qutb? By that time, I had already spent 8 pages making my point already and I only mentioned him since his comment was in agreement with the point I was trying to make and he phrased it in an emphatic manner, not for any non-reason. Since when have I said he is hujjah and or hujjatul-islam?? Sheikh Muhammad, this is quite clearly inappropriate and not required and frankly I expected more from a refuation. I never used Sayyid Qutb’s argument to prove my case, I merely stated it in the context of showing how the earlier commentators would understand the verse from the perspective of their own situation and the later ones – from there’s. Please read my last paragraph and you will see the context. Ultimately, I ended my argument with the narration from Ibn Umar and not from Sayyid Qutb – and there in that is the clarity. So please, there is no need to taint the article with speculation and raising hue and cry and as if I have misled people just simply because of quoting Sayyid Qutb! Out of 9 pages of proofs and adillah, and one quote from Sayyid Qutb and this becomes a point of interest? This is simply amazing!

    Lastly, the sheikh says: “A very important note that our Shaykh al-Albani (r) often emphasized is that those who try to widen the scope of “fee sabeel-illaah” provide a great “service” to wealthy Muslims who are reluctant to give any sadaqah besides the required zakaah (if they give it at all). They essentially tell them: “You only need to pay your zakaah, and we will apply it to all paths of good. You do not have to pay anything extra for building schools and masjids, paving roads, different forms of da’wah, etc.” This is far from being true. The welathy Muslimd have a great obligation: to spend much more than the required zakaah for supporting various Islamic projects. Otherwise, Allaah (T) would deprive them of their wealth like He deprived the farmers mentioned in Soorat Noon.”

    Again, this is simply not a point to disprove an opinion of fiqh. What the sheikh is mentioning is relevant to those ill informed zakat agents who when collecting the zakat from the rich, do not clarify the truth to them, that the zakat is not enough, rather more is required. So they should be corrected in their advice to the rich when taking money from them, not that, this point itself is an argument to disprove the validity of the opinion itself.

    Wallahu alim. I am not on the Sheikh’s list, so pls send this to the list. Jzk.

    Tawfique

    • Avatar

      Islam Blog

      February 28, 2011 at 12:30 AM

      Why there are too many “�” in your comment?

  9. Avatar

    aarij

    October 25, 2007 at 1:50 AM

    argh, my comment got caught in Akismet’s faulty spam filter!

    I suggested for the MM crew to please have these articles by the Shuyookh available as PDFs so it’s easy to print them out and read them. Reading a looong entry on a blog is mind-numbing at times :(

    e.g. http://trueword.wordpress.com/downloads/

  10. Avatar

    Tawfique

    October 25, 2007 at 2:31 AM

    Well done Alex, your questions are very pertinent mashaAllah.

    – You asked: “Since Zakat is an act of worship and some Muslim organizations are not all that they should be- how much research into the organization should the individual Muslim do in order to insure that their ibadah is accepted?” Well, a person is required by the shariah to ascertain that the recipient is genuine. This means to look into the needs of the person and that which is clear and apparent from the recipient. There is no requirement to open up people’s hearts and look into their chests, or to ask for detailed analysis of their accounts. So, as long as a person is reasonably sure that a person is poor and needy, then the zakat can be given to him in reasonable amounts. Same should be the case with dawah organizations. So saying, I encourage all dawah organizations in general to lift their level of transparency and accountability by having annual reports or AGMs or other sources and means that clarify to the public that they are collecting zakat and sadaqah from. I am aware that this is being done by many organizations already.

    – You asked: “What sort of organizations fall under the definition of fisabilillah? And perhaps more importantly, is that a decision that can be left up to the individual Muslim?” This is an important issue. Generally the zakat is not left upon individuals to decide on who is or isn’t needy. It is the responsibility of the muslim government and amir. If there is no muslim government, then the responsbilty is on each community to come together and have central zakat collection points to enforce the maslahah of zakat. Lastly, failing this, then nothing is left except for each individual to exercise his or her best judgement. If this can be done regarding the poor and who the poor are, then so too it can be done regarding dawah organizations as well.

    – You asked: “What organizations would definitely not qualify?” those organizations that are clearly misusing funds, or have enough already or are not doing enough for the money with them. I am sure Allah will show those that are more worthy from the less worthy and thus make it clear in time which organizations are more worthy than others. Wallahu alim.

    -you asked: “Would it be better to have an oversight committee made up of Ulema and financial professionals to certify organizations that wish to receive zakat funds?” Yes definitely. This definitely what is required – a central zakat collection and distribution agency in each community consisting of ulema and professionals for zakat auditing of individuals and businesses and then delivery of these funds to all suitable recipients.

    Wallahu alim.

    Abu yusuf

  11. Amad

    Amad

    October 25, 2007 at 1:22 PM

    ((A very important note that our Shaykh al-Albani (r) often emphasized is that those who try to widen the scope of “fee sabeel-illaah” provide a great “service” to wealthy Muslims who are reluctant to give any sadaqah besides the required zakaah (if they give it at all). They essentially tell them: “You only need to pay your zakaah, and we will apply it to all paths of good. You do not have to pay anything extra for building schools and masjids, paving roads, different forms of da’wah, etc.” This is far from being true. The welathy Muslimd have a great obligation…))

    With all due respect, Shaykh Abu Bakr, and Sh. Jibaly as well, the above-quoted contains an emotional appeal of sort, it is not a point of fiqh or a refutation of an evidence. This is merely a distraction from the info. presented.

    And even from a non-fiqhi perspective, this line of reasoning is faulty. We have to first try to make the wealthy Muslims to just pay the obligatory Zakah, before being concerned about a reduction in Sadaqah. We all know that the percent of Muslims who keep up with Zakah, esp. the rich guys, is small. And even if we can “sell” the organizational support idea and make them complete their obligation, that will be a victory for them and for the Muslims. Because otherwise they may have had not paid anything– in sadaqah or Zakah. That is the unfortunate reality of the situation.

  12. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    October 25, 2007 at 1:32 PM

    this may be too specific of a question for the topic at hand, but it came to my mind when reading this, what about how the actual dawah organization uses the funds? for example, someone may be starting a dawah project and they have various expenses like print materials, website, etc. if they choose to say pay extra for a fancy website, would something like that make a difference in their accepting of zakaat for the organization?

    jazakallahu khayr

  13. Amad

    Amad

    October 25, 2007 at 1:46 PM

    Aarij, the PDF file for the article has been added now (see bottom of article)

  14. Tawfique

    Tawfique

    October 25, 2007 at 10:38 PM

    Article updated with crucial additional quote from imam nawawi refuting those who use the hadeeth of abdullah bin sahal’s blood money. Jzk

  15. Avatar

    Abu Adam

    October 26, 2007 at 9:44 AM

    Assalaamu Alaykum,

    I have a question about this:

    Da’wah organisations (in the form we know today) have existed for decades. Other Islamic organisations have existed for hundreds of years.
    Zakah has existed for 1400 years.

    So why do we have a student give a fatwa on this subject only now?
    Where are the fatwas from the scholars (i mean real scholars – in the proper sense of the word) on the subject??

    I don’t understand this….

    Thanks,

    Wasalaam

    Abu Adam

  16. Avatar

    Tawfique

    October 27, 2007 at 12:16 PM

    Jazakallahulkhair Abu Adam, but it seems you havn’t read the article properly.

    Please read the article carefully and you will find all the details of all the real scholars who have given tens of fatwas on this including full references. I believe its on page 3.

    Jzk.

    Tawfique

  17. Avatar

    Tawfique

    October 27, 2007 at 12:19 PM

    Ibnabeeomar you made a very valid question there. Generally it goes back to the one running the organisation and the person giving it to be careful to not misuse funds.

    Remember my friend: Ultimately there is something called fatwa and before all of that, there is taqwa!

    Tawfique

  18. Amad

    Amad

    October 27, 2007 at 12:32 PM

    salam… I love all the catch phrases coming out on MM:

    -Taqwa before Fatwa
    -Sending a Knee-Mail to Allah (Sajdah)

  19. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    October 27, 2007 at 1:16 PM

    jazakallahu khayr!

  20. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    October 27, 2007 at 3:13 PM

    We should have a “Catchy Islamic phrases” post (or page!) :p

  21. Avatar

    Mahdi Bray

    October 28, 2007 at 9:59 PM

    Very interesting read

    Thanks for posting this

  22. Amad

    Amad

    October 28, 2007 at 10:39 PM

    Welcome Imam Mahdi to MM. JazakAllahkhair for stopping by. You are doing a wonderful service for the Muslims… may Allah assist you in all your endeavors. I hope everyone visits your blog and keeps up with the efforts inshallah:

    http://mahdibray.wordpress.com/

  23. Avatar

    Mahdi Bray

    October 30, 2007 at 3:50 PM

    Thank you Brother Amad. I encourage you all to continue the good work that you all have been doing as well

  24. Pingback: muslimmatters.org » And One Year Ago, MM was Born

  25. Avatar

    IF

    May 29, 2008 at 6:04 AM

    salaams,

    i would love to hear the opinion of shaykh yasir on this topic – as in one of his talks he clearly stated that he was against this opinion and that can be heard on the below talk.

    http://www.audioislam.com/index.php?subcategory=Zakat

    i don’t know if the shaykh has changed his mind as he has changed alot of his opinions recently.

  26. AbdulHasib

    AbdulHasib

    May 29, 2008 at 9:01 AM

    @ brother ‘IF”

    ‘alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullah,

    If you ARE from madeenah.com please pass on a message to those brothers to have some adab and learn some manners in asking a question, and learning some adab ul ikhtilaaf.

    Secondly, your ‘inquiry’ certainly does not come off as intending to seek knowledge but rather try to make some kind of ‘point.’

    I urge you and the brothers in Madeenah.com that If you have honest disagreements that is alhamdulillah MORE than fine, but when one can’t even show respect in expressing those disagreements with people who call to the ‘Aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah wal Athaar, and in advising them with HIKMAH. (hikmah means to put something in it’s proper place, to say the right thing to the right person at the right time in the right context in the right way, intending good).

    May Allah bless you and those brothers, i urge you to truly Fear Allah and exercise hikmah when attempting to give ‘nasiha’ – whose root even MEANS Sincerity.

    MORE so with regards to speakers and students of knowledge, and i’m sure the teachers of the students at Madinah.com would vouch in ardently calling the students to give these type of nasiha in private with such person.

    Thirdly, if we disagree with someone in the realms of fiqh and, other areas, it does not mean an all inclusive pass for us to bring a critize-fest in all of their opinions. We are human beings in need of nasiha – even if the nasiha comes from a person of less knowledge than us, we are all in need of it.

    And lastly, as students or lay, we need to know our role. We can’t but utter a few sentences in Arabic, have some basic fiqh and usool, read some books of hadith, and listened to a whole ton of lectures, and attend ‘forums of benefit’ online… It’s simple. Know your Role.

    As Ibnul Jawzi rahimahullah mentioned in Talbees Iblees – The Devil’s Deception, of the ways that shaytan deceives the son of Adam is that he busies himself with something that is good where as in reality he could be doing something that is BETTER.

    May Allah forgive us and grant us blessing in our affairs. Ameen.

    WAllahu ‘Alam

  27. Pingback: Retread: Zakat-ul-Fitr in Money | Zakat-ul-Maal to Islamic Organizations | MuslimMatters.org

  28. Avatar

    MR

    October 30, 2008 at 12:22 AM

    Salams
    The main issue of our time is there is no Islamic government, hence the state funding by bait-ul-maal doesn’t exists anymore to support Islamic projects and initiatives, and the rich Muslims are not doing enough to support them..

    It’s important to mention that Zakat is not the only charity in Shariah, rather its one specific kind of charity. Hence, we can divide Charity in two types:
    ■ Obligatory or Special Type Charities, e.g. Zakat (زكاة), Zakat-ul-Fitr (زكاة الفطر)
    ■ Voluntary or General Charities, e.g. Sadaqat (صدقات)
    There are differences in applications between these two types of charities. The Prophet (pbuh) gave money in charity to variety of reason, and number of them fell into Sadaqat. Zakat has rather very specific purpose. Sadaqa is very general in nature as the Prophet (pbuh) said: كلُّ معروفٍ صدقهٌ – “Every good thing is Sadaqa” [Sahih Bukhari/Muslim].

    Then, whatever is not covered under these two types of charities is to be provided by Bait-ul-Maal for general public welfare.

    Unfortunately, the bail-ul-maal is occupied by people like Zardari, so it seems some people who are trying to do good deeds are expanding scope of Zakat to get their funding, which should otherwise be covered from bait-ul-maal.

    Hence, it creates this paradox where contemporary scholars are trying to find means to support Islamic dawah and education and other activities. And I don’t blame em. However, we don’t see same level of intensity to collect zakat for jihad, which is the main purpose of zakat fi-sabeel-allah.. Why is that.. don’t we need it for that..

    Let say we can agree that because in current times, when all Muslim wealth and bait-ul-maal is occupied by agents of Taghoot, then Muslims can pool their Zakat money to do jihad fi-sableel-allah with his expended scope but with sincere and honest intention to spread or defend Islam with right methodology

    However, if we need to pay zakat fi-sabeel-allah, then should we sent it to mujahideen or give it to give to Islamic Centres of americas.. which is closer in meaning?

    and if ‘today’s circumstances’ are the basis, then whose circumstances are worse? mujahideens or islamic cetres of america..

    just a thought..

    and Allah knows best.

  29. Avatar

    Da'wah Organisations?

    July 28, 2009 at 6:55 PM

    I wonder what constitutes a da’wah organisation, are institutes such as al-Maghrib and al-Kauthar included under such an umbrella or would they come under the banner of businesses?

  30. Avatar

    AbuAbdullah

    September 16, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    Jazak Allahu kheirun, very informative article

  31. Avatar

    Johnny

    August 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    I am an American seeking more knowledge into Islam. I read the above analysis and find myself somewhat lost. I have two simple questions and would enjoy reading simplistic answers to these questions.

    Question # 1: Is it the opinion of the author that Islam is a “beautiful and perfect religion” or a widely held belief of Muslims from around the world? I am not questioning the “beauty” of Islam, but the “perfect” aspect of this comment.

    Question #2: Can the “fi-sabeelillah” aspect of Zakat donations include organizations or individuals that directly or indirectly fund, support, or participate in violent jihad?

  32. Avatar

    Islam Blog

    February 28, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Assalamualaikum,

    It’s a very big article, I do not have any intermet connection and thats why I am browsing this website from a cyber cafe, can I make a PDF of this post for reading this full post on my home?

    Jazak

  33. Avatar

    Q8231171

    February 25, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    I think this is an important issue that needs to be discussed in detail especially by those Involved in public finance. In a society of Muslims Zakat would play a vital role in public finance as it would be one of the main sources of income of the state. I do not see why we tend to narrow the meaning of fi sabillah to just a physical fight. In my humble view any public expenditure that leads to the betterment of the society would fall into this category. Perhaps we need to consider the fact that social fulfillment leads to harmony and help people accept a given system of governance. Hence, if Zakat plays the vital role of fulfilling the needs of the society then it gives Muslims a reason to hold on to their belief while compelling the non-Muslims to think about Islam as a comprehensive solution to life both in this world and the hereafter.

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#Islam

Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting | Hadiths 9-12

 وعن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: “كان رسول الله ﷺ إذا دخل العشرُ أحيَى الليل، وأيقظ أهلهُ، وشدَّ المئزر” متفقٌ عليه().

 

ʿAʾishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

When the ten nights would begin, the Messenger of Allāh r would keep the night alive; he would also awaken his family and tighten his wrapper.

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Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“When the ten nights would begin”

What is meant is the last ten nights

“The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ would keep the night alive”

He would keep stay up at night and engage in various forms of worship such as ṣalāt, dhikr, and meditation/reflection. Or he kept himself alive by remaining awake, since sleep is death’s sibling. The metaphor refers to the night because when someone who is sleeping is woken-up and brought back to life, their night can be said to have been given life through them.

“He would also awaken his family”

He did so to draw their attention towards the time of goodness, so they may expose themselves to the gusts of goodness. A narration in Tirmidhī states, “When the last ten days of Ramaḍān would enter, the Messenger of Allāh r would not fail to wake up anyone who was capable of staying up in his household”. He would lead them towards the avenues of goodness, and help them attain it.

“And tighten his wrapper”

Al-Khaṭṭābī explains: “The meaning is likely to be earnestness in acts of worship. Just as one would say ‘I have tightened my wrapper for this matter’ i.e I have buckled down to it/rolled up my sleeves for it. It is also said that it may be a metaphor for buckling down and withdrawing from women. It is also said that it may have a literal meaning and a figurative meaning at the same time, i.e that he literally tighten his waist wrapper (izār) and also withdrew from women and buckled down for worship. However, the first explanation is more plausible because in another narration the following wording is found “He would tighten his wrapper and withdraw from women”. This leads us to conclude that the expression tightening his wrapper relates to earnestness in worship only.

– باب فضل السحور وتأخيره ما لم يخشَ طلوع الفجر

Chapter on the virtues of saḥūr, and of delaying it as long as one does fear the rising of dawn

 

 عن أنسٍ، رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله : “تسحروا؛ فإن في السحور بركةً” متفقٌ عليه .

Anas (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh said, “Eat suḥūr [or practice saḥūr] (predawn meal) because surely, there is baraka in suḥūr.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Saḥūr is the meal which is taken prior to the rise of dawn. Suḥūr on the other hand, is the act of partaking food at that time. This will have relevance in the ensuing commentary of the ḥadīth.

“The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, ‘Eat suḥūr [or practice saḥūr] (predawn meal)’ ”

This is considered mandūb i.e praiseworthy. The Sunna itself is fulfilled by having a little food even if it is only a sip of water. It is mentioned in a ḥadīth of ʿAbdullāh bin-Surāqa, traced back to the Nabī r: ‘Practice suḥūr, even if only with a sip of water’. It is narrated by Ibn-ʿAsākir[2]. The Sunna is likewise fulfilled by having a considerable quantity of food.

“Because surely, there is baraka in suḥūr [or saḥūr].”

Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn-Ḥajar explains: ‘The use of both spellings is found in authentic narrations. If suḥūr is meant i.e the act of eating at that time, then by baraka is meant the reward and merit. If saḥūr is meant i.e the food which is eaten at that time, then by baraka is meant the fact that it strengthens one for fasting and makes one energetic for it. It also reduces the difficult involved in it’.

It is also said that the baraka lies in the fact of being awake at that time and engaging in duʿāʾ.
It is however more appropriate to say that the Baraka is attained through various avenues, namely: adherence to the Sunna, acting differently than the ahlul-kitāb (Christians and Jews), strengthening oneself for worship through it, its being a cause for one to engage in dhikr and duʿāʾ at a time when acceptance is highly likely, and it also allows for one who has forgotten to make the intention for fasting before sleeping to do so[3].

This ḥadīth was also narrated by Aḥmad, Al-Tirmidhī, Al-Nasāʾī, and Ibn-Māja all through Anas. Al-Nasāʾī has already narrated it through Abū-Hurayra and Ibn-Masʿūd. Aḥmad has also narrated it through Ibn-Masʿūd. This has all been mentioned in Al-Jāmiʿul-Ṣaghīr.

 وعن زيد بن ثابتٍ، رضي الله عنه، قال: تسحرنا مع رسول الله ثم قمنا إلى الصلاة. قيل: كم كان بينهما؟ قال: قدر خمسين آية. متفقٌ عليه

Zaid bin Thābit (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

We took suḥūr (predawn meal) with the Messenger of Allāh r and then we stood up for ṣalāt (prayer). It was asked: ‘How long was the gap between the two?’ He replied: ‘The time required for the recitation of fifty verses.’

[Al-Bukhārī and Muslim].

Zaid bin-Thābit was from the Anṣār of Madīna, and he was 11 years old when the Nabī r emigrated from Makka to Madīna. His father passed away when he was 6 years old, and the Nabī r considered him too young to participate in the battle of Badr (~13 years old). He however allowed him to participate in Uḥud. It is also said that he in fact did not participate in Uḥud but rather in Khandaq and the following expeditions with Rasūlullāh r. He used to write revelation for the Nabī r and he was one of the three people who compiled the Qurʾān by gathering its various verses and chapters and verifying their authenticity. The effort to compile the Qurʾān after the demise of the Nabī r was ordered by Abū-Bakr and ʿUmar.
ʿUmar and ʿUthmān would both designate him as imām in Madīna when they traveled for Ḥajj. Ibn Abī-Dāwūd explains: ‘Zaid bin-Thābit was the most knowledgeable of the rules of inheritance among the Ṣaḥābah, and he was among those firmly grounded in knowledge.
A total of 92 ḥadīth from Rasūlullāh r have been narrated by him, 10 of which are found in the collections of Bukhārī or Muslim. He passed away in Madīna in the year 54 A.H.

“We took suḥūr (predawn meal) with the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ”

One can notice a subtle indication of etiquette in the choice of words, rather than saying ‘Us and Rasūlullāh took suḥūr’ he used wording which emphasizes the fact that they followed his example r.

“And then we stood up for ṣalāt (prayer)”

The morning ṣalāt i.e ṣubḥ.

“It was asked: ‘How long was the gap between the two?’ He replied: ‘The time required for the recitation of fifty verses.’ ”

Anas is the one who asked the question. Imām Aḥmad also narrated a ḥadīth where Qatāda asks Anas the same question.
The verses referred to are of moderate length. They were neither long nor short, and were read neither fast nor slow. The ʿArab had the habit of estimating time through physical actions, such as saying ‘As long as it takes to milk a goat’. Zaid however chose to estimate the time through the action of reading the Qurʾān to indicate that it was a time fit for worship through recitation of the Qurʾān. Ibn Abī-Jamra explains: ‘The ḥadīth is an indication of the fact that the vast majority of their time was immersed in ʿibāda (worship)’.

The ḥadīth also indicates that suḥūr was done as late as possible, as it is more befitting for the intent behind it. Also because it was the Nabī r’s habit to look for that which was most gentle for his Umma and apply it. If he did not take suḥūr that would prove difficult for some of them, just as taking suḥūr in the middle of the night would be difficult for those overtaken by sleep. That could lead to leaving suḥūr altogether or in it being a tiresome process.

 وعن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله r قال: “فَصْلُ ما بين صيامنا وصيام أهل الكتاب أكلةُ السحر” رواه مسلم .

ʿAmr bin Al-ʿĀṣ (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, ‘The difference between our observance of fasting and that of the people of the scriptures (ahlul-kitāb) is suḥūr (predawn meal)’

[Narrated by Muslim].

ʿAmr bin Al-ʿĀṣ accepted Islām in the year of Khaybar, i.e the beginning of the 7th year A.H. Him, Khālid Ibnul-Walīd and ʿUthmān bin-Ṭalḥa came to the Nabī and accepted Islām together. He was made the commander of the 17th expedition, called sariyatu dhātil-salāsil and which had 300 men. It was then reinforced through another regiment in which were Abū-Bakr and ʿUmar, and whose commander was Abū-ʿUbayda bin-Jarrāh. The Nabī r told the latter ‘Do not be at odds with eachother’. ʿAmr used to lead the ṣalāt of the combined regiments until they returned to Madīna (notwithstanding the illustrious personalities who joined them). He was designated as an ambassador to Omān where he remained until the death of the Nabī r. Abū-Bakr t then sent him as governor to Shām and he was present in the various conquests of its territory. He then governed Palestine for ʿUmar t for some time after which he was sent with a regiment to Egypt, which he conquered. He remained its governor until the death of ʿUmar. ʿUthmān left him in his position for another 4 years, and he then removed him. ʿAmr then settled away in Palestine from which he would occasionally visit Madīna. Muʿāwiya t eventually designated him governor of Egypt, where he remained as governor until his death and was buried there. He passed away on the eve of ʿIdul-Fiṭr the year 43 A.H at the age of 70 years. His son ʿAbdullāh led his funeral prayer. He was among the heroes and intellectuals of the ʿArab, and was known to be a leader with a great vision.
When the time of his death dawned upon him he said: ‘O Allāh you have ordered me and I was not compliant, you prohibited me and I did not refrain, I am not strong so I seek assistance, neither am I free of blame so I apologize, and I am not arrogant but rather I am repentant; there is no deity except You’. He kept repeating these words until he passed away.

“The difference between our observance of fasting and that of the people of the scriptures (ahlul-kitāb)”

The ahlul-kitāb are the Jews and Christians. They were given revealed scriptures, hence the name ahlul-kitāb.

“Is suḥūr (predawn meal)”

This is an unequivocal statement to the fact that taking suḥūr is a special trait for us, and that Allāh has made it a favor and distinction for this Umma. This favor and distinction were not granted to the previous nations.

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Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting. Hadiths 7-8

– وعنه، رضي الله عنه، أن رسول الله ﷺ، قال: “إذا جاء رمضانُ، فُتحتْ أبواب الجنة، وغُلقت أبواب النار، وصُفدت() الشياطين” متفقٌ عليه().

Abū-Hurayra (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh said, “When Ramaḍān begins, the gates of paradise are opened, the gates of the fire of hell are closed, and the devils are chained.”

Narrated by Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

The Messenger of Allāh said, “When Ramaḍān begins, the gates of paradise are opened”

The most apparent meaning is that this is a literal opening of the doors of paradise for a person who passes away during Ramaḍān, or for a person who performs good actions which are accepted. It is also said that the meaning is figurative, meaning that performing good actions in Ramaḍān will lead to the gates of paradise being opened in the hereafter. Another figurative meaning may also be the abundance of mercy and forgiveness, as can be inferred by a narration of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim “The doors of mercy are opened”.

“The gates of the fire of hell are closed”

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The same observation can be made about this statement as has just been said regarding the gates of paradise.

It is also said that this is a metaphor to express the fact that the egos of the fasting persons are pure from the impurities of shameful actions, and they are liberated from the things which lead to sinful acts by means of their tamed based desires.
Al-Ṭībī explains: ‘The benefit of this is two-fold: the angels are clearly made aware that the action of those fasting is highly revered in front of Allāh. The fact that the truthful Nabī is the one informing about this matter also serves to increase the eagerness of the Muslim individual’.

“And the devils are chained”

This statement can also be considered to be in a literal sense. It may also figuratively mean that they are prevented from causing excessive nuisance to the believers and from provoking them. That makes them seem as they are chained. It may also mean that the Muslims refrain from involving themselves in the acts of disobedience which the devils annoy them with.

– باب الجود وفعل المعروف والإكثار من الخير في شهر رمضان

والزيادة من ذلك في العشر الأواخر منه

Chapter on generosity, performing good actions, increasing in goodness during Ramaḍān and augmenting in that during its last 10 days

1/1222- وعن ابن عباس، رضي الله عنهما، قال: كان رسول الله ﷺ، أجود الناس، وكان أجود() ما يكونُ في رمضان حين يلقاهُ جبريلُ، وكان جبريلُ يلقاهُ في كل ليلةٍ من رمضان فيدارسهُ القرآن، فلرسولُ الله ﷺ، حين يلقاهُ جبريلُ أجودُ بالخير من الريح المرسلة” متفقٌ عليه().

Ibn ʿAbbās (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ was the most generous of men; and he would be the most generous during the month of Ramaḍān when Jibrīl visited him. Jibrīl would meet him every night of Ramaḍān and he would review the Qurʾān with him. As a result, at the time Jibrīl met him the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ was more generous with goodness than the free wind.

What is meant by good actions in the title are obligatory and recommended actions alike. Increasing such actions in Ramaḍān is mandūb (i.e commendable) as the reward will be multiplied on virtue of the distinction of this time. This particularity in Ramaḍān is because it is the best of the months, so it is commendable to keep it alive with such actions and see their reward multiplied as a result.

The last ten days start on the eve of the 21st day of fasting, and they end on the last day whether the month ends in 29 days or 30 days.

Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) was the most generous of men”

He was the man endowed with the most generosity. Indeed it is a fact that that which has been narrated of his generosity has not been narrated regarding anyone else.

“And he would be the most generous during the month of Ramaḍān when Jibrīl visited him.”

His state of generosity in Ramaḍān was superior to that outside of Ramaḍān, but he was nevertheless the most generous man in an absolute sense.

“Jibrīl would meet him every night of Ramaḍān and he would review the Qurʾān with him”

It is said that the wisdom in reviewing the Qurʾān is that it renews the pledge of having a content ego. Contentment in turns breeds generosity. Ramaḍān is also the season of goodness because Allāh’s bounties on his servants are increased therein. It was the habit of Nabī to give preference to follow the example of the sunna of Allāh (i.e his customary practice) in dealing with His servants. The combination of what has been mentioned i.e the time, the one who came down (Jibrīl), what he descended with (the Qurʾān) and the learning were all obtained through the hand of generosity. And Allāh knows best.

“As a result, at the time Jibrīl met him the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) was more generous with goodness than the free wind”

He was, in the speed of his generosity faster than the wind. The free wind indicates the wind which continuously blows with mercy. His generosity was all-encompassing in its benefit just as the free wind fully encompasses anything it blows on.

A narration of Imām-Aḥmad includes the following wording at the end of this ḥadīth: “He was never asked anything except that he gave it”[1].

Imām Al-Nawawī explains:

“This ḥadīth contains many fine lessons: encouragement towards generosity at all times, and increasing it during Ramaḍān as well as when meeting righteous people (analogy with the meeting of Jibrīl). It also indicates the virtue of visiting the pious and noble folk, and to do so repeatedly as long as the person being visited does not mind. It also points to the laudable nature of abundantly reading Qurʾān during Ramaḍān and the fact that it is superior to all forms of remembrance of Allāh [dhikr/adhkār]. Indeed, if dhikr was superior or equivalent to it then they would have done it (the Nabī and Jibrīl). Some commentators have said that these were tajwīd sessions. This is however objectionable as memorization of the Nabī was a given, and anything beyond memorization could be achieved through a few sessions. It is therefore clear that the intent in Jibrīl’s coming was an increase in the amount of recitation.

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Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting | Hadiths 3-6

– وعنه أن رسول الله ﷺ قال: “من أنفق زوجين في سبيل الله نُودي من أبواب الجنة: يا عبدالله هذا خيرٌ، فمن كان من أهل الصلاة دُعيَ من باب الصلاة، ومن كان من أهل الجهاد دُعيَ من باب الجهاد، ومن كان من أهل الصيام دُعيَ من باب الريان، ومن كان من أهل الصدقة [480] دُعيَ من باب الصدقة” قال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه، بأبي أنت وأُمي يا رسول الله! ما على من دُعيَ من تلك الأبواب من ضرورةٍ، فهل يدعى أحدٌ من تلك الأبواب كلها؟ قال: “نعم وأرجو أن تكون منهم” متفقٌ عليه().

Abū-Hurayra (May Allāh be pleased with him) also reported:

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, “He who spends a pair in the way of Allāh will be called from the gates of paradise: ‘O slave of Allāh! This is goodness’ and one who is among the people of ṣalāt (prayer), will be called from the gate of ṣalāt; and whoever is eager in fighting in the cause of Allāh, will be called from the gate of jihād; and one who is regular in fasting will be called from the gate Ar-Rayyān. The one who is a charitable person will be called from the gate of charity.” Abū-Bakr (May Allāh be pleased with him) said: “O Messenger of Allāh ﷺ ! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! Those who are called from these gates will stand in need of nothing. However, will anybody be called from all of those gates?” He replied, “Yes, and I hope that you will be one of them.” ”.

Narrated by Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“ The Messenger of Allāh said, “He who spends a pair in the way of Allāh will be called from the gates of paradise: ‘O slave of Allāh! This is goodness’ ”

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In some narrations of this ḥadīth it is added: “It was said: what is a pair? He ﷺ said: two horses, two cows, or two mules”.

It is possible that his ḥadīth applies to all virtuous actions, be it two ṣalāt, fasting two days, or two acts of charity. That is substantiated by the wording of the rest of the ḥadīth, which enumerates those different actions.

In the way of Allāh applies to all acts of goodness [i.e for Allāh’s sake]. It is also said that it is specific to jihād, but the first interpretation is more correct and apparent. That is Imām Al-Nawawī’s position.

Goodness here is said to mean reward and delight. It is also said that it means this is better i.e we think that this is better for you than the rest of the doors, due to the abundance of its reward and bounties. Come and enter through it.

Ḥāfiẓ Ibn-Ḥajar however contends in Fatḥul-Bārī: “The meaning of goodness is virtue, not superiority, although the wording may lead to think so. The intent of the statement is to provide additional encouragement to the individual for entering through that door”.

“And one who is among the people of ṣalāt (prayer), will be called from the gate of ṣalāt; and whoever is eager in fighting in the cause of Allāh, will be called from the gate of jihād; and one who is regular in fasting will be called from the gate Al-Rayyān.”

Al Qurṭubī explains: to be among the people of ṣalāt means that one performs abundant optional prayers to the point that it represents the most common of his optional actions. The obligatory ṣalāt is not meant, because all people are equal in that respect.

The same reasoning applies to fasting and ṣadaqa.

The door is called Al-Rayyān i.e the one who is satiated/quenched, as opposed to the one who is thirsty i.e the person fasting. This is to signify that he is rewarded for his thirst through a permanent satiation in paradise.

“The one who is a charitable person will be called from the gate of charity.”

After the mention of this door, four of the five pillars of Islām have been included, leaving the pillar of Ḥajj. There is no doubt that there is a door for [those who performed] Ḥajj [abundantly]. That leaves a remainder of three doors to complete the number of eight doors.

One of those doors is the door for ﴾ الْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ﴿ “those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind” (s. Āl-ʿImrān, v. 134). Imām Aḥmad bin-Ḥanbal narrates from Al-Ḥasan [in a ḥadīth mursal] “Certainly Allāh has a door in paradise which none except those who forgive injustice will enter through”.

Another one of those doors is “the door of the right side.” That is the door of the mutawakkilīn i.e those who used to put their entire trust in Allāh, through which will enter those who will not go through any reckoning nor will they be subject to any punishment.

As for the third door, it may be the door of the remembrance of Allāh, as a ḥadīth in Tirmidhī alludes to it. It is also possible that it is the door of knowledge.

Considering the fact that the types of virtuous actions number much more than eight in total, it is then possible that the doors through which people will be called are in fact internal doors which are located beyond the eight main doors of paradise.

Al-Suyūṭī explains in Al-Dībāj: “Al-Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ explains: the remaining doors are mentioned in other aḥādīth: the door of repentance, the door of “those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind”, the door of those who are content, the door of the right side from which will enter those who will not undergo any reckoning”.

Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn-Ḥajar explains in Fatḥul-Bārī: for one to spend in the way of Allāh in ṣadaqa, jihād, knowledge and ḥajj is obvious. It is however not so obvious for other actions.
Spending in ṣalāt may refer to acquiring its tools such as the water to purify oneself, and one’s suitable garments or the like thereof.
As for spending while fasting it would be on those things which strengthen one to do such as suḥūr [pre-dawn meal] and fuṭūr [meal after sunset].
Spending to forgive others would mean that one forsakes those rights which he is entitled to from them.
Spending in tawakkul would be that which one spends during a sickness which prevents them for earning a living, while exerting patience in one’s affliction. It can also be that which one spends on someone else who is afflicted by the same, seeking thereby reward.
Spending for dhikr would be along the same lines.

It is also possible that what is meant by spending on ṣalāt and fasting is for one to exert their person in those acts. In the language of the ʿArab, exertion of one’s person is called expenditure [nafaqa]. They will for instance say, “I have expended my life on it” when referring to a trade which one has learnt. Exerting one’s body in fasting and ṣalāt would therefore be considered expenditure.

“Abū-Bakr  (May Allāh be pleased with him) said: “O Messenger of Allāh ﷺ ! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! Those who are called from these gates will stand in need of nothing. However, will anybody be called from all of those gates?” ”

He means that one being called by anyone of these doors would certainly not suffer any diminution or loss. This statement brings alertness to the fact that very few people will be called from all those gates.

The one who has all those actions to his account is called from all the doors is an expression of merit, but entrance will nevertheless occur from only one door . That door is likely to be the one corresponding to the action which was most dominant for that person.

In this same context, one should not be confused by the ḥadīth of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim which says “Whoever performs ablution and does so most adequately, and then says I bear witness that there is no deity but Allāh…” and then it mentions “then the eight doors of paradise will open and he may enter from whichever one he choses”. The takeaway from this ḥadīth is that the doors are opened in this instance as a sign of esteem. One will nonetheless only enter through the door corresponding to their most abundant action.

Al-Zarkashī explains: “It is possible that the paradise is a fortress with embedded walls, and each wall would have its own door. Some will be called from the first door only, while others will be made to skip to the first door and taken to the interior door. So on and so forth…”.

“He replied, “Yes, and I hope that you will be one of them.” ”

The ʿulamāʾ explain: “Hope from Allāh and His Nabī ﷺ unequivocally comes to realization”.

The author-Imām Nawawī-explains: among the things which are inferred from this ḥadīth is the virtue of Abū-Bakar , and the permissibility of praising a person in their presence as long as a tribulation is not feared for them such as them becoming fond of themselves.

 وعن سهل بن سعدٍ رضي الله عنه عن النبي ﷺ، قال: “إن في الجنة باباً يُقالُ له: الريانُ، يدخلُ منه الصائمون يوم القيامة، لا يدخلُ منه أحدٌ غيرهم، يقالُ: أين الصائمون؟ فيقومون لا يدخل منه أحدٌ غيرهم، فإذا دخلوا أُغلق فلم يدخل منه أحدٌ” متفقٌ عليه().

Sahl bin-Saʿd  (May Allāh be pleased with him) narrates:

The Prophet ﷺ said, “In paradise there is a gate which is called Al-Rayyān through which only those who observe fasting will enter on the Day of Resurrection. No one else will enter through it. It will be called out, “Where are those who observe fasting?” so they will stand up and no one else will enter through it. When the last of them will have entered, the gate will be closed and then no one will enter through that gate.”

Narrated by Bukhārī and Muslim.

“The Prophet ﷺ said, “In paradise there is a gate which is called Al-Rayyān”

The significance of the name Rayyān i.e the one who is satiated/quenched has been explained earlier. One may add here that being satiated has been used to also signify that one’s hunger is satisfied, because they clearly go hand-in-hand.

“Through which only those who observe fasting will enter on the Day of Resurrection”

The mention of the day of resurrection is because that is when this will occur. It can also be said that it’s to differentiate from the souls of the martyrs and those of the believers which enter paradise during the duration of this lowly world, without it being contingent upon the action of fasting.

“No one else will enter through it. It will be called out, “Where are those who observe fasting?” so they will stand up and no one else will enter through it. When they have entered, the gate will be closed and then no one will enter through that gate. ”

The narration of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim mentions “when the last one of them will have entered”.

The repetition of the fact that no one else will enter through it is done for emphasis. The wording of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim is also narrated by Ibn Abī-Shayba in his Musnad, Abū-Nuʿaym in his Mustakhraj, Ibn-Khuzayma, and Al-Nasāʾī. Al-Nasāʾī added: “Whoever enters will never ever experience thirst again”.

Both Bukhārī and Muslim narrated this ḥadīth in the chapter of fasting.

وعن أبي سعيد الخدري، رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله ﷺ: “ما من عبدٍ يصومُ يوماً في سبيل الله إلا باعد الله بذلك اليوم وجههُ عن النار سبعين خريفاً()” متفقٌ عليه().

Abu Saʿīd Al-Khudrī  (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, “There is no slave of Allāh who observes fasting for one day in the way of Allāh, except that Allah will detach his face from hell-fire to the extent of a distance to be covered in seventy years. ”

Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, “There is no slave of Allāh”

Meaning no legally responsible individual, and what will be mentioned next is true for both men and women. This is substantiated by the fact that a narration of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim does not specify a gender “Whoever fasts a day in the way of Allāh, He detaches their face from the hell-fire for a distance of seventy years”.

“Who observes fasting for one day in the way of Allāh”

Meaning in the obedience of Allāh.

“Except that Allāh will detach his face from hell-fire to the extent of a distance to be covered in seventy years.”

Meaning for the duration of a journey lasting seventy years.

وعن أبي هريرة، رضي الله عنه، عن النبي ﷺ، قال: “من صام رمضان إيماناً واحتساباً، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه” متفقٌ عليه().

Abū-Hurayra (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Prophet ﷺ said, “He who observes the fast of the month of Ramaḍān with faith and reflecting upon its reward, will have his past sins forgiven.”

Narrated by Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“The Prophet ﷺ said, “He who observes the fast of the month of Ramaḍan with faith”

Meaning in a mental state where one affirms the truth of the reward related regarding it.

“And reflecting upon its reward”

Reflecting upon it and seeking thereby Allāh’s countenance [i.e His pleasure].

“Will have his past sins forgiven.”

Al-Nasāʾī and Aḥmad both add in a fine [ḥadīth ḥasan] narration, “and future sins”.
The sins which are forgiven on account of acts of obedience are those minor sins which relate to Allāh’s rights.

Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting. Hadiths 1-2

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