Sunday, December 15, 2019

A Brief Response to Dr. Ovamir Anjum’s “Who Wants the Caliphate?”

Dr. Ovamir Anjum’s recent piece for the Yaqeen Institute entitled “Who wants the Caliphate?” is certainly worth a read. It is a fairly substantial long-read for an internet article, so to summarise just a few of the points I found interesting; please note there is much more in the article than what I mention below, these are just some initial points to spark your interest in reading the article for yourself.

1. The desire amongst Muslims for a Caliphate is only growing, due to the failure of the current nation-states and the neo-liberal order which is enforced by the current unrepresentative regimes across the Middle East region and beyond. The emergence and fall of ISIS has increased this desire, juxtaposing what a bad version of a claim to a caliphate looks like with the ideal.

2. This failure is not limited to the Middle East – the whole world is currently experiencing the fallout from the failure of the current world order, as highlighted by growing inequality etc.

3. He addresses 3 objections to the idea of a re-emerging Caliphate – namely that it is undesirable, unfeasible, and/ or religiously unnecessary. This forms a major part of the article, and he makes some excellent points worth consideration – among them this quote addressing its feasibility being pertinent:

“If the fact that past caliphates were not fully unified and not always just is taken to mean that no caliphate existed, we could argue by analogy that there have been no Muslims in history because they have all been imperfect, just as there exists no democracy because all democracies are imperfect. All such arguments are equally absurd.”

4. The article goes on to address whether Islam mandates a state, the difference between caliphate and kingship, the meaning of the loss of the caliphate and the current longing for it in the context of the contemporary Middle East and wider Muslim world, and what this future caliphate could possibly look like.

I welcome this contribution to the ongoing debate around the future of the Muslim ummah and its political existence, and hope that it sparks more of this much needed discussion.

Off hand a few suggestions for future discussion and improvement:

1. Terminology. To imagine our own future, independent of colonial frameworks, we should in my opinion rid ourselves of the vocabulary which has framed a lot of political discussion in the West.

Two terms in the article come to mind – Islamism, and democracy. Islamism since it has always been to separate the political from Islam, whereas it is part of Islam. The “Islamism” that is talked of is in fact Islam, and the Islam that is talked about separate from “Islamism” is a secularised, colonised version of Islam that is not part of our normative tradition.

Democracy – because it is either a meaningless term which is used to signify “good governance” or “consent” or even “elections” or anything else that may be considered “good”, or because it means the sovereignty of people over legislation which is not Islamic. When we talk of imagining an Islamic future, we have no need for borrowed terms simply because of their positive associations in the mainstream or even among Muslims. We have no need for such a vocabulary to articulate how monarchy, despotism and autocracy have no place in Islam, while consent and the choice of ruler is central.

2. Dr. Anjum wants a revolutionary solution (the caliphate), and yet seems to shy away from what that means. The current status quo will not change gradually – the establishment of a caliphate would be a fundamental shift in the world order, and the end of the hegemony of the nation state. This point is more substantial than the first and requires a deeper discussion that I hope ensues.

3. With respect to perhaps explaining the above, taking a pragmatic rather than revolutionary approach – the solution as presented – which to be fair is scant on details – seems to be veering towards an OIC style imagined caliphate. I would encourage the author to be more bold in their thinking, as the caliphate needs to be re-imagined in its own terms, and not simply as a Muslim federalist solution along the lines of the USA.

To close with one of the final paragraphs of the article, as a final encouragement to read and engage with his piece:

“Maintaining the status quo in the Muslim world is a pipe-dream; the dream to change it is not. The current order is un-Islamic, unethical, and inimical to a decent future for Muslims and our human brethren at large. Those who wish to maintain it are a small and shrinking elite. To maintain these despotic states, these elites are having not only to suppress their majorities and kill or silence every last possibility of independent, moral thinking but also denature and distort Islam and massively brainwash Muslim societies. These grotesquely repressive and nearly-failed states are different from ISIS only in superficial ways. They are actively engaged in eliminating and replacing the Muslim sense of solidarity, as well as narrowing theological, jurisprudential, and ethical discourse to serve exclusively their interests.”

Dr. Reza Pankhurst is the author of The Inevitable Caliphate (Oxford University Press, 2012) and The Untold History of the Liberation Party (C Hurst & Co, 2016)


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Video: The Age of Aisha (RA) when getting Married to the Prophet | Iyad Hilal

In this video, we discuss the framework behind reviewing the age of Aisha (RA). We then take a look at the matter with respect to the Hadith, Seerah, History, and Fiqh. By: Iyad Hilal.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Betrayal of the Inheritance – Contemporary Muslim Scholars and the Jurisprudence of Capitulation

Numerous well known scholars have become interlocutors for the current regimes across the Middle East and Muslim countries, forsaking leadership of the oppressed in the name of a wisdom they claim monopoly over, promoting a perversion of normative Islamic thought under the guise of a traditional Islam that they have ceased to represent, if they ever did.
“The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets”
Much has been written, by scholars and others, regarding the prohibition in Islamic jurisprudence of intentionally killing civilians. This has generally been considered an abuse of differences within the Islamic tradition regarding the rules and conduct of armed conflict (jihad). Consequently, those groups and individuals who carry out and subsequently try to justify such actions with reference to that tradition are cast as perversions completely outside of the bounds of legitimate Islamic rulings (ijtihad). This is unsurprising, as generally the underlying cause for such acts are emotional reactions to the circumstances rather than religious, meaning that the attempt at justification was secondary.
There is a separate strand of thought that belongs within a discursive tradition of support for the current regimes and governments across Muslim countries, which is also detrimental, destructive and divorced from the Islamic tradition. Just as those who justify killing civilians dress their acts in the robes of jihad, there are those who justify submission to and promotion of the current regimes across the Middle East and other Muslim countries using the dressing of what they would claim is the Islamic tradition regarding rebellion. Through their misrepresentation of this tradition, they contribute to helping the current regimes maintain their grip over the society while removing the space or any avenue for dissent. While they may claim to be upholding a Prophetic tradition, by forsaking leadership of the oppressed and instead becoming promoters of the status quo they thereby perpetuate oppression. They bear some responsibility for the bloodshed which can occur when others within society, who feel the brunt of that oppression and have lost trust in the scholars claim to Islamic authority,  consequently resort to indiscriminate violence in the perceived absence of practical alternatives.

This jurisprudence (fiqh) of perpetuating the contemporary status quo, what can be referred to as the jurisprudence of capitulation and submission (fiqh al-istislam), attempts to derive its legitimacy from a strand of opinion held by some Muslim scholars throughout history that favoured unity and stability over rebellion against a tyrannical ruler. What began as a minority view consolidated over time under the justification that maintaining overall unity of the Muslim polity (khilafa, imama) was more important than the suitability of the leader of that polity. This strand became the mainstream position in later periods, but neither was it the sole position nor the simplistic caricature of submission to authority that it is being misrepresented as.
“And do not dispute (fight) with those in authority over power, unless you see a clear proof of sin/ of disbelief”
The differences over when rebellion against the ruler was justified centre around 
a) what constituted a legitimate ruler in the first place,
b) at what point it was permitted to rebel against a legitimate ruler,
c) a form of cost-benefit analysis of rebelling against that ruler.

Auxiliary to this were the questions of
d) what was the view regarding those who decided to rebel when others adopted patience, and
e) what was the attitude towards the rulers taken by those who adopted patience rather than rebellion

Traditional normative Islam considered that the ruler was delegated by the society to rule them according to Islamic rules and norms. This delegation was to be carried out via the pledge of allegiance (bay`a), which was a contract between the ruler and the ruled that so long as the ruler abided by and implemented those Islamic rules and norms, they were to be followed and there was no justification for rebellion. This contract was to be entered into willingly by both sides.

If such a ruler had taken this bay`a by force, or was in origin an un-just person before taking the bay`a, there is a difference among scholars whether they could be considered legitimate thereafter. Those who did not recognise them as legitimate considered it obligatory to remove them, by force if necessary, and establish a just authority which had the consent of the people.

There is a divergence of opinion regarding when rebellion against a legitimate ruler is mandated – in other words, to rebel against someone who was originally just and appointed by the society via the mechanism of a consensual bay`a. Justification considered legitimate ranges from personal corruption such as drunkenness or other behaviour contrary to personal Islamic laws, to not enforcing Islamic rules and norms in public, to implementing rules contrary to Islam. While there were differences upon what justified rebellion if the ruler’s actions remained short of open disbelief in Islam, all agreed that when the ruler did an action that took them out of Islam, or contradicted fundamental Islamic beliefs openly, that rebellion was mandated.

The earlier generations were much more permissive as to when rebellion against the legitimate ruler was justified, with some companions fighting against the fourth caliph and son-in-law of the Prophet, Ali, due to their demands that he investigate and punish the killers of the third caliph, Uthman. It is clear that the cost-benefit analysis of rebellion was much more weighted towards what they considered were the benefits, namely the establishment of a more just rule. Within a generation, Ali’s grandson Husain refused to accept the authority of Yazid, resulting in another war among Muslims and ultimately led to the events of Karbala. Further similar wars followed, such as the rebellion of Zayd bin Ali which was supported by the Imam Abu Hanifa.

Ibn Hazm writes in al-muhalla that the opinion that it was obligatory to physically remove a corrupted ruler by force was held by the mother of the believers Aisha, as well as by Talha, al-Zubair, Husain bin Ali, Abdullah bin al-Zubair among several other companions and the subsequent generation.

Abu Bakr al-Jassas mentions in his Quranic exegeses “and (Abu Hanifa’s) school of thought was well known to support fighting against oppression of despotic rulers

Abu Hanifa was not alone among the founders of the main four schools of thought within Sunni Islam to support rebellion against an oppressive ruler; it being the opinion which has been attributed to all four. In his history book, al-Tabari writes about how Imam Malik supported the rebellion of Muhammad bin Abdullah bin al-Hasan against the caliph al-Mansur – explicitly stating to those who came to him seeking advice about joining the rebellion given that they had already pledged themselves to al-Mansur – “You did so under duress, and there is no (validity for the) oath taken by anyone under duress”, giving a direct permission to join the rebellion.

With respect to the remaining two heads of the major schools of thought, al-Taftazani wrote “And according to al-Shafi`i, may Allah have Mercy upon him, the ruler is removed due to sinfulness and despotism”, while Qadi Abu al-Hasan related from Imam Ahmad that “Do not answer to or show respect towards those from among them (leaders) who calls to innovation, and you should remove them if you are able to”.

After the first four to five centuries of Islam, the majority position became more restrictive. The main justification was the belief that maintaining Islamic unity under a corrupted or oppressive legitimate Muslim ruler outweighed the strife and bloodshed (fitna) that may result from any rebellion in an attempt to replace them. It was in this way that the cost-benefit analysis of rebellion became more heavily weighted towards the costs of the rebellion as opposed to the gain of a better ruler.

This did not mean that such a rebellion would necessarily be illegitimate, but that unless a rebellion was sure to succeed with minimal upheaval and bloodshed, patience would be the wiser counsel until such a time that any rebellion was more capable to succeed.

The above can be summarised from ibn Hajr al-Asqalani’s commentary upon Sahih al-Bukhari where he mentions “and ibn al-tin relayed from al-Dawudi who said: The scholars view upon despotic rulers is that if it was possible to remove them without fitna or oppression, then it is obligatory to do so, otherwise patience is mandated. Some of them considered that it was not permitted to pledge allegiance to someone who was sinful (a fasiq) in the first place. If it is the case that they became despotic after being just, there is a difference over whether it was permitted to rebel against them, and the correct opinion is that it wasn’t permitted unless they committed an act of disbelief, in which case it became obligatory to rebel”

In his book based upon doctoral research carried out under the supervision of Professor Wahbah al-Zuhayli, Dr. Haikal concludes a section by narrating the opinions of classical scholars regarding their views around armed rebellion under three categories:

“1. The view that armed revolt is obligatory against every deviation of the ruler, whether it was an act of disbelief or less than that.
2. The view that the obligation to rebel is limited to the appearance of clear disbelief, while remaining obedient if there are deviation less than that, in which case rebellion would be forbidden.
3. And the view that it is permitted to rebel for reasons other than disbelief, based upon the argument that some of the companions did not participate in rebellion against oppression, while at the same time not criticising those who did.”

Given the divergence of opinions about when it was permissible to rebel against an oppressive ruler, from a legislative perspective on the one hand, and a consideration of capability on the other, it is not surprising that while one group engaged in armed rebellion others would refrain from joining. While each group would give counsel to and exhort the other, within mainstream opinion neither side would cast the other out of Islam nor consider that their view was illegitimate. Rather, the sympathies of those who preferred patience were with those who rebelled, and they would not openly support the oppressive ruler. The approach was to either speak out against the ruler if they were capable, or remain silent if not.

This is explicit in the views of the scholars that while it was obligatory to support a just ruler if they faced a rebellion, it was similarly obligatory to support a just leader of a rebellion against an unjust ruler, and otherwise to leave both sides without supporting either. In his Quranic exegesis, ibn Al-Arabi al-Maliki wrote “According to the transmission of Sahnun our scholars have said: Only fight alongside the just leader, irrespective if they were the original ruler or the one who rebelled against him. If neither are just, then withhold yourself unless you need to protect yourself, your wealth or the general Muslim population from oppression”.
“Whosoever comes to the gate of the Sultan will face fitna (by being corrupted), and whenever a slave of Allah seeks closeness to the ruler, he finds himself further from Allah
In contrast, while questions of the legitimacy of the ruler in normative Islam revolved around the question of suitability of the candidate to govern by Islam and the consent of the people, fiqh al-istislam considers the various assortment of (largely British created) monarchies and military junta that currently lead the post-Sykes-Picot nation-state Middle East as Islamically legitimate rulers in origin. Consequently they promote that the narrations, opinions and rules that apply to a legitimate caliph also apply to the current regimes, which is a totally untenable position.

While most conservative traditional views would view the revolutions in Syria, Egypt and Libya, among others such as the struggle in Palestine as legitimate expressions of resistance, fiqh al-istislam is the fiqh of a defeated mindset which delegitimises resistance to oppression and the continuing struggle against colonial and post-colonial regimes, denigrating those who resist them and advising them to do nothing except to submit, be patient and rectify oneself in a vacuum.

While most conservative traditional views would commemorate Husain bin Ali and his followers as martyrs for their stand, fiqh al-istislam claims that those seeking to remove current regimes are akin to the khawarij sect, or alternatively have been humiliated by Allah.

While most conservative traditional views would either speak against oppressive rulers such as Yazid or Hisham bin Abdul Malik, or at a minimum stay silent, fiqh al-istislam openly supports contemporary oppressive governments that have no Islamic legitimacy in origin.

While most conservative traditional views would encourage the people to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, while stopping short of open rebellion if success was not guaranteed, fiqh al-istislam enjoins submission, quietism and a culture of being apolitical upon the general population, at the same time as its scholarly adherents are being openly political in their public (supposedly apolitical) support for whichever regime they are seeking patronage from.

While the most conservative traditional views would counsel patience in the face of potential fitna to maintain the status quo of stability and unity of the Islamic people under their ruler, fiqh al-istislam perpetuates the disunity and chaos by upholding the system of nation states and their interlocutors, ensuring the maintenance of the secular post-colonial system in region.
You must enjoin the good, and you must forbid the evil, or Allah will make the worst of you sovereign over you, who will afflict you with the worst of punishments, until even the best of you raise their hands in prayer and it will not be answered”
The contemporary quietism promoted by such people is a uniquely modern phenomenon, and the call to remain silent and submissive or even support the rulers in this context has no precedent. If they considered that rebellion was not appropriate due to lack of capability, then they should at least speak out against the rulers and their wrongdoing wherever that may be. If they were unable to do that, then they should hate it in their hearts. Instead what is commonly seen is support for these rulers dressed in the robe of traditional Islam, while calling the people to focus upon themselves and spiritual enlightenment rather than taking any practical actions or speaking out.

Though proponents of fiqh al-istislam are not a monolith, for example ranging from those who almost gleefully support a regime crushing peaceful protesters to those who profess sadness at the loss of life, but they still nonetheless share the same underlying mentality of defeatism which they spread among the general population. If we are to accept that we are in a position of weakness, and incapable of removing and replacing these current rulers and the colonial states they maintain – and that we need to follow the example of the Prophet, peace be upon him, when the Muslims were in a position of weakness while in Mecca – then remember that neither the Prophet, nor the companions ever supported the Quraish or neglected to struggle for justice and call against their despotism and disbelief.

What we must not do is accept those who come to the Muslims dressed in the garb of scholars, with the eloquence of poets, and yet are promoting only defeatism. To return to the authentic Prophetic narration mentioned at the beginning of this article, Islamic scholarship is an inheritance from the Messengers. Whether for personal gain, or a misjudged appreciation of the circumstances, the creation and promotion of fiqh al-istislam is a betrayal of that inheritance, a modern innovation without precedent in Islamic tradition which is being exposed for the empty and corrupt ideology it is.
“The master of the martyrs is Hamza ibn Abdul Mattalib, and a man who stands (in front of) an oppressive ruler and enjoins the good and forbids the evil and so is killed for it”
Dr. Reza Pankhurst is the author of The Inevitable Caliphate (Oxford University Press, 2012) and The Untold History of the Liberation Party (C Hurst & Co, 2016)


Friday, September 13, 2019

Muslim Political Apathy leads to Atheism

If Islam be denied political agency because it is too inconvenient, then surely by the same principle, the rest of Islam be also denied when inconvenient also.
And when the voice of Islam that resides in the minds of Muslims, be also deemed inconvenient due to the insufferable dissonance between absence of action and Islam’s persistent exhortation to obligation, application and resolution of the affairs of the believer and the community of believers – it too shall be exorcised in the name of the same principle by which Islam was denied any political agency in the first place – inconvenience.
Over time, the muffled and mostly silenced voice of Islam will be (mis)taken for an absence of the ability of Islam, and therefore God – to ever address and resolve worldly problems.
Forgotten will be the reasons for the cause of the inconvenience, those who created and maintained it, who imposed and guarded it – the guns of foreign powers, the whip wielded by colonially created ruling elites, and the amplified sermons of their servants – obsequious and effete scholars purporting to be preservers of Islam, but whose primary vocation and service is for a very opposite end, the restraining of believers from any meaningful activity against the multitudes of injustices that prevail upon them.
But all that will be forgotten, and all that will remain is the (mis)perception of silence and inability of divine revelation to produce any efficacious comment or guidance for affairs of mankind to take the world from darkness into light.
Gradually, the (mis)perceived silence of revelation will be interpreted as a silence of God on the need for human guidance to resolve world injustices, and inexorably, and following soon thereafter, will be the sneaking suspicion that God’s silence is not because he decides not to speak or is inept at guiding mankind, but because he doesn’t exist.
Those amongst the believers who began refraining from reiterating to the masses, the words of God that guide human action in addressing the affairs of life and the world, are the first cause of the creation of those who deny the first cause of Creation.
It is those who stop speaking the words of God in all affairs, that make Him appear deficient at best and silent at worst – and a deficient or silent God, is no God at all.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Modi, Kashmir and Pakistan’s Dilemma


Modi’s surprise actions in Kashmir after repealing Article 370 was influenced by a worldview that has seized India, Hindutva, a rabid form of nationalism that is built upon a grand conceit. For Hindu nationalists, Islam is the problem and its place in any future India is for it to be subdued, depoliticised and chastened by the power of the state and the braying of the mob. It is a necessary doctrine Modi has encouraged to create a direction for his country to provide purpose and meaning for what many Indian’s today call its historical moment. Modi has attempted to patch together a ‘grand narrative’ about the country, as he aspires to develop India into a regional power. Like most ultra-nationalists, focussing upon a perceived enemy within and an enemy next door enables a national sentiment for national progression. In this regard, Hindutva shares a lot with 1930’s European fascism.

The mob lynching of Pehlu Khan, a 50-year-old dairy farmer from Rajasthan, just north of New Delhi, caught on camera and uploaded to the internet by those accused of murdering him may have horrified outsiders but in India, his attackers have been lionised. His six killers were filmed brazenly beating him to death whilst he pleaded for mercy. Last week, they were acquitted of murder on a technicality, the video had not apparently met the standards of forensic evidence. This was despite countless witnesses, two of whom were his sons, also beaten, and despite one of the assailants admitting to the murder to an undercover reporter. Around 50 have been lynched in the last three years by the so-called cow vigilantes, and hundreds have been injured.

My guest this week on The Thinking Muslim Podcast, Indian academic Fadl Hejazi, argues the impunity with which the killers conducted their mob justice was the certain knowledge that India’s state institutions would ultimately exonerate them. Since coming to office in 2014, Modi has systematically eroded the independence of state institutions. The judiciary, law enforcement, and civil administration have all been subverted by his call for national renewal and the need to chasten Muslims. Even more insidiously, this nationalism has created a media conformity that requires TV anchors and pundits to echo the message coming out of New Delhi or be branded as unpatriotic. The recent Pulwama and Balakot episodes just illustrates the length to which India’s media is ready to conspire with Modi.

Indian politics has since partition been dominated by the Congress Party, the party of its founder Nehru. This one-party domination collapsed in 1998 for a brief period when the BJP came to office and it seemed, for a while at least, that a new two-party system would replace the monopoly of Congress. When the BJP lost power in 2004 and Congress returned to dominate Indian politics for a decade, such views seemed premature. However, in 2014 under Narendra Modi, the BJP returned and today dominates the Indian political scene, winning a landslide electoral victory in April. This is in no small part down to both the Obama and Trump administrations barely concealing their support for Modi. For the Americans, the BJP government can be enlisted to side with it in its quest to counterbalance against its new global competitor, China. This is why despite his obvious power grab in Kashmir, Modi is feted around the world, moving from UAE to the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, posing with the so-called great powers. Not only does this embolden Modi at home, but it also sends the clear signal that what happens in Kashmir, in terms of state repression, imprisonment, disappearances and worse is unimportant to powers that profess liberty for all.

The Afghan connection

The Americans for their part have remained muted over Modi’s mob justice and Kashmir land-grab. India’s strategic importance and that of the BJP remaining in government supersedes any consideration for justice. As discussed in our last programme, in the short-term, the Trump administration sees mediation on Kashmir conditional to full support from Pakistan over its Afghan dilemma. This support, at least from the US’s perspective, has until now not been genuine, accusing Islamabad of playing a double-game.

America’s longest war may be coming to an end, at least that is the hope of the Trump administration. For 18 years, the US has failed to bring the Taliban to heel, oscillating between failed troop surges and periods of diplomacy. The Bush administration began the war with grandiose notions of regime change and democratic transformation only to be swallowed into a quagmire about which most Americans had lost interest. When Obama came to office, he announced a troop withdrawal and a drawdown of US commitments as he attempted to refocus his attention to the Far East and the emerging threat from China, his so-called ‘pivot to Asia’. However, this intention to exit came with a troop surge, at one point 140,000 NATO ISAF troops were deployed to root out the militia group that had fought a successful asymmetrical war. By 2014 Obama’s failure was clear, the Taliban remained at-large and their power had not eroded. All Obama could do was engage in a face-saving exercise and publicly withdraw, rebrand the operation and keep a residual force of 9000 to supposedly undertake ‘non-combat’ roles. This facade was soon exposed, as US troops had to reengage, leading the Trump administration to accept the inevitable, the only solution was to negotiate a way out. However, like another failed war, Vietnam, it has to ‘leave with honour’.

The American delegation meeting with the Taliban in Doha

The American’s need Pakistan to bring all of the Taliban to the negotiating table and critically, apply pressure on the militant group to negotiate with the Afghan Ghani government. The Taliban thus far have flatly refused to speak to Ghani, preferring the optics of negotiating with the world’s superpower, without this the US presence in Afghanistan would be shown to be what it, in reality, is, the real political force in the country. Simply put, Trump needs the above two conditions to be met to ‘leave with honour’ and withholding diplomatic support to Pakistan over Kashmir allows it to apply pressure upon Islamabad. Its hope is Pakistan will get the message.

For his part, Imran Khan has to play the role of the resolute leader, taking to Twitter to castigate Modi and talking of Hindutva and false-flag operations.

Together with a failed Security Council special meeting sponsored half-heartedly by China, calls to take India to the International Court of Justice and, bizarrely, an effort to suspend Priyanka Chopra as a UN goodwill ambassador. These moves may play well to temporarily pacify an enraged public but does little to address the real problem, that of India’s occupation of Kashmir.

The Thinking Muslim Podcast can be downloaded on all Podcast Apps.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Video: Explanation of Al-Risala of Imam Shafi - Part 1 [Urdu]

شرح (الرسالة للإمام الشافعي رحمه الله) درس : ١

Part 1 of a series by Dr Shaykh Shu'ayb ibn Mukhtar explaining the great work on the foundations of Islamic jurisprudence, Al-Risala of Imam Shafi (rh). The video is in the Urdu language.

New Book: Kitāb ut-Tawḥeed: The Basis of Islam and the Reality of Monotheism

The Book of Monotheism

Kitāb ut-Tawḥeed: The Basis of Islam and the Reality of Monotheism, occupies a unique place amongst contemporary Islamic works.

Volume 1 is now published and is the first book in the series.

The book is the magnum opus of Professor Muḥammad ibn Abdullah al-Mas’ari (may Allah preserve him), and has been rendered into English for the first time.

The work represents an in-depth study into the very root origins of Islam, the essential nature of Tawḥeed.  Coupled with that, it tackles head on not only the age-old problem concerning the precise nature of worship (ibādah) and polytheism (shirk), but also how these topics correspond to contemporary issues like ruling, governance and allegiance.

Liberated from confused ill-disciplined divisions, primacy throughout the work is given to the original textual sources: the Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah.  By returning to the original textual sources many of the phantasms that have plagued Islamic thought for far too long and directly challenged.

The first volume published in this series covers the foundations of Deen and its fundamental maxims, comprising three parts:
  • Part I: Religion & Worldly Life
  • Part II: The Nature of Revelation and the Revealed ‘Dhikr’
  • Part III: Fundamental Issues of Uṣul and ‘Aqeedah 

Volume 1 contents listing

Set out below is the complete contents listing for the book.  When compared with the original Arabic text, chapter titles overall have been streamlined and abbreviated.
Part I
  1. Deen and Dunya
  2. Urbanisation, Civilisation and Culture
  3. Distinguishing between ‘Deen’ and ‘Dunya’
  4. Islam is an intellectual creed
  5. The definition of Islam
  6. The meaning of ‘there is no deity except Allah’
  7. The meaning of ‘Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’
  8. The Grades of Deen
  9. The Basis of Islam and its Essential Pillars

Part II
  1. Revelation is both the Qur’an and the Sunnah
  2. ‘He doesn’t speak of his own desire…’
  3. ‘Whoever obeys the Prophet, indeed obeys Allah’
  4. Types of Divine Revelation
  5. ‘Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it…’
  6. ‘I only follow what is revealed to me’
  7. Prophet Muhammad is the ‘Excellent Exemplar’
  8. ‘That Allah may forgive your previous and future sins’
  9. Reagarding the acts of the Prophet – can he forget?
  10. Enjoining the good, forbidding all evil
  11. The Sunnah as an independent source of law
  12. The Hikmah and Dhikr are also revelation
  13. The meaning of the word ‘Dhikr
  14. Testimony of the Sunnah to its proof
  15. Some of what may or may not happen to the Prophets
  16. Deception by false testimony?
  17. Silence as a decisive proof?
  18. The ‘Dhikr’ also encompasses the Sunnah
  19. The ‘Dhikr’: Qur’an & Sunnah are protected
  20. A brief overview of the period of ‘Sunnah recordation’

Part III
  1. The Seal of Prophethood
  2. An excellence that exceeds all others
  3. All previous Prophetic laws are abrogated
  4. ‘If my companion Moses was alive, he would be following me’
  5. Prohibition relating to excessive questioning
  6. Permissibility is the original or default ruling
  7. What is the original ruling concerning worship?
  8. A ‘Sunnah Tarkiyah’?
  9. Actions are by intentions
  10. Islam is the complete Deen
  11. Prophet Muhammad permits all the good, outlaws all the evil
  12. Verily, Allah does not command indecency

About the author

Born in Mecca (Friday 8 November 1946), Professor Muḥammad ibn Abdullah al-Mas’ari (may Allah preserve him) is from the Dawāsir tribe, which is the modern name for the famous tribe of Hamdān and hails from a distinguished and scholarly family.  His father, Sheikh Abdullah ibn Sulaymān ibn Abdur-Raḥman ibn Muḥammad al-Mas’ari, may Allah have mercy upon him (b. 1918 / d. 2005) was a learned scholar and one of the distinguished students of Sheikh Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhim al-Sheikh, may Allah have mercy upon him. He also held several distinguished posts from early on, from being an assistant judge to Sheikh ‘Abdal-Aziz ibn Abdullah ibn Bāz, to becoming vice-President and later President of the Board of Grievances (Diwān al-Mathālim; the Supreme Administrative and Constitutional Court), and a Professor of Islamic studies at Dar al-Tawḥeed, in Ṭā’if.

His maternal grandfather was the distinguished Sheikh Muḥammad ibn Abdur-Razzāq (d. 1973), the founder of Dar al-Ḥadith Academy in Mecca and al-Imām al-Ḥaramayn, of Medina and Mecca.
Naturally growing up in this distinguished scholarly environment Professor Muḥammad al-Mas’ari was an outstanding student from a young age, benefiting enormously from study circles with his father and his associates.  He has always had an insatiable desire for knowledge, leading him to peruse the rich collection of works from his father’s library, covering both the Islamic sciences, philosophy and literature.  A very early example of this, is the study he undertook of Majmu’ al-Fatāwa, which is Ibn Taymiyyah’s acclaimed work consisting of some 40 Volumes, following its publication in 1963.  That study included a complete critical reading of the text accompanied with detailed comments, observations and criticisms.

In tandem with his studies in various branches of Islamic sciences, Muḥammad al-Mas’ari is also Professor Emeritus of Theoretical and Mathematical Physics.  Published widely in the field of solar energy conversion, solid-state devices and QCD (quantum chromodynamics), some of his key achievements have been designing the first prototype electric car and the calculation of the Top-Quark mass within the framework of the renormalisation group equations.

However, it is his Islamic works that have made a quantum leap in contemporary Islamic thought, notable works include:
  • The Seal of Prophethood
  • Prohibition of building Mosques on Graves
  • Najd and the Horn of the Devil
  • The Constitution of Medina
  • Ḥākimiyyah and the Sovereignty of Sharī’ah
  • The Awaited Promised Mahdi
Professor Muḥammad al-Mas’ari lives in exile in London since 1994, where he currently continues his research and writing.


Sunday, June 02, 2019

The Fiqh of Zakaat ul Fitr

This is an extract from the book "Al Jaami'u li Ahkaam is Siyaam" (A complete guide to the rules of fasting) by Sheikh Abu Iyaas Mahmood bin Abdul-Lateef bin Mahmood ('Uwaydhah). Please note this is a draft translation from Arabic. For exact meanings please refer to the original Arabic book.


It is also called ‘Sadaqat-ul-Fitr’; the two names have appeared in the Noble Ahaadeeth and become widespread in the books of Fiqh. Sadaqat-ul-Fitr or Zakaat-ul-Fitr is a Zakaah like the other obligatory Zaakawaat and it is a type from amongst the types of Zakaah and has therefore been placed by the Fuqahaa in the chapter of Zakaah. I have however preferred to place it here in the chapter of As-Sawm due to its connection with it just as I have included a number of other topics which have a relationship to fasting despite there being placed in different chapters of Fiqh ordinarily. I have done this as can be seen from the title of this book I wanted to collect all of the specific Fiqh related to fasting so this book ‘Al-Jaami’ LiAhkaam-is-Siyaam’ was intended to be comprehensive in dealing with the Ahkaam of Siyaam, including all of its rules with the aim of helping the reader to be able to view all of the Ahkaam from one sources.

Sadaqat-ul-Fitr or Zakaat-ul-Fitr has been indicated in the Noble Book of Allah (swt) and it is included in all of the Ayaat that use the term Zakaah. At-Tabari narrated in his Tafseer (156/3) from Abu Khaldah that he said: [I entered upon Abu ‘Aaliyah and he said to me: When you go out for ‘Eid tomorrow pass by me. He said: So I passed by him and He said: Have you eaten anything? I replied: Yes. He said: Have you had water? I replied: Yes. He said: So tell me what did you do in regards to your Zakaah? I said: I addressed it (Igave it out). He said: I only wanted you for this then he read: (قد أفلح من تزكى وذكر اسم ربه فصلى). (Verily the one who purifies himself (with Zakaah) has been successful and remembers the name of his Lord and prays). And he said: The people of Al-Madinah have not seen a Sadaqah better than it, and the drinking of water]. Ibn Al-Qudaamah said in Al-Mughni: [Sa’eed Bin Al-Musayyib and ‘Umar Ibn Abd-il-Azeez said in relation to the Ayah: (قد أفلح من تزكى) It concerns Zakaat-ul-Fitr.

It has been named Zakaat-ul-Fitr because the Fitr (breaking of fast) after the Fast is its Sabab (cause) or because it becomes obligatory upon the Fitr.

The Hukm (ruling) of Zakaat-ul-Fitr:

Ibn ul-Mundhir said that it has been reported from the people of knowledge that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is Fard (obligatory). This statement is not precise and what Ishaq said is more accurate: The obligation of Al-Fitr is like an Ijmaa’. This is because it has been reported from some of the later followers of Imaam Maalik, Daawood and some of the Shaafi’iyah that it is Sunnah and they interpreted what has been found in the Ahaadeeth that the word Farada (to obligate) means Qaddara (to estimate) taken from its original Arabic meaning. The Majority have said (however) that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is Fard.

The truth is that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is Fard (obligatory), firstly because it is a Zakaah from the forms of Zakawaat, secondly because the text has made it obligatory so when the word (farada) comes in an evidence it is then obligatory to take its Sharee’ah meaning which is Waajib and not to go to its linguistic meaning. What has been established (in meanings) by the Shar’a dominates linguistic considerations so any wording used in the texts must first be explained by its Shar’a meaning.
1)      ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (ra) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) enjoined (Farada) the payment of one Saa'a of dates or one Saa'a of barley as Zakaat-ul-Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the 'Eid prayer. (One Saa'a = 3 Kilograms approx.)
Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (1503), Muslim, Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa’i, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah and Ad-Daarami with differences in the wording (Alfaazh).
2)      Ibn ‘Umar (ra) said:
"The Prophet (saw) made incumbent on every male or female, free man or slave, the payment of one Saa'a of dates or barley as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (or said Sadaqa-Ramadan)." The people then substituted half Saa'a of wheat for that...".
Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (1511), Ahmad and Ibn Khuzaimah.
3)      Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) prescribed (Farada) Zakaat-ul-Fitr as a purification for the fasting person from empty and obscene talk and for feeding the poor. If anyone pays it before the prayer (of 'Eid), it will be accepted as Zakaah. If anyone pays it after the prayer, that will be a sadaqah like other Sadaqaat".
Narrated by Abu Daawood (1609), Ibn Maajah and Ad-Daaraqutni. Al-Haakim related it (409/1) and classified it as Saheeh and Adh-Dhahabi confirmed this.
4)      ‘Amru Bin Shu’aib from his father from his grandfather (ra):
"That the Prophet (saw) sent a caller calling out into the crowds of Makkah: Verily Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is obligatory (waajib) on every Muslim: Male or female, free or slave, young or old. Two Mudd of wheat or equivalent to a Saa’a of food".
Narrated by At-Tirmidhi (669) and he said: [This Hadeeth is Hasan Ghareeb]. Ad-Daaraqutni narrated it and was silent from it.

These Saheeh Ahaadeeth which are valid legal proofs mention that Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is obligatory saying that it is ‘Fard’ in the first three and ‘Waajib’ in the fourth Hadeeth. Indeed the third Hadeeth says: . This statement is of the most clear to indicate that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is obligatory.
Some of the Fuqahaa have latched on to a Hadeeth narrated by Qaisd Bin Sa’d which they say indicates that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is no longer obligatory after it had been for a period of time, that it indicates that the obligation has been abrogated.

This is the Hadeeth: Qais Ibn Sa’d (ra) said: "The Messenger of Allah (saw) commanded us with Sadaqat-ul-Fitr before the revelation of Zakaah so after it Zakaah had been revealed he did not order us or forbid us (from giving Al-Fitr) and we gave it (anyway".

Narrated by Ibn Maajah )1828), An-Nasaa’i, Ahmad, Ibn Khuzaimah and Al-Bayhaqi in a Saheeh chain. So we say to those (who have used this evidence) the following:
This Hadeeth is not a proof for you more than it is a proof for our view. The Hadeeth indicates in its Mantooq (literal clear meaning) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) had ordered it before the (rules of Zakaah) were revealed and this Hadeeth compares it with Zakaah to indicate that it is Zakaah and would therefore take its ruling. They would not oppose it, as long as it takes the Hukm of Zakaah and is included under the Hukm of the Wujoob (obligation) of Zakaah without any dispute amongst the Muslims. For this Hukm to be nullified it requires a text and the text (evidence) they have used here does not indicate the abrogation that they have claimed. The Hadeeth: indicates that the Hukm remained and that no change occurred in terms of ordering or forbidding with the continuation of acting according to it by the Muslims. As for the claims of Nuskh (abrogation) they are Baatilah (false and invalid) and had Nuskh been intended the Hadeeth would have been worded (something like): We had been forbidden, or he did not oblige upon us, or whoever of you wishes then he can do so or leave it. When he (saw) did not say anything and the situation remains as it was in terms of acting in accordance to it, then this is of the clearest indicated meanings that the Hukm remains upon Wujoob (obligation). This is when it is known (as a clear and basic understanding) that it is not obligatory (or necessary) upon the Prophet (saw) to repeat his legislative statements from time to time.

So Az-Zakaah is Mafroodah and Waajibah and the Hanafiyyah have said that it is Waajibah but not Mafroodah due to the Qaaidah (principle) they have to distinguish between the Fard and Waajib. This obligation has continued from its beginning until this day based on the well known Usooli Qaa’idah of Al-Istihaab and there is no proof of any value for those who say that it has been abrogated or that it is recommended.

The time of its obligation:

As for the time of its obligation, it begins at the setting of the sun in the last of the days of Ramadhaan or at the beginning of Laylat-ul-Fitr (The night of Fitr). This is because this Zakaah is Zakaat-ul-Fitr and Fitr begins at the end of fasting and fasting ends when the sun sets in the last of the days of Ramadhaan. This is the opinion of Maalik in one report, Ash0Shaafi’, Ahmad, Ath-Thawri and Ishaq Bin Raahuwaih. It is correct for the one who specifies this opinion and acts according to it which is different to the opinion of Abu Haneefah, Al-Laith Bin Sa’d, Abu Thawr and Maalik in another report attributed to him. They say that the obligatory time begins at the rising of the sun (Fajr) of the day of ‘Eid with the claim that Al-Fitr does not occur until that time and that Al-Fitr does not occur at night because it isn’t time for fasting. In light of this I say the following:

This issue is of such clarity that it is not necessary for there to exist any dispute in relation to it. We fast the month of Ramadhaan at the end of the month and make Iftaar (Fitr) at the end of it and the end of the month happens when the sun sets in its last day. Therefore we the Muslims consider that the day, any day, begins with the setting of the sun on the day that has preceded it so we consider that the night precedes the day in calculating the days so the day of Jum’ah for example begins when the sun sets on Thursday (Al-Khamees) so when the sun goes down on Thursday, Friday (Jum’ah) begins. Therefore any opinion that goes against this way of calculating is not considered. Based on this the month of Ramadhaan finishes when the sun sets on its last day and Shawaal begins which is the beginning of Fitr and due to this Salaat-ul-t-Taraaweeh is not prayed in that night because it is not from Ramadhaan. As such it becomes evident that the Fitr which is the cause of the Zakaah occurs at the time of the sun setting on the last day of Ramadhaan.

As for the view that Al-Fitr does not occur without the rising of the sun at Fajr on the day of ‘Eid, it carries no proof for our issue because Al-Fitr has occurred with the beginning of Shawaal, meaning that the cause of Az-Zakaah has occurred which is the occurrence or coming of Al-Fitr. The view of the occurrence of Al-Fitr or the non-occurrence of it does not have an effect on the actual occurrence of Al-Fitr and does not affect the presence of the sabab for giving Az-Zakaah which is the occurrence of Al-Fitr in itself, so the important thing is ascertaining the existence of Al-Fitr and it has been confirmed and ascertained with the ending of the fast and the month of fasting ends at the moment in which Shawaal begins. In conclusion attaching the giving of Az-Zakaah to the appearance of Al-Fitr is a clear mistake which is necessary to move away from.

The time of extracting/giving it (Zakaat-ul-Fitr):

The four A’immah and others have disagreed in defining the time for extracting it in the following way:  Abu Haneefah has permitted extract the Zakaat-ul-Fitr in advance, before Ramadhaan and even if two years before. Maalik said it is not permitted to advance this Zakaah from its time and it is obligatory to give it in its time similar to Salaah. Ash-Shaafi’ said that it is allowed to extract it from the first day of Ramadhaan. Ahmad said it is allowed before the day of ‘Eid by one or two days. The majority have said: It is recommended to extract it before the Salaah of ‘Eid and it is permitted to extract it at the end of the day of ‘Eid.

All have agreed that the obligation does not fall by delaying it and remains a debt until it is paid and it is not allowed to delay it past the day of ‘Eid with the exception of what was reported from Muhammad Bin Seereen and Ibraheem An-Nakh’i that it is allowed to delay it past the day of ‘Eid. Ahmad said: I expect that there would be no problem in that. Ibn Ruslaan said: It is Haraam with agreement because it is Zakaah so it is obligatory that sin occurs with its delay just as it would do if Salaah was prayed outside of its time.
In order that we can make clear the correct verdict in this issue of ours it is necessary to present and bring forth the texts (evidences) that are related to it:

1)       ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (ra) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) enjoined (Farada) the payment of one Saa'a of dates or one Saa'a of barley as Zakaat-ul-Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the 'Eid prayer. (One Saa'a = 3 Kilograms approx.)".
Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (1503), Muslim, Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa’i, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah.
2)      Ibn ‘Umar (ra) said:
"That the Messenger of Allah (saw) ordered that the Sadaqat-ul-Fitr should be paid before the people go out for prayer".
Narrated by Muslim (2289), Abu Daawood, At-Tirmidhi, Ahmad and Ad-Daarami.
3)      Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra) said:
"It is from the Sunnah that Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is given before the Salaah".
Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaibah (60/3) and Ad-Daaraqutni.
4)      Naafi’ reported from Ibn ‘Umar (ra) that he said:
"That the Messenger of Allah (saw) ordered the giving of Zakaat-ul-Fitr should be performed before the going out (to the Masjid) of the people and that ‘Abdullah use to give it before that by a day or two".
Ibn Hibbaan (3299) and Ad-Daaraqutni.
5)      Naafi’ said:
"That ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar used to give Zakkat-ul-Fitr to those who gathered by him before Al-Fitr by two or three days".
Narrated by Imaam Maalik (238/1). Ibn Abi Shaibah (115/3) used the following wording: .
6)      Abu Ma’shar reported from Naafi’ from Ibn ‘Umar (ra) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) made Zakaat-ul-Fitr Fard (obligatory): Provide (enrich) them in this day".
Narrated by Ad-Daaraqutni (153/2). Al-Bayhaqi in part of a long hadeeth (175/4) reported:<...Provide for them so they do not have to go out (looking for it (provision)) on this day>. Ibn Sa’d narrated from Muhammad Ibn ‘Umar Al-Waaqidi.
7)      Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) obliged (farada) Zakaat-ul-Fitr as a purification for the fasting person from false and vile speech and also as feeding for the poor (Masaakeen). Whoever performs it before the Salaah then it is acceptable Zakaah and whoever gives it after the Salaah then it is a Sadaqah from amongst the Sadaqaat".
Narrated by Abu Daawood (1609), Ibn Maajah, Ad-Daaraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi. Related by Al-Haakim (409/1) and verified by him and Adh-Dhahabi conformed it.
8)      ‘Abdullah Ibn Tha’labah Bin Su’air Al-‘Udhri said:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) addressed is speech two days before Al-Fitr saying: Give a Saa’a of Burr or Qamh (wheat) between two or a Saa’a of Tamr (dates, or a Saa’ah of Sha’eer (barley) and this (obligation) is upon every free man, slave, young and old".
Related by Ahmad (24063), Abu Daawood, Ad-Daaraqutni, At-Tabaraani and At-Tahaawi with a chain (isnaad) with trustworthy transmitters. Ad-Daaraqutni also reported it from another party saying: From ‘Abdullah Bin Tha’labah Bin Su’air from his father.

The third Hadeeth is of the reports of Hujjaaj Bin Artaa who has been classified as Da’eef by many and is therefore left. The sixth Hadeeth is from Ma’shar as related by Ad-Daaraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi and from Muhammad Bin ‘Umar Al-Waaqidi according to Ibn Sa’d in his Tabaqaat (list of reports) and they are both very weak (Da’eef) and the Hadeeth is rejected (left) from both reporters. So there remains with us six Ahaadeeth that are suitable to be used as a (legal) proof and for making deductions.

These Ahaadeeth have explained the time for giving the Zakaah, which is before the Salaah or before the exiting of the people to the place of Salaah without the Ahaadeeth having mentioned that this is the beginning time for handing out the Zakaah. All of the Ahaadeeth have mentioned the end time for handing out the Zakaah which is the Salaah of ‘Eid-ul-Fitr but did not mention its beginning time. We therefore say that it is obligatory (waajib) on every Muslim to hand out his Zakaah before he prays the ‘Eid Salaah and not to pray until he has given his Zakaat-ul-Fitr. As for handing it out a long time before the Salaah or a short time then this has not been specified by the Ahaadeeth and in the case where a text has not mentioned it then it is left for the Muslim himself to decide the time. He can therefore distribute it just before the Salaah, the night of ‘Eid (before the Salaah) and he can also give it before that by a lot and a little so the room here is wide.

As for what was mentioned in the fourth Hadeeth (That ‘Abdullah used to give it before that by a day or two) this is not a limitation or specifying to the earliest time of distributing it but rather this only reflects the choice of Ibn ‘Umar to do so at this time. So just as it was a right of Ibn ‘Umar to choose this time then it is also allowed for someone to choose a time that is before or after this.

The fifth Hadeeth that says: (That Ibn ‘Umar distributed Zakaat-ul-Fitr to those who gathered around him before (the day of) Al-Fitr by two or three days) narrated by Maalik and from Ibn Abi Shaibah that: (That he would give the Zakaat-ul-Fitr a day or two days (before Al-Fitr) to those who sat with him and he did not see a problem in that). What is indicated that the Muslims would gather and receive the Zakaat-ul-Fitr two or three days before the Salaah (of ‘Eid Al-Fitr), the meaning of this in the description given is not binding upon anyone. There is no indication and meaning in this description (of what Ibn ‘Umar did) that contains compulsion and rather represents what is allowed to do in organising the giving of the Zakaat and what is required in terms of organising its time and performance. It does not indicate more than this, so whoever wants to organise the distribution of Zakaah then there is no doubt that he needs to choose a time for this but this does not mean that this time becomes the time that has been legislated. If we look at the statement of Ibn ‘Umar (And he did not see a problem with that) it indicates in a clear meaning that the specification of a time for the taking of Zakaah is not legislated and binding otherwise the statement of Ibn ‘Umar would have no meaning, indeed how would this statement be permissible?
The eighth Hadeeth that mentions: (The Messenger of Allah (saw) addressed us two days before Al-Fitr saying: Give Saa’an of wheat...) also is not counted as a text that specifies the beginning of the time for the giving of the Zakaah. It rather only mentions the time in which the Messenger of Allah (saw) legislated Zakaat-ul-Fitr and there is a big difference between a text about the time of the obligation and that concerned with the time of announcing the ruling (Hukm). So the Messenger of Allah (saw) explained the ruling of Zakaat-ul-Fitr and ordered its giving and this occurred two days before the day of Al-Fitr. Meaning that he ordered the giving of Zakaat-ul-Fitr and chose the time for announcing this Hukm two days before Al-Fitr and that this text does not indicate any specification at all for the beginning of distributing the Zakaah, which is not hidden from the aware and precise person. In conclusion all of the (Sharee’ah) texts have not specified the time for extracting and giving Zakaat-ul-Fitr and the ruling is as a result wider (not constrained) so that the Muslim can choose the suitable time for himself to give this Zakaah.

Finally I say that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is Zakaah and its Ahkaam (rules) are the same except for where an exception has been mentioned and it has been mentioned general in Salaah that it is permitted generally to advance it. It has been narrated by ‘Ali (ra): " That Al-‘Abbaas asked the Messenger of Allah if he could give his Zakaah before its time in advance and so he (saw) permitted him to do this". Narrated by At-Tirmidhi (673), Abu Daawood, Ibn Maajah, Ahmad and Ad-Daaraqutni and no exception or abrogation has been mentioned that effects the generality of this text and therefore remains general. At-Tirmidhi (673) said in relation to the reporting of this Hadeeth: [The people of knowledge (Ahl-ul-’Ilm) have disagreed in relation to advancing the giving of Zakaah before its time. A group of the people of knowledge said that it is not allowed to advance it and this is the view of Sufyaan Ath-Thawri. He said: It is better that it is not advanced (given early). Most of the Ahl-ul-‘Ilm however have said that advancing it before its time is sufficient and this is what Ash-Shaaf’i, Ahmad and Ishaq said". And where Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is considered as Zakaah then this opinion in relation to Zakaah also applies to it.

As for the Ahaadeeth that say that the Zakaah should be given before the exiting of the people for Salaah then there is no doubt that it is specifying clearly and making binding the last time for extracting or giving it out. The wording of the seventh Hadeeth is: . This is abundantly clear in specifying the final or last time for disposing (of the Zakaah) and so as to explaining the binding nature of this and obligation (Wujoob) it comes with the statement that ‘whoever discharges it after the Salaah then it is (just) a Sadaqah from amongst the acts of Sadaqah, meaning that it just becomes a recommended and extra act and does not count as the obligatory Zakaah. Therefore for the Zakaat-ul-Fitr to remain in the status of the obligatory Zakaah then it is not valid to delay it to after the time of As-Salaat-ul-‘Eid and this Ta’kheer (delay) is sinful. Built upon this the view of delaying it until the day of ‘Eid or the last day of ‘Eid is invalid and incorrect which reflects the opinion of the majority.

As for the statement that the Fuqahaa have agreed that the obligation of the Zakaah does not fall due to delaying and that it remains a debt until it is fulfilled, I do not regard it as correct as the seventh Hadeeth relates and responds to this. How is it possible to perform this obligatory Zakaah after Salaat-ul-‘Eid with a non-obligatory Sadaqah? This is because the seventh Hadeeth says in a clear form: <...Whoever performs it after the Salaah then it is Sadaqah from amongst the acts of Sadaqah>. This means that after the Salaah the giving is no longer considered Zakaat Al-Fitr and is rather only considered a Sadaqah like any other giving of Sadaqah. So is the dispensing of a non-obligatory Sadaqah at this time considered as the giving of the obligatory Zakaat-ul-Fitr?

Based on what has been said previously we say that the Shar’a has determined the end time for dispensing of the Zakaat-ul-Fitr which is Salaat-ul-‘Eid and has not determined its beginning time so that the Muslim can choose the time that he views best for giving this Zakaah. He can therefore dispose of it two days before ‘Eid or a week or even by a month and there is no harm in any of this. Yes had the sixth Hadeeth been Saheeh we could have extracted an ‘Illah (legal reasoning) for advancing the dispensing of the Zakaah by a few days from the Salaah so that the Zakaah does not get implemented amongst the Masaakeen on the day of ‘Eid (itself), however this Hadeeth is very weak and it is not valid to be used as a legal evidence.

Who is Zakaat-ul-Fitr obligatory upon?

Zakaat-ul-Fitr is obligatory upon every Muslim without exception, so it is obligatory upon the rich and poor, the old and young, the male and female, the free and slave and the one who fasted and didn’t fast. So it is Waajib on every Muslim and Muslimah and there is no exception for this within the texts and not restriction to this general and unrestricting Hukm (ruling). Here are a collection of the evidences that explain this Hukm:
1)      Ibn ‘Umar (ra) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) obliged Zakaat-ul-Fitr of a Saa’a of dates or barley upon the slave and free person, the male and female as well as the young and old from amongst the Muslims...".
Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (1503) and others. This Hadeeth has been previously mentioned in the section: [The Hukm of Zakaat-ul-Fitr].
2)      Abu Sa’eed (ra) said:
"We use to take the Zakaat-ul-Fitr whilst the Messenger of Allah (saw) was amongst us from every young and old person and every free person and slave...".
Narrated by Al-Imaam Muslim (2285), Al-Bukhaari and Ad-Daarami.
3)      Mu’mar related from Az-Zuhri from Abd-ur-Rahman Al-A’araj from Abu Hurairah that he said:
"Zakaat-ul-Fitr is upon every free person and slave, male and female, young and old, rich and poor. A Saa’a of dates (Tamr) or half a Saa’a of wheat (Qamh). Mu’mar said: It reached me from Az-Zuhri that it (the Hadeeth) was Marfoo’an".
Reported by At-Tahaawi (45/2), ‘Abd-ur-Razzaaq and Al-Bayhaqi. Ahmad (7710) narrated the following Lafzh (wording): . Its Sanad (chain) is Saheeh.
4)      Related from ‘Amru Bin Shu’aib, from his father from his grandfather (ra) that he said:
" That the Prophet (saw) sent a caller out to the Hujjaaj of Makkah (calling): Verily Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is Waajib (obligatory) on every male and female Muslim, free and slave, young and old. Two Mudd of Wheat or its equivalent Saa’a of food".
Narrated by At-Tirmidhi (669) and he said: [This Hadeeth is Ghareeb Hasan]. Ad-Daaraqutni narrated it and was silent upon it.

The textual meaning (Dalaalah) of these Ahaadeeth is clear. Only the statement: (and it is obligatory upon who has fasted and who has not) requires a short review. I say: This statement is extractable from all of the Ahaadeeth when they mention the female in generality and the female breaks her fast due to her Nifaas (child-birth bleeding) and despite this she still must may Zakaah. Also when the Ahaadeeth mention the Kabeer (older person) generally this includes the one who has not fasted but fed (Masaakeen) in its place and Zakaah is obligatory upon him just as when it mentions the Sagheer (young) which includes the baby and not yet mature who do not fast or may not fast and yet the Zakaah is obligatory upon them. All of this therefore indicates in certain meaning that Az-Zakaah is obligatory upon the one who has fasted and the one who has not and therefore the Zakaah is obligatory upon every Muslim without any exception.

As for what has been reported from Abu Haneefah, Ath-Thawri, Ishaq, An-Nakh’i and ‘Ataa that: Zakaat-ul-Fitr is obligatory upon the Kaafir (disbeliever) if he is a slave, and Kaafirah (disbelieving woman) who is married to a Muslim. This opinion is a mistake and the texts reject it and they have only relied upon some texts (for their opinion) which are:
1)      ‘Araak Bin Maalik said: I heard Abu Hurairah saying that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
"There is no sadaqah upon the slave except Sadaqat-ul-Fitr".
Narrated by Muslim (2276), Ahmad and Ibn Khuzaimah.
2)      Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra) said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
"Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is taken from every young and old, male and female, jew and Christian, free and slave. Half a Saa’a of Burr (wheat) or a Saa’a of Tamr (dates) or a Saa’a of barley (Sha’eer)".
Reported by Ad-Daaraqutni (150/2).
3)      The ahaadeeth that was just mentioned earlier: , number 1 and , number 2 and number 3 and number 4.

May Allah forgive them, they used as evidence Ahaadeeth that came in the general form and did not take notice of the specification of this form and it is well known as an obvious matter that the specific works with it (the general ‘Aam) and that the ‘Aam is carried over the Khaass (specific) so in the first Hadeeth there was a specification: and in the fourth Hadeeth: and this specification is as clear as the Sun in the sky. So the slave if he is Muslim is obliged with the Zakaah and the wife also as an example if she is a Muslimah is obliged with this Zakaah and therefore the non-muslim slave and wife are excluded from this. In addition Zakaah is an act of ‘Ibaadah (worship) and ‘Ibaadah is not valid from a Kaafir (disbeliever) becauses its Shart is Islaam (i.e. being a Muslim). So the slave that is mentioned (included) here is the Muslim slave carrying the ‘Aam over the Khaas.

As for the second Hadeeth it is a strong proof for their opinion, that is if it was Saheeh or Hasan however it is not a valid Hadeeth to be used as a proof to be worked with. Ad-Daaraqutni the narrator of the Hadeeth said: [Salaam At-Taweel is rejected in hadeeth and it (the hadeeth) is not linked to other than him]. An-Nasaa’i said: [The Hadeeth is rejected] and Yahya Bin Mo’een said: [I do not record his hadeeth]. Ibn –ul-Mudaini classified it as very weak and Ibn ul-Jawzwi considered it fabricated. Based on this, where is there Ijtihaad for what they have put forward in this opinion? Did they apply this Ijtihaad in front of the Hadeeth which was narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (ra) when he said: "That the Messenger of Allah (saw) made the Zakaat-ul-Fitr of Ramadhaan obligatory upon every person of the Muslims, the free and slave, the man and woman, the young and old. A Saa’a of Tamr or a Saa’a of Sha’eer (Barley)" which was narrated by Muslim (2282), Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibbaan, Al-Bayhaqi and Ad-Daaraqutni. And the proof here is decisive and irrefutable.

In relation to what was reported from Muhammad Bin Al-Hasan Ash-Shayaati, a companion of Abu Haneefah, his opinion that As-Sadaqah is not obligatory upon the young and the opinion of Hasan Al-Basri, ‘Aamir Ash-Sha’bi and Sa’eed Bin Al-Musayyib that the Zakaah was obligatory only upon the one who had fasted using as an evidence the Hadeeth we mentioned previously in the section [the time of extracting/dispensing it) number 7 which said: <...Zakaat-ul-Fitr is a purification for the fasting person from false and dirty talk...> which was narrated by Abu Daawood (1609) and others. Then in respect to these two views all of the Ahaadeeth reject them, as the ‘young’ has been mentioned blatantly in many Ahaadeeth and it is not allowed to hold a view which contradicts that. And in relation to Zakaat-ul-Fitr being purification for the fasting person, then this is excluded and overcome otherwise all of the Ahaadeeth that mention the person who is not fasting would be rejected, and these people are not saying that.

As for the obligation itself then who does it fall upon? Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’, Ahmad, Al-Laith Ibn Sa’d, Ishaq Bin Raahuwaih say that the obligation falls upon the husband for his wife whereas Abu Haneefah, Ath-Thawri and Ibn-ul-Mundhir from the Shaafi’yah say that the obligation falls upon the wife.

The correct view is that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is the extraction of money or the spending of money, and Infaaq (spending) falls upon the husband of the wife just as it does in respect to a man and his young son and his elderly father as well as all of those who he is obliged to spend upon from his family, wives and children. Zakaat-ul-Fitr is from amongst these Nafaqaat (spending) and it falls upon the one who supports his dependents without a regard to their types. However this is not the place to delve into this issue and we will suffice ourselves to mention a number of Ahaadeeth that guide to what we are saying:
a)       The Ahaadeeth which mention the ‘Slave’ and the ‘Young’, and these two cannot give the Zakaah, either due to the slave not possessing money or due to the ignorance of the young and because he is not legally responsible before the Sharee’ah (Mukallaf).
b)      Naafi’ narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (ra) that he said:
"The Prophet (saw) made incumbent on every male or female, free man or slave, the payment of one Saa'a of dates or barley as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (or said Sadaqa-Ramadan)." The people then substituted half Saa'a of Burr (wheat) for that. Ibn 'Umar used to give dates (as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr). Once there was scarcity of dates in Medina and Ibn 'Umar gave barley. 'And Ibn 'Umar used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr for (on behalf of) every young and old person. He even used to give on behalf of my children. Ibn 'Umar used to give Sadaqatul-Fitr to those who had been officially appointed for its collection. People used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (even) a day or two before the 'Eid".
Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (1511), Ahmad and Ibn Khuzaimah. An-Nasaa’i (4615) narrated the first part of it only. Here Ibn ‘Umar (ra) used to give on behalf the young and the old to the extent that he even gave on behalf of Naafi’’s children the narrator of this Hadeeth and Naafi’ had previously been a slave of Ibn ‘Umar and this action of Ibn ‘Umar is for the one who has been given permission to do it.
c)       ‘Ayaad Bin Abdillah reported from Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (ra) that he said:
"When the Messenger of Allah (saw) was amongst us we used to take out Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of the every young and old, free and slave, a Saa’a of food...".
Narrated by Muslim (2284), Abu Daawood, Ibn Maajah, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Khuzaimah. His statement: (from (on behalf of every young and old, free and enslaved person) is clear in meaning and it doesn’t say: That the young and old free and enslaved (themselves) gave the Zakaah.
d)      Abu Hurairah (ra) said (previously mentioned):
"Zakaat-ul-Fitr from every free and slave, male and female, young and old, rich and poor, Saa’a of Tamr, or half a Saa’a of Qamh (whear)...".
Related by At-Tahaawi (45/2) and other than him. So the wording (‘an) ‘from’ every free and enslaved etc... and not saying (‘Alaa) ‘upon’ every free and enslaved... is also clear in meaning and the texts that do mention (‘Alaa) ‘Upon’ do not harm or take away from this understood meaning as they mention who the obligation falls upon and we do not deny this but rather only say that the obligation of discharging it falls upon the one who is financially responsible for those he is charged with.
e)        ‘Urwah narrated:
"Asmaa Bint Abi Bakr (rah) told him that in the days of the Messenger of Allah (saw) she used to give on behalf of her family, the free from amongst them, the slaves with two Mudds of Hintah(wheat) or a Saa’a of Tamr by Mudds or with a Saa’a of what could be traded with".
Narrated by At-Tahaawi (43/2) and the meaning here is clear and strong.

The question remains: Is it a condition that the one who gives out the Zakaah to be rich or is it obligatory upon every Muslim poor or rich and also what is the limit of wealth that obliges them with its giving/paying? Abu Haneefah said: It is a condition for the one who gives the Zakaah to be Ghani (rich/wealthy) according to the Shar’a (definition). Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’, Ahmad, Ishaq and ‘Ataa said: That he must be in possession of food for a day and night.
Abu Haneefah and his followers made analogy between Zakaat-ul-Fitr and Zakaah and therefore obliged what is stipulated upon the giver of Zakaah to the one who gives Zakaat-ul-Fitr in terms of the existence of wealth and possession of the Nisaab (amount of wealth stipulated to give Zakaat). As for Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’ and Ahmad Bin Hanbal they relied upon the Hadeeth of Sahl Bin Al-Hanzhaliyah where the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "...The one who asks (begs) and he has what is sufficient for him then he only seeks increase from the coals of Jahannam (hellfire). They asked: O Messenger of Allah what is sufficient for him? He replied: If he has of food for lunch and dinner". Here ‘Waw’ (and) is used and not ‘Aw’ (or). So they said: It is a condition that he has enough food for the day and night.

The truth however if that they all missed the correct view. Abu Haneefah and his people’s view is rejected by the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah that we mentioned earlier in the heart of our discussion. It mentions: and this is a Saheeh Hadeeth and it is not allowed to contradict it with a Hukm based on reasoning or analogy where as it is well known that there is no ijtihaad in place of a text so the poor is from amongst those upon who Zakaat-ul-Fitr is obliged to be taken from based on the text so there is no justification for Qiyaas upon the one who gives  Zakaah.

As for Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’ and Ahmad and who is with them in this issue then their view is also rejected where this Hadeeth obliges Zakaat-ul-Fitr upon the poor without defining the limit of poverty. The Hukm therefore came in a general (‘Aam) way and it is not allowed to specify it with the ‘Aql (reason) or with Qiyaas upon the one who asks the people and begs as they are two different issues.

From another angle I say that the Hadeth of Sahl Bin Al-Hanzhaliyah has mentioned that the one who possess food for lunch and dinner is Ghani (rich/sufficient) and said in another way that the person who has food for lunch and dinner is rich. So their opinion that it is obligatory upon the one who has food for a day and night to give Zakaat-ul-Fitr means in effect that they have obliged Zakaat-ul-Fitr upon the rich and not upon the poor in a situation where the text has obliged it upon the poor (Faqeer) as it has upon the rich, so what are they saying? So their view that obliges it upon the one that has food for a day and night – someone who is Ghani – is in opposition to the text that obliges it also upon the poor. Had the text only mentioned the rich and not the poor then their study would have been in the right place and correct in nature but as the text did not exclude the poor person (Faqeer) then it is not in the case correct or valid to exclude him.

Then there is the Hadeeth of Shu’aib from his father from his grandfather which At-Tirmidhi narrated which was mentioned in the heart of our discussion in this issue which says: . And the Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar which was related by Muslim amongst others and was also mentioned earlier that says: . These affirm what we have said and therefore the Faqeer is included in the text because he is from amongst the Muslims therefore whoever has made an exception of the Faqeer from the obligation of Zakaat-ul-Fitr then he has done so from texts that are general without a legal Shar’a standing to support it.
So in conclusion I say that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is ‘Ibaadah (act of worship) related to the worshipper himself and not like the other forms of Zakaah linked to wealth where the poor and rich are distinguished so any Muslim who has a body Zakaat-ul-Fitr is obliged upon him without ant specification or restriction.

As for the one who does not have the amount of Zakaat-ul-Fitr it is correct that he is pardoned due to his lack of ability, and the obligation is lifted from him. This however is a different issue to the circumstances that they have talked about and this is because the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: <...If I have ordered you with a thing then perform it to the best of your capability" as narrated by Al-Bukhaari (7288), Muslim and others from Abu Hurairah (ra). So whoever has (owns) the amount of Zakaat-ul-Fitr then it is obligatory for him to give it out and whoever does not then there is nothing obliged upon him.

The categories (of food etc...) that can be given as Zakaat-ul-Fitr:

Firstly there is no question that those categories that have been mentioned in the Ahaadeeth are permissible to be given (as Zakaat-ul-Fitr). The first and foremost type is Tamr (dates), many Ahaadeeth have mentioned it and made it the main type that is given out for Zakaat-ul-Fitr. By looking at all of the Ahaadeeth we find the following categories (Asnaaf) have been mentioned: Tamr (dates), Sha’eer (barley), Hintah or Qamh or Burr (wheat), Zabeeb (raisons, dried grapes, Aqit (cottage cheese), Saweeq (mush of wheat, barley with sugar and dates), Sult (segment of peeled Barley), Daqeeq (flour) mentioned in a few reports and Ta’aam (food) in its generality. These are the categories that have been mentioned in the Ahaadeeth and we will now present a number of Ahaadeeth that are linked to this issue:
1)       Ibn ‘Umar (ra) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) made Zakaat-ul-Fitr obligatory, a Saa’a of Tamr or a Saa’a of Sha’eer upon the slave and free, the male and female and young and old from the Muslims...".
Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (1503) and others and it has already been quoted in the section: (The Hukm of Zakaat-ul-Fitr).
2)      Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (ra) said:
"We used to give out for Zakaat-ul-Fitr a Saa’a of food (Ta’aam) or a Saa’a of Sha’eer (barley), or a Saa’a of Tamr, or a Saa’a of Aqit (type of cheese) or a Saa’a of Zabeeb (dried grapes)".
Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (1506), Muslim, At-Tahaawi and Ad-Daarami.
3)      ‘Ayaad Bin ‘Abdullah Bin Abi Sarh said that he heard Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (ra) saying:
"In the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) we did not give out except for a Saa’a of Daqeeq (flour), or a Saa’a of Tamr, or a Saa’a of Sult (peeled Barley), or a Saa’a of Zabeeb (dried grapes), or a Saa’a of Sha’eer, or a Saa’a of Aqit (cottage cheese). Abu-ul-Fadl said: ‘Ali al-Mudaini had said to him whilst he was with us: O Abu Muhammad. One of them did not mention Daqeeq (flour). He replied: Indeed it is in it (i.e. mentioned in the Hadeeth".
Narrated by Ad-Daaraqutni (146/2) and Ahmad used it as a legal proof.
4)      Ibn ‘Abbaas used to say:
"The Sadaqah of Ramadhaan is a Saa’a of food. Who comes with wheat it is accepted from him, who comes with barley it is accepted from him, who comes with dates it is accepted from him, who comes with peeled Barley it is accepted from him, who comes with dried grapes it is accepted from him and I believe he said: And who comes with Saweeq (a wheat or barley mix mushy mix with sugar/water) or flour it is accepted from him".
Narrated by Ibn Khuzaimah (2417) and its chain is Saheeh and Ad-Daaraqutni also recorded it.
5)      Mu’mar related from Az-zuhri from Abd-ur-Rahman Al-A’araj from Abu Hurairah who said:
"Zakaat-ul-Fitr is taken from (or on behalf of) every free and slave, male and femal, young and old, rich and poor, a Saa’a of Tamr or half of a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat)".
Narrated by At-Tahaawi (45/2) , Abd-ur-Razzaaq and Al-Bayhaqi. Ahmad (7710) narrated it as: "From Abu Hurairah in relation to Zakaat-ul-Fitr: upon every free and slave, male and female, young and old, poor and rich. A Saa’a of Tamr or half a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat). Mu’mar said: It reached me that Az-Zuhri used to raise this up to the Prophet (saw) (i.e. Hadeeth Marfoo’an). Its chain is Saheeh and we have previously quoted it.

These are the categories that the Muslims in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and the times of the Sahaabah and those that followed them (the Taabi’oon) used to give from in terms of Zakaat-ul-Fitr. We will now raise a few points:
1)        The giving out of Burr and Qamh (wheat) came after that of the other categories because the situation of the Muslims in the beginning was needy and weak so there food was generally Sha’eer (barley) and Tamr. When Allah opened the situation for them wheat became plentiful and they began to use it for Zakaat-ul-Fitr. Naafi’ narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (ra) that he said: "The people used to give out Zakaat-ul-Fitr in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) a Saa’a of Sha’eer (barley) or Tamr, or Sult (skinned Barley) or Zabeeb (dried grapes). He said: ‘Abdullah said: In the time of ‘Umar (ra) Hintah (wheat) became plentiful and ‘Umar made half a Saa’a of Hintah equivalent to a Saa’a of the other items". Narrated by Abu Daawood (1614) and Ad-Daaraqutni. An-Nasaa’i reported the beginning part of this narration.
2)      In a number of texts the word Ta’aam (food) has been mentioned, from among them is the Hadeeth number 2 from the narrated by Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri and Hadeeth 4 the statement of Ibn ‘Abbaas. This expression also came in the Hadeeth narrated by Al-Bukhaari (1508), Ahmad and At-Tahaawi from Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (ra): "We used to give it in the time of the Prophet (saw) in the form of a Saa’a of Ta’aam (food), or a Saa’a of Tamr, or a Saa’a of Sha’eer, or a Saa’a of Zabeeb. When Mu’aawiyah came and As-Samraa’a came he said: I see that a Mudd of this equals to Mudd (i.e. a Saa’a". Samraa’a is Hintah (wheat) which was cultivated in Ash-Shaam (Syria, Lebanon etc...).
3)      If we examine the types mentioned we find that these were what the Muslims found available to them at that time in terms of foodstuffs so the texts have not excluded ant type of foodstuff in terms of being permitted to give them out as Zakaat-ul-Fitr. Said in another way, the Muslims used to give Zakaat-ul-Fitr from the foodstuffs they had available. The types of food have not come in the Ahaadeeth in a way of restriction as some have thought so Al-Qamh (wheat) or let’s say Samraa’a which is Qamh (wheat) from Ash-Shaam had come much later in the time of ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab and Mu’aawiyah (ra) and at that time Muslims went about taking and giving Zakaaat-ul-Fitr from it which indicates with a clear meaning that the types or categories that have come (in the texts) are not what we are restricted to. Rather they are simply a mention of the types of foodstuffs that were available to the people at that time and they were able to choose between them as they wished. What gives strength to this understanding is the Hadeeth narrated by Ad-Daaraqutni (140/2) from ‘Ali Bin Moosa Ar-Ridaa from his father from his grandfather who was Ja’far As-Saadiq from his father: .  It is not said here that the fathers in this Hadeeth have come as Majhool (unknown) because the Muslims are aware of these fathers and they are Muhammad Bin ‘Ali, ‘Ali Bin Al-Husain, Husain Bin ‘Ali and ‘Ali Bin Abi Taalib and all of these are trustworthy. The two Shaikhs (Al-Bukhaari and Muslim) have taken from Ja’far and Ibn Hibbaan has classified him as trustworthy. The Hadeeth is therefore used as a legal evidence and proof and it is clear in supporting our opinion. What gives us greater peace of mind  is that Hadeeth that has been recorded by Ad-Daaraqutni (141/2) and At-Tirmidhi from ‘Amru Bin Shu’aib from his father from his grandfather (ra): . And we mentioned this Hadeeth earlier  in the section: (Upon who is Zakaat-ul-Fitr obligatory?) with the report from At-Tirmidhi. In relation to the statement: (Two Mudds of Qamh (wheat) or a Saa’ah equal to it of food (Ta’aam)) came in a general form of expression so any food that people eat is included within it. 
Upon all of this we say the following:
1)      Just as it is allowed to give Qamh, Tamr, Sha’eer, Zabeeb, Aqit, Sult and even Daqeeq (flour) and Saweeq it is also permissible to give any food which people feed themselves with as Zakaat-ul-Fitr. So in our present time rice, beans, chickpeas, green beans, peas and lentils are foods which we eat so they have become that which we are allowed to give as Zakaat-ul-Fitr and this is a rejection to those who say that we must bind ourselves to the types that have been mentioned and say it is not allowed to give from other than them. Indeed they have differed in relation to some of these types of food so Abu Haneefah for example did not allow Aqit (cottage cheese) and Maalik and Ash-Shaafi’ both said that Daqeeq (flour) and Saweeq were not allowed. The Hanbaliyah said that whoever is able to give from Tamr, Burr, Sha’eer or Aqit is then not allowed to give from other than them. It has been reported from Maalik the view: That he did not permit what the texts have not stated in the Ahaadeeth and what falls under their meaning. In return it has been mentioned that the Shaafi’iyah have said: Everything in which the Ushr (crop tax) is obligatory is valid as Zakaat-ul-Fitr like rice, corn, pearl millet, chickpeas, lentils and beans and their like. Al-Hanbaliyah have said: From every fruit and seed that you eat from. Al-Maalikiyah made analogy between the types mentioned in the texts with that which is found with the people of every land like pulses and their like.
2)      Just as it is allowed to use any foodstuff which people eat then it is also allowed to use the value of one of these types for Zakaat-ul-Fitr. So the value of the thing is equated with it, with no preference of one over the other. Abu Haneefah and Ath-Thawri said that is allowed to extract its value and Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: [There is no problem to give Daraahim (money) as Zakaat-ul-Fitr] narrated by Ibn Abi Shaibah (64/3) from the way of Hishaam. Just as Ibn Abi Shaibah narrated (64/3) from Qurrah who said: [We came across in the book of ‘Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez that every person should give half of a Saa’a for Sadaqat-ul-Fitr or its value of half a Dihram]. It has been reported from some of the Maalikiyah the opinion of extracting the value but with dislike (Karaahah).
In order to reach the correct view in this issue let us examine a number of texts that are related to it:
a)       Naafi’ related from Ibn ‘Umar (ra):
"The Prophet made Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (or sadaqat of Ramadhaan) obligatory upon the male and female, the free and enslaved, a Saa’a of Tamr (dates) or a Saa’a of Sha’eer (barley) so the people made hals a Saa’a of Burr equal to them...".
Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (1511), Ahmad, Ibn Khuzaimah and An-Nasaa’i.
b)      ‘Ayaad Bin Abdillah related that Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri said:
"Whilst the Messenger of Allah (saw) was with us we would extract Zakaat-ul-Fitr from every young and old, free and enslaved a Saa’a of Ta’aam (food), or Saa’a of Aqit (cheese) or a Saa’a of Sha’eer (barley) or a Saa’a of Tamr, or a Saa’a of Zabeeb. We used to continue giving from these until Mu’aawiyah came for Hajj or ‘Umrah. He addressed the people from the Minbar and part of what he said was: I view that two Mudds of the Samraa (wheat) of Ash-Shaam being equal to a Saa’a of Tamr so the people adopted this. Abu Sa’eed said: As for me I continued and even up until now only giving Zakaat-ul-Fitr as I had done before (i.e. previous to what Mu’aawiyah brought)".
Related by Muslim (2284), At-Tirmidhi, Abu Daawood, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibbaan and Ad-Daarami. In another narration recorded by Imaam Muslim (2285) and Al-Bukhaari it said: <...Until Mu’aawiyah came and he viewed that two Mudds of wheat equalled a Saa’a of Tamr>. Related by Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (ra).
c)       The Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (ra) recorded by Abu Daawood (1614), Ad-Daaraqutni and An-Nasaa’i which we previously mentioned under a) which contained: <...So when ‘Umar came and Hintah (wheat) became plentiful, ‘Umar made half a Saa’a of Hintah in place of the other types>.

The statement in Hadeeth a) says: (So the people equated with it half a Saa’a of Burr (wheat)) and in b): (I see two Mudds of the Samraa (wheat) of Ash-Shaam as being equal to a Saa’a of Tamr, so the people adopted this) and in c): (‘Umar made half a Saa’a of Hintah in place of the other types). These three Ahaadeeth have mentioned equalising between two things and equalising does not take place except between two things that are similar in value otherwise there can be no equalising, this is one point.

The second point here is that the equalising has taken place between an item that has been mentioned in the texts and an item that has not been mentioned like what came in the second Hadeeth concerning the Samraa of Ash-Shaam (or wheat of Ash-Shaam) which has not been mentioned in any Hadeeth. This Hadeeth came equalising with something that has been mentioned in the texts which is Tamr (dates) which indicates that equalising does not necessarily have to be between two items that have been mentioned in the texts. Indeed equalising cannot be imagined in what is existent in the texts and this is because if the texts wanted to mention two things it would have mentioned them together with the form of ‘waw’ (and) or ‘aw’ (or) so the thing which is mentioned in the text is required in the text and it does not require equating with other than it. So equalising can either be between two things one mentioned in the text and the other not or between two mentioned things where one is preferable to the other. So equalising came with differences in quantity and outside of these two situations there did not come any mention of equalising and its presence is not imaginable.

‘Umar Ibn-ul-Khattaab and Mu’aawiyah Bin Abi Sufyaan understood the issue of tying and equalising between two things where one was mentioned in the text and the other was not and they adopted this approach. The people then adopted this as the Aathaar (reports) stated and the people here are the Sahaabah (companions) of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and there is nothing in the fact that a small number went against this adoption like what happened with Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri. This is because in the Shar’a the equalising and tying (between different things) did not come in the way of compulsion or even in a way of recommendation (nadb) and is only regarded as Mubaah (permissible) and allowed. The Mubaah and Jaa’iz (allowed) do not prevent going against it and not adopting it so tying two things together is allowed and permissible. Ibn ul-Mundhir said: [We do not known a firm report from the Prophet (saw) in relation to Qamh (wheat) that is relied upon and Al-Burr (wheat) was not present in Al-Madeenah at that time except in a negligible form. When it became plentiful in the time of the Sahaabah they saw that half a Saa’a of it could stand in the place of Sha’eer (barley) and they are the A’immah (knowledgeable scholars)...].
Based upon all that we have mentioned above and also upon our understanding of equating and tying (between things) we say: The extraction of the value is permitted, meaning that giving out Danaaneer (i.e. money like pounds/dollars etc...) and Quroosh (pence) is allowed and this is not allowed except when it is equated with something which the text has mentioned, otherwise it would not be tied or equated upon anything and carry no value. The opinion that it is allowed to give Deenars and Quroosh in and unrestricted way without equating them with items which the texts have mentioned is not acceptable so if a Faqeeh comes and says it is allowed to give out this much or that much in an absolute way we say to him that this view of yours is not permitted and what not become permissible until equating and tying (the money value) with what the texts have mentioned has taken place by equating between a certain money amount and one of the items that has been mentioned in the text.

Abu Haneefah and those who held the same opinion were correct in allowing the giving of a money equivalent on the condition of it being equated and measured upon those items that the texts have mentioned. We say: A Saa’a of Tamr can be given or a Deenaar can be given if a Saa’a of Tamr is equal to a Deenar according to the value and price in the market and we say giving eighty Qirsh (pence) or a Sa’a of Daqeeq (flour) if this flour is worth eight Qirsh in the market and so forth.

As for equalising with the modern forms of food that are available in our present time, it is the same as equalising through giving a value meaning that it is obligatory when giving Fool (beans) for example or rice that we do not take a Saa’a as a measurement for them making them attached (in ruling) to those items that the texts have mentioned. We rather work with them according to the principle of equalising in the same way as the Sahaabah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) did with Qamh (wheat). They estimated and measured it through equalising it as double (in value) to the mentioned types so when we wish to give beans or rice for example we judge it according to dates or barley. So if the beans or rice are more expensive than dates and barley then half a Saa’a or two thirds of a Saa’a would be allowed for Zakat-ul-Fitr. On the other hand if the price of beans and rice were cheaper in comparison to dates and barley then it is obligatory in this instance to give out two Saa’a or a Saa’a and a half of them to equalise. In other words we perform a process of equalisation based on their prices in the market.

One point remains: Whish items do we use as a measure and to equalise with? Do we compare the modern types with dates or barley or dried grapes? The correct view which it is necessary to adopt is to take the food type which is most widespread in usage in our current time in order to make the measurement. If we look at the evidences we find that it mentioned the types in an absolute way and restricted them many times to dates. Dates in that time were the most common food and they measured new foodstuffs by it and Abu Sa’eed narrated the speech of Mu’aawiayh in the Hadeeth that was collected by Muslim (2284), Abu Daawood, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibbaan: <...I view that two Mudds of the Samraa (wheat) of Ash-Shaam is equal to one Saa’a of dates, and so the people adopted this...>. Also in the Hadeeth narrated by Muslim (2285) and Al-Bukhaari: <...Until Mu’aawiyah came and saw that two Mudds of Burr (wheat) were equal to one Saa’a of Tamr (dates>.

So I say the following in relation to this:

In the situation where wheat (Qamh) is the main food in our current time and not dates then I see that it is obligatory when extracting the monetary value or modern foodstuffs to make measurement and equalising against Qamh and not to use dates, dried grapes or barley as a yardstick of measurement. The important thing is how widespread the food type is so when dates were the main food in the time of the Prophet (saw) and the time of the Sahaabah (rah) they measured wheat against it. So where wheat is the main food in our current time it is necessary to use it and take it as a measurement when extracting a monetary value or when giving Zakaat-ul-Fitr from the modern food types.

As for in South East Asia, in the Indian continent the main food type is rice and not wheat so in that case the Muslims who reside there must take rice as the standard for measurement to extract an equivalent monetary value or an equivalent amount from a modern food type.

Measuring the amount of Zakaat-ul-Fitr:

 The Sahaabah (rah) and the Fuqahaa have differed in specifying the amount of Qamh (wheat) that should be given as Zakaat-ul-Fitr into two opinions and they have agreed in respect to all of the other (mentioned) food types. So from the Sahaabah Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, ‘Umar Ibn –ul-Khattaab, ‘Uthmaan Bin ‘Affaan, ‘Ali Bin Abi Taalib, ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbaas, ‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ood, Jaabir Bin ‘Abdullah, Abu Hurairah, ‘Abdullah Bin Az-Zubair, his mother Asmaa Bint Abu Bakr and Abu Qulaabah (rah) all held the opinion that half a Saa’a of wheat (Qamh) was permitted for Zakaat-ul-Fitr. This was also the view of Sa’eed Bin Al-Musayyib, Sa’eed Bin Jubayr, Sufyaan Ath-Thawri, ‘Abdullah Bin Mubaarak, ‘Urwah Bin Az-Zubair, ‘Ataa, Taawoos, Mujaahid and ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez and Imaam Abu Haneefah. Ibn ul-Mundhir has reports (verifying these views) from ‘Uthmaan, ‘Ali, Abu Hurairah, Jaabir, Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn Az-Zubair and Asmaa Bint Abi Bakr (Ibn Hajar said they (the reports) are Saheehah (true)) that they viewed that half a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat) was given as Zakaat-ul-Fitr. Abd-ur-Razzaaq has quoted the statements of Ibn Az-Zubair, Ibn Mas’ood, Jaabir bin ‘Abdullah, ‘Ali Bin Abi Taalib, Abu Qulaabah that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is two Mudd of Qamh (wheat) (i.e. half of a Saa’a) or one Saa’a of everything else. Ibn Abi Shaibah mentioned similar statements from Ibn Az-Zubair, Ibn Mas’ood, ‘Ali, ‘Uthmaan and Abu Qulaabah.

On the other hand Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri, Abu ul-‘Aaliyah, Abu ash-Sha’taa (rah) said that a Saa’a of Qamh is required for Zakaat-ul-Fitr and this was also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Jaabir Bin Zaid, Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’, Ahmad, Ishaq Bin Raahuwaih and Ash-Shawkaani. At-Tirmidhi said: [That some of the people of knowledge view that it is a Saa’a for everything, and this is the opinion of Ash-Shaafi’, Ahmad and Ishaq. And some of the people of knowledge from amongst the Sahaabah of the Prophet (saw) and other than them have a viewed that it is a Saa’a in everything except for Burr (wheat), which they permit the giving of half a Saa’a. This is the opinion of Sufyaan Ath-Thawri, Ibn ul-Mubaarak and the people of Koofah view that Burr (wheat) is half a Saa’a]. So that we can attain the correct Hukm (ruling) in this issue it is first necessary to present the evidences relied upon by the two groups:
1)      The evidences used by those who say that the permitted amount of Zakaat-ul-Fitr is a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat):

1)      ‘Ayaad Bin Abdillah related that Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri said:
"Whilst the Messenger of Allah (saw) was with us we would extract Zakaat-ul-Fitr from every young and old, free and enslaved a Saa’a of Ta’aam (food), or Saa’a of Aqit (cheese) or a Saa’a of Sha’eer (barley) or a Saa’a of Tamr, or a Saa’a of Zabeeb. We used to continue giving from these until Mu’aawiyah came for Hajj or ‘Umrah. He addressed the people from the Minbar and part of what he said was: I view that two Mudds of the Samraa (wheat) of Ash-Shaam being equal to a Saa’a of Tamr so the people adopted this. Abu Sa’eed said: As for me I continued and even up until now only giving Zakaat-ul-Fitr as I had done before (i.e. previous to what Mu’aawiyah brought)".
Related by Muslim (2284), At-Tirmidhi, Abu Daawood, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibbaan.
2)      Ibn ‘Umar (ra) said:
"The Prophet (saw) made incumbent on every male or female, free man or slave, the payment of one Saa'a of dates or barley as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (or said Sadaqa-Ramadan)." The people then substituted half Saa'a of wheat for that...".
Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (1511), Ahmad and Ibn Khuzaimah.
3)      Ibn Seereen narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra) that he said: He mentioned in regards to Sadaqat-ul-Fitr saying:
"A Saa’a of Burr (wheat) or a Saa’a of Tamr, or a Saa’a of Sha’eer (barley) or a Saa’a of Sult (peeled barley)".
Recorded by An-Nasaa’i (2509), Ibn Khuzaimah and Al-Bazzaar with differences in the wordings.
4)      Zaid Bin Thaabit (ra) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) addressed us and said: Whoever has food from amongst you then give it in Sadaqah, a Saa’a of Burr (wheat), or a Saa’a of Sha’eer (barley), or a Saa’a of Tamr, or a Saa’a of Daqeeq (flour), or a Saa’a of Zabeeb (dried grapes or a Saa’a of Sult (peeled barley)".
Narrated by Al-Haakim (411/1-412) and Adh-Dhahabi was silent in regards to it.

2)      The evidences used by those who have said that Zakaat-ul-Fitr is half of a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat):

1)      ‘Abdullah Bin Tha’labah Bin Su’air Al-‘Udhri said:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) addressed the people two days before Al-Fitr (‘Eid) and said: Give a Saa’a of Burr or Qamh between two, or a Saa’a of Tamr or a Saa’a of Sha’eer (Barley), upon very free person and slave, young and old".
Reprted by Ahmad (24063), Abu Daawood and Abd-ur-Razzaaq with a chain of trustworthy transmitters. Ad-Daaraqutni (148/2) narrated it from a number of paths with the wording – From ‘Abdullah Bin Tha’labah Bin Su’air from his father – so its chain became linked and continuous and it was related like this from Ibn Khuzaimah – from his father – (2410).
2)      ‘Amru Bin Shu’aib related from his father from his grandfather (ra):
"That the Prophet (saw) sent a caller to the people performing Hajj in Makkah saying: Verily Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is Waajib (obligatory) upon every Muslim, male and female, free and enslaved, young and old, two Mudds of Qamh or in other than that a Saa’a of food (Ta’aam)".
Narrated by At-Tirmidhi (669) and Ad-Daaraqutni. At-tirmidhi said: [The Hadeeth is Ghareeb Hasan].
3)      Naafi’ related from ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (ra) who said:
"The people used to give out Sadaqat-ul-Fitr in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw): a Saa’a of Sha’eer or Tamr or peeled barley or Zabeeb (dried grapes). He said that ‘Abdullah said: So when in the time of ‘Umar Hintah (wheat) became plentiful ‘Umar made half a Saa’a of Hintah take the place of a Saa’a of the other types".
Recorded by Abu Daawood (1614), An-Nasaa’i and Ad-Daaraqutni.
4)      Abu Hurairah (ra) said in relation to Zakaat-ul-Fitr:
"It is upon every free and enslaved person, male and female, small and young, poor and rich. A Saa’a of Tamr (dates) or half a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat). Mu’mar said: It reached me that Az-Zuhri used to raise this to the Prophet (saw)".
Narrated by Ahmad (7710) with a Saheeh chain. At-Tahaawi, Abd-ur-Razzaaq and Al-Bayhaqi also collected it.
5)      Faatimah Bint Al-Mundhir related from Asmaa Bin Abi Bakr (ra) that she said:
"We used to give Zakaat-ul-Fitr in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) two Mudds of wheat and with a Mudd of what you feed yourselves with".
Related by Ahmad (27475) and At-Tahaawi.
6)      Also the many Aathaar that have been narrated from the Sahaabah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) which I previously mentioned being reported by Ibn ul-Mundhir, Abd-ur-Razzaaq and Ibn Abi Shaibah that say: Zakaat-ul-Fitr is half a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat) or two Mudds.

By examining the evidences of the first group, we find that the third Hadeeth was narrated from Ibn Seereen from Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra) and it is well known that Ibn Seereen did not (ever) hear anything from Ibn ‘Abbaas so the Hadeeth becomes Munqati’ (broken) and Da’eef (weak). Ahmad, ‘Ali bin Al-Mudaini, Yahya Bin Mo’een and Al-Bayhaqi said: Muhammad Bin Seereen did not hear anything (directly) from Ibn ‘Abbaas. So this Hadeeth is rejected (as evidence).

As for the fourth Hadeeth narrated by Al-Haakim it contains amongst its narrators Suleymaan Bin Arqam and Ahmad said in relation to him: Suleymaan Bin Arqam has no value. Ibn Mo’een said: He has no value not even a penny’s worth and Al-Bukhaari and Abu Daawood said: They left him (i.e. did not take from him) whilst Abu Haatim and At-Tirmidhi said: He is rejected in Hadeeth. Therefore this Hadeeth is rejected. So we are therefore left with two Saheeh Hadeeths: The Hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed and the Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar. The following was mentioned in the Hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed: < A Saa’a of Ta’aam (food), or a Saa’a of Aqit (cheese) or a Saa’a of Sha’eer (barley) or a Saa’a of Tamr (dates) or a Saa’a of Zabeeb (dried grapes)> and there is no proof in this evidence for what they have arrived at in their opinion:

Firstly: It did not mention any of the words for wheat (Qamh, Burr or Hintah) at all and there is not even a Shubhah Daleel (semblance of an evidence) except the words: (A Saa’a of Ta’aam (food)) so that they say that Ta’aam (food) refers to Qamh (wheat). We respond to this by saying that we do not accept that the expression Ta’aam when it is said that it means wheat and this is because Tamr, Sha’eer, Zabeeb, Aqit and others also fall under this expression so there is no justification to limit its expression to meaning ‘Wheat’.
Secondly: The majority of food that was available to the Muslims in the time of the Prophet (saw) consisted of dates and barley, and less of it was Aqit (cheese) and Zabeeb (dried grapes) and they did not eat Qamh (wheat) except rarely due to its scarcity at that time. In this case how can it be claimed that the expression Ta’aam refers only to wheat? Let’s look at what came in the Hadeeth narrated from Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (ra): as recorded by Al-Bukhaari (1503), Abu Daawood, Muslim, An-Nasaa’i, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah. Also in another narration from him (Ibn ‘Umar) :

And read what Ibn Khuzaimah (2406) related with a Saheeh chain from Naafi’ from Ibn ‘Umar (ra) who said: " Sadaqah in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) was only in Tamr, Zabeeb and Sha’eer and it did not include Hintah". And also what An-Nasaa’i (2518) reported from ‘Ayaad Bin ‘Abdullah Bin Sa’d that Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (ra) told him saying: "We used to extract (give from) in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) a Saa’a of Tamr or a Saa’a of Sha’eer or a Saa’a of Aqit and we did not give from other than these".
So theses two testimonies from these two Sahaabah are completely clear in showing that Qamh (wheat) was not included in the types which the Muslims use to give their Zakaat-ul-Fitr from in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw). In light of this how could they explain the expression ‘food’ (Ta’aam) mentioned in the Ahaadeeth as meaning Qamh (wheat)?
Thirdly:  ‘Ayaad Bin Abdullah Bin Sa’d reported from Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (ra) that: " We used to give in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) on the day of Fitr a Saa’a of Ta’aam (food) and Abu Sa’eed said: And our food consisted of Barley (Sha’eer), dried grapes (Zabeeb), cottage cheese (Aqit) and dates (Tamr)" as recorded by Al-Bukhaari (1510). So here Abu Sa’eed who himself related the Hadeeth that they use explains the expression ‘Ta’aam’ (food) in a way that cuts any doubt with certainty by explaining that its meaning (Ta’aam) meant Barley, dried grapes, cottage cheese and dates according to their own understanding i.e. the very same types of food mentioned in the Hadeeth they used mentioning Ta’aam (food) so the Hadeeth explains itself. We therefore carry the Hadeeth they use with this Hadeeth and we say as a result that the Hadeeth had mentioned the ‘Aam (general) and then went on to mentioned the specific (i.e. the types of food) and this style is well known to anyone who comprehends the language of the Arabs.

Fourthly: Those who say that the expression ‘Ta’aam’ means Qamh and that the Messenger of Allah (saw) had himself obligated a Saa’a of Ta’aam i.e. Wheat (Qamh) then how do they explain that Mu’aawiyah made half a Saa’a of Qamh equal to a Saa’a to the other type? Do they accuse Mu’aawiyah of go against a command of the Prophet (saw) and that people would have agreed to this including Sahaabah? Furthermore how do they explain that ‘Umar made half a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat) equal to a Saa’a of the other types? Could they have imagined that when the Messenger of Allah (saw) had obliged a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat) as they claimed that ‘Umar and Mu’aawiyah would have then come whist the Sahaabah were numerous and said that two Mudds (i.e. half a Saa’a) were sufficient? Ibn Khuzaimah said: [The mention of Hintah (wheat) in the report of Abu Sa’eed is not preserved...Had Abu Sa’eed told them that they used to give in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) a Saa’a of Hintah then how would the statement of the man: Or two Mudds of Qamh hold meaning] and then the Muslims accepted and acted upon this statement!!

Based on these four points I say that there is no proof for the opinion they have arrived at from this Hadeeth but rather this Hadeeth is a proof against them and not for them.
As for the second Hadeeth that they used: (The Prophet (saw) obligated Sadaqat-ul-Fitr...a Saa’a of Tamr or a Saa’a of Sha’eer so the people equated (with them) half a Saa’a of Burr (wheat)). I am astounded about their claims that this text is an evidence for Sadaqat-ul-Fitr being a Saa’a of Burr (wheat)!! Neither the Mantooq (literal meaning) nor Mafhoom (understood meaning) supports their opinion and indeed this evidence is more of a proof against their view than a proof to support it. The Hadeeth has mentioned that the Prophet (saw) obligated a Saa’a of Tamr or Sha’eer and it did not mention that he obligated a Saa’a of Qamh and the reason for this was that Qamh was not in plentiful supply at that time and this situation remained until Allah (swt) opened up for the Muslims new lands and regions afterwards and at that time Qamh became readily available and plentiful. At that time the people equated between a Saa’a of Tamr (dates) or Sha’eer (barley) with half a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat) so what proof does this Hadeeth provide them with?

As for the statement of Ibn Qudaamah in his book Al-Mughni: [ And because it (Qamh/wheat) was a type that was extracted as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr then its measure is a Saa’a like all the other types]. This is a Qiyaas (analogy) with something different which is not valid in addition to it being in opposition to the texts which mention half a Saa’a of Qamh. We will now move to presenting the Ahaadeeth that those who have said that half a Saa’a of Qamh is permitted as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr have used to extract their opinion. So we say the following:
The first Hadeeth, the Hadeeth of Tha’labah is reported from many paths one of which is from An-Nu’maan Bin Raashid and recorded by Ahmad (24064) in the following way: [‘Affaan told us saying: I asked Hammaad Bin Zaid about Sadaqat-ul-Fitr, so he narrated to me from Nu’maan Bin Raashid from Az-Zuhri from Tha’labah Bin Abi Su’air that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:...] and then he mentioned the Hadeeth. Abu Daawood also reported with this chain (1619). The author of Al-Mughni (Ibn Qudaamah) responded to this Hadeeth saying: [The Hadeeth of Tha’labah is only narrated from An-Nu’maan Bin Raashid] and he rejected the Hadeeth on the basis that An-Nu’maan Bin Raashid is Da’eef (weak) in the eyes of the majority of the Muhadditheen. So I say as I mentioned above that this Hadeeth has been reported from many paths and I quoted the Hadeeth (24063) from Imaam Ahmad and this is its Sanad (chain): [Abd-ur-Razzaaq told us that Ibn Juraih told us: Ibn Shihaab said: ‘Abdullah Bin Tha’labah Bin Su’air Al-‘Udhri said] and then he mentioned the Hadeeth. We can see that this Hadeeth does not mention An-Nu’maan Bin Raashid and the transmitters are classified as trustworthy. In addition Abu Daawood (1621) and Abd-ur-Razzaaq (5785) narrated it. Therefore the Hadeeth from this path is valid to be used as evidence and as a legal proof based upon its Sanad (chain).

As for the second Hadeeth it contains in its Sanad (chain) Saalim Bin Nooh who was classified as Da’eef (weak) by Yahya Bin Mo’een, Abu Haatim Ar-Raazi and Ibn ‘Adi whereas he was classified as sound by Ibn Hibbaan and Abu Zur’ah and Ahmad Bin Hanbal accepted him. He is therefore disagreed upon and therefore it is valid to use the evidence as long as its meaning and text does not contradict or oppose what is contained in the Saheeh texts. If it contradicted then it is rejected.

As for the third Hadeeth it contains ‘Abdul ‘Azeez Bin Abi Ruwaad who was classified as Da’eef by Al-Mundhiri, Ibn ul-Jawzi and Ibn Hibbaan but was classified as trustworthy by Yahya Al-Qataan, Yahya Bin Mo’een and Abu Haatim Ar-Raazi and therefore this Hadeeth is also disagreed upon. Again it is valid for Istidlaal (use as legal evidence) as long as it doesn’t contradict the texts and meanings contained in the Saheeh Ahaadeeth in which case it would be rejected.

As for the fourth Hadeeth it has a Saheeh Isnaad however it is a statement from Abu Hurairah (ra) and is not Marfoo’ (raised) to the Messenger of Allah (saw). It is a Mawqoof Hadeeth (stops before reaching the Prophet (saw)) and is following that an Athar (speech of Sahaabi, Taabi’ etc...) so we place it along with the Aathaar indicated to in under number 6. As for the statement of Mu’mar: (It reached me that Az-Zuhri raised it to the Prophet (saw)) he said this without mentioning the name of the Raawi (transmitter) who told him this statement and therefore the chain in this situation i.e. chain reaching the Prophet (saw) is Da’eef (weak) because it contains an unknown transmitter and is therefore Munqati’ (missing a chain) and therefore this speech is not used or worked with. From this it has become apparent that this Hadeeth is only a Qawl (statement) of Abu Hurairah.

As for the fifth Hadeeth it includes in its chain ’Abdullah Bin Lahay’ah and the majority of Muhadditheen regard his narrations as Da’eef and he is accused that his papers which he used to speak from for a period of time had been damaged and he began to speak from his memory and fell into error and so they considered his narrations as Da’eef. Ahmad Bin Hanbal who recorded this Hadeeth said: What ‘Abdullah Ibn Lahay’ah narrates is not a proof and I write a lot of what I write in consideration of him. This Hadeeth is therefore rejected.
What remains therefore is the first Hadeeth, the second and third with leniency in their chain (sanad) in addition to the Aathaar mentioned under number six/ The first and second Hadeeth alone link the mention of Qamh (wheat) to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and this is despite it being established by many Saheeh Ahaadeeth that we recently mentioned, that Qamh was not from amongst the foods of the people at the time of the Prophet (saw).  Also that the mention of Qamh (wheat) was not present in these many Saheeh Ahaadeeth and these Ahaadeeth negated the extracting of Qamh as Zakaat-ul-Fitr. The result of this is that the literal text of these two Hadeeth opposes and contradicts the literal meanings of the text in many Saheeh Ahaadeeth which deny the presence of Qamh and deny its mention as a type from which Zakaat-ul-Fitr can be extracted. The two hadeeth are therefore rejected by the textual meaning and the numerous Saheeh Ahaadeeth outweigh them.

The third Hadeeths textual meaning agrees with the many Saheeh Ahaadeeth and is therefore accepted and worked with. Its meaning is clear concerning equating between Qamh (wheat) and the other types which ‘Umar (ra) did which occurred without doubt after the time in which the Prophet (saw) lived. It is therefore correct and valid to join this with the Aathaar under number 6. Ibn ul-Mundhir said: [We do not know in relation to Qamh a firm report that the Prophet (saw) relied upon it, and Burr (wheat) was not present in Al-Madeenah in that time except a very little amount. So when it became plentiful in the time of the Sahaabah (rah) they viewed that half a Saa’a would stand in the place of a Saa’a of Sha’eer (barley), and they (the Sahaabah) are the A’immah (leaders in knowledge) so it is not permitted to go away from their opinion to those others].

As a result of this only the Aathaar under number 6 (reports and statements of the Sahaabah and Taabi’oon) remain supporting that the amount of Zakaat-ul-Fitr for Qamh (wheat) is equal to half a Saa’a in addition to those of 3 and 4 that we have attached to them. The first is the action of ‘Umar Bin Al-Khattaab (ra) and the second is the statement of Abu Hurairah (ra). So there isn’t a Prophetic Hadeeth to support their view or which is valid as a legal proof to support that Zakkat-ul-Fitr is half a Saa’a of Qamh.

These Aathaar indicate that the majority of the Sahaabah acted upon making half a Saa’a of wheat equal to a Saa’a of other than it from amongst the food types that the texts mentioned and it is not known that there was any disagreement to this with the exception of Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (ra). Also I do not know if Abu Ash-Sha’thaa is a nickname for Waabisah Bin Ma’bad the Sahaabi or he is a transmitter of Hadeeth from the Taabi’een. He is the one who mentioned a Saa’h of Qamh (wheat) and even if Abu Ash-Sha’thaa was the Sahaabi then these two Sahaabis contradicted all of the other Sahaabah and therefore their view barely undermines the consensus except in terms of theory. It is therefore valid to take the view of the majority of the Sahaabah that half a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat) is sufficient for Zakaat-ul-Fitr.

Whoever wishes to study the statements of the Sahaabah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) then he should read the following narrations: (5766), (5769), (5772), (5773) from the Musannaf (written work) of Abd-ur-Razzaaq, (61/3) from the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaibah, (45/2) from the book ‘Ma’aani Al-Aathaar’ of At-Tahaawi amongst other books of Hadeeth and Fiqh in addition to what we mentioned under 3 and 4 (above).

We summarise this presentation by saying that it is obligatory to take the opinion of half a Saa’a of Qamh being acceptable as Zakaat-ul-Fitr and this extracted Hukm (ruling) strengthens and supports our view in relation to the permissibility of equating and not sticking solely to the food types that have been mentioned in the texts in the Ahaadeeth. As such it supports and strengthens our view permitting the giving of a monetary value or from amongst the food types which people use today such as lentils, rice, beans, chickpeas amongst others so all of this is permitted by the Shar’a and allowed.

The measurement of the Prophetic Saa’a:

a)       ‘Abdullah Bin ‘Umar (ra) said that the Prophet (saw) said:
"The measure is by the measuring of the people of Al-Madeenah and weighing is by the weighing of the people of Makkah".
Narrated by An-Nasaa’i (2520), At-Tabaraani and Al-Bayhaqi. Abu Daawood (3340) reported: "The weighing is by the weighing of Makkah and the measuring is by the measurement of the people of Al-Madeenah". Its chain is Saheeh. Ibn Hibban (3283), Al-Bayhaqi also narrated it from ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra).
b)      As-Saa’ib Bin Yazeed said:
"The Saa’a in the time of the Prophet (saw) a Mudd and a third according to (the value of) your Mudd of today. It was therefore increased in the time of ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez".
Reported by Al-Bukhaari (6712) and An-Nasaa’i.
c)       Al-Husain Bin Al-Waleed said:
Narrated by Al-Bayhaqi (171/4) and its Sanad is Jayyid (good).
d)       Abu ‘Ubaid said in his book ‘Al’Amwaal’ (Funds) (1602) the following: [As for the people of Al-Hijaaz there does not exist any difference between them in it, it is known that a Saa’a is five Artaal and a third which is known by their knowledgeable and unknowledgeable people and it is sold in their markets upon that and this knowledge is passed on from generation to the next]. He added (1603): [Ya’qoob (Abu Yousuf the Judge) used to in the past say the same as his people but then changed his view to that of the people of Al-Madeenah] and also (1623): [ We have explained the Saa’a by the Sunnah and this is as I have made known five Artaal and a third and the Mudd is a quarter of it which is a Ratl and a third and this according to our Ratl which is weighed at one hundred and twenty-eight Dirham...] So I say the following:

Firstly: The first Hadeeth with its different narrations establishes that the Mikyaal (measure) is by the measure of the people of Al-Madeenah and the most famous measurements are a Saa’a which is equal to four Mudds, Al-Faraq which equals threes Saa’a or two, Al-‘Araq which equals fifteen Saa’a, Al-Makkook which is equal to two Saa’a and a half and Al-Wasaq which is equal to sixty Saa’a. Therefore these measurements must be taken from the people of Al-Madeenah and it is not valid to take from other than them. What concerns us most in this study is the Saa’a and its parts as split into Mudds.

Secondly: The Zakaat-ul-Fitr is half of a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat) or a Saa’a of the other types and a Saa’a is equal to four Mudds and a Mudd is an amount equal to two medium fistful grabs of wheat. Based on this understanding the knowledge of a Mudd and Saa’a according to modern scales makes the extracting of the Zakaat-ul-Fitr easier. The people of expertise using modern scales have concluded that a Saa’a of Qamh (wheat) is equal to two Kilos and 175 grams and if we divide that into four we find that a Mudd of wheat is equal to 543 grams. So where Zakaat-ul-Fitr is half a Saa’a or two Mudds of wheat then Zakaat-ul-Fitr of wheat is equal to one kilo and 86 grams and the other types are equal to two kilos and 175 grams.

Thirdly: As for what has been mentioned about ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez in number 2 that he increased upon the Saa’a and what occurred from Al-Hajjaaj in the time of ‘Abdul Maalik as has been reported in many reports in the books of Fiqh and what Hishaam Bin ‘Abdul Maalik did in terms of altering the Saa’a then all of this does not concern us or take us away from the Prophetic Saa’a. The mistake of Abu Haneefah therefore becomes apparent when he adopted a larger Saa’a in Al-‘Iraaq making it equal to eight Artaal and left the Saa’a of Al-Madeenah which equalled five and a third Artaal.

To whom is Zakaat-ul-Fitr paid?

Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is a form of Zakaah and therefore takes its ruling in everything except for what the evidences have made an exception of. Looking at the legal texts meanings we do not find that those to whom it should be given are mentioned so due to this Zakaat-ul-Fitr is paid to the same eight categories that Allah (swt) mentions:

إنما الصَّدَقاتُ للفقراءِ والمساكينَ والعامِلينَ عليها والمُؤلَّفةِ قُلوبُهم وفي الرِّقابِ والغارمينَ وفي سبيلِ اللهِ وابنِ السبيل
"As-Sadaqât (here it means Zakât) are only for the Fuqarâ'[] (poor), and Al-Masâkin[] (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islâm); and to free the slaves/captives; and for those in debt; and for Allâh's Cause (i.e. for Mujâhidûn - those fighting in the holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allâh. And Allâh is All-Knower, All-Wise". (Surah At-Tawbah Ayah 60).

As for the categories of ‘attracting the hearts’ or ‘freeing slaves’ and even ‘those employed to collect’ they are non-existent in the reality of our current age after the ending of the rule of Islaam in the Muslim lands and where there does not remain even one state that implements the Shar’a of Allah as He Subhaanahu commanded.

The remaining categories are the Fuqaraa (destitute), Masaakeen (poor), Ghaarimeen (indebted), Fee Sabeel lillah (Jihaad for Allah’s sake) and Ibn us-Sabeel (wayfarer). So there only remains these five categories today and in addition it is noted that the indebted is not given to unless he is unable to pay off his debt so trade in our current time that works with a lot of cheques and deeds that are linked to debt, then those traders involved in this are not included into the category of Ghaarimeen and are not recipients of Zakaat. The categories that are most significant for receiving Zakaah are the Fuqaraa and the Masaakeen and there has been found a mention of this in the Hadeeth narrated by ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra): "The Messenger of Allah (saw) made Zakaat-ul-Fitr Fard (an obligation) as a purification for the fasting person from false and filthy speech and also as feeding for the Masaakeen (poor)..." as narrated by Abu Daawood (1609) and others. This Hadeeth was mentioned in its entirety earlier in the section: [The time for giving it (Zakaat-ul-Fitr)].

The fact that it (Masaakeen) is mentioned here does not mean that this indicates a restriction to it. It should also not be understood to be an encouragement of this category over the others otherwise the giver of Zakaah would neglect all the other categories. Similar to this is what has come in the Hadeeth narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra): " The Messenger of Allah (saw) said to Mu’aadh when he sent him to Yemen, "You will go to the people of the Scripture. So, when you reach there, invite them to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Apostle. And if they obey you in that, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in each day and night. And if they obey you in that tell them that Allah has made it obligatory on them to pay the Zakat which will be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor among them. ". Similarly this does not indicate that the Fuqaraa should be given the Sadaqah to the exclusion of the other categories.

It is valid to give Zakaat-ul-Fitr to one or two or all of the categories with no difference existing between them. As for the view of Ash-Shaafi’ and ‘Ikramah that: [That it is obligatory to divide the Zakaah between all categories of the six that are present with a fixed share and that each share for each type is not less than three or more and if you do not find except one category then the share of that category is given to it]. This view of splitting and dividing has no Daleel (evidence) or valid legal argument from the Shar’a to support it and the correct view is that it is permitted to give to one category just as it is allowed to give to more than one and this is the opinion of ‘Umar Bin Al-Khattaab, ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbaas and Hudhaifah from amongst the Sahaabah (rah) as well as it being the view of  Sa’eed Bin Jubair, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, ‘Ataa, Ath-Thawri, Abu Haneefah and Ibn Qudaamah.