- Playing, recreation, and eating on the day of Eid:
These are permissible as long as they stay within the acceptable bounds of Islam. Anas said: "when the prophet (p.b.u.h.) came to madinah, they had two days for amusement. the prophet (p.b.u.h.) has exchanged these days for two better days: the day of breaking the fast and the day of sacrifice." (Nsa'i and Ibn Hibban)
- Taking women and children to the prayer area:
The prophet (p.b.u.h.) used to take his wives and daughters to the two Eids. Umm Atiyah said: "we were ordered to go out with the single and menstruating women to the two Eids in order to witness the good and the supplications of the muslims. the menstruating women though would stay away from the prayer area." (Bukhari and Muslim)
- Going to the prayer area:
The prophet (p.b.u.h.) used to go to the prayer area by walking. Jaber narrated: "on the days of Eid, the prophet (p.b.u.h.) would go to the prayer area by one route and come back by another route." (Bukhari)
- Eating before going to the prayer area:
Since Eid al-Fitr is the day on which Muslims break their Ramadhan fast, it is preferable to eat before going to the Eid prayer. It is a Sunnah of the prophet (p.b.u.h.) to eat an odd number of dates before going to pray salat al-Eid. Anas reported: "the prophet (p.b.u.h.) would not go out on the day of Eid al-Fitr without eating an odd number of dates." (Bukhari.)
- Preparation for Eid prayer:
It is preferred to make ghusl (take a bath), wear one's best clothes and, for men, to wear perfume before going to salat al-Eid. Ibn al-Qayyim said: "the prophet (p.b.u.h.) used to wear his best clothes for the Eid prayers and he had clothes that he reserved for the two Eids and Jumuah."
- Making Takbeer:
Takbeer starts from the night of Eid's eve until the imam comes out to start the prayer. Allah says: "you should complete the prescribed period and then you should glorify allah (i.e., say takbeer) for having guided you so that you may be grateful to him." the form of takbeer is related by 'umar and ibn mas`ud: "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, la illaha illallah. Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-hamd."
- Congratulating each other:
It has been narrated that when the prophet's companions met each other on the Eid day, they would say to each other: "may Allah accept from us and from you." (Ahmad)
Zakat al Fitr
Zakat al Fitr is an obligatory charity on every muslim at the end of the month of ramadan. Ibn 'Umar said: "the prophet (p.b.u.h.) enjoined the payment of one sa'a of dates or one sa'a of barley as Zakat al-Fitr on every Muslim, young and old, male and female, free and slave." (Bukhari and Muslim)
The purpose of Zakat al-Fitr is to purify the one who has fasted from any type of indecent act or speech he might have committed while fasting. it also helps the poor and the needy. Ibn abbas said: "the messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) enjoined Zakat al-Fitr on the one who fasts to shield him from any indecent act or speech and for the purpose of providing food for the needy." (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.)
The amount of Zakat al-Fitr
As the first Hadith indicated, the amount of Zakat al-Fitr is one Sa'a. Sa'a is a volume measure corresponding approximately to the volume of 5 lb of good wheat. The material of Zakat can be either dates, barley, wheat, rice, corn or similar items considered as basic foods. Abu Saeed said: "we used to give for Zakat al-Fitr on behalf of every child, aged person, free man or slave during the lifetime of the messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) one Sa'a of food, or one Sa'a of dried yogurt, or one Sa'a of barley, or one Sa'a of dates, or one Sa'a of raisins." (Bukhari and Muslim.)
The time for Zakat al-Fitr
Zakat al-Fitr has to be paid by the end of Ramadhan. There are two times to pay akat al-Fitr. Either one or two days before Eid as 'Umar used to do, or the day of Eid before the Eid prayer. Ibn Umar reported that the prophet (p.b.u.h.) ordered them to pay Zakat al-Fitr before they go out to perform the Eid prayer. If Zakat al-Fitr is paid after the Eid prayer, it will only be considered as regular charity. The prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: "if one pays Zakat al-Fitr before the salat, it is considered an accepted Zakat, if he pays it after the salat, it is considered an ordinary charity." (Abu Dawud)
Zakat al-Fitr is to be given to the same eight categories or people as in the other types of zakat. Some scholars say that the poor and the needy are the most deserving ones since the prophet (p.b.u.h.) said that it had "...the purpose of providing food for the needy."
By: AlJumuah Magazine