Thursday, 21 June 2018

Documentary: Portugal's Moorish Legacy

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Board announces ‘urgent review’ into deputy, after JC reveals she promoted ‘Islamophobic’ views

The Board of Deputies has pledged an “urgent and detailed case review” into one of its deputies who has expressed what have been described as “Islamophobic” and “anti-Arab” views.
The JC has seen tweets shared by Roslyn Pine, who stood unsuccessfully to be vice-president of the Board in last month’s elections, describing Muslims as “the vilest of animals”, as well as one describing Arabs as “so evil”.
She also retweeted a message describing Arab migrants to Europe as “an invading army”.
The JC understands her account, @RoslynPine, was suspended by Twitter in November 2017. Mrs Pine admitted running the account but denied ownership of another account, @Pine_Roslyn, which was also suspended.
She denied establishing a third account, @toscasbacci, which shares anti-Muslim messages and tweets supporting right-wing figures such as Tommy Robinson. The account features the same profile image as one allegedly previously used by Mrs Pine on her WhatsApp account. She denied it was her account on the messaging service.
Mrs Pine is currently a deputy for Finchley United Synagogue and previously represented North Salford Synagogue in Manchester.
Speaking to the JC, she defended her right to hold “views against Islam”, denying it was Islamophobic to do so.
Mrs Pine added: “There is no such word as Islamophobic. ‘Islamophobia’ is trying to shut down criticism of Islam. I detest the creed of Islam and I’m entitled to say it.
“I have an issue with Muslims and Arabs who want to kill us, who want to destroy Israel. And that is an Islamic fundamental if you know anything about what the Koran is.
“I have views that offend people. That is what a free society is. To criticise a religion — including Judaism — I have no problem with that. In a free society you should be able to criticise a body of ideas.”
New Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl has ordered a report on Mrs Pine from the internal committee responsible for breaches of its code of conduct. Mrs van der Zyl said: “I will not tolerate any anti-Muslim hatred whatsoever. Irrespective of this particular case, I have also asked for a complete list of the sanctions available to us and recommendations for whether these are sufficient.
“I have asked that this be on my desk by no later than the end of next week.
“As a community that has faced more than our fair share of prejudice, we need to be crystal clear on this and lead the fight to defeat it.”
Previous internal reports into Mrs Pine’s conduct — as well as notices that complaints have been lodged against her — were not circulated among deputies ahead of the election.
A fellow deputy, who wished to remain anonymous, described Mrs Pine’s conduct as “very problematic”, adding that she had frequently used “racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic language”. The deputy added: “She is a very proud person and she doesn’t want to change her views or tone down anything she says.
“It doesn’t show a good side of the Board to younger deputies. She has treated people in an offensive manner, and her language has also been quite violent.”

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Men-only mosques invalidate jumma prayers

By Yvonne Ridley

I thought that headline would grab your attention! First and foremost no one’s just made me a mufti and I’m not an Islamic scholar so after reading this I urge you to go out and seek corroboration and knowledge from men and women who truly know and love their Islam.
Secondly I would ask you to check out the committees of those mosques where women are forbidden from entering. I bet the decision taking is made by men and that those men have their roots in countries which were once colonised by the British. There’s a thesis in there somewhere but let’s focus on the issue of men-only mosques for today.
The thorny subject was brought to my attention by Egyptian scholar Sheikh Fadel Soliman who I first encountered in New York and then in Cairo when I was brand new to Islam. He introduced me to the then Grand Imam Sheikh Mohamed Sayyid Tantawi, the Rector of the famous Al Azhar University in Cairo, and the leading cleric in Sunni Islam worldwide.
At our meeting Sheikh Tantawi went to shake my hand and I drew back amid a few gasps from those in our immediate circle. I was still wrestling with the notion of shaking hands of the opposite sex when, astonishingly, the late sheikh accused me of extremism as I refused his hand. Sheikh Fadel interjected and corrected the man widely considered to be head of the Arab sunni world, again more raised eyebrows but he diffused a tense situation.
Ever since then we’ve become great friends and he is someone I’ve relied upon over the years when faced with challenging dilemmas and questions about Islam simply because he has shown himself to be a man who speaks without fear or favour. It’s no use consulting a sheikh who will tell you simply what you want to hear.
The ‘handshake’ thing has troubled me on and off for many years but I’ll return to it another time. I want to focus on the far more pressing phenomenon which is men-only mosques. It is something which troubled me within days of embracing Islam and is virtually unheard of in the Arab world although common in parts of Africa, Asia and Europe.
When I lived in London my nearest place of prayer was the Islamic Centre in Soho. On arrival I was told I could not enter. I created a fuss and the imam at the time (it was around 2003) said the same thing. As I was kept at the door I told him at I knew he was wrong and I would go away, seek knowledge and return to challenge him again. I told him that there was no such thing in Islam as a men-only mosque and I was sure of this – as a feminist and a lifelong supporter of women’s rights there’s no way I’d embrace a faith which sidelines one gen
Now, more than 15 years on, I stand by my insistence that there’s simply no such thing as a men-only mosque and there never has been. It is a concept born out of misogyny and while some of you may wave your hands dismissively and accuse me of being on a feminist trip, stop right there. The truth is your jumma prayers are invalid if you pray in a building where Muslim women are barred. Don’t take my word for it – ask a scholar free of constraints and not someone from the oil-rich schools of scholars for dollars.
Egyptian-born Sheikh Fadel Soliman from The Bridges Foundation, who has a Master’s degree in Shariah, has been investigating the subject for some time. The problem was also resurrected by another friend of mine Imam Ajmal Masroor whose wife and daughter were refused entry to a London mosque quite recently.
Both these men stand up fearlessly for women’s rights in Islam and as I say, I’m proud to count them among my brotherly friends. “Men-only mosques are a bidah as they violate a clear instruction by the Prophet (pbuh) ‘Dont you ever prevent the female servants of Allah from attending mosques’. He forbade us from making a single gender mosque,” says Sheikh Fadel.
He also sought clarification from another hugely respected authority Sheikh Muhammad al-Hassan Walid al-Dido al-Shanqītī who runs a respected educational centre in Mauritania. Not only did the sheikh agree he went further and declared places where women are barred from worship as not even mosques! “The condition for any place to be considered a mosque is that no one can be disallowed to enter and prayer freely. So, if people set out to make a mosque for one type of people only say, for doctors, or rich people, or white, or black, it is not a mosque. Call it whatever you want; it’s not a mosque,” explained Shk Soliman.
And so what of these men-only mosques and their status in Islam? “The jummah is invalid” declares Shk Soliman. This is huge news, it’s seismic when you consider in the UK around a third of the mosques are men-only! It’s something the Muslim Council of Britain, once sinking in a swamp of its own misogyny, is trying to grapple with today as it finally realises we women are half the Ummah and we gave birth to the other half!
The solution is simple. Lift the ban and then set about turning mosque committees into areas where the decision makers and takers are split only by gender. Let’s end the days of men-only mosque committees which serve no one especially the community and consign to history those fake mosques where women are banned.
It is a message I gave in South Africa recently which was welcomed by many of the women I met in Johannesburg and Durban but sadly not all of the men were as enthusiastic. Goodness knows why since there’s not a Muslim man alive who would challenge the word of God and yet, the Qur’an makes it clear mosques are houses of worship for all.
The view on gender discriminating mosques is also condemned at length here by Imam Ajmal Masroor who asks and answers three questions quite simply: “Can a place be called a mosque if it bans prayers? No! Can a place be called a mosque if it was women only mosque? No! Can a place be called a mosque if it was men only mosque? No!”
As I say, don’t take my word for it but if you pray in a place where women are banned then I’d be seriously concerned. If your jumma prayers are invalid then how do you get back all those lost years? I don’t know the answer but if I was a man praying in a men-only mosque I’d be very concerned.
There are three floors in which to worship at the Soho Islamic Centre, surely one can be set aside for women? Next time I go I will demand my right as a Muslim and now I have the knowledge to stand up to the misogynists who should take heed.
And while I’m on with it, for those mosques where women are accommodated ask yourself this: Can we do better? I am sick and tired of going to mosques where the sisters’ rooms are dark, damp, grubby and unclean. This is a terrible advert for Islam. I’m not going to name and shame the mosques and prayer rooms here – their committee members know fine well what I am talking about!

Monday, 18 June 2018

Israeli town residents take to streets in hundreds to protest sale of house to Arabs

The only democracy in the Middle East! 
The deputy mayor of the northern Israeli town of Afula has joined a demonstration calling for a house in the community not to be sold to an “undesirable” Arab-Israeli family. 
Approximately 150 people marched through the town’s streets on Wednesday afternoon to protest against the owners of a house in the Yizrael neighbourhood who decided to sell to Arabs.
Flyers circulated before the protest called on Afula’s residents to “put a stop to this phenomenon… the sale of homes to those who are undesirable in the neighbourhood… from the beginning”.
Demonstrators carried flags and placards, one of which read: “Traitors against the Jews will get no rest.”
The protesters were joined by both Afula's deputy mayor, Shlomo Malihi, and its former mayor Avi Elkabetz, who is seeking a return to office.
“The residents of Afula don’t want a mixed city, but rather a Jewish city, and it’s their right. This is not racism,“ Mr Malihi said, according to Haaretz
Although around 20 per cent of Israel’s 8.6 million-strong population is Arab, a “nation state” bill currently being considered by the Knesset contains a clause that would allow the establishment of Jewish-only communities. 

Why Do BAD Things Happen to GOOD People || #Sister Yasmin Mogahed

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Sittu Min Shawwal: Fasting 6 days of Shawwal

Shawwal is the tenth month in the lunar calendar, as mentioned earlier. The first of Shawwal is Eidul Fitr. After the festivity of Eid it is recommended to observe six days of fast. This fast may be observed continuously non-break, or it may be observed one day at a time. If you observe it continuously, you may start on the fourth day and end on the ninth of day Shawwal, or you may select days at random, provided you complete six days before the end of Shawwal. For instance, you may observe the third, fifth, seventh, ninth, 14th and 15th days. Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (raa) related the Messenger of Allah, (saas), said:

"Whoever observes the Ramadan fast and follows it with six days of fast in Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted Dahr (the whole year)." (Bukhari) It has been mentioned earlier that Dahr means the whole year. Possibly it may also mean forever, or for life.

Analyzing this hadith, our jurists (`Ulama) explained how according to this hadith, a Muslim who fasts during Ramadan every year and follows it with six days fast of Shawwal, will be credited for fasting a whole lifetime. The Jurists correctly said: a good deed (hasanah) is rewarded a minimum of ten times its equivalent. It follows, then, that one Ramadan is equivalent to ten months of fasting, and the clincher, six days, is equal to two months, (6x10=60). That undoubtedly completes the year's twelve months. Thus, we see the wisdom and the reason why the Prophet (saas) mentioned six days after Ramadan in Shawwal, not five or seven.

More details on Islam Awareness homepage here:

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Bites and a broken bed: New details in case of Sudan teen who killed rapist husband

Slashes to her hands, bite marks embedded in her shoulder, and a broken bed.
As the defense team for Sudanese teenager Noura Hussein submitted an appeal to save her life, CNN has learned new details about the struggle that unfolded when she killed her husband, who she says raped her following their forced marriage.
The legal team representing the 19-year-old, who was sentenced to death earlier this month for murder, filed the appeal on Thursday in the capital Khartoum following an international outcry over Hussein's case.
    "Noura and indeed the women and girls of Sudan have too often been treated as chattel to be traded and given away as though they are property and as though they have no rights," activists with the Justice for Noura campaign said in a statement on Thursday. "Here today, united and in one voice we wish to say -- enough!"
    The teenager's story has shone a spotlight on the issues of forced marriage and marital rape in Sudan, where the legal age of marriage is only 10 and marital rape is legal.
    Hussein's family compelled her to marry at 15, but she refused and ran away for three years. Her father forced her to complete the wedding ceremony in April 2017. After refusing to have sex with her husband on their "honeymoon," she says he raped her as his brother and two cousins restrained her. A day later her husband tried to rape her again, and she stabbed him to death. When she went to her parents for support, they turned her in to the police.

    Tuesday, 12 June 2018

    The epic story of a 97-year-old Palestinian freedom fighter

    Sur Baher, occupied East Jerusalem - In the village he defended from Zionist militias 70 years ago, Muhammad Mahmoud Jadallah is celebrated as a "blessing".
    Born in 1921, the 97-year-old, known as Abu Nihad, witnessed the unfolding of what has been dubbed by some as "the world's most intractable conflict".
    He is one of the few Palestinian men who fought against Zionist gangs in 1948 and is alive today to tell the tale.
    Sitting on a sofa in his humble home in Sur Baher, a town on the southeastern edges of Jerusalem, Abu Nihad recounts his memories with impressive detail.
    He takes pride in his recall, pausing in between sentences to say: "See how well I remember?"
    Photographs from his time as a "freedom fighter" - as he describes himself - and of his father who was part of the resistance against British occupation, line his living room walls.
    In the corner, a well-organised cabinet is filled with nearly a hundred years of photos, letters and documents bearing witness to his eventful past.

    'Palestinians attacked from two fronts'

    Abu Nihad was born at a critical time in Palestine's history; three years after Britain occupied the country with a declared goal of creating a Jewish state there.
    Zionist immigration from Europe to Palestine, facilitated by the British, was increasing dramatically, displacing tens of thousands of Palestinians from their lands.
    "There was a lot of injustice against the Palestinians," he says.

    Monday, 11 June 2018

    Laylatul Qadr tonight (Monday, 11 June) in most parts of the world


    While Laylatul Qadr is any odd night in the last 10 days of Ramadan, many scholars believe that it is the night of the 27th. For people who started their fasts on Thursday 17th May, it will be tonight.

    Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?' He said:

    اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

    Allahumma innaka 'affuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'anni' "

    'Say: O Allah, You are Oft-Pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.'"
    [Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmidhi].

    We have collected all the necessary information in one place. Please visit:


    An Iftar to heal religious divide in India

    Marriage outside one's faith or caste is still frowned upon in many parts of India, at times resulting in violence.
    "Honour killings" - when a person is killed by a family member who believes the victim has brought shame on the family, clan or community - are common in India.
    According to government data, 288 cases of honour killings were reported between 2014 and 2016 in the country.
    For Ankit's father, Yashpal, breaking bread with these men and women meant a rejection of hate.
    "This man is celebrating a festival of the same faith as that of his son's killers. This resonates with the India that Mahatma Gandhi wanted to build. In an atmosphere of hate, it's critical that we stand with people like Yashpal," activist Mohammed Amir Khan told Al Jazeera at the event.
    Yashpal's reaction immediately after his son was killed and in the months that followed have counteracted the possible politics of division that could have played out around the incident.
    "Please do not communalise my son's death," Yashpal had told local media after his son was the target of the violent hate crime.
    He also stayed away from a candle-light march in memory of his son organised by local leaders of the right-wing ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    Sunday, 10 June 2018

    Should Muslims Migrate from Western societies to Islamic ones?

    Muslims are supposed to be like the torch that brings light to all dark corners in this world. After Islam was established in Arabia, during and after Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) took the light if Islam to all corners of the world. For some reason the religious Muslims want to migrate to Islamic lands and live in Khilafah. 

    While I would understand this if there were countries with proper Islamic shariah and proper Muslim laws and ruler but the truth is far from this.

    This Ramadan lecture from Nouman Ali Khan brings this point home.

    Saturday, 9 June 2018

    Zakat-ul-Fitr: A Token of Thankfulness

    Every Muslim is required to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan as a token of thankfulness to God for having enabled him to observe fasts. Its purpose is to purify those who fast from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy.[1] This view is based upon the hadith which reads, “The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, enjoined Zakat-ul-Fitr on those who fast to shield them from any indecent act or speech, and for the purpose of providing food for the needy. It is accepted as Zakah for the one who pays it before the `Eid prayer, and it is sadaqah for the one who pays it after the prayer.”[2] Al-Qaradawi comments on this hadith by saying that there are two purposes: one is related to the individual; for completion of his fast and compensation for any shortcomings in his acts or speech. The other is related to society; for the spreading of love and happiness among its members, particularly the poor and needy, during the day of `Eid.[3] It also purifies one’s soul from such shortcomings as the adoration of property, and from miserliness. Furthermore, it purifies one’s property from the stain of unlawful earnings. It is also a cure for ailments.[4] The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “It would be better that you treat your patients with charity.”[5]
    In addition, it provides for the needs of the poor and the indigent and relieves them from having to ask others for charity on the day of `Eid.[6] The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Fulfil their need on this day (i.e., the day of `Eid)”[7]
     Zakat-ul-Fitr is incumbent on every free Muslim who possesses one Sa` of dates or barley which is not needed as basic food for himself or his family for the duration of one day and night. Every free Muslim must pay Zakat-ul-Fitr for himself, his wife, children, and servants. This is the opinion of Imam Malik, Al-Shafi`i, and Ahmad. Imam Abu Hanifah, however, said that it is only obligatory for one who possesses a nisab (a minimum amount of property) after fulfilling the costs of his house, servant, horse, and weapon.[8]
    Al-Khattabi explained that Zakat-ul-Fitr was obligatory for all Muslims, not only those who possess the nisab stating that this is the view of the majority of scholars. He said, “In essence, the rationale behind it was stated to be the purification of one who fasts from any indecent act or speech. And since every Muslim needs this, it is therefore obligatory upon every fasting Muslim, whether rich or poor, who possesses one Sa` in excess of his main staple food for the duration of one day and night. This is because so long as the essential rationale is shared by all Muslims, then they also share the same obligation.”[9]
    Al-Qaradawi also asserts the majority view when he says, “It is a virtuous wisdom of Islam that it makes this Zakah obligatory not only on the rich, but also upon nearly every Muslim, for you can hardly find a person who does not possess one Sa` of food above his main staple food for the duration of one day and night. The wisdom behind this obligation, therefore, is to prepare the poor to practice benevolence and feel the dignity and honour of giving in charity. Allah described the believers with these words, “Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity…”[10] Thus if we contemplate on this wisdom, we will not find it strange that the needy pay this Zakah, because it does not cause them to suffer any loss. He will pay only his Zakah and then receive the Zakah of various people.” [11]
    Moreover, we have to bear in mind that Zakat-ul-Fitr is obligatory for everyone who lives until the sun sets on the last day of Ramadan. This is the point of view of the Shafi`is, Hanbalis, and Malikis. Accordingly, whoever dies before the sun sets on the last day of Ramadan is exempted. Likewise, a person who has a baby on the last day of Ramadan should pay Zakat-ul-Fitr for the baby. The majority of jurists argue that we should not pay Zakat-ul-Fitr for an embryo. But Imam Ahmad holds that Zakat-ul-Fitr is also obligatory for an embryo, because it is permissible to assign property to an embryo by means of a will.
    The jurists agree that Zakat-ul-Fitrr is due at the end of Ramadan. They differ, however, about the exact time. Al-Thawri, Ishaq, Malik (in one of two reports), and Al-Shafi`i (in one of his two opinions), are of the opinion that it is due at the sunset of the night of breaking the fast, for this is when the fast of Ramadan ends. However, Al-Layth, the Hanafi school, Al-Shafi`i (in his other opinion), and the second report of Malik say that Zakat-ul-Fitr is due at the start of Fajr (dawn) on the day of `Eid because it is an act of worship connected with `Eid, so the time of its payment should not be before `Eid just as sacrifice on the `Eid of Adha.[12]
    These two different views acquire relevance if a baby is born after sunset but before dawn on the day of `Eid; the question then is whether Zakat-ul-Fitr is obligatory for the baby or not. In accordance with the first view, it is not, since the birth took place after the prescribed time, while according to the second view, it is obligatory because the birth took place within the prescribed space of time.[13]
    It is not permissible to delay giving Zakat-ul-Fitr after the day of `Eid (i.e. one may give it up to the time of the `Eid prayer). However, there are some jurists who think that it is permissible to delay giving it even after the `Eid prayer.[14] The founders of the four schools of Fiqh hold the first opinion, but Ibn Sirin and al-Nakha‘i say that its payment can be delayed. Ahmad says: “I hope that there is no harm [in delaying the payment].” Ibn Raslan says that there is a consensus that payment cannot be delayed merely for the reason that it is a type of Zakah. Thus, any delay is a sin and is analogous to delaying one’s prayers without an acceptable excuse.[15]
    Anyway, the founders of the four accepted Islamic legal schools agree that Zakat-ul-Fitr is not nullified simply by failure to pay it on its due time. If it is not paid before `Eid prayer, one is not exempt from it. It becomes a debt payable even after death. The heirs must not distribute the deceased’s legacy before payment of the deceased’s unpaid Zakat-ul-Fitr.[16]
    Most scholars believe that it is permissible to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr a day or two before `Eid. Ibn `Umar reported that the Messenger, upon whom be peace, ordered them to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr before the people went out to perform the `Eid prayer. Nafi‘ reported that `Umar used to pay it a day or two before the end of Ramadan. However, scholars hold different opinions when a longer time period is involved. According to Abu Hanifah, it is permissible to pay it even before Ramadan so long as you make the intention of Zakah.[17] Al-Shaf‘i holds that it is permissible to do so at the beginning of Ramadan. Malik and Ahmad (in his well-known view) maintain that it is permissible to pay it only one or two days in advance.[18]
    Al-Qaradawi explains the reasons for these differences in opinion by saying that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr after Fajr prayer on the day of `Eid but before the `Eid prayer for the reason that the Muslim community was still small and limited in number. During the time of the Companions the payment was made one or two days before the `Eid. After the spread of Islam the jurists permitted its payment from the beginning and middle of Ramadan so as to ensure that the Zakat-ul-Fitr reached its beneficiaries on the day of `Eid, thereby avoiding the possibility that the process of distribution would delay reception of the payment after the day of `Eid.[19] After explaining the different views regarding the time of payment, Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr stated that these differences of opinion among the jurists justify some leniency for Muslims in regard to the time of payment, and therefore a Muslim can pay at any of these times. He also took the view that paying it at different times gives the poor and needy the opportunity to benefit from Zakat-ul-Fitr and fulfil their needs for longer periods.[20]
    In my opinion these differences are due to taking into consideration both the needs of the poor and the opportunity of attaining the wisdom behind the obligation of Zakat-ul-Fitr. Therefore, the most acceptable and practical approach is to apply whichever practice fulfils the purpose and wisdom behind Zakat-ul-Fitr, that is bringing happiness to the poor on the day of `Eid and giving their children a chance to enjoy this day as others do.
    The jurists hold different views as to the types of food which must be given as Zakat-ul-Fitr. The Hanbali view is that the kinds of food which can be given are five: dates, raisins, wheat, barley, and dry cottage cheese. Imam Ahmad is reported to have said that any kind of staple grain or dates are also permissible, even if the above five types are available. The Malikis and Shafi`is are of the view that it is permissible to give any kind of food as long as it is the main staple in that particular region or the main food of the person. As for the Hanafis, they permit paying the value of Zakat-ul-Fitr in money.[21]
    Ibn Al-Qayyim highlighted these different viewpoints and concluded that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, prescribed Zakat-ul-Fitr as one Sa` of dates, barley, raisins or dry cottage cheese. These were the main staple kinds of food in Madinah. As for people of other territories, what they should pay is one sa’ of their staple grain, such as corn, rice, etc. But if their main staple food is other than grain, such as milk, meat, fish, etc., then they should pay one Sa` of that particular food. This is the opinion of the majority of scholars and is the preferred point of view, since it achieves the purpose of fulfilling the needs of the poor on the day of `Eid with the staple food of their region.[22]
    The amount of Zakat-ul-Fitr, as we referred earlier, is one Sa` of food. There is consensus on this amount among the scholars with regard to all types of food except wheat and raisins. As for these two types the Shafi`is, Malikis and Hanbalis agree that the prescribed amount is one Sa`, however the Hanafis say it is sufficient to pay half Sa` from wheat and they differed with regard to raisins.[23] After discussing the arguments of these two opinions al-Qaradawi reached the following conclusion: wheat was not a common food amongst them during the time of the Prophet so he did not prescribe one Sa` of it as he did with the other types of food. As for those of the Companions of the Prophet who prescribed half Sa` of wheat instead of one Sa` of barely or dates like Mu`awiyah and other Companions, he views that they did so by analogy, since the value of wheat was more than those of other types of food which were equal. But according to their opinion, he says, the value should be considered and taken as the criterion and this will cause instability and confusion for it changes from place to another and from time to time. He mentioned that in Pakistan the value of wheat is less than that of dates, then how should we pay of it half the amount (i.e. Sa`) that we should pay of dates? He also mentioned that nowadays raisins are more expensive than wheat and dates. The only solution for these problems, he says, is to regard Sa` as the criterion and basis.[24]       
    Al-Qaradawi explains why the Prophet appointed Sa` as the measure and did not prescribe it in money saying that in his opinion there are two reasons for this: First, money was still rare among the Arabs particularly the Bedouins. They did not have their own currency. So if the Prophet had prescribed it in money, he would have caused hardship to them. Second, the purchasing power of money changes from time to time. For instance, the purchasing power of a certain currency sometimes becomes low and other times high, so paying Zakat-ul-Fitr in money makes its value unstable. That is why the Prophet prescribed it with a stable measure, that is an amount of food which fulfils the needs of one family. For one Sa` provides a family with food for a whole day.[25]
    Sa` is a certain measure which equals 4 mudds (a mudd equals a handful of an average man). The contemporary equivalent weights of Sa` differs according to the stuff which is weighted. For example a Sa` of wheat equals 2176 grams, a Sa` of rice is 2520 grams, a Sa` of beans equals 2250 grams etc.[26] Therefore some scholars are of the view that the criterion should be the measure not the weight for there are kinds of food which are heavier than others.[27] But I think this is the case if the equivalent weight of a certain kind of food is not known. If there is no available measure or weight with the person, then he should pay 4 mudds. Nowadays, it is not that problem because ministries of religious affairs in Muslim countries and mosques and Islamic centres in Western countries announce the value of Zakat-ul-Fitr every year. Anyhow, this is the obligatory amount which every Muslim should pay. It is better and recommended that one pays an extra amount, particularly for those who are wealthy, for they will be rewarded for it.
    As it is mentioned earlier, the Hanafis permitted the payment of Zakat-ul-Fitr in money. This is the view of Al-Thawri, Al-Hasan al-Basri, and `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz. However, the other three schools did not permit this. Their argument is that the Prophet did not do so and hence its payment in money contradicts the Sunnah of the Prophet. But some contemporary scholars support the Hanafi view since this is easier nowadays for the payer particularly in cities where people use only money for dealings. Among them are Sheikh Shaltut, al-Ghazali, and al-Qaradawi[28] who mentioned earlier the two reasons for which the Prophet did not prescribe it in money. He also stated that the purpose of Zakat-ul-Fitr is to fulfil the needs of the poor and this is achieved also by payment in money and that in most cases and most countries the payment in money is more useful to the poor.[29] He also mentioned that when the Prophet prescribed it from food, it was easy for the payer and useful for the recipient during that time. But nowadays to pay it in food is not useful for the poor because he cannot make use, for instance, of wheat or dates unless he sells them with any price, generally low, to buy his needs with the money.[30]
    Al-Qaradawi excluded the times of famines where the payment of food is more useful for the recipients and said that the criterion is the benefit of the poor so if food proves to be more useful as in times of famines and catastrophes, then its payment in kind is better. But if money is more useful, then its payment in money is better.[31]
    Nowadays, if we consider the condition in the Muslim world in general and that of Muslims in the West in particular we will discover that the second view is more convenient with the spirit of Islamic legislation and the present condition of Muslims. As we will see later when Muslims living in the West decide to transfer their Zakah funds or some of them to needy Muslims in Muslim countries, then the payment in money is more convenient.

    [1]Sabiq, op.cit, vol. III, p. 87.
    [2]Abû Dâwûd, Sunan Abî Dâwûd, ed. Muhammad ‘Abd al-‘Azîz al-Khâlidî, vol. 1, Dâr al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1416/1996, p. 473.
    [3]Qaradâwî, Yûsuf al-, Fiqh al-Zakâh, 4th ed., vol. II, Mu’assasat al-Risâlah, Beirut, 1980, pp. 922.
    [4]Shahatah, Hussain H., How to Calculate Zakat ul-Fitr, trans. Abdel-Hamid Eliwa, 1st ed., Al-Falah Foundation, Cairo-Egypt (1999), pp. 3-4.
    [5]Bayhaqî, Ahmad b. al-Husayn b. ‘Alî, Sunan al-Bayhaqî al-Kubrâ, ed. Muhammad ‘Abd al-Qâdir ‘Atâ, Maktabat Dâr al-Bâz, Makkah al-Mukarramah, 1414/1994, vol. 3, p. 382.
    [6]Shahatah, op.cit, p. 6.
    [7]Darqutnî, ‘Alî b. ‘Amr Abû al-Hasan al-, Sunan al-Darqutnî, ed. Al-Sayyid ‘Abdullah Hâshim Yamânî al-Madanî, vol. 2, Dâr al-Ma‘rifah, Beirut, 1386/1966, p.152.
    [8]Dahmân, Muhammad Ahmad, Kitâb al-Siyâm, 1st ed., Matba‘at al-Taraqqî, Damascus, 1341/1923, p. 34.
    [9]Ibidem, pp. 19-20.
    [10]The Qur’ân, ’Âl ‘Imrân [3: 134]
    [11]Qaradâwî, Yûsuf, Al-‘Ibâdah fî al-slâm, 5th ed., Maktabat Wahbah, Cairo, 1985,p. 282.
    [12] Ibn Qudâmah al-Maqdisî, ‘Abdullâh b. Ahmad, Al-Muqni‘, vol. 1, Al-Maktabah al-Salafiyyah, n.d., p. 336.
    [13] Sabiq, op.cit, vol. III, p. 89.
    [14] Shahatah, How to Calculate Zakat ul-Fitr, p.17.
    [15] Sabiq, op.cit, vol. III, p. 89.
    [16] Shahâtah, Hussayn H., Fiqh wa Hisâb Zakât al-Fitr, Cairo 1998, pp. 21-22.
    [17]Ibidem, pp. 20-21.
    [18]Sabiq, op.cit, vol. III, p. 89.
    [20]Qinâwî, ‘Abd al-Râziq Muhammad, Fatâwâ al-Sawm, 1st ed., Dâr Al-Amîn , Cairo, 1998, p. 59.
    [21]Shahâtah, Fiqh wa Hisâb Zakât al-Fitr, pp. 11-12.
    [22]Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, A‘lâm Al-Muwaqqi‘în ‘an Rabb Al-‘Âlamîn, vol. III, Dar al-Kutub al-Hadîthah, Cairo, 1969, pp. 15-16.
    [23]Qaradâwî, Fiqh al-Zakâh, pp. 932-33.
    [24]Ibidem, pp. 937-40.
    [25]Qaradâwî, Fatâwâ Mu‘âsirah, vol. I, 8th ed., Dâr al-Qalam, Kuwait, 1420/2000, p. 336.
    [26]Shahâtah, Fiqh wa Hisâb Zakât al-Fitr, pp. 16-17.
    [27]Qaradâwî, Fiqh al-Zakâh, p. 942.
    [28]Shahâtah, Fiqh wa Hisâb Zakât al-Fitr, p. 15.
    [29]Qaradâwî, Fiqh al-Zakâh, pp. 948-49.
    [31]Qaradâwî, Fiqh al-Zakâh, pp. 950-51.

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