Ramadan is the month of competition in goodness and increasing acts of worship. It is a time when rewards are magnified, and ranks are elevated. Among the most important acts of worship during this month is charity, and it is incumbent upon Muslims to have a share in it.
Zakat in Ramadan
Zakat is a fundamental pillar of Islam, representing an obligatory form of almsgiving. It is considered a religious obligation for all eligible Muslims. As one of the Five Pillars of Islam, Zakat requires Muslims who meet specific criteria to donate a portion of their wealth annually to charitable causes.
The rules of Zakat are defined by Islamic law, and it is distinct from voluntary acts of charity, such as Sadaqah. Zakat is mandatory and structured, involving the donation of a specific proportion of one’s wealth to assist the less fortunate and promote social welfare. It is seen as a means of purifying one’s wealth and demonstrating social responsibility.
Zakat can be given in various forms, including cash, gold, silver, business assets, and agricultural products. The collected Zakat is distributed among specific categories of recipients, such as the poor, needy, debtors, and those working to administer it.
When Is Zakat Due?
The Zakat must be paid when personal wealth or business assets meet the conditions for Zakat. Zakat becomes obligatory when the wealth exceeds the specified Nisab, a predetermined threshold for each type of asset (such as cash, trade, and other assets).
After achieving the Nisab, a full Hijri year (approximately 354 or 355 days) must pass without the wealth falling below the Nisab at the end of the lunar year. After this period, it becomes obligatory to pay Zakat.
Is Ramadan is the Best Time to Pay Zakat?
Zakat becomes due after a full Hijri year, and it is generally best to pay it promptly. Delaying Zakat without a valid excuse is not permissible, but it is allowed to pay it in advance.
Giving charity in Ramadan is highly recommended, and if Zakat is due during Ramadan, paying it then is acceptable. However, delaying Zakat intentionally to pay it in Ramadan when it is not due at that time is not allowed.
There are situations where paying Zakat outside Ramadan may be preferable, such as responding to urgent needs or disasters in Muslim countries.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthyameen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It is permissible to delay zakaah if that is in the interests of the poor and will not cause them harm. For example, in our country many people pay zakaah in Ramadan and this gives the poor what they need or more than they need, but then during the winter, if that does not coincide with Ramadan, they will be in greater need and there are few people paying zakaah. In that case it is permissible to delay zakaah because that is in the interests of those who are entitled to it.Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/189
However, when we talk about Zakat al-Fitr, it’s obligatory for all adult Muslims to pay it during Ramadan, before Eid al-Fitr prayers at the latest, for those in need can enjoy the day of Eid.
Zakat al-Fitr, also known as “Sadaqat al-Fitr“. It is an obligatory payment of “alms,” which all Muslims pay at the end of Ramadan, the holy fasting month.
Zakat al-Fitr is a universal Muslim obligation, meaning every Muslim is liable for its payment. It is due to “every Muslim, free or bondsman, male or female, young or old, poor or rich” (Bukhari).
Every Muslim who has “Nisab” or possesses food over their needs must pay Zakat al -Fitr. The head of the household can also pay Zakat al-Fitr on behalf of their dependants, such as;
- And any dependent relatives.
Zakat al-Fitr in Value of Money
- It consists of (5.5) pounds of rice, wheat, dates, or similar food items.
- An estimated amount of £5/US$15 per family member.
Sadaqah In Ramadan
Sadaqah in Islam refers to voluntary acts of charity given by Muslims out of compassion and generosity. It is distinct from Zakat, which is a mandatory form of almsgiving. Sadaqah can be given at any time and in any amount, making it a flexible and spontaneous act of kindness.
In Ramadan, Sadaqah holds greater significance than in other months. Imam At-Tirmidhi narrated from the hadith of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The best charity is that given in Ramadan.”
In the authentic hadiths from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both), it is reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was the most generous of people, and his generosity would peak during Ramadan when Gabriel would meet him and review the Quran with him. During these encounters, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was more generous than the swiftly blowing wind.
The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) increased emphasis on charity during this month is a clear indication that it holds greater virtue in Ramadan than in other months.
Pay your Sadaqah and Zakat to those who deserve it with Bonyan Organization
During Ramadan, extend your generosity to those who need it most. Pay your Zakat and Sadaqah with Bonyan to support vulnerable communities, particularly refugees in war-torn countries like Syria, Palestine, and Yemen.
These communities are facing immense challenges, and your charity can make a significant difference in providing them with essential resources and assistance. By contributing during this holy month, you directly impact the lives of those who are most in need, helping them endure the hardships of displacement and conflict.
Your support through Bonyan ensures that charity reaches the heart of these communities, offering hope, relief, and a brighter future for those who deserve it most.
Is Zakat only paid in Ramadan?
No, Zakat is not exclusively paid during Ramadan. Zakat is an obligatory form of almsgiving in Islam that is meant to be given annually. Muslims are required to pay Zakat on their accumulated wealth, provided it meets the Nisab (minimum threshold) and they have held it for one lunar year.
While Zakat can be paid at any time during the year, some Muslims choose to fulfill this obligation during the holy month of Ramadan for several reasons:
1. Increased Rewards: The rewards for good deeds, including charity like Zakat, are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan.
2. Spiritual Significance: Ramadan is a month of heightened spirituality, and many Muslims seek to engage in acts of worship and charity during this time.
3. Cleansing Wealth: Paying Zakat during Ramadan is seen as a means of purifying one’s wealth and seeking spiritual purification.
However, it’s important to note that the obligation to pay Zakat is not restricted to Ramadan. Muslims can and should calculate and pay their Zakat at any time of the year when it is due, based on their individual financial circumstances.
Zakat Al-Fitr, a specific form of charity, is paid at the end of Ramadan, but it serves a different purpose and is distinct from the annual Zakat.
Can You Pay Zakat In Ramadan?
Yes, Zakat can be paid during the month of Ramadan, and doing so is considered highly meritorious in Islam.
It’s important to note that Zakat can be paid at any time of the year. The specific timing for Zakat is determined based on an individual’s lunar year and the fulfillment of the Nisab (minimum threshold).
Is Zakat al-Fitr the Same as Zakat?
No, Zakat al-Fitr and Zakat are distinct forms of charitable giving in Islam with different purposes and timing.
Zakat is an obligatory form of almsgiving, constituting a percentage of one’s wealth and possessions.
It is paid annually by eligible Muslims who meet specific wealth criteria.
Zakat aims to purify one’s wealth and assist the less fortunate, contributing to social welfare.
Zakat al-Fitr is a specific form of charity given at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
It is obligatory for every Muslim, regardless of financial status, and is paid before the Eid al-Fitr prayer.
Zakat al-Fitr aims to purify those who fast from any indecent acts or speech and ensures that the needy have provisions for the festive occasion.
Is Sadaqah Better in Ramadan?
Yes, Sadaqah (voluntary charity) is highly encouraged and considered especially rewarding during the holy month of Ramadan in Islam. There are several reasons for this:
Increased Rewards: The rewards for good deeds, including charitable acts like Sadaqah, are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan.
Spiritual Significance: Ramadan is a month of heightened spirituality, self-discipline, and compassion. Giving Sadaqah during this time aligns with the spirit of generosity and empathy.
Emulation of Prophet’s Behavior: There are traditions from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that highlight his increased generosity during Ramadan, setting an example for Muslims to follow.
Purification of Wealth: Giving Sadaqah during Ramadan is seen as a means of purifying one’s wealth and seeking the blessings of Allah.