Allah says in the Qur’an-e-Majid that one who gives “Zakat” and remembers Him will get salvation. Here, Zakat means “Fitra” and remembrance of God means the recitation of the following Takbir on the night and morning of Eid-ul-Fitr.
“Allaaho Akbar, Allaaho Akbar, Laa ilaaha illallaah wallaaho Akbar, Allaaho Akbar, Wa lillaahil hamd. Alhamdulillah alaa maa hadaanaa walahu Shukr alaa maa aulana.”
The meaning of the above is: “Allah is Great, Allah is Great there is no one worthy of prayer but Allah, and Allah is Great; Allah is Great, all praise be to Allah, it is He Who guides.”
Fitr is compulsory on those who can afford it, and it is a sin not to give it.
Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell – in humiliation!
– Holy Qur’an (40:60)
Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.) has said that fasts do not attain perfection without Fitr just as Namaz is not accepted without invoking the blessings of Allah on Mohammad (S.A.W.) and his Aaal (A.S.) in Tashahhud. Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.) used to instruct his accountant to take out Fitr for each individual including slaves and servants male and female of his household without exception, as, he feared that one whose Fitr was not taken out might die within that year.
Fitr is dependant on the major item of food consumed by a person during the year. These may be rice, wheat, barley, dates, etc. In weight Fitr should be three Kilograms per person. It is also permissible to pay cash to the value of three Kilograms food grains.
It is obligatory on the bead of the family to give Fitr of all persons (including servants of both sexes of any cast or creed) that take food in his house.
If a guest Muslim or non-Muslim arrives at one’s house before the night of Eid-ul-Fitr and dines with his host, it is incumbent on the latter to give the former’s Fitr. If the guest arrives after sunset of the night of Eid-ul-Fitr. Fitr is not obligatory even if he dines with his host. Even when the guest arriving before sunset does not dine, Fitr is obligatory on the host. In this it is better if both the host and the guest give Fitr.
If one’s wife is at her parent’s on the night of Eid-ul-Fitr, her parents should take out her Fitr.
On the last day of the month of Ramadan, if a person arrranges a Majlis which finishes afer sunset (Magrib) and if, he offers Niyaz or food to his guests, he does not have to give Fitr for them.
Fitr should be given to deserving Momins who do not have enough income for the maintenance of their families for the whole year.
Fitr cannot be given to one’s dependants. But, it is better to give it to non-dependant deserving relatives. Next in order of preference are deserving neighbors and then any other deserving pious persons. Fitr from Syeds can be given to Syeds or non-Syeds. Fitr from non-Syeds cannot be given to Syeds.
If deserving persons are not really available, Fitr should be sent to places where such persons are found, or the amount should be sent to a Mujtahid who would do the needful in distributing the same.
It is not essential that the recipient of Fitr is an “Aadil” (just), but it is necessary to ensure that it is not given to anyone likely to use it in acts of sin, e.g. drinking liquor, gambling, etc.
Although it is permissible to send Fitr to any place it is preferable if it is distributed to a deserving person locally.
The time for giving Fitr is from the night of Eid-ul-Fitr (Ramadan Eid) up to the noon (Zohr) of Eid-ul-Fitr. If this is not possible for some reason the amount of Fitr should be set apart from his other monies and disbursed when deserving person is available or it may be sent to a Mujtahid for required distribution.
It is stated that Fitr ought to be given to pious persons and not those who indulge in sin.
And now that the Holy Month of Glory has departed and Eid is over, let us look back to the lessons it has taught us, and let us pray to God that the things we observed the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, the saying of Prayers (Namaz) regularly, the charity which we did, the poor that we fed, the good manners and self-restraint that we observed, should be with us in our everyday lives and these are the very ACTS that take us nearer to Allah.
And Allah has said, “Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me.” (2:152)
“If ye are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; But if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.” (14:7)
And to those who have been indifferent and have wished that there was no such thing as this month of Ramadan and who on sighting the New Moon had a dejected face, should remember this Ayat of the Holy Qur’an.
“Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell – in humiliation!” (40:60)
But can ye not see, O men, the mighty workers of God in the heavens and the earth? The dark-some splendor of the night with the stars, and the daylight splendor of the sun? How the earth with its spacious expanse and its mountains, yields moisture and pasture, and feeds and sustains men and cattle, through God’s Providence?
AH! Transgress not all bounds and earn not the fire of punishment, but fear God and His Judgment, and prepare for the Garden of Perpetual Bliss.