Entries in English and Malay (Bahasa Melayu)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Ramadan: Purify your fast by giving Zakat Al Fitr

It is a great sight to see the celebrations of having accomplished the full month of fasting and Muslims gearing up for Eid Al Fitr which is one of the rewards. We all rustle up sumptuous dishes and wear new and pretty attire on the occasion. But what about those who cannot afford a square meal on the day of celebrations?

Islam is a religion of compassion and so it tells Muslims not to forget their brethren on the festive occasion and share with them at least some food which they can have on that day. And Zakat Al Fitr is the amount of food that we give at the end of Ramadan so that poor Muslims can have something to eat on Eid. Zakat Al Fitr is not to be confused with zakat. It is a must for each and every Muslim, adult or minor, male or female. It is said that Zakat Al Fitr purifies the Muslim and the sins he committed in Ramadan. It also spreads love and solidarity in society. Zakat Al Fitr aims to make the poor happy and save them the trouble of asking for money on the joyful event of Eid Al Fitr. It shows the poor that society does not forget them.

The purpose of Zakat Al Fitr is to purify one who fasts from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy. It is incumbent on every free Muslim who possesses one Sa of dates or barley which is not needed as a basic food for himself or his family for the duration of one day and night. Every free Muslim must pay Zakat Al Fitr for himself, his wife, children, and servants. (One Sa’ equals approximately three kilograms).

The required amount of Zakat ul Fitr is one Sa’ of wheat, rice or corn or similar items considered as basic foods.

The jurists agree that Zakat Al Fitr is due at the end of Ramadan. They differ, however, about the exact time. While many believe that is due at the sunset of the night of breaking the fast, for this is when the fast of Ramadan ends. While many others say that Zakat Al Fitr is due at the start of Fajr (dawn) on the day of Eid because it is an act of worship connected with Eid. However, it is up to you to decide the best time as we shall not engage here in deciding who is correct. Pay after Magrib on the last day of Ramadan or during Fajr time, as you wish. It is not permissible to delay giving Zakat Al Fitr after the day of Eid (i.e. on+e 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. Anyway, the founders of the four accepted Islamic legal schools agree that Zakat Al 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.

Al Qaradawi explains the reasons for these differences in opinion by saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to pay Zakat Al Fitr after Fajr prayer by 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 Al 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. 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 Al Fitr and fulfil their needs for longer periods.

These differences are due to taking into consideration both the needs of the poor and the opportunity of getting to the wisdom behind the obligation of Zakat Al Fitr. Therefore, the most acceptable and practical approach is to apply whichever practice fulfils the purpose and wisdom behind Zakat Al 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.

(Times Of Oman / 07 July 2015)
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur:
Islamic Investment Malaysia:

Lidasan: What we need to know about Islamic banking and finance in the Philippine setting

AL QALAM Institute of the Ateneo de Davao University has conducted intensive research and study on Islamic finance in the past three years. We have partnered with Islamic universities in Malaysia and Indonesia in order to understand what Islamic finance is all about. As we wait for the establishment of the Bangsamoro political entity, we invest our time and effort in building the social capital for the setting up of Islamic finance in Mindanao.
We have hosted seminars, fora, and international study tours to understand the principles on Islamic finance. As part of the academe, it is our mandate to generate knowledge and wealth for both Muslims and non-Muslims in the Philippines.
The following Q&A are the key points we need to understand regarding Islamic finance.
1. What is Islamic finance?
Finance is described as Islamic when it complies with sharia, a set of moral laws laid out in the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith or writings about the prophet Muhammad (SAW). In its simplest definition, Sharia forbids making money from money.
In another definition, “Islamic Banking is about the conduct of Banking and Finance operations in consonance with Shariah principles. It prohibits Riba and financing of anti-social and unethical services. It requires compliance with Shariah. It’is the fastest growing component of financial services industry. The growth rate is ranging from 15-20 percent. Right now, there are 600 financial institutions operating in more than 75 countries.”
Moreover, Islamic finance is all about sharing risk between financial institutions and the individuals that avail the principles of shariah. Thus, the two parties are tied into a longer-termrelationship with each other will the goal of sharing the risks and benefits of the particular financial transaction. 
What are the current statistics on Islamic finance?
275: The number of Islamic financial institutions in the world.
75: The number of countries where they have a presence.
US$1.357 trillion: The value of the global Islamic finance services industry by the end of 2011.
US$4 trillion: The projected value of the global Islamic finance services industry by 2020.
£200m: The value of the planned Islamic bond being unveiled by David Cameron today.
11th: The ranking of the UK (up 4 places from 2011) in the Global Islamic Finance Report which weighs up variables like the number of institutions involved in Islamic finance industry, the size of the Islamic financial assets and the regulatory and legal infrastructure.
Is it for Muslims only?
No. It is a system of financial transactions. It is open for anyone who wants to avail himself/herself of its principles.
What is the current status of Islamic finance in our country?
In a series of meetings organized by Al Qalam Institute with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Development Bank of the Philippines, Al Amanah Islamic Bank, Muslim Chamber of Commerce, Mindanao Business Council, people's organization and cooperatives that are engaged in Islamic finance, we have learned the following:
According to Atty. Arifa A. Ala, Director–Supervision Department II, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas: “The BSP has been very supportive on initiatives that promote Islamic Banking and Finance in the country.” 
Ala added, “We have the Al Amanah Islamic Bank, the one and only Islamic Bank in the Philippines. The growth of Islamic Banking and Finance in the Philippines is quiet very slow. These are the challenges that have seen:
a. Lack of legal and regulatory framework for Islamic Banking and Finance;
b. Tax laws and regulation; 
c. Lack of secondary market. Al Amanah is the only Islamic Banking player in the system, it has no counterpart to place its excess funds; 
d. Low investor awareness on acceptance of Islamic Banking and Finance;
e. Lack of clear information on Islamic Banking and Finance"
What are the challenges and what have we done so far?

The challenge now is how to promote Islamic Banking and Finance in our country? Many Muslims do not understand and appreciate the essence and value of Islamic finance. This is based on the fact that we lack local experts. We lack religious leaders who are knowledgeable of this field. Aside from this, we need to establish a clear and workable legal framework.
We need to understand that Al Amanah Bank is the first known and only Islamic Bank in the country mandated by law. It is licensed to do commercial and investment banking similar to a universal bank. Bank’s mission is to provide Islamic Banking products and services that adhere to the principles of Shariah. At present, the bank offers deposits and investments like savings, current and general investments under the Wadiah principle for safe keeping. They offer financing under Ijarah, Murabahah, and Bai' Bithaman Ajil. While the bank is not yet a full pledge Islamic Bank, they are allowed to do conventional banking thereby offering conventional deposits and loans.
However, Al Amanah Islamic Bank also faces several challenges in terms of legal framework, laws on taxation, and they are limited in offering Islamic Capital Market and Islamic Securities.

(Sun Star / 07 July 2015)
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur:
Islamic Investment Malaysia:

Latest Posts

Upcoming Events on Islamic Finance, Wealth Management, Business, Management, Motivational

Alfalah Consulting's facebook


Alfalah Consulting is NOT providing any kind of loan to finance project etc and asking for a fee. If you've received any email claiming to be from Alfalah Consulting, offering loan to you, please ignore it or inform us for further actions. Our official email is If you've received an email from, that's NOT from us. Be cautious!