By Salisu Sani-Idris
An Abuja based Islamic cleric, Malam Yahya Al-Yolawi, has advised Muslims to give Zakat-al-Fitr only to the poor and needy in the society.
Al-Yolawi gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
NAN reports that Zakat-al-Fitr, or the zakat of breaking the fast of Ramadan, is a special obligatory alms paid by all Muslims at the end of the month of Ramadan regardless of age or gender.
The cleric said that Prophet Muhammad 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.
He said that the purpose of Zakat al-Fitr was to purify the one who has fasted from any type of indecent act or speech he might have committed while fasting.
Al-Yolawi also said that Zakat-al-Fitr helps the poor and the needy, adding that the material of the zakat can be either barley, wheat, rice, corn or similar items considered as basic foods for people residing in a particular place or society.
” Zakat al-Fitr has to be paid by the end of ramadan either one or two days before Eid or the day of Eid before the Eid prayer.
” However, If one pays zakat al-Fitr before the eid salat, it is considered an accepted zakat, if he pays it after the Salat, it is considered an ordinary charity.”
Al-Yolawi encouraged all Muslims to take their wives and children to the eid prayer area, saying that Prophet Muhammad used to take his wives and daughters to the Eids ground. (NAN)
Edited by Hajara Leman/Ismail Abdulaziz