By Mbarak Abucheri
Muslim faithfuls across the country have been urged to ensure prompt payment of zakat and zakat-ul-Fitr to cater for the needs of the poor and needy in the society.
The calls were made by the Mumias based Muslim leader Sayyid Hassan Shariff Muhammad who called on Muslims across the country to give support to the poor and the needy in the society to improve on their livelihood.
He reminded Muslims of their obligations towards their fellow faithfuls who are poor and in need stressing that it was imperative for Muslims to utilize their God given wealth to pay zakat and zakat-ul-fitr on time to cater and support the welfare of the needy in the community.
“Islam encourages Muslims to live life by helping each other as it will create a sense of respect and love amongst mankind regardless of family, kin, friends, neighbours or strangers. One of the ways for us to implement this concept of helping one another is through the act of giving alms,” Sayyid Hassan said.
Sayyid Hassan explained that zakat-ul-fitr was an obligatory charity on every Muslim at the end of the month of Ramadhan, adding that there is need for the Muslim leadership to make concerted efforts to re-awaken the spirit of Zakat-ul-fitr and Sadakat payments among Muslims in order to bridge the wide gap that exists among the rich and the poor.
The Muslim leader said that the Prophet had ordered Muslims to pay zakat-ul-fitr before they go out to perform the Eid prayer, stating that Zakat-ul-Fitr is to be paid for each family member who is a Muslim, including newborn babies, younger brother or parents under your support, and even servants.
He added that the purpose of zakat-ul-fitr was to purify the one who had fasted from any type of indecent act or speech he or she might have committed while fasting.
Sayyid Hassan pointed out that the poor and needy were the most deserving beneficiaries of zakat-ul-fitr “because Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said the purpose is providing food for the needy.”
The former Butere-Mumias SUPKEM chairman also dispelled the common misconception that individuals might have about giving alms. While it may seem like their wealth is decreasing by giving to others, Sayyid Hassan said that that was not the case. “In fact, the donated wealth is not diminished. Allah will enhance and increase prosperity,” he explained.
Zakat-Ul-Fitr can be paid either in foodstuffs or cash form on the last ten days of Ramadan up to the morning of Eid- day before going to the praying ground”