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The legitimacy of giving sadaqah other than that of Zakat is not restricted by a time limit or definite nisab. The amount designated for expenditure need not be a certain percentage (for example, a tithe, a one-quarter tithe, or a one-tenth tithe). It is an open-ended matter that is left to the beneficence, generosity, and condition of the one who gives. The protection of a revered (muhtaram) man from destruction and harm is an obligation upon whoever can help him, but more than that, it is left unquantified. People overlook most of the public rights which the Qur'an supports, for these rights seek to establish an honorable and just social life. People spend only a smalI amount on the needy and even less for beggars because they are considered the least deserving nowadays. This is due to the fact that beggars have made begging a profession (hirfah), even though most of them are well-to-do. Ibn Hazm says: "It is enjoined upon the rich of every country to support their poor, and the ruler has the authority to force them to do so. This is called for when the prescribed Zakat or the holdings of other Muslims are not enough to meet the needs of the poor. In that case, their food and their clothing to protect them from the elements and the eyes of the passer-by would be provided by the rich." The proof for this is in the saying of Allah, the Exalted One: "Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer" [al-Isra' 26]. Allah also says: "[Show] kindness to parents, to near kin and orphans, to the needy, to relatives, to neighbors who are not related to you, to fellow travelers and wayfarers, and [to the slaves] whom your right hand possesses" [an-Nisa' 36]. Generosity urges support for the above-mentioned people and forbids harming them. Referring to the guilty in the life to come, the Qur'an says that they would ask each other: "What brought you to this hellfire?" They will answer: "We were not of those who prayed, nor did we feed the needy" [al-Muddaththir 42-44]. Thus, Allah links feeding the needy with performing prayers. According to the following hadith, related by authentic sources, the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "He who does not have mercy upon people, Allah's mercy will be kept from him." Anyone upon whom Allah bestowed His grace and who sees his Muslim brother hungry, in need of  clothes, and miserable, and still does not help him, he will, indeed, deprive himself of Allah's mercy.


'Uthman an-Nahdi reported that 'Abdurrahman ibn Abi Bakr as-Siddiq informed him that the companions of  as-Saffah were poor and that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "He who has enough food for two, let him invite a third, and he who has food for four, let him invite a fifth or a sixth." It is related from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "A Muslim is a brother of another, and he should neither do injustice to him nor betray him." Thus, anyone who lets a needy Muslim go without food or clothes while, in fact, he is able to feed and clothe him would have betrayed him. It is related from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "He whose holdings exceed his needs, let him support the one whose holdings do not, and he whose food exceeds his needs, let him share it with him who does not have food." Abu Sa'id al-Khudri says: "Then he mentioned so many kinds of property that we thought no one of us had the right to have anything surplus with us." his is the consensus of the companions, as it was reported by Abu Sa'id alKhudri. Concerning this tradition, it is reported on the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash'ari that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Feed the hungry, visit the sick, and ransom the prisoner." There are many 'ayahs in the Qur'an and numerous sound hadith on this subject. 'Umar says: "If I were to live again the past which I have already lived, I would take the surplus from the rich and distribute it among the poor immigrants (mujhajirun)." This is considered to be the most authentic report. 'Ali said: "Allah, the Exalted One, has placed a due upon the properties of the rich to meet the needs of the poor. Thus, if the poor go hungry or naked or struggle because of the neglect of the rich, then Allah will hold them [the rich] accountable on the Day of Judgment and will punish them." Ibn 'Umar is reported to have said: "There is a due on your property other than Zakat." It is related from 'Aishah (the mother of the believers), al-Hasan ibn 'Ali, Ibn 'Umar that all of them replied to those who had asked them: "If you are asked for help in cases of  blood money, heavy debt, or desperate poverty, then it is a must for you to give them from your holdings."


It was accurately reported by Abu 'Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah and 300 companions that (once) when their provisions had run very low, Abu 'Ubaidah ordered them to collect what was left and place it into two bags and  then allot it to each one equally. Then he said: "It is not permissible for a hard-pressed Muslim to eat the meat of  a dead animal or a pig when he can find surplus food from either a Muslim or a dhimmi. It is an obligation of the one who has food to feed the hungry." This has the consensus among the companions, and there are no contrary views concerning it. It was accurately reported from ashShu'bi, Mujahid, Tawus, and others that: "There is a due on property other than Zakat." If such is the case, then a hard-pressed person is not forced to eat the meat of dead animals or pigs. He has the right to fight for it and, if he is killed, then retaliation by killing (qawad) will be imposed upon the killer. If the property holder who prevents him from receiving his due is killed, then may he have the curse of  Allah upon him because he withheld a  right (haqq), and he will be regarded as being among the unjust. Allah, the Exalted One, says: "And if one party of them does wrong to the other, fight those who do wrong until they return to the ordinance of Allah." Thus, one who withholds a right is an oppressor of his brother. The latter is the possessor of that right. On this basis, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq waged war against those who refused to pay their Zakat. From the preceding, one can see the degree of compassion and commiseration that Islam has for the deprived. Islam, in fact, excels over all other faiths and systems. They are like weak, sputtering candles when placed next to the bright and steady light of the sun of Islam. The Insolvent  Debtor Whoever has property must pay its proper Zakat. If the property is indebted, he may first pay off his debt, then in case the remainder is enough to constitute a nisab, he must pay Zakat. If he does not hold the nisab, he does not have to pay it since he is poor. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "Only the wealthy are required to give charity." This hadith is related by Ahmad and al-Bukhari. The latter records it in mu'allaq form. The Prophet also said: "Zakat is levied on the rich and paid to the poor." It is all the same, whether he is indebted to Allah or to man, because one hadith states: "Allah's debt is more deserving of  fulfillment.




It is sunnah to do the following when a person dies:

Advise the dying person to say:  "La ilaha illa-Allah" (there is no god but Allah). It is narrated on  the authority of Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Prompt your dying people to say: 'La ilaha illa-Allah'." (Muslim, Abu Daw'ud, Tirmidhi) Another report on the authority of Mu'adh ibn Jabal states that the Messenger of  Allah, peace be upon him, said:  "He whose last words are 'La ilaha illa- Allah' shall enter Paradise." (Narrated by Abu Daw'ud; Al-Hakim considers it a sound hadith) This prompting (talqin) is necessary only when the dying person is unable to utter the shahadah (La ilaha illa- Allah . . . ). If such a person is able to utter these words then there is no need for prompting, but he should rather be advised to do so. Such advice is useful in cases of persons who are in possession of their faculties of reason and speech. If one is already mentally impaired such advice cannot be of benefit. But one who is unable to speak might say these words in his heart. The scholars are of the opinion that no pressure should be put on the dying person. So one should not say to him, "Say, 'La ilaha ill-Allah'," lest he should become annoyed and utter something improper. One may say the shahadah, however, in such a way that the dying person might be able to hear it and repeat it. If he utters it once, he should not be asked to repeat it unless he says some words after it. In such a case he should be asked to repeat shahadah to ensure that it be his last utterance. Most scholars are of the opinion that one attending a dying person may repeat only the words: "La ilaha ill-Allah," according to the apparent meaning of the hadith. Others are of the opinion that the dying person should be prompted to utter the two testimonies (that is, "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger"). The purpose is to remind him of the Oneness of Allah, which includes both of the two testimonies. Ahmad reported that Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet, peace be upon him, at the time of her death, turned toward the Ka'bah and placed her right hand under her head. This is the sleeping position recommended by the Prophet, peace be upon him, and in a grave, a dead body should also be placed in the same position. A report recorded from Ash-Shafi'i says: The body of the deceased should be laid flat on his back with his feet toward the Ka'bah, and his face raised a little, facing it. The majority of scholars, however favor the first position and hold it to be preferable. Ibn Hibban observes: This hadith refers to the recitation of Ya Sin for  those on the eve of death and not for  those already dead. This interpretation is supported by Ahmad, who recorded  in his Al-Musnad that Safwan states: "The most eminent scholars say: 'The recitation of Surah Ya Sin at the time of a person's death makes death easy for him'. "The compiler of Musnad al-Firdaus attributes this hadith to Abu ad-Darda and Abu Dharr. They both narrated: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'If any person is on his deathbed and Ya Sin is recited to him, Allah makes his suffering easier'." There is a consensus among scholars regarding the permissibility of kissing a  dead person. The Prophet, peace be upon him, kissed 'Uthman ibn Maz'un after his death. Similarly, when the Prophet died, Abu Bakr leaned over him and kissed him between his eyes saying: "O my Prophet! O my best friend! !" The guardian of the deceased should wash, wrap, and arrange for the burial of the body soon after the funeral prayer for the deceased, because the body might deteriorate if burial is delayed. This is based on a report, recorded by Abu Daw'ud from al-Husayn ibn Wujuh that when Talhah ibn al-Bara fell ill, the Prophet, peace upon him, said: "I see that Talhah is on the verge of death. Inform me about him (when he passes away) and make immediate preparations for his burial, for a Muslim's remains should not be left long with his family after his death."


The burial may be delayed only for the guardian, provided no physical deterioration in the condition of the body is feared from such delay. Ahmad and Tirmidhi report on the authority of Ali ibn Abu Talib that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "O Ali, never delay three things: prayer when its time approaches, the funeral when death is confirmed, and marrying a widow or a divorcee when a suitable match is found for her." This means that the judgement regarding a soul's salvation or perdition or its entry into Paradise is held in abeyance until its debts are fully paid off and settled. This applies to a person who leaves some property upon his death. His debt should be paid out of the property that he leaves behind. In the case of a person who dies in debt which he sincerely intended to pay, but has no property (nor leaves any behind to pay his debt), according to a confirmed report, his debt will be settled by Allah, the Exalted. Concerning a person who dies in debt with sufficient means to pay it and was willing to do so, but his heirs do not pay it, Bukhari records on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "If anyone takes other people's money with the intention to repay it and then he or she should die without settling  the debt, Allah will pay the debt on his behalf. And if anyone takes money or property (of others) with the intention of destroying it, Allah will destroy him." A hadith recorded by Ahmad, Abu Nu'aym, Al-Bazzar, and At-Tabarani from the Prophet, peace be upon him, says: "The debtor will be summoned before Allah on the Day of Judgement. Then Allah will ask him: 'O Son of Adam ! Why did you incur debt and infringe on others ' rights? ' The man would reply: 'My Lord! You know I took it, but I neither abused nor lost it. It was stolen or bum in a fire or lost its value.' Allah, the Almighty and Exalted, will say: 'My slave has told the truth, and I am more entitled (than anyone else) to settle his debt. Then Allah will issue a command and something will be placed on his scales causing his good deeds to outweigh his bad ones. And so, by Allah's Grace, he will enter Paradise'."


The Prophet, peace be upon him, did not perform funeral prayers for those who had died in debt. When, however, Allah the Almighty, granted him certain lands as a result of conquests, and the community's wealth increased, he offered funeral prayer for them and settled their debts. Bukhari reports that the Messenger of  Allah, peace be upon him, said: "I am nearer to the believers than their own selves. So if someone dies leaving behind debt, but no wherewithal to settle it, we shall pay his debt, and if someone dies and leaves some estate behind him, it is for his heirs (to pay his debt)."


This hadith shows that the debt of a deceased Muslim may be paid from the public exchequer out of the Zakat funds specified as the portion for the people in debt. This is one of the prescribed categories of Zakat recipients. Death by itself does not annul one's debt or other responsibilities to the living.




             If a person dies before performing obligatory Hajj or if one vowed to perform Hajj but died before fulfilling one' s vow, his heir must assign someone to perform Hajj on behalf of the deceased. All the ensuing expenses in this regard must be paid out of the deceased's property, as indeed must be any debts left by him. Ibn 'Abbas narrates that a woman from the tribe of Johainah came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: "My mother had vowed to perform Hajj but she died before fulfilling her vow, should I perform Hajj on her behalf? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Yes, perform Hajj on her behalf. Would you not pay off any debts your mother might have left behind upon her death? Pay off what you owe to Allah, for He is most deserving of settlement of His debt." (Bukhari)


This hadith underlines the obligation of performing Hajj on behalf of a deceased person, whether or not he leaves a will to this effect (it is a kind of debt for the deceased), and all debts left by the deceased must be settled, just as all other financial obligations such as Zakat, an atonement or a vow transacted by the deceased has to be fulfilled. Ibn 'Abbas, Zaid bin Thabit, Abu Hurairah, and Ash-Shafi'i hold this opinion. They consider that the expenses of the substitute (the hired person) must be paid out of the wealth of the deceased before dividing it up among his heirs. In case the wealth is insufficient to cover both the cost of Hajj (by the substitute) and settlement of the deceased's debts, the expense of Hajj must be paid first, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Allah is most deserving that His debt be paid back."


             Imam Malik says: "A person may perform Hajj on behalf of the deceased only if the deceased leaves a will to that effect. If the deceased leaves no such will, then a Hajj on his behalf may not be performed, for this worship involves, more than anything else, physical exertion and struggle and as such, no other person can replace or substitute another person. If a deceased makes a will regarding it, then Hajj  may be performed, meeting all its cost from out of one third of the share of his heritage."

             (Surah Muzammil Ayah 20)


             Surely your Rabb knows that you stand in prayers nearly two- thirds of the night, and sometimes one-half or one-third of it, so do others among your companions. Allah has the measures of the night and the day. He knows that you will not be able to keep it up, so He has turned to you in Mercy, therefore, read from the Qur'an as much as you easily can. He knows that there may be some sick people among you, and some others who travel through the land to seek Allah's bounty; and yet some others fighting for the cause of Allah. Therefore, read as much of the Qur'an as you easily can. Establish the Salah (five time daily prayers) and pay the Zakat (poor due), and give to Allah a goodly loan. Whatever good you will send forth for yourselves, you will find it with Allah, which will be much better and greater in reward. Seek Allah's forgiveness, surely Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.


             Surah Al-baqra Ayah 43


             Establish Salah (prayers); give Zakat (charity); and bow down with those who bow down in worship.