Praise be to Allaah.
to the obligatory zakaah, this is an act of worship for which there is an
appointed time, which is when one hijri year has passed since the nisaab
(minimum threshold) was acquired. When one year has passed, it becomes
obligatory to pay zakaah, and it is not permissible for the one on whose
wealth zakaah is due to delay paying it on time, except for a legitimate
It is not
permissible to wait for the month of Ramadaan in order to pay zakaah at that
time, unless it is a short delay such as one or two weeks. See question no.
(may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
be paid immediately, and it is not permissible to delay paying it when one
is able to pay if there is no fear of harm. This is the view of al-Shaafa’i.
‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
better in Ramadaan, even though it is one of the pillars of Islam?
other good deeds, is better when done at a time of virtue, but when zakaah
becomes obligatory and the year has passed, it becomes obligatory for a
person to pay it, and he should not delay it until Ramadaan. If the year is
completed in Rajab, then he should not delay it until Ramadaan, rather he
should pay it in Rajab. If the year is completed in Muharram then he should
pay it in Muharram, and not delay it until Ramadaan. But if the year is
completed in Ramadaan, then he should pay it in Ramadaan. End quote.
the questioner means by zakaah is voluntary charity. Undoubtedly generosity
and giving money, food, clothing etc in Ramadaan is better than doing it in
other months. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) was at his most generous in Ramadaan.
narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the
most generous of people, and he was at his most generous in Ramadaan when he
met Jibreel; he used to meet him every night in Ramadaan and review the
Qur’aan with him. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) was more generous than the wind.” Narrated by
al-Bukhaari (6) and Muslim (2308).
said: This hadeeth teaches us several things, such as that it is mustahabb
to be more generous in Ramadaan.
al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most generous of
people, and he was at his most generous in Ramadaan, when he would give a
great deal of charity, do good deeds, read Qur’aan, remember Allaah (dhikr)
and observe i’tikaaf. End quote.
people brings a great reward to the one who does it. Allaah (may He be
glorified and exalted) states that one of the characteristics of the
believers who deserve Paradise is that they feed others. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the
Miskeen (the poor), the orphan, and the captive,
9. (Saying): ‘We feed you seeking Allaah’s Countenance only. We wish for no
reward, nor thanks from you.
10. ‘Verily, We fear from our Lord a Day, hard and distressful, that will
make the faces look horrible (from extreme dislike to it).’
Allaah saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them Nadhrah (a light
of beauty) and joy.
their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever
gives food to a fasting person to break his fast will have a reward like
his.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (807), Ibn Maajah (1746); classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
righteous salaf were keen to give food, because of the reports which
encouraged that, as well as the many acts of worship that stemmed from that,
such as love for those whom they fed. So it was a means of them entering
Paradise. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“You will not enter Paradise until you truly believe and you will not truly
believe until you love one another.”
results in gatherings of the righteous and seeking reward by helping them to
obey Allaah by means of the strength which they gain from your food.
to one of them being better than the other, many of the salaf preferred to
feed their brothers in faith rather than give charity to the poor. There is
a marfoo’ hadeeth narrated concerning that from Anas, with a da’eef isnaad,
especially if one’s brothers cannot find any food but this.
narrated from ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said: “For me to
gather some of my brothers together to eat a saa’ of food is dearer to me
than entering your market and buying a slave and setting him free.”
narrated that Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali said: For me to call ten of my
companions and offer them food that they like is dearer to me than setting
free ten of the sons of Ismaa’eel.
hadeeth ikhtisaam al-mala’ al-a’la by Ibn Rajab,
from Majmoo al-Rasaa’il, 4/41.
Both giving money in charity and giving food are virtuous deeds, so strive
to do both, so that you will have a share of both types of worship.