The auspicious and blessed month of Ramadan falls during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, which is significant to Muslims for a number of reasons. This month was the time when the Holy Qur’an was first seen by Prophet Muhammad (saw), and as such, Muslims around the world undertake a month of fasting to celebrate.
When it comes to Ramadan, charity is a core part of celebrations as dictated by the Five Pillars of Islam, and giving Zakat is one of the obligations placed upon all able Muslims. As rewards and blessings are multiplied during Ramadan, Zakat is often donated at this time.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a month of fasting and abstaining from things considered to be impure for the mind and body. Those partaking in Ramadan abstain from food, drink and impure thoughts between the hours of sunrise (Fajr) and sunset, allowing them instead to focus on prayer and connecting with Allah (swt).
The act of fasting allows the individual to understand the pain and suffering of millions around the world who live their lives in poverty and famine, leaving the participant feeling more grounded and grateful for all that Allah has given them. Many people make their zakat donations at the close of the month and then Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated with loved ones. Eid is a great time of feasting and celebration for Muslims, with gifts exchanged and time spent with friends and family.
When is Ramadan 2019 UK?
The lunar calendar rotates by roughly 10-11 days each year, meaning that the exact dates of Ramadan change on a yearly basis.
All dates and times are subject to confirmation and sighting of the moon, but Ramadan 2019 UK is expected to start on Sunday 5th May, ending on Tuesday 4th June 2019.
Five Pillars of Islam
The Five Pillars of Islam are the five core practices that all Muslims should follow. They are:
Shahadah - the reciting and profession of the Islamic faith
Salah – five daily prayers and performing ritual cleansing or wudu
Zakat - giving to charity based on one’s wealth to help those less fortunate. Donations during Ramadan often hold much greater reward for the donor
Sawm – the process of fasting during the month of Ramadan. There are exceptions as to who can take part in fasting, but it is expected if you are of good health and sound mind
Hajj – the pilgrimage to Makkah, which every able-bodied Muslim must do at least once in their lifetime
Why Fasting is so Important
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It was ordered in the Qur’an and it is expected that all able Muslims (those who are mature and in good health) should fast from sunrise to sunset in the month of Ramadan.
During this time, fasting is more than just abstinence; it is a means of worship and a way of Muslims feeling a closer and deeper connection with Allah. Fasting allows each individual to understand what it means to go without and to learn patience with oneself and those around them, as well as compassion for those less fortunate.
Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and is the celebration following a month of fasting. Muslims need to pay their Zakat al-Fitr before beginning Eid prayers. During Eid, which is celebrated for 2-3 days, Muslims wear their best clothes and attend Eid prayers. Following this, friends and family have breakfast together and children are often given gifts or money.
Why do People Donate Zakat during Ramadan?
Zakat is an obligatory act of charity and is the third pillar of the Islamic faith. As such, giving to charity is a huge part of everyday life for Muslims.
In Islam, giving to charity is a great deed at any time of year. However, when combined with the auspicious month of Ramadan, donating Zakat is multiplied manifold, with untold blessings and reward for the donor.
Ramadan charity is highly rewarded, and as such, many Muslims choose to donate at this time. Although it is not an obligation to donate during Ramadan, this is why such a large number of Muslims choose to do so during this month.
How to Calculate Zakat?
Zakat is due on all wealth and assets that are held above a certain threshold, also known as the nisab. Zakat is calculated at 2.5% of all total wealth above the nisab value and takes into consideration:
Gold and silver
Cash-in-hand and bank accounts
Stocks and shares
Money lent out
All wealth must have been maintained for one lunar year before you pay Zakat.
Your Donations Matter
When you pay your Zakat donations with Muslim Hands, we are able to provide life-saving and life-changing relief to thousands of people every year. Our helpful Zakat calculator makes working out how much you have to pay easier than ever before. Zakat payments during Ramadan 2019 benefit those in need, but also the donors as they have given away their wealth in the name of Allah (SWT), as wealth is but a blessing to be shared.