In Islam, both fasting in Ramadan and giving in charity (Zakah) is obligatory upon Muslims who are able to do so. As rewards are multiplied in Ramadan, it is natural that most Muslims give to charity in the fasting month.
In Ramadan, Muslims become even more charitable and spend out of what Allah has given at this time than at any other time of the year. Many Muslims prefer to give the compulsory charity Zakah during this time as well as extra voluntary donations to good causes at home and abroad.
Many Muslims plan to give their Zakah in Ramadan because of the rewards being multiplied many fold. As the Zakah is due at the same time every year from when it’s started, Muslims make this month their giving period. It is also during Ramadan that many charities raise awareness of projects they are undertaking around the world so the opportunity to give to varied causes becomes widely available.
The Quran teaches that the wealth you have is given by Allah who has provided a means for you to acquire it. He has made some people wealthy and the test for them is whether they give the poor their rights. That’s why Zakah is also known as the poor-due.
Zakat ul Fitr
Zakah can be given any time of year but there is a charitable contribution required especially in Ramadan, called the Zakat ul Fitr. This is where every adult Muslim who possesses food surplus to their immediate needs must pay an amount for each member of their household, either in food or its equivalent in money, to those who would normally be eligible for Zakat i.e. the poor and needy. This amount must be paid before the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer, this way everyone can enjoy this happy occasion.
Other types of Ramadan charity
Fidyah is a form of compensation paid by those who are, amongst some other things, unable to fast in Ramadan, due to illness or old age, etc. An amount of food or its equivalent in money is given to those who are eligible to receive it.
Kaffarah is also paid as a compulsory compensation when a Muslim who is obliged to fast intentionally breaks the fast or skips it entirely. Just like Zakat ul Fitr and Fidyah, it can only go to those in need.
Quran verses about giving charity
The verses explain how the reward for giving in charity, both secretly and openly, is multiplied. In addition, you are forgiven for your sins and you will find ease after going through any hardship. Giving in charity is also a means to purify yourself spiritually.
Hadith relating to Charity in Ramadan
The Prophet (SAW) would give charity throughout the year but increase his generosity during Ramadan. Ibn Abbas (RA) said, “The Prophet (SAW) was the most generous of people, and he was most generous during Ramadan,”(Bukhari).
‘Whoever provides the food for a fasting person to break his fast with, then for him is the same reward as his (the fasting person’s), without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person.”
(Tirmidhi)(Bukhari and Muslim).
‘Allah, the Exalted, says, ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’