From the Sixteenth Discourse—page 332-333

in Irshad: Wisdom of a Sufi Master, by Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak Al-Jerrahi, trans. Muhtar Holland. An Ashki Book of Amity House, Warwick: 1988.






For some, especially for the poor, the Feast Days are an unhappy time.  How can the Festival be enjoyed by people in prison, in hospitals or away from home?  It may well be a source of great distress to them.  During these festive days we should visit those who are confined in prison or hospitals.  We have a duty to cheer up lonely old people and strangers far from home.  Above all, we ought to win the approval of Allāh by being kind to people who have fallen on hard times, paupers, orphans, widows, the elderly who are sick, scholars, the righteous and the devout.  Orphans must be clothed and the hungry fed.

Do not put all your trust in your money and your life!…  You may die soon, leaving your own children orphans….

It is our absolute duty to give the fast-breaking alms before the Festival prayers.  According to the Hanafī doctrine, this donation is incumbent only to those who possess a certain measure of wealth; but for goodness’ sake do not quibble over making this small contribution!  Just as the “prostration of absentmindedness” makes up for deficiencies in the prayer, the fast-breaking alms compensate for shortcomings in one’s fast.  Give fast-breaking alms to the poor before your Festival prayer, on behalf of your children also.  A great reward is obtained by giving such alms before the Festival prayers.

It once happened that the venerable ‘Uthmān waited till after the Festival prayers before giving  his Ramadān alms to the poor.  When he mentioned this to the Messenger, on him be peace, our Master said: “’Uthmān, even if you were to free a slave in addition to giving alms at this late hour, you could not obtain the reward you would have received for giving alms before the Festival prayers.”  It is like this with all acts of worship in Ramadān.  Five pennies given in alms before the Festival are considered, in honor of Ramadān, the equivalent of five dollars.  Five pennies after the Festival are counted as fifty pennies and so recorded in the book of deeds.  During Ramadān the ratio is a hundred to one, while after Ramadān it is ten to one.  If Allāh wills, He records wages and rewards many times over.