The Chief Imam of Area 10 Abuja, Juma’at Mosque, Sheirk Yahya Al-Yolawi, has advised Muslims to give Zakatil-fitr (charity) to only the poor and the needy in the society.

Al-Yolawi gave the advice while delivering Juma’at sermon entitled: ``Eid Preparation and Zakatil-Fitr'' on Friday in Abuja.

The cleric said that the poor and needy were the most deserving beneficiaries of zakatil-fitr ``because Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said the purpose is providing food for the needy.''

He explained that zakatil-fitr was an obligatory charity on every Muslim at the end of the month of Ramadan, adding that the Holy Prophet had enjoined every Muslim, young and old, male and female, free and slave to give zakatil-fitr.

He added that the purpose of zakatil-fitr was to purify the one who had fasted from any type of indecent act or speech he or she might have committed while fasting.

"The Messenger of Allah said zakatil-fitr is mandatory on the one who fasts to shield him or her from any indecent act or speech and for the purpose of providing food for the needy.

"Abu Sa’eed said we used to give out zakatil-fitr on behalf of every child, aged person, free man or slave during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah.''

The cleric said that the Prophet had ordered Muslims to pay zakatil-fitr before they go out to perform the Eid prayer.

He emphasised that if the zakat was given out after the Eid prayer; it would be considered as just regular charity and not zakatil-fitr.

He cautioned that "Prophet Muhammad said if one gives out zakatil-fitr before the Eid salat, it is considered an accepted zakat but if given after the salat then it is just an ordinary charity.''

He said "we have been ordered to go to the Eid ground with even the single and menstruating women in order to witness the good and the supplications of the Imam and Muslims.

"Menstruating women are, however, advised to stay away from the prayer area.’’

Al-Yolawi also advised Muslims to listen to the sermon of the Imam at the Eid prayer ground as it was regarded as a time to remember Allah’s blessings and to be thankful to be present in such an assembly.

He said Muslims should not leave the Eid prayer ground early just to avoid the crowd but should stay until after the final prayer was said and then follow with the customary greetings to Muslim sisters and brothers there.