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In Chapter 97 of the Qur'an, titled "al-Qadr," it is stated that Laylat-ul-Qadr is grander than a thousand months. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said, "The month of Ramadan is a blessed month, a month in which Allah has made fasting obligatory. This month contains a night greater than a thousand months. Whosoever deprives himself of the blessings of that night truly denies himself tremendously." (An-Nisa'iee)

Many Muslims spend these nights in prayer, thanking Allah for His bounties and beseeching His forgiveness.

Q. What is the significance of Zakaat-ul-Fitr, on `Eid-ul-Fitr?

`Eid-ul-Fitr is the first day of Shawwal, which is the month that follows Ramadan. It is one of the two great festivals having full religious sanction in Islam. It is marked by congregational prayer accompanied by the continuous glorification of Allah. On `Eid-ul-Fitr, each family that can afford it is under divine obligation to provide a basic meal or its monetary equivalent to at least one needy person for each member of the family. This obligatory social-welfare tax, called zakaat-ul-fitr or sadaqat-ul-fitr, must be furnished to the poor before one prays the `Eid prayer.

The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said that the acceptance of one's fast hovers between heaven and earth until one's charity has reached the poor. Thus it is that even on the day of celebration when all the delicious foods we refrained from eating during Ramadan are availed to us, our attention is drawn to serve the needy and the downtrodden. When we analyze Ramadan and the 'Eid that follows, we realize that the spirit of Ramadan is one of introspection, moral elevation, and self-purification, and the spirit of 'Eid-ul-Fitr is one of good will and humanitarianism.

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