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Zakaat al-Fitr

Zakat Al-Fitr

Zakaat al-Fitr

by: Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid

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Definition

Praise Be To Allaah.

Zakaat al-Fitr is a kind of charity (sadaqah) that is obligatory at the time of breaking the fast of Ramadaan. The word zakaat is connected by idaafah (genitive structure in Arabic grammar) to fitr because the occasion of breaking the fast is the reason why this zakaat becomes obligatory.

Reasons for Zakaat Al-Fitr and What Islam says about it

Ibn ‘Abbaas said:

“The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) made zakaat al-fitr obligatory as a means of purifying the fasting person from idle talk and foul language, and to feed the poor. Whoever pays it before the prayer, it is an accepted zakaat, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is just a kind of charity (sadaqah).”

(Reported by Abu Dawood, 1371 Al-Nawawi said: Abu Dawood reported it from Ibn ‘Abbaas with a hasan isnaad).

“Purifying” means purifying the soul of the one who has fasted Ramadaan. With regard to the word “foul language”, Ibn al-Atheer said:

“ ‘Foul language’ refers to obscene speech. ‘Feeding [the poor]’ refers to food that is edible. ‘Whoever pays it before the prayer’ means before Salaat al-‘Eid. ‘It is an accepted zakaat’ – here zakaat means sadaqat al-fitr. ‘Just a kind of charity’ means a kind of charity that could be given at any time.” (‘Awn al-Ma’bood Sharh Abi Dawood).

It was said that this is what was meant by the Aayah in Soorat al-A’laa:

“But those will prosper who purify themselves, and glorify the name of their Guardian-Lord, and (lift their hearts) in Prayer.” [al-A’laa 87:14-15]

It was reported that ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez and Abu’l-‘Aaliyah said:

“He [the Prophet (pbuh)] paid zakaat al-fitr then he went out for the prayer – i.e., Salaat al-‘Eid. (Al-Jassaas, Ahkaam al-=ur’aan, part 3, Soorat al-A’laa)

Wakee’ ibn al-Jarraah said:

“Zakaat al-fitr for the month of Ramadaan is like two sajdahs of sahw for the prayer. It makes up for any shortcomings in the fast as the prostrations make up for any shortcomings in the prayer.” (Al-Nawawi, al-Majmoo’, part 6)

Rulings on Zakaat Al-Fitr

The correct view is that it is fard (obligatory), because Ibn ‘Umar said:

“The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) made zakaat al-fitr obligatory,”

…and because of the consensus of the scholars (ijmaa’) that it is fard. (Al-Mughni, part 2, Baab Sadaqat al-Fitr).

When it has to be given

It becomes obligatory when the sun sets on the last day of Ramadaan. Anyone who gets married, has a baby born to him or becomes Muslim before the sun sets on that day, has to give zakaat al-fitr [on behalf of himself and/or his new wife or new baby], but if that happens after sunset, he does not have to give it… Whoever dies after sunset on the night of fitr, sadaqat al- fitr must be given on his behalf. This is what Ahmad stated.” (Al-Mughni, part 2, Fasl Waqt Wujoob Zakaat al-Fitr)

Who is Obliged to pay it?

1.  Zakaat al-fitr is obligatory on Muslims. Ibn ‘Umar (ra) said:

“The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) made zakaat al-fitr, one saa’ of dates or one saa’ of barley, obligatory on the Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old.” (Al-Bukhaari, 147ه)

2.  Al Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“The hadeeth of Naafi’ indicates that the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) made it obligatory only on the Muslims, which is in accordance with the Book of Allaah, may He be glorified, because He has made zakaat as a purification for the Muslims, and purification can only be for the Muslims.” (Al-Umm, part 2, Baab Zakaat al-Fitr)

3.  It is obligatory on those who are able to pay it. Al-Shaafa’i said:

“Everyone who, at the beginning of Shawwaal, has enough food for himself and those whom he is supporting, for that day, and has enough to give zakaat al-fitr on behalf of them and himself, should give it on behalf of them and himself. If he only has enough to give on behalf of some of them, then he should give on behalf of some of them. If he only has enough for himself and those whom he is supporting, then he is not obliged to give zakaat al-fitr on his own behalf or on behalf of those whom he is supporting.” (Al-Umm, part 2, Baab Zakaat al-Fitr)

4. Al Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“The one who is in financial difficulty is not obliged to give [zakaat al-fitr]; there is no difference among the scholars in this regard… The obligation is determined by whether or not a person can afford it. Whoever has one saa’ more than he needs for himself and those whom he is obliged to support on the night and day of Eid, has enough [is not in financial difficulty]. Whoever does not ha!e anything more than he needs is in financial difficulty, so he is not obliged to pay anything in this case. (Al-Majmoo’, part 6, Shuroot Wujoob Sadaqat al-Fitr).

5. The Muslim should give on his own behalf and on behalf of those on whom he spends, such as wi!es and relatives, if they cannot gi!e it on their own behalf. If they are able to, it is better for them to give it themselves, because the command is addressed to them in the first place.

Ibn ‘Umar (ra) said:

“The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) made zakaat al-fitr, one saa’ of dates or one saa’ of barley, obligatory on the Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old, and commanded that it should be given before the people went out to pray.” (Al-Bukhaari, 1407)

Al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“The guardian of the insane and the minor should gi!e zakaat al-fitr on their behalf and on behalf of those for whom they [the insane and minor] may be responsible, just as the sane person should gi!e on his own behalf… If there is a kaafir among those whom he is supporting, he does not have to gi!e zakaat al-fitr on his behalf, because he cannot be purified by zakaah” (Al-;mm, part 2, Baab Zakaat al- Fitr).

The author of al-Muhadhdhab said:

“The author (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: ‘If someone has to pay zakaat al-fitr on his own behalf and on behalf of those whom he is supporting, if they are Muslim and if has more than he needs to spend on them that he can give, then the mother and father, and grandparents and great-grandparents, etc., may have to pay zakaat al-fitr on behalf of their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, etc., and the children may have to pay zakaat al-fitr on behalf of their parents and grandparents and great- grandparents, etc., – if they are obliged to spend on their maintenance.’ ” (Al-Majmoo’, part 6)

A man has to pay on behalf of himself and his wife – even if she has money of her own – and his children and parents if they are poor, and his daughter if she is married but the marriage has not yet been consummated. If his son is rich, he does not have to give zakaat al-fitr on his behalf. A husband has to give zakaat al-fitr on behalf of a divorced wife whose divorce (talaaq) is not yet final (i.e., she is still in the ‘iddah of a first or second talaaq), but not in the case of a rebellious wife or one whose divorce is final. A son does not have to give zakaat al-fitr on behalf of a poor father’s wife because he is not obliged to spend on her.

[When giving zakaat al-fitr], one should start with the closest people first, so he gives it on behalf of himself, then his wife, then his children, then the rest of his relatives in order of closeness, following the pattern laid out in the rules governing inheritance.

Al-Shaafa’i, may Allaah have mercy on him, said:

“Who I say is obliged to give zakaat al-fitr, if a child is born to him, or he takes possession of a slave, or someone becomes one of his dependents, at any time during the last day of Ramadaan, then the suns sets on the night of the crescent of Shawwaal, he has to give zakaat al-fitr on that person’s behalf.” (Al-Umm, Baab Zakaat al-Fitr al-Thaani).

It is not obligatory to give zakaat al-fitr on behalf of a fetus that is still in the mother’s womb, but if this is done voluntarily, there is nothing wrong with it.

If someone who is obliged to give zakaat al-fitr dies before giving it, it must be given from his estate… even if the person who was supporting him also dies, the obligation still stands. (Al-Mughni, part 2).

If a servant has set wages that are paid to him daily or monthly, the employer does not have to give zakaat al-fitr on his behalf, because he is a hired worker, and one is not obliged to spend on a hired worker. (al-Mawsoo’ah, 23/339).

Concerning giving zakaat al-fitr on behalf of an orphan, Imaam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The guardian should give zakaat al-fitr on behalf of the orphans some of whose wealth is under his control, even if they are minors.” (Al-Mudawwanah, part ل).

Amount of Zakaat Al-Fitr

The amount to be given is one saa’ of food, according to the measure of saa’ used by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because of the following hadeeth.

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (ra) said:

“At the time of the Prophet (pbuh) we used to give it in the form of a saa’ of food…” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1412)

The weight of the saa’ [which is a measure of volume] varies according to the type of food concerned, so when giving zakaat al-fitr by weight, one must make sure that what is given is equivalent to a saa’ of that type of food. A saa’ is approximately equivalent to three kilograms of rice.

Types of Things that my be Given

What should be gi!en is food for human consumption, such as dates, wheat, rice or other kinds of food that humans eat.

It is reported in al-Saheehayn from Ibn ‘Umar (ra) that:

The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) made zakaat al-fitr, one saa’ of dates or one saa’ of barley, obligatory on the Muslims, slave and free, male and female,. (At that time, barley was one of the foods they ate). (Al-Bukhaari, 1408)

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (ra) said:

“At the time of the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh), we used to give a saa’ of food on the day of Fitr.” Abu Sa’eed said: “And our food was barley, raisins, aqit (dried yoghurt) and dates.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1408).

It should be given in the form of the staple food that is used locally, whether it is wheat, rice, dates or lentils…

Al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“If the staple food of a people is corn, pearl millet (dukhn), thin-husked barley (sult), rice or any grain on which zakaat is obligatory, then they may give it as zakaat al-fitr.” (Al- Shaafa’i, al-Umm, part 2, Baab al-Rajul yakhtalifu qootuhu)

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“Our companions said: ‘It is a condition of gi!ing something as zakaat al-fitr that it should be one of the foodstuffs on which zakaat is paid at the rate of one-tenth (i.e., zakaah of grains and fruits). Nothing else is acceptable except aqit (dried yoghurt), cheese and milk.’”

Al-Maawardi said:

“This is the case even though some of the people who live on islands and others have fish or eggs as their staple food; these are not acceptable (as zakaat al-fitr) and there is no difference (among the scholars concerning this). As regards meat, the correct view is that stated by al-Shaafa’i and confirmed by al-Musannif and the companions in all that was narrated from them: that it is not acceptable (as zakaat al-fitr), and this is the unanimous view (of the scholars)…

Our companions said: ‘This is the case even if their staple food is fruits on which they do not have to give one-tenth as zakaat, such as figs etc. These are not acceptable (as zakaat al-fitr) at all.” (Al-Majmoo’, part 6: al-—aajib fi Zakaat al- Fitr)

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“If it was said, ‘You must give a saa’ of dates everywhere, whether it is the staple food or not,’ this is a disputed matter which is subject to ijtihaad. There are some people who say that it is obligatory, and others who say that in each country it is obligatory to give a saa’ of whatever is the staple food there, as the Prophet (pbuh) specified five types of food for zakaat al-fitr, so in each country they can give the equivalent of a saa’ of their staple food.

This is more correct, and is closer to the principles of sharee’ah, for how can you make it obligatory for people whose staple food is fish, for example, or rice or pearl millet, to give dates? … And Allaah is the Source of strength. (I’laam al- Muwaqqa’een, part 2, al-Qiyaas)

It is permissible to give pasta (“macaroni”) that is made from wheat, but one must make certain that the weight is equivalent to the weight of a saa’ of wheat.

As for giving zakaat al-fitr in the form of money, this is not permissible at all, because the Prophet (pbuh) said that it must be given in the form of food, not money. He clearly stated that it is to be given in the form of food, so it is not permissible to give it in any other form and Islam wants it to be given openly, not secretly. The Sahaabah ga!e zakaat al-fitr in the form of food, and we should follow, not innovate.

The giving of zakaat al-fitr in the form of food is regulated by the measure of saa’, and if it were to be given in the form of money, it could not be regulated in this manner: according to the price of what would it be worked out and given? There are obvious benefits to giving it in the form of staple foods, such as at times when businessmen are hoarding certain goods, prices ha!e gone up, or at times of war and intation.

If someone were to say, “But money is more useful for the poor, because then they can buy what they want, and they might need something other than food, so the poor person might sell the food and lose money.” The response to this is that there are other sources for meeting the needs of the poor with regard to shelter, clothing and so on, which are provided for from the zakaat paid on people’s wealth (zakaat al-maal), general charity and other kinds of donations.

Let us put things into the proper Islamic perspecti!e and adhere to what was set out by the Prophet (pbuh), who told us that giving a saa’ of food to feed the poor is obligatory. If we give food to a poor person, he will eat it and will benefit from it sooner or later, because it is the kind of food he uses anyway.

On this basis, it is not permissible, for the purposes of zakaat al-fitr, to give money for a person to pay off his debts or to cover the cost of surgery for a sick person or to pay for tuition for a needy student and so on. There are other sources for this kind of help, as stated above.

The Time for giving Zakaat Al-Fitr

It should be given before the Eid prayer, as is stated in the hadeeth that the Prophet (pbuh),

“Commanded that it should be given before the people went out to pray.” (Al-Bukhaari, 147ه)

There is a time when it is mustahabb (preferable) to give it and a time when it is permissible to give it.

The time when it is mustahabb to give it is on the day of Eid, because of the hadeeth quoted above. For this reason it is Sunnah to delay the Eid prayer on Eid al-Fitr so as to allow enough time for those who have to give zakaat al-fitr to do so, and to have breakfast before coming out. On the other hand, it is Sunnah to hasten the Eid prayers on Eid al-Adhaa so that the people can go and offer their sacrifices and eat from them.

The time when it is permissible to give zakaat al-fitr is one or two days before Eid. In Saheeh al-Bukhaari it is reported that Naafi’ said:

Ibn ‘Umar used to give on behalf of the young and the old, and he even used to give on behalf of my sons. He would give to those who took it, and it would be given a day or two before (Eid) al-Fitr.”

(“Those who took it” refers to those who were appointed by the imaam to collect the sadaqat al-fitr).

Naafi’ said:

Ibn ‘Umar used to send zakaat al-fitr to the one who was collecting it two or three days before (‘Eid) al-Fitr” (al- Mudawwanah, part 1, Baab Ta’jeel al-Zakaah qabla huloolihaa)

It is disliked (makrooh) to delay giving it until after Salaat al-‘Eid; some scholars said that this is haraam and is counted as qadaa’ (making up a duty that has not been peformed on time), on the basis of the hadeeth,

“Whoever pays it before the prayer, it is an accepted zakaat, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is just a kind of charity.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, 1371)

It says in ‘Awn al-Ma’bood Sharh Abi Dawood:

“Obviously, the one who gives zakaat al-fitr after the prayer is like one who did not give it, because they have in common the fact that they did not give this obligatory charity. Most of the scholars think that giving it before Salaat al-‘Eid is only mustahabb, and they confirmed that it is OK to give it at any time until the end of the day of Fitr, but this opinion is refuted by the hadeeth. With regard to delaying it until after the day of Eid, Ibn Ruslaan said:

“This is haraam by consensus, because it is zakaah, so the one who delays it must be committing a sin, as is the case when one delays a prayer.”

So it is haraam to delay giving it for no good reason, because this defeats the purpose, which is to save the poor from having to ask on the day of joy. If a person delays giving it with no excuse, he has committed a sin but he still has to make it up.

Zakaat al-fitr has to be handed over to someone who is entitled to it or someone who has been appointed to collect it, at the right time before the Eid prayer. If a man wants to give it to a particular person, but cannot find him or a trustee who can accept it on his behalf, and he is afraid that time is running out, he has to give it to another entitled person, and not delay giving it.

If a person wants to give his zakaat al-fitr to a specific needy person, and is afraid that he may not see him at the appropriate time, he should tell him to appoint someone to accept it on his behalf, or to appoint him (the giver) to take it from himself on his behalf. Then when the time comes, he can take it to him in a bag or whate!er, or keep it for him as a trust until he sees him.

If the one who wants to give zakaat appoints someone else to give it on his behalf, he is still responsible for it until he is certain that his deputy has carried out his instructions. (Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan: Ahkaam Zakaat al-Fitr, by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen).

To Whom it may be Given

Zakaat al-Fitr may be given to the eight categories of people to whom zakaat al-maal may be given. This is the opinion of the majority. According to the Maalikis, one of the opinions of Ahmad and the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah, it should be gi!en exclusively to the poor and needy.

1. (Al-Shaafa’i said):

“Zakaat al-fitr should be divided among those among whom zakaat al-maal is divided, and it should not be spent anywhere else… It should be shared out among the poor and needy, slaves who ha!e made a contract to purchase their freedom from their masters, debtors, those who are fighting in the way of Allaah, and wayfarers. (Kitaab al-Umm: Baab Day’ah Zakaat al-Fitr qabla Qasmihaa)

2.  Al-Nawawi (may Allaah ha!e mercy on him) said, after quoting the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra) that the Prophet (pbuh) said to Mu’aadh (ra):

“Tell them that they have to give sadaqah (charity) that is to be taken from their wealth and given to the poor.”

“It is not permissible to give any part of zakaah to a kaafir, whether it is zakaat al-fitr or zakaat al-maal… Maalik, al- Layth, Ahmad and Abu Thawr said: ‘They (i.e., kaafirs) should not be given it.’”

Zakaah should be given to the poor, those who ha!e o!erwhelming debts, and those whose salaries are not enough to last until the end of the month, in accordance with the le!el of their needs.

It is not permissible for the one who gives zakaat al-fitr to buy it back from the one to whom he has given it. (Fataawaa al- Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen).

Payment and Distribution

1.  It is preferable for the person who is giving to share it out himself. (Al-Shaafa’i said): “I prefer to share out zakaat al-fitr myself rather than give it to the one who is collecting it.”

2.  Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Al- Shaafa’i said in al-Mukhtasar:

‘Zakaat al-fitr is to be shared out among those to whom zakaat al-maal is shared out. I prefer that it should be given to relatives on whom it is not obligatory to spend at all.’ He said: ‘If he prefers to give it to the one who is collecting it, this should be fine, in sha Allaah… but it is better to share it out himself… If he gives it to the Muslim leader or the collector or the one who is collecting the people’s zakaat al- fitr, and he is given permission to give it, this is fine, but sharing it out himself is better than all of this.’” (al- Majmoo’,part6).

3.  It is permissible to appoint a trustworthy person to hand it over to those who are entitled to it, but if he is not trustworthy, then it is not allowed. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mu’ammal said:

“I heard Ibn Abi Mulaykah, when a man was saying to him, ‘So-and-so told me to leave my zakaat al-fitr in the mosque,’ Ibn Abi Mulaykah said, ‘He does not know what he is talking about. You go and share it out (yourself, otherwise Ibn Hishaam (the governor who was collecting it in the mosque) will give it to his guards and whoever he wants’ (i.e., he would give it to people who were not entitled to it).” (Al-;mm: Baab day’at Zakaat al-Fitr qabla Qasmihaa)

Imaam Ahmad (may Allaah ha!e mercy on him) stated that it is permissible to share out one saa’ among a group of people, or to give many saa’s to one person…

Maalik said:

“There is nothing wrong with a man gi!ing sadaqat al-fitr on behalf of himself and his family to one needy person.” (al-Mudawwanah, part 1, Baab fi Qasm Zakaat al-Fitr).

If one is giving less than a saa’ to a poor person, this must be pointed out, because he might use it to pay his own zakaat al- fitr.

It is permissible for a poor person, if he receives zakaat al- fitrah from someone and he has more than he needs, to gi!e it on his own behalf or on behalf of one of those who are dependent on him, if he is sure that the food is OK (i.e., it is the right type of food and the quantity is sufficient).

Where to give Zakaat al-Fitr

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah ha!e mercy on him) said:

“As for zakaat al-fitr, it should be shared out in the country where it became obligatory, whether a person has wealth there or not, because it is the reason why zakaat became obligatory…” (al-Mughni, part 2, Fasl idhaa kaana al- muzakki fi balad wa maaluhu fi balad)

It was reported in al-Mudawwanah Fiqh al-Imaam Ahmad (may Allaah ha!e mercy on him):

“I said: What is the opinion of Maalik on someone who comes from Ifreeqiyah (‘Africa’) and is in Egypt on the day of Fitr – where should he give his zakaat al-fitr? Malik said: [He should give it] where he is. Maalik said: if his family in Ifreeqiyah give it on his behalf, that is fine. (What was meant by Ifreeqiyah/‘Africa’ in those days is different from what it means now).” (Part 1, Baab fi Ikhraaj al-Musaafir Zakaat al-Fitr)

We ask Allaah to accept the worship of all of us and to join us with the righteous. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions.

(*) Note: All verses are interpretations of the Meanings.

Obligatory Charity Tax After Ramadaan |Zakat ul Fitr

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 2 |Book 25

579: Narrated Ibn Umar:
Allah’s Apostle enjoined the payment of one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of barley as Zakat-ul-Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the ‘Id prayer. (One Sa’ = 3 Kilograms approx.)

580: Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
Allah’s Apostle made it incumbent on all the slave or free Muslims, male or female, to pay one Sa’ of dates or barley as Zakat-ul-Fitr.

581: Narrated Abu Said:
We used to give one Sa’ of barley as Sadaqatul-Fitr (per head).

582: Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
We used to give one Sa’ of meal or one Sa’ of barley or one Sa’ of dates, or one Sa’ of cottage cheese or one Sa’ of Raisins (dried grapes) as Zakat-ul-Fitr.

583: Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:
The Prophet ordered (Muslims) to give one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of barley as Zakat-ul-Fitr. The people rewarded two Mudds of wheat as equal to that.

584: Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri:
In the life-time of the Prophet we used to give one Sa’ of food or one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of barley or one Sa’ of Raisins (dried grapes) as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr. And when Muawiya became the Caliph and the wheat was (available in abundance) he said, “I think (observe) that one Mudd (of wheat) equals two Mudds (of any of the above mentioned things).

585: Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
The Prophet ordered the people to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr before going to the ‘Id prayer.

586: Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
In the life-time of Allah’s Apostle , we used to give one Sa’ of food (edible things) as Sadaqat-ul-Fit,r (to the poor). Our food used to be either of barley, raisins (dried grapes), cottage cheese or dates.

587: Narrated Nafi’:
Ibn ‘Umar said, “The Prophet made incumbent on every male or female, free man or slave, the payment of one Sa’ of dates or barley as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (or said Sadaqa-Ramadan).” The people then substituted half Sa’ of wheat for that. Ibn ‘Umar used to give dates (as Sadaqat-ulFitr). Once there was scarcity of dates in Medina and Ibn ‘Umar gave barley. ‘And Ibn ‘Umar used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr for every young and old person. He even used to give on behalf of my children. Ibn ‘Umar used to give Sadaqatul-Fitr to those who had been officially appointed for its collection. People used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (even) a day or two before the ‘Id.

588: Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
Allah’s Apostle has made Sadaqatul-Fitr obligatory, (and it was), either one Sa’ of barley or one Sa’ of dates (and its payment was obligatory) on young and old people, and on free men as well as on slaves.

Q&A| Zakatul Fitr

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Q1| What is meant by ”Sadaqatul Fitr”

A1:  “Sadqatul Fitr” is, in fact, Sadaqah (charity) of the fasts of the holy month of Ramadaan. It aims at cleansing one’s fasts of any expected absurd and indecent action and works, helping the poor and indigent people on the occasion of religious festival – Eid and expressing one’s gratitude to Allah Almighty for the bounties and favours he gained through the fasts.

Q2| Upon whom is Sadqatul Fitr binding?

A2: It is binding (Waajib) upon every free Muslim who is solvent and his Nisaab is also free from essential needs to pay Sadqatul Fitr. Being sane and mature and for assets to be “Naamee”(productive assets) is no condition. If a minor and an insane are solvent then Sadqatul Fitr is binding on them and their guardian should pay it from their asset.

Q3| When should Sadqatul Fitr be paid?

A3: Sadaqatul Fitr should be paid before Eid prayer which is “Masnoon” (accepted way). If not paid, pay it any time in whole life. This “Waajib” (essential act) is not annulled on non-payment and likewise its delayed payment is also not “Qada” (accomplishment of Waajib after due time). Whenever Sadaqatul Fitr is paid in life it is deemed to be “Adaa” (accomplishment of Waajib on time).

Q4| When does Sadqatul Fitr become due..?

A4: Sadqatul Fitr becomes due (Waajib) soon after dawn on Eid day. So if one died or became insolvent before it was dawn, there would be no Sadqatul Fitr for such person and in case one died or became insolvent after dawn then Sadqatul Fitr would be due.

Q5| Will Sadqatul Fitr be due or not if assets, cattle are anyway destroyed, killed?

A5: It is no condition that assets should remain intact and cattle alive for paying Sadqatul Fitr. It will remain due even if assets,cattle are destroyed,killed unlike Zakaat and Ushr which stand annulled in such cases.

Q6| Who should pay Sadqatul Fitr for a minor child?

A6: If the father of minor child is solvent then he should pay his own and his child’s Sadqatul Fitr and in case the child is himself solvent then it should be paid from his asset.

Q7| Who should pay Sadqatul Fitr for an orphan child?

A7: Paternal grand-father of an orphan grand-son or grand-daughter should pay Sadqatul Fitr for him/her. However, it is not binding (Waajib) on a mother to pay Sadqatul Fitr for her children.

Q8| Is it essential or not for the one to pay Sadqatul Fitr who did not observe fasts..?

A8: Observance of fasts is no condition for paying Sadqatul Fitr. If one could not observe fasts owing to old age or journey or God-forbid! without any valid reason even then Sadqatul Fitr is Waajib.

Q9| Who should pay Sadqatul Fitr of an insane?

A9: Father of the insane child should pay Sadqatul Fitr for him even though he is mature and if the insane is solvent then it should be paid from his assets.

Q10| Who should pay Sadqatul Fitr of a married immature girl?

A10: If an immature girl who is able to serve,enjoy the company of her husband, has been married and sent to her husband’s home, her Sadqatul Fitr is neither binding on her husband nor on her father and in case she is not able to serve her husband or has not been sent to her husband’s home then her Sadqatul Fitr is binding (Waajib) on her father as usual provided that she is not solvent. If solvent then it should be paid from her assets.

Q11| Is Sadqatul Fitr of one’s wife and sane and mature children binding on him or not?

A11: Sadqatul Fitr of one’s wife and sane and mature children is not binding on him even though they depend on him or are disabled.

Q12| Will Sadqatul Fitr of one’s family be deemed to have been paid or not if paid by him?

A12: If one paid Sadqatul Fitr of his wife and mature children without their permission, it would stand paid provided that they depend on him otherwise Sadqatul Fitr of his children will not be deemed to have been paid but his wife’s would stand paid. And if a wife pays Sadqatul Fitr for her husband without his permission then it would not be deemed to have been paid.

Q13| Is Sadqatul Fitr of one’s parents binding on him or not?

A13: It is not the responsibility of one to pay Sadqatul Fitr of his parents, paternal grand-parents and other relatives. If paid without their permission it would not be deemed to have been paid.

Q14| What is the quantity of Sadqatul Fitr?

A14: The quantity of Sadqatul Fitr is half “Sa’a” of wheat or its flour or parched barley meal or one Sa’a of dates or large raisins or barley or its flour or parched barley meal.

Q15| What is the weight of a Sa’a?

A15: The research and care to this effect which benefit the poor,indigent much suggest that a Sa’a of barley should be taken and then wheat be weighed according to it. The wheat so weighed will be equal to the weight of 351 rupee coins. Thus half Sa’a is of 175.8 rupee coins. A Sa’a is of about 4 1/2 “Sair” and half Sa’a of 2 1/4 Sair. According to decimal system the quantity of Sadqatul Fitr is 2.41 kg. Giving more in the way of Allah is greatly rewarding for oneself.

Q16| Should Sadqatul Fitr be paid in accordance with weight or price?

A16: If Sadqatul Fitr is paid by wheat, barley, dates and large raisins then their weight would be countable not price. For example, one gave half a Sa’a of barley of fine quality in Sadqatul Fitr which carried the price of one Sa’a of coarse quality of barley or a quarter of a Sa’a of fine quality wheat which carried the price of half a Sa’a of low quality wheat. It is not permissible. Only the weight of grain not price would be countable towards Sadqatul Fitr. Thus the Sadqatul Fitr would be deemed to have been paid to the extent of what quantity of cereals has been given and the remaining quantity thereof will have to be given.

Q17| Is it permissible or not to give wheat and barley fifty-fifty in Sadqatul Fitr or only the prescribed weight of each of them is to be given?

A17: It is also permissible to give half a Sa’a of barley and a quarter of a Sa’a of wheat or half a Sa’a of barley and half a Sa’a of dates.

Q18| If wheat and barley are mixed then the weight of which one is to be counted?

A18: That one will be countable which is more in quantity. For example, if wheat is more in the mix then give half a Sa’a in Sadqatul Fitr otherwise one Sa’a.

Q19| Can price of the prescribed weight of commodity be given in Sadqatul Fitr or not?

A19: It is also permissible to give price of the prescribed weight of wheat, barley etc. in Sadqatul Fitr. But in case, one gave price of low quality wheat and barley, then he should calculate price of the fine quality and give the remaining amount thereof.

Q20| Is it permissible or not to give other cereals like rice, corn, millet etc. in Sadqatul Fitr?

A20: If one wants to give other cereals like rice, corn, millet etc. or any other thing in Sadqatul Fitr than the four ones (wheat, barley, dates and large raisins) then price of the commodity will be countable irrespective of weight i.e. the intended commodity should be given, how much or less it may weigh, equal to the price of half a Sa’a of wheat or one Sa’a of barley.

Q21| Is “Tamleek-e-Faqeer” a precondition for Sadqatul Fitr or not?

A21: Tamleek-e-Faqeer (to make a poor,indigent full owner of asset,commodity) is also a precondition for Sadqatul Fitr and after taking possession of asset,commodity the poor,indigent may spend,use it of his own accord like that of Zakaat.

Q22| Is it permissible or not to give Sadqatul Fitr in advance?

A22: It is permissible to give Sadqatul Fitr before Ramadaan or in advance even of year(s) like that of Zakaat provided that the person on behalf of whom it is given is alive.

Q23| Can Sadqatul Fitr of one person be distributed among some destitutes or not?

A23: It is better to give Sadqatul Fitr of one person to only one destitute. However, it is also permissible to distribute it among some destitutes.

Q24| Is it permissible or not to give Sadqatul Fitr of some persons to only one destitute?

A24: It is also permissible to give Sadqatul Fitr of some persons to only one destitute even if those are joint.

Q25| What are the uses of Sadqatul Fitr?

A25: The uses of Sadqatul Fitr are the same as that of Zakaat meaning the deserving one of Zakaat is also entitled to Sadqatul Fitr and the one who is not deserving of Zakaat is also not entitled to Sadqatul Fitr except “Aamil” who is entitled to Zakaat but not entitled to Sadqatul Fitr.

Q26| Is it lawful or not for a solvent person to take Sadqatul Fitr?

A26: It is unlawful for a solvent person to take “Sadqa-e-Waajibah” such as Sadqatul Fitr like that of Zakaat even though he is an Imaam of a mosque. If given, neither Zakaat nor Sadqatul Fitr would be deemed to have been paid.

Q27| Can Sadqatul Fitr be given to a student seeking after religious knowledge or not?

A27: Yes, indeed. It is more rewarding to give Sadqatul Fitr to a student seeking after religious education, knowledge than giving to others. Giving charity earns the giver ten-fold reward but helping a student get religious education by charity will earn the giver at least seven hundred times more reward particularly when there is an apprehension that he might give up religious education for want of money or may (God forbid) fall into the hands of disbelievers or of those who have incorrect beliefs about Islaam.

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