What is Zakatul Fitr?
Zakatul Fitr is the alms (or an amount of money) Muslims pay as charity at the end of Ramadan. Ibn `Umar said: “Allah’s Messenger 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. He also ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the `Eid prayer.” Bukhary.
One Sa’= 4 mudds. (Mudd equals a handful of an average man).
Why do we give Zakatul Fitr?
We give Zakatul Fitr to:
- Thank Allah for having enabled us to observe Syam (Fasting)
- Purify our fasting from any indecent act or speech
- Help the poor and the needy
In a hadith narrated by Abu Dawud “The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, enjoined Zakat-ul-Fitr on those who fast to shield them from any indecent act or speech, and for the purpose of providing food for the needy. It is accepted as Zakah from the one who pays it before the `Eid prayer, but it is sadaqah for the one who pays it after the prayer”
Zakatul Fitr must be given by every muslim who can afford it. He must give it for himself, his wife, his children and everyone under his authority.
When do we give Zakatul Fitr?
Zakatul Fitr must be given before the Eid prayer in order to allow the poor and the needy to have the means (food, money…) to celebrate the Eid, and be happy with their families. However, if for any reason one could not give it before Eid, it could be given after Eid, in which case it will be regarded as a Sadaqat and not a Zakat.
Can we pay the value of Zakatul Fitr in money?
Yes, since one of the purposes of Zakatul Fitr is to provide the poor and the needy with what to celebrate with, then the need of money today responds to that purpose. The muslim leaders can set the value of the Sa’ in money.
How much can we pay this year?
Can it be transferred to another country?
Yes, if the need in there is greater and urgent
Who is entitled to receive Zakatul Fitr?
Zakatul Fitr like Zakah has eight categories of recipients mentioned in Surat Al-Tawbah, [9: 60]. They include: (1) the poor, (2) the needy, (3) collectors of Zakah, (4) reconciliation of hearts, (5) freeing captives (fi al-Riqab), (6) debtors (7) sadaqa for the cause of Allah ‘fi sabil illah’, and (8) the wayfarer (traveler).
By K. Abdurrahman