Every adult Muslim with sufficient food to meet their needs should pay zakat ul-Fitr (fitrana) before Eid ul-Fitr. A household head can also pay zakat ul-Fitr on behalf of their dependents, including their children and servants.
To ensure that the poor may enjoy Eid ul-Fitr, you must pay the Zakat ul-Fitr before the Eid prayers during Ramadan. This is just a brief introduction. Why is there a need for Zakat ul Fitr, and is it obligatory for all Muslims? What are its conditions? Let's discuss it in detail.
What is Zakat-ul-Fitr?
As part of breaking the fast of Ramadan, it is obligatory to donate Zakat ul-Fitr (sadaqah) to charity. In Arabic grammar, the word zakah is linked to fitr by idaafah (genitive). This is because the occasion of breaking the fast constitutes the reason for the obligation of paying this zakah.
During the eighth month of the Islamic calendar, Sha'ban, in the second year of the Hijrah, Zakat ul-Fitr became compulsory. If you need more authentic resources on Zakat ul Fitr: the Hadiths, Scholar views, and Quranic verses download the Muslim Pro App.
What Purpose Does Zakat-ul-Fitr Serve?
There are two primary purposes of the Zakat ul-Fitr, one spiritual in nature and one communal.
1. Zakat ul-Fitr's Spiritual Function
It is a spiritual purification process for those who have completed fasting during Ramadan. There may have been times when they slipped, making unintentional mistakes. To compensate for such mistakes, you can pay Zakat ul Fitr.
2. The Communal Function of Zakat ul-Fitr
As Ramadan ends, one of the two major celebrations in the Muslim calendar is celebrated, Eid ul-Fitr, the celebration of breaking the fast. Every Muslim in every locality should receive this day of joyful prayer and assembly with charities, communal Salah-Prayers, and feasts.
Through Zakat ul-Fitr, the poor can have the resources to praise Allah, celebrate the Eid prayer, and spend the day with their families and children.
Who Must Pay Zakat ul-fitr?
All free Muslims are obliged to pay Zakat ul-Fitr if they possess one Saa of dates or barley, which they will not eat for themselves or their families for one day and night.
Married Muslim women
According to most scholars, Zakat ul-Fitr is obligatory for every Muslim without exception. According to the Hanafis (and Zahiris), Muslim women, whether married or unmarried, have an individual obligation to pay it out of their wealth. According to other legal schools, husbands must pay Zakat ul-Fitr on behalf of Muslim wives.
It is customary for Zakat ul-Fitr to be paid out of the individual holdings of children; otherwise, the child's guardian pays on behalf of the child.Some scholars believe that only the father must pay for his child, whereas the orphan (the fatherless in Islam) is not required to pay for it.
In some scholarly circles, Zakat ul-Fitr is considered to be only the obligation of fasters since it serves to amend the faster's mistakes or to purify a fast from any moral contamination. Nevertheless, most scholars embrace the view that all Muslims, regardless of age, owe Zakat ul-Fitr.
It is generally accepted that the unborn child, still inside the womb, is not included in this category. However, many notable Companions, such as 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, God be pleased with him, seem to encourage fathers to pay for unborn babies.
Scholars agree that every Muslim is responsible for paying Zakat ul-Fitr, even if they are poor since the obligation is on the individual rather than their wealth. The only exception to this rule is if the individual does not possess sufficient food for Eid day, shelter, clothing, or other necessities.
When is the Right Time to Pay Zakat ul-Fitr?
A delay in the payment of Zakat al Fitr after Eid is prohibited. According to various schools of thought, the time to pay varies. As per Shafi'is, Malikis, and Hanbalis, it is due at sunset on the last day of fasting before Ramadan. As per the Hanafis, you must pay this amount before the Eid prayers.
According to some, the best time to make the payment is in the early hours of Eid. Sometimes, payment can be made a day or two in advance. According to Al-Shafi'i, Zakat ul-Fitr, you can pay Zakauul-Fitr anytime during Ramadan.
Abu Hanifah rules that paying it at the beginning of the year is permissible, similar to Zakat al-Mal, the Obligatory Alms on Wealth.
Who Are Eligible to Receive Zakat ul-Fitr?
Poor Muslims are considered to be legitimate recipients of Zakat ul-Fitr by all Muslim scholars. There is no restriction on a poor person receiving Fitr donations from two or more givers simultaneously.
Nonetheless, scholars dislike dividing a single payment among many recipients since it appears to undo the objective of Zakat ul-Fitr, which is to provide sufficient food to the poorest of the poor during Eid.
Disbelievers or wealthy people cannot receive Zakat ul-Fitr, as well as the payer's family members, such as children, parents, etc. Most scholars believe Zakat ul-Fitr can be given solely to the poor and needy or each of the eight categories of Zakat. This is a matter of choice.
How Can You Pay Zakat-ul-Fitr?
The amount to be given is one Saa’ of food, according to a hadith of the Prophet (PBUH). Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri says, during the time of the Prophet (PBUH), “We provided it as a Saa of food”. (Bukhaari, 1412). Approximately three kilograms of rice are contained in a single saa'.
There are different views among jurists regarding the types of food that must be offered as Zakat al Fitr. As per Hanbali belief, only five kinds of food are permitted: dates, raisins, wheat, barley, and dried cottage cheese.
The Malikis and Shafi’is believe that food can be given on condition that it is the staple food of the region or that it is the main food consumed by the individual. According to the Hanafis, you can pay Zakat al Fitr in cash.
This is everything you need to know about Zakat-ul-Fitr. If you are still confused, it is better to consult your local Mosque Imam for better guidance.
You can conveniently pay Zakat-ul-Fitr by going to the Feeling Blessed App: