ZAKAATUL-FITR ( ﺯﻛﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﻔﻄﺮ )
Written & Compiled by: Assoutudeen Abu Mubāshīr
🍿 Zakaatul-Fitr is charity given to the poor at the end of the fasting period in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The Arabic word Fitr (ﻓﻄﺮ) means the same as iftar (ﺍﻓﻄﺎﺭ), breaking a fast, and it comes from the same root word as Futoor ( ﻓﻄﻮﺭ ) which means breakfast.
It is a duty which is compulsory (ﻭﺍﺟﺐ) upon every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he or she has the means to do so. It is incumbent on every free Muslim who possesses one sa’ (ﺻﺎﻉ) of dates or barley which is not needed as a basic food for himself or his family for the duration of one day and night. Every free Muslim must pay zakat ul-fitr for himself, his wife, children, and servants.
It was made obligatory in the month of Sha’ban in the second year of the hijrah. Its purpose is to purify one who fasts from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy.
Meanwhile, the significant role played by Zakat in the circulation of wealth within the Islamic society is also played by the Sadaqat al-Fitr . However, in the case of Sadaqat al-Fitr, each individual is required to calculate how much charity is due from himself and his dependents and go into the community in order to find those who deserve such charity. Thus, Sadaqat al-Fitr plays a very important role in the development of the bonds of community.
🍿 When Zakat ul-Fitr is Due
Zakat al-Fitr is only Wajib for a particular period of time. If one misses the time, it cannot be made up. It is accepted as zakah for the person who pays it before the ‘eid salah, and it is sadaqah for the one who pays it after the salah.
This form of charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains obligatory until the beginning of Eid Prayer (i.e shortly after sunrise on the following day). However, it can be paid prior to the above-mentioned period, as many of the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet) used to pay Sadaqah al-Fitr a couple days before theEid.
🍿 The Amount of Zakat ul-Fitr
The required amount of zakat ul-fitr is one sa’ ( ﺻﺎﻉ ) of wheat, barley, raisins, dry cottage cheese (aqit), rice, corn, or similar items considered as basic foods (qut).
The amount of Zakat is the same for everyone regardless of their different income brackets. The minimum amount is one sa(four double handfuls) of food, grain or dried fruit for each member of the family. This calculation is based on Ibn ‘Umar’s report that the Prophet made Zakat al-Fitr compulsory and payable by a sa of dried dates or a sa` of barley.
Abu Saeed al-Khudree also said, “In the Prophet’s time, we used to give it (Zakatal Fitr) as a sa of food, dried dates, barley, raisins or dried cheese”. [Bukhari- Arabic/English vol. 2, p. 340, no. 582].
According to another report, he said: When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was amongst us, we used to pay zakaat al-fitr on behalf of everyone, young and old, free and slave, a saa‘ of foodstuff or a saa‘ of dried yoghurt or a saa‘ of barley or a saa‘ of dates or a saa‘ of raisins.
A number of scholars interpreted “foodstuff” in this hadeeth as referring to wheat; others are of the view is that what is meant is the foodstuff of a region, no matter what it is, whether it is wheat or corn or something else.
This is the correct view, because zakaah is a means by which the rich help the poor, and the Muslim is not required to help with anything other than the staple food of his country.
Undoubtedly rice was a staple food in the land of the two Holy Sanctuaries, and it was a good and precious food, and superior to barley, which the text says is acceptable. Thus it is known that there is nothing wrong with giving rice for zakat al-fitr. End quote. ( Majmoo‘ Fataawa ash-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (14/200))
🚭 Note: one sà (صاع) = four Mudd (مد)
🍿 Those Who Are Entitled To Receive Zakaatul Fitri
The recipients of Zakaatul fitri are the same sets of people who are eligible to receive the real Zakaat according to the scholars. Allah (may He be exalted) says;
إِنَّمَا ٱلصَّدَقَٰتُ لِلْفُقَرَآءِ وَٱلْمَسَٰكِينِ وَٱلْعَٰمِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَٱلْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِى ٱلرِّقَابِ وَٱلْغَٰرِمِينَ وَفِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱبْنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِۖ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ ٱللَّهِۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise. (Suuratul Tawbah verse 60).
From the above verse, it is evident that there are eight categories of people entitled to Zakaatul fitri in this regard. They are;
1️⃣ The (فقراء) Poor: The poor are the most set of people who’re entitled to Zakaatul fitri. Scholars have unanimously agreed upon this due to the fact that Allah Himself put them in the forefront of receiving this.
2️⃣ The (مساكين) Needy: The prophet had defined the Needy in the popular hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra that;
لَيْسَ الْمِسْكِينُ بِهَذَا الطَّوَّافِ الَّذِي يَطُوفُ عَلَى النَّاسِ فَتَرُدُّهُ اللُّقْمَةُ وَاللُّقْمَتَانِ وَالتَّمْرَةُ وَالتَّمْرَتَان .الَّذِي لَا يَجِدُ غِنًى يُغْنِيهِ وَلَا يُفْطَنُ لَهُ فَيُتَصَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِ وَلَا يَسْأَلُ النَّاسَ شَيْيًا.
The needy person is not the one who goes round the people and asks them for a mouthful or two (of meals) or a date or two. They asked, “Then who is the needy person, O Allah’s Messenger!” He said, The one who does not have enough to satisfy his needs and whose condition is not known to others, that others may give him something in charity, and who does not beg of people. (Bukhari & Muslim).
3️⃣ The task employees: These are the set of people who are legally employed to foster the easy distribution of the zakaah within their respective territories. They are entitled to it as well except if they are the family/relatives of the prophet. The Messenger of Allah says,
إِنَّ الصَّدَقَةَ لَا تَحِلُّ لِمُحَمَّدٍ وَلَا لاِلِ مُحَمَّدٍ إِنَّمَا هِيَ أَوْسَاخُ النَّاس
Verily, the alms are not allowed for Muhammad nor the relatives of Muhammad, for it is only the dirt that the people discard. Meanwhile, those who are eligible shouldn’t take more than what’s needed and expected of them in the Zakaatul fitri.
4️⃣ Al-Mu’allafatu Qulubuhum: They are those who are given alms to embrace Islam. They are the categories of people who just revert to the fold of Islam from other ‘religions’. They are given this so that their heart will be firmer in faith and become better in Islam.
5️⃣ The Riqab: According to the scholars of tafseer, the ‘Riqab’ means those slaves who make an agreement with the master to pay a certain ransom for their freedom.”
6️⃣ Al-Gharimun (the Indebted): According to the scholars, these categories of Muslims include those;
👉 who incur expenses in solving disputes between people.
👉 those who guarantee a loan that became due.
👉those debts causing financial strain to them.
👉 those whose funds do not sufficiently cover their debts.
👉 It also includes those who indulged in a sin and repented from it.
7️⃣ Those who fought in Allah’s cause: This is exclusive for the benefit of the fighters in Jihad, who do not receive compensation from the Muslim Treasury or any set of people in similar category.
8️⃣ Ibn As-Sabil (Wayfarer): Ibn As-Sabil is a term used for the needy traveler in a land, where he does not have what helps him continue his trip. This type has a share in the Zakah and Zakaatul fitri for what suffices him to reach his destination, even if he had money there.
Summarily, these categories of people are all entitled to Zakaatul fitri except stated otherwise as regards the Shariah rulings in special conditions. This is to make everyone happy on eid day no matter the circumstance. May almighty Allah blot out this pandemic soonest and return us all back to our various masaajids. (Aameen)
And Allah knows best!
©️ Assoutudeen Prophetic Medicine Foundation (APMF)