Rulings on Zakaat Al Fitr

To whom should zakaat al fitr be paid?

Zakaat al-fitr should be given to poor Muslims even if they are sinners so long as their sin is not something that puts them beyond the pale of Islam. What is meant by poor is those who appear to be poor, even if they are in fact rich. The one who is paying the zakaah should seek out good poor people as much as possible. If he finds out later that the one who took it was actually rich, that does not affect the one who gave it, rather he has discharged his duty, praise be to Allaah.

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/27006/Eid%20ul-Fitr

Can we zakaat al-fitr donate it to charitable funds for building a mosque,

Zakaat al-fitr should be given to the poor Muslims in the land or city where it is given, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood from Ibn Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr, to be paid in Ramadaan to feed the poor…” It is permissible to send it to the poor of another land whose people are in greater need.

It is NOT permissible to spend it on building a mosque or other charitable projects.

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/12938/Eid%20ul-Fitr

The rate of zakaat al-fitr

Is it permissible to give zakaat al-fitr in cash?

It was narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr upon the Muslims at a rate of one saa of dates or one saa of barley, and he commanded that it should be given before the people went out to pray – i.e., the Eid prayers. In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that Abu Saeed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “At the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) we used to give it at a rate of one saa of food, or one saa of dates, or one saa of barley, or one saa of cheese, or one saa of raisins…” A number of scholars interpreted the word taaam (food) in this hadeeth as referring to wheat, and others explained it as referring to the staple food of the local people, no matter what it is, whether it is wheat, corn or something else. This is the correct view, because the zakaah is a kind of help given by the rich to the poor, and the Muslim should not offer help with anything other than the staple food of his country.

What must be given is a saa of all kinds of food, which is four times the amount scooped up with two hands, which is approximately three kilograms. If the Muslim gives a saa of rice or some other staple food of his country, that is fine.

It first becomes due on the night of the twenty-eighth of Ramadaan, because the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to give it one or two days before Eid, and the month lasts twenty-nine or thirty days.

The latest it may be given is at the Eid prayer, but it is not permissible to delay it until after the prayer, because of the report narrated by Ibn Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives it before the prayer, it is accepted zakaah, and whoever gives it after the prayer, it is a kind of charity.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood).

It is not permissible to pay the value in money, according to the majority of scholars, and the evidence for this view is more sound. Rather it should be given in the form of food, as was done by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) and the majority of the ummah. We ask Allaah to help us and all the Muslims to understand His religion and adhere steadfastly to it. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him). Majallat al-Buhooth al-Islamiyyah, issue no. 17, pp. 79-80.

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/22888/Eid%20ul-Fitr

Paying zakaat al-fitr on behalf of the dead

Zakaat al-fitr is obligatory for all Muslims, males and females, old and young, as stated by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

It is only required from the living who are present at the time when it becomes due.

The time when zakaat al-fitr becomes due is when the sun sets on the last day of Ramadaan, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) called it sadaqat al-fitr, and fitr or breaking the fast of Ramadaan comes when the sun sets on the night of Eid (i.e., the night before Eid). It is a purification for the fasting person from any idle or obscene speech, and the fast ends when the sun sets.

If a person dies before the time it become obligatory, he does not have to pay this zakaah. If a person lives until the time when it becomes obligatory, then dies before paying it, then it should be paid on his behalf from his wealth because it is still a duty that he owes and becomes a debt that must be paid on his behalf.

See: al-Majmoo, 6/84; al-Mugni, 2/358; al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 23/341

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

If a person dies before the sun sets on the night before Eid, he does not have to pay zakaat al-fitr, because he died before it became obligatory.

Fiqh al-Ibaadaat, p. 211

In conclusion: The deceased person is responsible for this if he died after the time when it became obligatory, which is sunset on the night before Eid. In that case it must be paid on his behalf.

If he died before the time when it became obligatory – then this zakaah is not obligatory.

If someone gives charity such as food, money, etc dead person behalf, then it is charity given on his behalf and is not zakaat al-fitr.

It is proven in more than one hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that charity given on behalf of the dead benefits them and the reward reaches them.

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/65780/Eid%20ul-Fitr

The difference between zakaah on wealth and zakaat al-fitr

Yes, the zakaah that is one of the five pillars of Islam is something other than the zakaah that must be paid at the end of Ramadaan (zakaat al-fitr).

The former is zakaah on wealth which is only obligatory on certain kinds of wealth, viz.:

1-     Anaam livestock (camels, cattle and sheep)

2-     Gold and silver and, nowadays, paper currency

3-     Trade goods

4-     What is produced by the earth, which includes two things:

a.      Crops and fruits. The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is obligatory to pay zakaah on four kinds: wheat, barley, dates and raisins; they differed with regard to other kinds.

b.     Rikaaz (buried treasure), i.e., wealth of the kuffaar buried in the ground that is found by a Muslim.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated in Majmoo al-Fataawa (25/10) that Ibn al-Mundhir (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

The scholars are unanimously agreed that zakaah is obligatory on nine things: camels, cattle, sheep, gold, silver, wheat, barley, dates and raisins, if they reach the nisaab (minimum threshold) for each type at which zakaah becomes due. They differed with regard to other types of wealth.

Zakaah for each of these kinds of wealth is obligatory subject to certain conditions, and a specific amount of the wealth must be given as defined by shareeah.

This zakaah (zakaah on wealth) is one of the five pillars of Islam. Whoever denies it is a kaafir and whoever withholds it is a rebellious evildoer; the Muslim ruler must take it from him by force. If he persists in withholding it and is protected by his tribe then he must be fought until he pays it.

Al-Bukhaari (8) and Muslim (12) narrated that Abd-Allaah ibn Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Islam is built on five (pillars): bearing witness that there is no God except Allaah, establishing regular prayer, paying zakaah, fasting Ramadaan and going on Pilgrimage to the House.”

Al-Bukhaari (25) and Muslim (22) narrated from Ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have been enjoined to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and they establish regular prayer and pay zakaah. If they do that, then they have protected their blood and wealth from me except in cases where Islamic laws apply, and their reckoning will be with Allaah.

The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were unanimously agreed on fighting those who withheld zakaah. Al-Bukhaari (1400) and Muslim (20) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

“When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed away, and Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) became caliph, and some of the Arabs disbelieved and apostatized, Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: How could you fight the people, when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “I have been enjoined to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no god except Allaah. Whoever says that has protected his blood and wealth from me except in cases where Islamic laws apply, and their reckoning will be with Allaah”?

Then Abu Bakr said: By Allaah, I will fight those who separate prayer and zakaah, for zakaah is what is due on wealth. By Allaah, if they withhold from me a small sheep that they used to give to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), I will fight them for withholding it.

Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: ‘By Allaah, when I realized that Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) was confident about this idea, then I knew that this was the truth.’”

With regard to the zakaah that is obligatory at the end of Ramadaan, this is Zakaat al-Fitr. The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is obligatory, except those who held odd views.

See Tarh al-Tathreeb, 4/46.

It is less important than the zakaah of wealth with regard to obligation and status. Zakaat al-Fitr is NOT one of the pillars of Islam, and the one who denies it is not a kaafir.

Zakaat al-Fitr was mentioned in many ahaadeeth, such as the following:

Al-Bukhaari (1503) and Muslim (984) narrated that Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr, a saa of dates, or a saa of barley, for every Muslim, slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he enjoined that it be given before the people go out to the prayer.

Abu Dawood (1609) narrated that Ibn Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr as a purification for those who fasted from idle or obscene talk, and so as to feed the poor. Whoever gives it before the prayer, it is accepted zakaah and whoever gives it after the prayer, it is ordinary charity. Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

Ruling on one who does not pay zakaat al-fitr

although he is able to

The one who does not pay zakaat al-fitr has to repent to Allaah and seek His forgiveness, because he is sinning by withholding it. He also has to pay it to those who are entitled to it, but after Eid prayer it is simply regarded as ordinary charity.

Is zakaat al-fitr due from one who did not fast in Ramadaan

because of a valid excuse like travelling or sick ?

The majority of scholars, including the four imams and others, are of the view that zakaat al-fitr is due from the Muslim even if he did not fast Ramadaan. No one else differed from that except Saeed ibn al-Musayyab and al-Hasan al-Basri, who said that zakaat al-fitr is due only from those who fasted.

But the correct view is that of the majority, because of the following evidence:

1 –The general meaning of the hadeeth which is the basis for zakaat al-fitr being obligatory:

It was narrated that Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr, a saa of dates or a saa of barley, upon everyone, slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he enjoined that it be paid before the people went out to pray. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1503) and Muslim (984).

The word “young” includes small children who cannot fast.

2 – When charity and zakaah are enjoined, it is usually to help the poor and needy, and is aimed at achieving some degree of social security, and the most obvious case is zakaat al-fitr, which is enjoined upon young and old, free and slave, male and female, and the Lawgiver did not stipulate any minimum threshold (nisaab) or the passage of one year for it to be obligatory. Hence the fact that it is obligatory for those who did not fast in Ramadaan, with or without an excuse, is implied in the purpose for which this zakaah is prescribed.

3 – With regard to the argument of those who quoted as evidence the words of Ibn Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr as a purification for the fasting person from idle talk and obscene speech, and to feed the poor. Narrated by Abu Dawood (1609)

They said: The words “as a purification for the fasting person” means that zakaat al-fitr is obligatory only for those who fasted. Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar responded to that in al-Fath (3/369) where he said:

My response is that mentioning purification refers to the usual case (as most people fast), just as it is also required of those who did not commit sin, such as one who is very righteous or one who became Muslim a moment before the sun set. End quote.

What this means is that in most cases zakaat al-fitr is prescribed because it is a purification for the one who fasted, but attaining this purification is not a condition of it being obligatory. A similar case is the zakaah of one’s wealth, which has also been prescribed in order to purify the soul:

“Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allaah for them. Verily, your invocations are a source of security for them; and Allaah is All-Hearer, All-Knower”

[al-Tawbah 9:103]

Despite that zakaah is obligatory in the case of wealth belonging to a small child who does not need to be purified, because no bad deeds are recorded for him.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen gave another response, and said:

It is paid on behalf of children and those who are not accountable, and those who did not fast because of an excuse such as sickness or travel. So the purification is for the guardians of those who are not accountable, and it is a purification for the one who did not fast because of an excuse, on the assumption that he will fast once the excuse is no longer in effect, so it is purification in advance, before he fasts or completes his fast. End quote.

Fataawa al-Zakaah (zakaat al-fitr/2)

Where to pay zakaat al-fitr

I am a young man living in Kuwait, but I have taken my daughter to America for medical treatment and I fasted Ramadaan in America. Do I have to pay zakaat al-fitr in America or can I delegate my family in Kuwait to pay it on my behalf? What is the ruling on paying zakaat al-fitr in cash? Please note that in America they pay it in cash instead of giving staple food.

The scholars (may Allaah be pleased with them) stated that zakaat al-fitr is connected to numbers of people, not money, and it is to be paid in the place where a person is on the night before Eid.

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni (4/134):

As for zakaat al-fitr, it is to be paid in the land where the person from whom it is due is present, whether his wealth is there or not. End quote.

As for paying zakaat al-fitr in cash, please note that it must be given in the form of food, and that paying it in cash is NOT acceptable.

So you must try to give it in the form of food. If the poor person refuses the food and asks for cash, then there is nothing wrong with your giving it as cash in that case, because of need or necessity.

Should zakaat al-fitr be given to one person, or distributed among several?

It is permissible to give zakaat al-fitr on behalf of one person to one person, and it is also permissible to distribute it among a number of people.

Is there a duaa to be said when paying zakaat al-fitr?

We do not know of any specific duaa to be said when paying it.

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/27015/Eid%20ul-Fitr

Ruling on zakaat al-fitr and how much is to be paid

Sadaqat al-fitr is obligatory upon every Muslim who is self-supporting, if he has one saa or more than he needs of food for himself and his family on the day and night of Eid.

The basis for that is the report narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr, a saa of dates, or a saa of barley, upon all the Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old, and he commanded that it be paid before the people went out to pray.” Agreed upon; this version was narrated by al-Bukhaari.

And Abu Saeed al-Khudri narrated: “We used to pay zakaat al-fitr when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was alive, a saa’ of food or a saa’ of dates or a saa’ of barley or a saa’ of raisins or a saa’ of dried yoghurt.” Agreed upon.

It is acceptable to give a saa of the local staple food such as rice etc.

What is meant by a saa’ here is the saa of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which is four times the amount that may be held in the two hands of a man of average build. If a person does not pay zakaat al-fitr, he is sinning, and he has to make it up.

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas, 9/364

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/12459/Eid%20ul-Fitr

And Allaah is the Source if strength.


Compiled by Adil Khan

Bombay

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