1396: Zakaat al-Fitr is food, not money, and it is to be given to needy Muslims only
What do you give for zakatul fitr? Is it money or grain? and what about if you don`t know any body to be given? Is it permissable to give it to the masjid or a kaafir homeless, or kaair in general?
Praise be to Allaah.
Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made giving a saa’ of dates or a saa’ of barley as Zakaat al-Fitr an obligation for all Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old, and ordered that it should be given before the people went out to pray (Salaat al-Eid).” (Al-Bukhaari, 1503).
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “We used to pay as Zakaat al-Fitr a saa’ of food or a saa’ of barley (which was their food at that time) or a saa’ or dates or a saa’ of aqit (dried yoghurt) or a saa’ of raisins.” (1506)
From this it is clear that Zakaat al-Fitr must be food, not money, so we must adhere to what has been recorded in the Sunnah. So give one saa’ of whatever is the staple food in your country, such as rice or wheat, for example, on behalf of yourself and each member of your household. (A saa’ is equivalent to approximately 3 kilograms). It is not permissible to give it to anyone except a needy Muslim. If you cannot find anyone in your own country, you can delegate someone else to give it on your behalf in another country. May Allaah help us and you to do the duties that He loves. And Allaah knows best.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
49793: How much zakaat al-fitr is and when it should be paid
We are members of a North African group living in Barcelona. How can we work out how much zakaat al-fitr is?.
It was proven from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that he enjoined zakaat al-fitr on the Muslims, one saa’ of dates or one saa’ of barley, and he commanded that it be given before the people went out to the (Eid) prayer. In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) we used to give one saa’ of food, or one saa’ of dates, or one saa’ of barley, or one saa’ of raisins.
Some of the scholars have interpreted “food” (ta’aam) in this hadeeth as referring to wheat; others interpreted it as meaning the staple food of the country, whatever it is, whether it is wheat, corn, pearl millet or whatever. This is the correct view, because zakaah is a help from the rich to the poor, and the Muslim does not have to help with anything other than the staple food of his country. Undoubtedly rice is the staple food in the land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries (Saudi Arabia) and it is a good and valuable food; it is better than the barley that is mentioned in the text. Hence it is known that there is nothing wrong with giving rice as zakaat al-fitr.
What must be given is a saa’ of any kind of staple food, i.e., a saa’ of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which is four complete scoops as scooped up with two hands, according to al-Qaamoos etc. In modern weights this is equivalent to approximately three kilograms. If a Muslim gives a kilo of rice or some other staple food of his country, that is sufficient even if it is not one of the types mentioned in the hadeeth, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions. There is nothing wrong with giving the equivalent amount by weight, which is approximately three kilograms.
Zakaat al-fitr must be given on behalf of all Muslims, young and old, male and female, free and slave. With regard to a foetus, it is not obligatory to give it on his behalf according to scholarly consensus, but it is mustahabb, because ‘Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) did that.
It is also obligatory to give it before the Eid prayer, and it is not permissible to delay it until after the Eid prayer. There is nothing wrong with giving it one or two days before the Eid. Hence it is known that the earliest time when it may be given, according to the more correct of the two scholarly views, is the night of the 28th of Ramadaan, because the month may be twenty-nine or thirty days. The companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to give it one or two days before Eid.
Those to whom it must be given are the poor and needy. It was proven that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: 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 and obscene speech, and to feed the poor. Whoever gives it before the prayer, it is zakaat al-fitr, and whoever gives it after the prayer, it is ordinary charity. This was narrated by Abu Dawood and classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
It is not permissible to pay the value in money, according to the majority of scholars; this view has the stronger evidence. Rather it must be given in the form of food, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did. This is also the view of the majority of the ummah. We ask Allaah to help us and all the Muslims to understand His religion properly and adhere to it steadfastly, and to guide us, for He is the Most Generous, Most Kind.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 14/200.
This is the estimation of Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), who reckoned the weight of zakaat al-fitr as being approximately three kilograms.
This was also the estimate of the scholars of the Standing Committee (9/371).
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) estimated it in grams as being 2100 grams, as it says in Fataawa al-Zakaah, p. 274-276.
This discrepancy occurred because a saa’ is a measure of volume, not weight.
The scholars worked it out by weight so that it would be easier to work out. It is well known that the weight of grains varies; some are light and some are heavy, and some are in between. In fact the weight of a saa’ of the same kind of grain may vary, and new may weigh more than old. Hence if people err on the side of caution and give more, that will be better.
See al-Mughni, 4/168, where it mentions something similar about working out the nisaab of crops by weight.
And Allaah knows best.
27006: To whom should zakaat al-fitr be paid?
Men are asking for zakaat al-fitr in the marketplace, and we do not know whether they are religiously committed or not. There are others whose situation is comfortable, and whatever they get of the zakaah they spend on their children. Some of them receive a salary but they are weak in religious commitment. Is it permissible to give them zakaat al-fitr or not?.
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.
And Allaah is the Source of strength.
174441: What is the correct the time for paying zakaat al-fitr?
What defines the correct time (the Eid prayer) for paying zakaat al-fitr? Is it the prayer of the imam, or the prayer offered on one’s own, or the time of the prayer? May Allah reward you with good.
What is required is to pay zakaat al-fitr before the Eid prayer, because of the report narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr as purification for the fasting person from idle and obscene talk, and to feed the poor. Whoever pays it before the (Eid) prayer, it is a valid zakaat al-fitr, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is (ordinary) charity.
Narrated by Abu Dawood (1609) and Ibn Maajah (1827); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood and elsewhere.
The apparent meaning of the hadeeth links the time of zakaat al-fitr to the Eid prayer. Once the regular imam has finished his prayer, the time for it comes to an end. The prayer of an individual offered on his own has nothing to do with it, because if we were to say that, there would be no specific time for it. So what counts is the prayer of the imam. But if a person is in a place where no prayer is held, such as in the desert, then he should pay it at the time at which it is paid in the nearest city.
Al-Bahooti (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The best is to pay zakaat al-fitr on the day of Eid before the prayer or around that time in a place where the Eid prayer is not offered, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) instructed that it should be paid before the people went out to prayer, according to the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar. Some said that it is best if it is paid when going out to the prayer place.
End quote from Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘, 2/252
And Allah knows best.
179748: Does he have to pay zakaat al-fitr on behalf of the orphan whom he is sponsoring?
Many people sponsor orphans; do they have to pay zakaat al-fitr on their behalf?
Zakaat al-fitr is obligatory upon every Muslim, whether male or female, young or old, because of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr upon the people at the end of Ramadan, a saa‘ of dates or a saa‘ of barley, upon everyone, free or slave, male or female, among the Muslims. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1504) and Muslim (984). The orphan is included in the general meaning of the word people.
Based on that, if the orphan has any wealth, zakaat al-fitr must be paid from it; it is an obligation upon him that he must pay from his own wealth, and the one who is sponsoring him does not have to give zakaat al-fitr on his behalf, because he is able to afford it. But if his sponsor gives it on his behalf voluntarily, that is acceptable.
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The orphan who has wealth is obliged to pay his zakaat al-fitr from his wealth, in our opinion. That was also the view of the majority of scholars, including Maalik, Abu Haneefah and Ibn al-Mundhir. End quote from al-Majmoo‘, 6/109
Al-Bahooti said in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘ (2/247): It is obligatory upon every Muslim… male or female, old or young, because of the report quoted above, even if he is an orphan. It must be paid from the individual’s wealth. That was stated [by Imam Ahmad]. End quote.
But if the orphan does not have any wealth, then his zakaat al-fitr must be paid by the one who is Islamically obliged to spend on this orphan among his relatives. As for the one who is sponsoring him: he is not obliged to pay zakaat al-fitr on his behalf, because he is spending on him voluntarily.
This is the view of the majority of scholars (including the three imams, Abu Haneefah, Maalik and ash-Shaafa‘i), because they say that zakaat al-fitr is obligatory upon every Muslim and those whom he is obliged to support. The one who sponsors an orphan is voluntarily sponsoring him, so he is not obliged to give zakaat al-fitr on behalf of the orphan.
The view of Imam Ahmad is that whoever is spending on a person during the month of Ramadan, even if he does so voluntarily, is obliged to give zakaat al-fitr on that person’s behalf. Imam Ahmad stated that whoever takes in an orphan girl must give zakaat al-fitr on her behalf.
Some of the Hanbalis, such as Ibn Qudaamah, favoured the view that this is not obligatory, and they interpreted the words of Imam Ahmad mentioned above as meaning that it is mustahabb (recommended).
See: al-Mughni (4/306); ash-Sharh al-Kabeer, (7/97)
To sum up: the one who voluntarily sponsors an orphan is not obliged to pay zakaat al-fitr on behalf of the orphan. Rather zakaat al-fitr must be paid from the orphan’s wealth if he has any wealth; if he does not have any wealth then zakaat al-fitr must be paid by his relative who is Islamically obliged to spend on him.
And Allah knows best.