Zakat al-Fitr, a charitable food gift, must be given for the love of Allah before the Eid prayer and before the conclusion of the month of Ramadan. It is mandatory for every self-supporting adult Muslim who has food in excess of their own requirements, and on behalf of their dependents.
What is Zakat al Fitr?
Zakat al-Fitr is a type of Zakat that Muslims are obligated to pay before the prayer of Eid al-Fitr or before the end of the Ramadan fast. This form of Zakat is compulsory for every Muslim who can afford to pay it, regardless of age or gender. It was imposed in the second year of migration.
Zakat al-Fitr is an addition of something for its reason, as the obligation of giving it is based on the reason for breaking the fast during Ramadan, which makes it a unique form of Zakat.
How to calculate Zakat al Fitr?
Calculating Zakat al-Fitr is done by giving to the poor approximately 2.176 kilograms of any type of regular food. Everyone is required to pay the same amount of zakat regardless of their income.
The calculated amount of Zakat al Fitr is equivalent to one saa (dry measure) of one of the most common types of grain used in the country for every Muslim. A saa is approximately 2.176 kilograms. As Abu Said al Khudri reported,
“We used to take out the Zakat of Fitr in three kinds, cheese, dates, and barley”(Sahih Muslim 985d).
How much is Zakat al Fitr in 2023?
Zakat al-Fitr in 2023 can be paid in cash or in food kinds.
- The Council of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia has determined that the amount of Zakat al-Fitr in cash is thirty Saudi riyals.
- Alternatively, Zakat al-Fitr can be paid in the form of grain equivalent to 2300 grams of rice, 2000 grams of chickpeas, 1640 grams of raisins, 2100 grams of lentils, 2040 grams of wheat, or 2100 grams of flour.
Is Zakat al-Fitr obligatory?
Zakat al-Fitr is obligatory for every Muslim. Several companions of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them), particularly those associated with memorizing the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) affirmed that Zakat al-Fitr is obligatory for all Muslims.
1. Is Zakat al-Fitr obligatory for Muslim married women?
Most scholars agree that zakat al-Fitr is obligatory for every Muslim, including Muslim women, married or unmarried, from their own wealth, according to the Hanafi legal school. Other schools require husbands to pay zakat al-Fitr on behalf of their Muslim wives.
2. Is Zakat al-Fitr obligatory for Children?
If children own the wealth, the zakat comes from their individual property. If children do not have their own wealth, Zakat al-Fitr is paid by their guardians for sons and daughters as an obligation.
The strongest and most widespread opinion is that paying zakat al-Fitr is obligatory for every Muslim, young or old. However, it does not include the fetus still in the womb, according to most scholars, although the opinions of some prominent companions, such as Othman bin Affan (may Allah be pleased with him), encourage parents to pay zakat al-Fitr for unborn children as a useful charity.
3. Is Zakat al-Fitr obligatory for the poor?
The majority opinion is that every Muslim must pay zakat al-Fitr, even the poor, because its obligation lies with the person, not with their money. The only exemption is for those who do not have enough food, shelter, clothing, and basic needs of life for the day of Eid.
Debt does not excuse a person from paying zakat al-Fitr, unless the debt is due on the day of Eid itself, and paying it reduces the insufficiency of basic needs for that day.
Kalimah Center provides many useful Ramadan articles and guides, learn about them below:
- Laylatul Qadr in Ramadan – 2023 Best Guide
- How To Pray Qiyam Al Layl & With How Many Rakats? 2023 Full Guide With Dua
- Quran Verses And Hadiths About Ramadan in Arabic and English – 2023 Guide
Ruling on Zakat al Fitr
It is obligatory for every Muslim, male and female, as per the hadith of Ibn Omar (may Allah be pleased with him), to give Zakat-ul-Fitr.
According to Ibn Abbas (RAA), the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) enjoined Zakat-ul-Fitr on the one who fasts (i.e., fasted during the month of Ramadan) to purify him from any indecent act or speech and to provide food for the needy.
It is accepted as Zakat for the person who pays it before the Eid prayer and as Sadaqah (i.e., voluntary charity) for the person who pays it after the Eid prayer.
This hadith is related to Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim graded it as Sahih.
Related Article Ramadan Rules – 2023 Ramadan eating rules
Who receives Zakat al Fitr?
Scholars agree that poor Muslims are the ones who legally receive Zakat al Fitr from Muslims. But here are the rules regarding Who receives Zakat al Fitr:
- A poor person may also obtain Zakat al Fitr from more than one donor, although the scholars disapprove of dividing one payment among many beneficiaries as it contradicts the purpose of Zakat al Fitr, and it suffices the poor on the day of Eid.
- Zakat al Fitr cannot be given to people for whom its impulse is responsible, such as a man’s wife, child, parents, etc. In this ruling, it is completely like the zakat of money. Nor should it be given to unbelievers or the rich.
- The Hanbalis and the Maliki’s say that Zakat al Fitr belongs exclusively to the poor. Even if it must be sent to another country at the expense of its payer.
- According to the Shafi, the same eight categories of those who are entitled to Zakat al-mal also apply to Zakat al-Fitr if the payer does not distribute his own payments.
- The Prophet’s saying to “satisfy” the poor puts them explicitly in the first place of common sense in every society.
The Hadith of Zakat al-Fitr
Narrated by Al-Hasan, states that Ibn Abbas delivered a Khutbah in Al-Basrah and said:
“Give Zakat of your fast.” The people started looking at one another, so he said, “Whoever is here of the people of Al-Madinah, get up and teach your brothers, for they do not know that the Messenger of Allah has enjoined Sadaqat ul Fitr upon young and old, free and slave, male and female; half a Saa of wheat, or a Saa of dates or barely.” Al-Hasan said, “If Allah has given you more, then give more generously of wheat or something else.”(Sunan an-Nasa’i 2515)
The difference between Zakat al Fitr and Zakat al-mal
There are four key differences between zakat al-mal and zakat al-Fitr:
|1. The Source Of Money:||Zakat al-mal pertains to wealth, while zakat al-Fitr pertains to the body.|
|2. The One Who Pays the Zakah:||Zakat al-mal is obligatory on those who have wealth, whereas zakat al-Fitr is obligatory on those who are required to spend, such as heads of households or husbands.|
|3. The Reason Behind Paying the Zakah:||Zakat al-mal is paid once a year, with the timing dependent on when the nisab (minimum amount) is reached.
For example, if the nisab is reached in Sha’ban, then zakat al-mal should be paid in Sha’ban. It is not permissible to postpone payment until Ramadan.
|4. When the Zakat Becomes Obligatory:||Zakat al-mal becomes obligatory when a person possesses wealth worth at least 85 grams of 21 karat gold, and a full Hijri year has passed since acquiring it. While Zakat al-Fitr becomes obligatory upon birth.|
The purpose of Zakat al-Fitr
1- Purification through Zakat al-Fitr
Zakat al-Fitr purifies the fasting person from idle talk and obscenity, as it erases any legal violations committed during Ramadan. Also, Zakat al-Fitr serves a spiritual purpose in purifying the fasting person from idle talk and obscenity.
2- Power of Allah and Piety
The power of Allah is a language taken from the source of prevention, and its material is protected, and it is the name of piety. That the servant makes a barrier between him and what Allah Almighty has forbidden, and that he takes what protects him from what he fears from Allah’s wrath and wrath.
3- Completing the Fast and Refining the Spirit
Completing the fast and fulfilling the act of worship requires more than just abstaining from food and drink; it aims to refine the human spirit. Therefore, fasting also requires us to control our tongues from speaking inappropriately. In the past, fasting meant not speaking at all, as mentioned in Surat Maryam.
“So, eat and drink and put your heart at ease. But if you see any of the people, say, ‘I have vowed silence to the Most Compassionate, so I am not talking to anyone today.’”(Surat Maryam 19:26)
The Celebration of Eid al-Fitr
During the conclusion of Ramadan, one of the most significant celebrations in the Muslim calendar takes place, known as Eid al-Fitr. On this day of prayer and joy, every Muslim is obliged to welcome it with an act of charity, congregational prayer, and a feast.
Eid al-Fitr serves as “food for the poor,” as the Prophet (PBUH) had mentioned, as it enriches the poor by preventing them from begging on the day of Eid and expanding their provisions, making it a day of joy and pleasure for all members of society.