Rulings on Zakat Al-Fitr:
Zakat al-Fitr or is a zakat which was imposed because of completing (breaking) of Ramadan fasting. It was imposed in the second year of Hijra, that is, with the obligation to fast, and it is different from the other zakats in that it is imposed on people and not on property.
The majority of scholars are unanimously agreed that it is an obligatory deed, because The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) enjoined the payment of one sa’ of dates or one sa’ of barley (a measure of volume, wheat saa equals approximately 2,176 g of but other products may weigh different from this) as Zakat al-fitr on every Muslim, male or female, young or old. And he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the ‘Id prayer.
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, demonstrated the wisdom behind it and that it is a purification of the fasting person from empty and obscene talk, and it is a feeding for the needy, so that all Muslims will be on the day of Eid in joy and happiness.
First: To whom is it obligatory?
- Zakat al-Fitr is obligatory for every Muslim male or female, young or old, rich or poor, and the man gives it on himself and on the ones who are dependent on him, and the wife gives it out for herself or her husband gives it out for her, and it does not have to be given out for the fetus, but it is desirable to do so according to Ahmed bin Hanbal’s opinion, may Allah be pleased with him.
- The majority of scholars stipulated that the Muslim should have maintaining his family on the day and night of Eid, as well for all his basic needs in addition to this zakat.
The postponed debt does not affect the obligation of Zakat Al-Fitr, unlike the current debt (which must be paid immediately).
Second: The amount of Zakat Al-Fitr and its type:
- The three imams: Malik, Al-Shafi’i and Ahmad, and with them the majority of scholars, agreed that Zakat al-Fitr is a saa of dates, barley, raisins, wheat, or any other food from the country’s staple food.
- A ‘saa’ is four handfuls of a man with moderate hands, and the saa of wheat is approximately equal to 2,176 grams, but other things might be more or less.
- Zakat Al-Fitr is given out from the dominant of the country’s food, or the dominant of the giver staple’s food, if it is better than the country’s staple food. This is the opinion of the majority of jurists and imams.
- It is permissible to pay the value of the saa’ in cash, as it is more beneficial to the poor and easier in this era. It is the doctrine of the Hanafis, and it was narrated on the authority of Omar bin Abdul-aziz and Al-Hassan Al-Basri.
Third: its time:
Zakat Al-Fitr should be given at sunset on the last day of Ramadan, according to the Shafi’is, and at dawn on the day of Eid according to the Hanafis and Malikis.
It must be given before the Eid prayer due to the hadith of Ibn Abbas, and it is permissible to give it from the beginning of the month of Ramadan according to Al- Shafi’i, and it is better to delay it until one or two days before the Eid, It is approved by the Malikis, and it may be given until the beginning of the year at the Hanafis, Because it is zakat, and according to the Hanbalis, it is permissible to expedite it after half of the month of Ramadan.
Fourth: To whom Zakat al-Fitr is given:
The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is given to the poor of Muslims, and Abu Hanifa permitted giving it to the poor people of Christians and Jew in Muslim community).
The principle is that it is imposed on the poor and needy, so it is not given to other than the eight types those deserve Zakat, unless there is an Islamic need or interest, and it is given in the country from which it is taken, unless there are no poor, then it is permissible to transfer it to another country.
Zakat al-Fitr is not given to those who are not permissible to give Zakat to them.