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Zakat-al-Fitr

Zakat-al-Fitr

“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) made Zakat al-Fitr obligatory.”

(Ibn Umar R.A.)

What is Zakat al Fitr?

Zakat-al-Fitr means charity that is given at the end of the fasting month. The term ‘Fitr’ hints at the time of breaking the fast. It is a compulsory donation which becomes compulsory at the time of breaking the last fast of Ramadan.

Who Pays Zakat-al-Fitr?

Zakat-al-Fitr's meaning leads to the understanding that it is a kind of expiation for shortcomings that occurred during Ramadan. As the nature of the charity implies, it is obligatory for all Muslims, according to the consensus of scholars. Ibn Umar, a distinguished companion, is reported to have said:

“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) made Zakat al-Fitr, one saa of dates or one saa of barley, obligatory on the Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old.” (Bukhari 1407)

Zakat-al-Fitr can be the stable food of a country as interpreted by scholars. Everyone who has enough food for himself and his dependents for one day is obliged to pay Zakat-al-Fitr. The head of the household is required to pay this donation on behalf of all his family members, including young children, newborn babies and resident servants.

When Should Zakat-al-Fitr be Paid?

The time for Zakat-al-Fitr starts when the sun sets on the last day of Ramadan and remains until the beginning of Eid prayer. However, for convenience, it is allowed to pay it a few days in advance in order for it to reach the deserving people on time. According to a report in Al-Bukhari, Ibn Umar used to give his Zakat-al-Fitr on behalf of everyone in his house one or two days before Eid-al-Fitr.

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The Wisdom of Zakat-al-Fitr

Like Zakat-al-Maal, Zakat-al-Fitr is a means of purification of a believer’s wealth. According to a narration, Ibn Abbas stated:

 “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made Zakat al-Fitr obligatory as a means of purifying the fasting person from idle talk and foul language and to feed the poor. Whoever pays it before the prayer, it is an accepted zakah, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is just a kind of charity (sadaqah).” [Abu Dawud]

Paying Zakat-al-Fitr with sincerity is a great way of earning Allah’s (SWT) pleasure and abundant reward. Allah (SWT) promises much more in return for those who spend in His path. The Quran mentions those who strive to achieve purity in the following manner:

“Successful indeed are those who purify themselves.” [87:14]

How to Pay Zakat-al-Fitr?

Zakat-al-Fitr or Fitrana can be given to charities who distribute it to the poor and needy for you. You can donate your Fitrana to Charity Meals, which will buy and deliver nutritious meals on your behalf to vulnerable individuals in areas affected by poverty, war, and disaster.

Zakat-al-Fitr 2024

The amount of Zakat-al-Fitr is specified as one Saa, which means the amount that can be scooped up with both hands put together. It is a staple food like rice or flour, measured traditionally with two hands cupped together. The scholars state that a Saa is a measure of volume, not weight. However, for ease of understanding, they have estimated it to be approximately three kilograms.

Based on this, the monetary value of Zakat-al-Fitr UK would be approximately £5 for each person. You can donate £5 to charities in the UK, specifying them as Zakat-al-Fitr, who would give food on your behalf to eligible people.

Charity on the Occasion of Eid-al-Fitr

Zakat-al-Fitr is an opportunity to remember the less fortunate on the occasion of Eid and share the joy of the blessed celebration with those who would otherwise be deprived of it. The rationale behind the recommended timing of Eid-al-Fitr prayer highlights the significance of charity around this time.

It is Sunnah to delay the Eid prayer on Eid al-Fitr day so as to allow enough time for those who have to give Zakat-al-Fitr to do so, and to have breakfast before going out to pray. On the other hand, it is Sunnah to hasten the Eid prayers on Eid al-Adha day so that the people can offer their sacrifices first and eat from them.

Who Can Receive Zakat-al-Fitr?

Zakat-al-Fitr should be given to people experiencing poverty and people in need. According to some scholars, the recipients of Zakat-al-Fitr are the same as Zakat, while others state that it is exclusively for spending on people experiencing poverty in desperate circumstances. According to a report by Al-Nawawi, Prophet (SAW) said to Muadh (R.A.) regarding Zakat:

“Tell them that they have to give sadaqah (charity) that is to be taken from their wealth and given to the poor.”

Charity Meals distributes food parcels and hot meals to those suffering from hunger and starvation. Donate your Zakat-al-Fitr to Charity Meals and help them feed the hungry around the world.

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