Pay Zakaat Al-Fitr – The Personal Obligatory Charity


The Ramadaan is almost end. It is the time for us to pay Zakaat-Al Fitr for every single muslim.

Following are mostly similar question regarding paying this Zakaat Al-Fitr:

1. Is the zakaat al-fitr that his father paid on his behalf in cash acceptable?

“My father pays zakaat al-fitr on behalf of me and my siblings every year in cash, based on the fatwas of some of the scholars. I have tried repeatedly on many occasions to convince him that this view is not the most correct one, because according to the the majority of scholars, zakaat al-fitr must be paid in the form of the things mentioned in the hadeeths, but he is not convinced. Should I pay zakaat al-fitr on behalf of myself as it is stated in the hadeeth?

Please note that I am still a student at University and my wealth is what I have saved from the money that my father gives me for my needs”.

Praise be to Allaah.

Paying zakaat al-fitr in cash is not acceptable according to the majority of scholars, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) enjoined that it be given in the form of the local staple food, and it is not known that he or any of his Companions gave it in the form of money.
Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (6/113):

It is not acceptable to pay the cash value of zakaat al-fitr in our view. This was also the view of Maalik, Ahmad and Ibn al-Mundhir.

Abu Haneefah said: It is permissible. This was narrated by Ibn al-Mundhir from al-Hasan al-Basri, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez and al-Thawri.

He said: And Ishaaq and Abu Thawr said that it is not acceptable except in case of necessity. End quote.
See: al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 23/343-344.

If a person follows the view of the Hanafis, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez and al-Hasan al-Basri, that it is permissible to give the value of zakaat al-fitr in cash, based on the evidence that he regards as more correct, or following the scholars who said that, it is acceptable in sha Allah.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:
If a person pays zakaat al-fitr in cash, following the opinion of the scholars of his country, then comes to learn the more correct view, what should he do with regard to his charity??

He replied:
He does not have to do anything. If a person does something on the basis of a fatwa from a scholar or following the scholars of his country, he does not have to do anything. An example of that is if a woman does not pay zakaah on her jewellery and remains for several years not knowing that zakaah is due on jewellery, or on the basis that her scholars have advised her that no zakaah is due on it, then she learns the ruling; she has to pay zakaah after she learns the ruling, but before that she does not have to. End quote.

Liqaa’aat al-Baab al-Maftooh, no. 191, question no. 19
Thus it is clear that if your father pays zakaat al-fitr on your behalf in cash — based on his following the scholars whose opinion that is — it is acceptable and valid, and you do not have to do it again in the form of food so long as your father is responsible for spending on you and you are not yet spending on yourself independently.

2. The rate of zakaat al-fitr

“What is the rate of zakaat al-fitr? Is it permissible to give it after the Eid prayer? Is it permissible to give zakaat al-fitr in cash?”

Praise be to Allaah.

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 Sa’eed 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 ta’aam (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.

3. 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”.

Praise be to Allaah.

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, we have explained in the answer to question no. 22888that 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.

4. To whom should zakaat al-fitr be given?

“To whom should zakaat al-fitr be given? Is it permissible to send it to the mujaahideen in Afghanistan, for example? Or to donate it to charitable funds for building a mosque, for example?”

Praise be to Allaah.

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.

5. They gave him zakaat al-fitr but he delayed giving it until after the day of Eid because he could not find any poor people

A man lives in Italy. He is in charge of the masjid in his area, like gathering charities. He gathered/ Zakat Al-Fitr in the last Ramadaan from the Muslims to give it out to who deserves it. But he did not find needy people so he did not give it out until this day.
Should he add this money to the expenses of the masjid he is in charge of, knowing that it does not need? Or give it out to an Islamic school in his home country, knowing that this school depends on money of charity; he also has a son in this school? Does this delaying by the imam decreases the reward of the Muslims who gave that Zakat?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

Zakaat al-fitr must be paid before the Eid prayer, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood (1609) and Ibn Majaah (1827) 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 as a purification for the fasting person from idle and obscene talk, and to feed the poor. Whoever pays it before the (Eid) prayer, it is accepted zakaah, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is (ordinary) charity.

Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

It says in ‘Awn al-Ma’bood Sharh Abi Dawood: It seems that the one who pays zakaat al-fitr after the Eid prayer is like one who did not pay it, because they both failed to pay this obligatory charity. Most of the scholars are of the view that paying it before the Eid prayer is only mustahabb, and they stated that it may be paid until the end of the day of al-Fitr, but the hadeeth refutes that.

As for delaying it until after the day of Eid, Ibn Raslaan said: That is haraam according to scholarly consensus, because it is zakaah, so there must be sin involved in delaying it, as is the case with delaying prayer until the time for it is over. End quote.

Based on this, the imam was wrong to delay the zakaah, and he should have looked for people who are entitled to it, or sent the zakaah to a country where there are people who are entitled to it.

Secondly:

If a person delays giving zakaat al-fitr until after the day of Eid for no valid reason, he has sinned and he has to make it up. The people of the mosque are not to blame, because they appointed someone to give it on their behalf. The imam now has to give it to people who are entitled to it. It is not permissible to spend it on mosque expenses. As for the Islamic school, if there are poor people there who are entitled to the zakaah, it is permissible to give it to them, otherwise it is not.

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (2/485): If he delays it (zakaat al-fitr) until after the day of Eid, he is sinning and he has to make it up. End quote.

In al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (43/41) it says: The Maalikis, Shaafa’is and Hanbalis are of the view that the one who delays zakaat al-fitr until after the day of Eid when he is able to pay it is sinning and he has to make it up. End quote.

The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked: Is the time for paying zakaat al-fitr from after the Eid prayer until the end of that day?

They replied: The time for paying zakaat al-fitr does not start after the Eid prayer, rather it starts at sunset on the last day of Ramadaan, which is the first night of the month of Shawwaal, and it ends with the Eid prayer, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined that it should be paid before the prayer, and because of the report of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever pays it before the (Eid) prayer, it is accepted zakaah, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is (ordinary) charity.” It is permissible to pay it one or two days before that because of the report of 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 at the end of Ramadaan … at the end of which he said: And they used to give it one or two days before that. But the one who delays it until after the proper time is sinning, and he has to repent from delaying it and give it to the poor. End quote.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: I did not pay zakaat al-fitr because Eid came suddenly, and after Eid al-Fitr I kept asking about what I should do with regard to this matter. Is it waived for me or do I have to pay it? What is the reason behind it?

He replied: Zakaat al-fitr is obligatory. 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. It is obligatory upon every Muslim, male and female, young and old, free and slave. If it so happens that Eid comes suddenly, before you can pay it, then you should pay it on the day of Eid, even if that is after the prayer, because if one misses the time of an obligatory act of worship for a reason, it must be made up when the reason ceases to apply, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning prayer; “Whoever forgets a prayer or sleeps and misses it, let him pray it when he remembers it, for there is no expiation for it other than that.” And he recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “and perform As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑Salaah) for My remembrance” [Ta-ha 20:14]. End quote from Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (18/271).

He also said: But if he delays it for a reason, such as forgetting or because there were no poor people to be found on the night before Eid, then it will be accepted from him, whether he puts it back with his own wealth or leaves it until he finds a poor person comes.

The imam of the mosque should give this zakaah to the poor and needy. If there are no poor people in his city then he should send it to another city.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about transferring zakaat al-fitr, and he replied: There is nothing wrong with transferring zakaat al-fitr to a city other than the city of the man who gave it, if that is done for a need because there are no poor people in his city. But if it is done unnecessarily, because there are people in his city who could accept it, then it is not permissible according to what some scholars have said.

And Allaah knows best.

By – Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him). Majallat al-Buhooth al-Islamiyyah, issue no. 17, pp. 79-80.
– The Standing Committee for Research and Issuing Fatwas.
– End quote from Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (18/318).

Source : Islamqa

Jazaak Allah Khair for reading.

Posted on August 20, 2011, in Ramadan Resources and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Jezakallah
    May Almighty Allah Except All Our Good Deeds.

  2. raashid ul nabi khan

    jazakAllah khair

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