Do you know that Zakat al fitr…?!
* Is the charity given to the poor and the needy at the end of the fasting of holy month of Ramadan.
* Is a duty which is ‘wajib’ (compulsory) and required of every Muslim, male or female, young or adult, slave or freeman as long as he/she has the means to do so (meaning having more food (or in kind) than what he/she and his/her household will need for a day).
* Is to provide for the poor and the needy with a means with which to celebrate the festival of ‘Eid al fitr’ along the rest of the Muslims and a token of thankfulness to Allah for having enabled him or her to observed obligatory fast.
* Promotes circulation of wealth and develop bonds of brotherhood, love and trains those who have to be generous to those who do not have within Islamic society.
* Becomes obligatory from last day of Ramadan or 2 days before ‘Eid prayer.
* Is a Saa’ (4 double handfuls of an average size man) of food, grain or dried fruits… per head of each member of the family by the head of the household (regardless of different in income, and new born baby last minute of the last day of Ramadan should be included).
* Your Ramadan fasting will be hanging between earth and heaven till you pay zakat al fitr.
* Zakat al fitr purify you from your indecent act, speech… while fasting that will reduce your rewards.
* Zakat al fitr’ is acceptable for those who give it out before the ‘Eid al fitr prayer but it is ‘sadaqah’ for those who pays it after ‘Eid prayer.
* You will give your zakat al fitr out where you are, during ‘Eid not necessary your home town and somebody can do it on your behalf and to give it out in Umrah is more rewardable.
* Zakat al fitr in cash is not recommended by Allah, Prophet solallahu ‘alayhi wasalam, Sahaba radiyallahu ‘anih and Jurists. We have ‘dinar’ and ‘dirham’ during life time of Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wasalam and neither he nor his companions used cash to pay zakat al fitr. Also, Zakat alfitr is an Ibadah we should not try and change its form if we want reward from Allah. Note: You can add cash as sadaqah to the food stuff you’re giving out but it is not wajib.
* Beneficiaries of zakat al fitr are; the poor and the needy (regardless of whether they are your relatives in as much their feeding is not ‘wajib’ on you), and collectors of zakat, in reconciling of heart of non-Muslims, freeing slaves, debtors, in Allah’s cause and the travellers may be part of them.
My Brethren! Give zakat al fitr out of food stuff that you will be happy to collect if you are in the position of the poor. “O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy. (Q2:267). So, give what will make the receiver happy; you will get reward, and you’re reviving the authentic sunnah of the Prophet Solallahu ‘alaih wasalam because the receiver will feel your sincere obedience to Allah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam by getting what will benefit or useful to them for that period.
Reference: Fatawa Ibn taymiah 25 /74, Fatawa imra’ti muslimah 205, Mugni 1/402, 3/56, Sharhu fatih qadeer, Bukhari 1426 – 1511. Muslim 984 – 986, Daud 1609 – 1629, Sahih fiqh Sunnah 2/79, Jami’ liahkam fiqh Sunnah 2/126.
May Allah grant us understanding and accept it as an act of ‘Ibadah.