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Zakat-el-Fitr

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Tamer 'Abdul-Fattah

It is called: Zakat-ul-Fitr because it is incumbent by breaking the fast. It is also called Zakat-ul-Badan (Zakah for bodies) because it purifies oneself and increases pious acts.

The general rule in its obligation is the Hadith that was reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) enjoined the payment of one Sa' of dates or one Sa' of barley as Zakat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old. (One Sa' = 3 Kilograms approx.)"

Conditions of obligations:

First: Islam because of the Prophet's saying: "every Muslim," therefore, there is no Zakah upon disbelievers because it purifies the person who fasts, and infidels do not fast.

Second: Sun setting at the last night of Ramadan because it is the time of breaking one's fasting during Ramadan. It was said: It is incumbent by the dawn on the day of 'Eid because it is a pious act relates to 'Eid, so it cannot precede it.

Third: Having financial ability:

There is no Zakah (obligatory charity) on indebted people who have no food except that which they give to their families on the night of 'Eid.

A person pays Zakah for himself and the people whom he supports such as his wife, —unlike the view of Abu Hanifah— his young children, and grown up who are unable to earn money, the people who can pay Zakah but they are busy with obtaining useful knowledge and they do not have a provider, his poor parents, and his servant who does not take salary, but in case he is serving him without salary, it is not incumbent on him to pay it on his behalf because of the saying of Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him): "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) enjoined Zakat-ul-Fitr on young and old, free and slave of those you are responsible for." [Reported by Muslim and others].

As for infidels whose expenditure is incumbent on the giver of Zakah such as relatives, wife, slaves, and female slaves, it is obligatory to support them without paying Zakah on their behalf.

It is obligatory to pay one Sa' (1 Sa' = 2.172 kg) from the predominant food of the country because of the previous Hadith of Ibn 'Umar. All grains that are included in Zakah on crops are permitted to be paid as Zakat-ul-Fitr. It is permissible to pay Aqt (dried whole milk) because of the authentic Hadith provided that it will be known for the people otherwise it will not be permissible.

It is stipulated that the given grain should not be defected and to be grain because it was mentioned in the Hadith; therefore paying money will not be permissible. To be from the predominant food of the country because the poor are yearning it. Sa' should be measured according to the Egyptian measurement: a quarter of Kilah (equals 6 Sa' i.e., 13.56 kilos) which is sufficient for four people according to the Shafi'i school of Fiqh. One-sixth Kilah according to Imam Malik which is enough for six people. Abu Hanifah said: If grains are wheat, it will be sufficient for four people and if it is of other kind, it will be sufficient for eight people.

It is a predominant view of Hanafi School of Fiqh that Kilah of wheat is enough for seven persons if one-sixth Qadah (589 g) is added to it. Kilah of barely and other kinds are enough for three persons because the basis for this predominant view is: one Sa' equals 2 and one-third Qadah which makes the half is one Qadah and one sixth.

Some jurists said: It is permissible to pay money instead of grains if this is more useful for the poor because of the saying of Mu'adh (may Allah be pleased with him) to the people of Yemen: "Get me new or worn clothes instead of barely and corn because it is more easy for you and more useful for the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the dwellers of Madinah." His saying: "Instead of barely and corn" indicate the permissibility of paying money in case it is more useful for the poor.

It is not permissible to give Zakah to the children and grand children nor to parents and grandparents because their expenditure is incumbent on the one who pays Zakah if they are poor. It is not permissible to pay Zakah for those whom you support, unlike the view of Imam Malik who holds the view of: it is permissible to give Zakah to grandparents and grandchildren.

It is permissible to give it to brethren, paternal uncles, maternal uncles and their children under the name of poor people if they are so.

It is permissible to transfer Zakah from a country to another because of the saying of Mu'adh: "Because it is more easy for you and more useful for the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the dwellers of Madinah." So, "the dwellers of Madinah" indicates that he transferred Zakah because Mu'adh was in Yemen.

Know that if a poor is indebted and the creditor said to him: I overlook my debt as being my Zakah, it will not be sufficient for him according to the correct view because of the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): "Suffice them from begging people in that day." And the saying of: "I overlooked it as being part of my Zakah." does not include sufficiency for the poor on that day.

The best time for paying Zakat-ul-Fitr:

The best time to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr is after dawn on the day of 'Eid and before people go out to perform Salat-ul-'Eid because of the saying of Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with them); "The most rewarded Zakah is the one that is given before people go out to Salah." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

It is prohibited to delay it from the day of 'Eid except for a reason such as not finding someone to deserve it or if there is a reason that prevents giving Zakah for the entitled people, and so on.

Scholars agreed to the permissibility of paying it one or two days prior 'Eid, whereas Abu Hanifah permitted to pay it before Ramadan and Al Shafi'i permitted paying it at the beginning of the month.

It is better to pay it to one's relatives who are not supported by Zakah giver, such as: brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, maternal uncles, maternal aunts, and their children Allah (May He be Exalted) says: "They ask you (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) what they should spend. Say: Whatever you spend of good must be for parents and kindred and orphans and Al­Masakin (the poor) and the wayfarers, and whatever you do of good deeds, truly, Allah knows it well." [Surat Al Baqarah: 215].

The wisdom behind its obligation:

The wisdom behind Zakat-ul-Fitr is: Allah (may He be Exalted) ordained it as purification for the fasting person from idle talk and obscene words because of the saying of Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) ordained Zakat-ul-Fitr as purification for the fasting person from idle talk and obscene words." [Reported by Abu Dawud]. Zakah is given to suffice the poor and the needy from begging people on that day because of the Prophet's saying: "Suffice them from begging people on that day." [Reported by Al Hakim]. Moreover, Fasting is not lift to Allah but after paying Zakat-ul-Fitr because of the Prophet's saying: "Fasting Ramadan is hung between heaven and earth and it shall not be lifted but after paying Zakah."
 

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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