Zakat Al Fitr Rules: Who Has to Pay It and When
Zakat al Fitr is one of the ways to show gratitude for Allah's blessing of breaking fast after the blessed month of Ramadan. It purifies you of bad things you may unintentionally have done during fasting the fast and removes sin and idle talk. In this article, we will discuss Zakat al Fitr's rules, its conditions, the time of payment, and who has to pay it.
Prophet Muhammad made it obligatory in the hadith:
`Abdullah ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, made it obligatory for every male and female, the free and the slave, to give one Saa` (a standard measure that equals 3 KG) of dates or barley as Sadaqat-Al-Fitr (or said Sadaqat-Ramadan). He said: People considered that equivalent to half a Saa` of wheat, due on the young and the old." Another wording reads: "It is to be paid before going out to the Eid Prayer."
Zakat Al Fitr Rules
Zakat al Fitr is an obligation for every Muslim, regardless of age or gender. It is a prophetic obligation legislated during the last days of Ramadan to purify oneself from idle talk and provide the poor and people in need with enough to meet their needs on the day of Eid.
Allah the Almighty mentioned Zakat in verse 14 of Surat Al-A'la: "Successful indeed are those who purify themselves". Scholars explain that the Zakat referred to in this verse is Zakat al Fitr.
Nisab of Zakat Al Fitr
Nisab is the minimum amount a Muslim must have before being obliged to Zakat. However, Zakat al Fitr has no specific Nisab, meaning that it is not obligatory to have a certain amount of wealth or gold for it to be mandatory.
The Ruling of Not Paying Zakat Al Fitr
Not paying or neglecting Zakat al Fitr is forbidden, as the Prophet Muhammad made it obligatory. Not paying it is considered a sin and an act of disobedience.
Zakat Al Fitr Amount
Zakat al Fitr amount is one saa' of dates, barley, or their equivalent to the region's traditional food, such as wheat, rice, raisins, and other food items. One saa' is equal to four handfuls in one's hand, which is approximately 2.5 kilograms, according to the General Iftaa' Department of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Who Can Receive Zakat Al Fitr
Zakat al-Fitr should only be given to the poor and people in nee.
Conditions of Zakat Al Fitr
Zakat al Fitr has several conditions that must be met to ensure its validity, including:
- Zakat al Fitr in not obligatory for someone who cannot afford to provide for themselves.
- It is permissible to divide Zakat al Fitr and give it to more than one poor person.
- It is permissible to combine several individuals' donations and give them to one poor person.
- It can only be transferred from one country to another if necessary.
- A wealthy woman may give Zakat al Fitr to her poor husband, but the opposite is not permissible as the husband is responsible for providing for his wife's expenses.
Who Has to Pay Zakat Al Fitr?
Zakat al Fitr is obligatory for all Muslims, whether young or old, male or female. It is worth noting that not fasting during Ramadan does not exempt one from paying Zakat al Fitr, and you must pay it even if you have a valid excuse for not fasting. However, Zakat al Fitr is a recommended act only on behalf of the fetus.
The head of the household pays Zakat al Fitr on behalf of their family members, including males and females, young and old, as long as they financially depend on him. Still, he cannot pay it on behalf of non-Muslims, such as non-muslim housekeepers.
When Can I Pay Zakat Al Fitr?
Zakat al Fitr must be paid on the night of Eid al Fitr, as follows:
- The time for permissibility; is one or two days before Eid al Fitr.
- The preferred time: this is the ideal time to pay Zakat al Fitr; from dawn until Eid prayers. Paying it after Eid prayers will count as voluntary charity rather than Zakat al Fitr.
- The time for compensating for missed Zakat al Fitr is after Eid prayers, but it is disliked.
Now you know Zakat al Fitr's rules, amount, and when to pay it. Remember that paying Zakat al Fitr during the last days of Ramadan is one of the ways to show gratitude to Allah for His blessings. He has blessed you with another chance for obedience and forgiveness and another year of fasting and praying.