Zakaat al-Fitr – Book Sample
Zakaat al-Fitr is a kind of charity (sadaqah) that is obligatory at the time of breaking the fast of Ramadaan. The word zakaat is connected by idaafah (genitive structure in Arabic grammar) to fitr because the occasion of breaking the fast is the reason why
this zakaat becomes obligatory.
Reasons for Zakaat Al-Fitr and What Islam says about it
Ibn ‘Abbaas said:
“The Messenger of Allaah made zakaat 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 zakaat, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is just a kind of charity (sadaqah).” (Reported by Abu Dawood, 1371
Al-Nawawi said: Abu Dawood reported it from Ibn ‘Abbaas with a hasan isnaad).
“Purifying” means purifying the soul of the one who has fasted Ramadaan. With regard to the word “foul language”, Ibn al-Atheer said:
” ‘Foul language’ refers to obscene speech. ‘Feeding [the poor]’ refers to food that is edible. ‘Whoever pays it before the prayer’ means before Salaat al-‘Eid. ‘It is an accepted zakaat’ – here zakaat means sadaqat al-fitr. ‘Just a kind of charity’ means a kind of charity that could be given at any time.” (‘Awn al-Ma’bood Sharh Abi Dawood).
It was said that this is what was meant by the aayah in Soorat al-A’laa:
“But those will prosper who purify themselves, and glorify the name of their Guardian-Lord, and (lift their hearts) in Prayer.” [al-A’laa 87:14-15 – Yusuf Ali’s translation)
It was reported that ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez and Abu’l- ‘Aaliyah said:
“He [the Prophet (�)] paid zakaat al-fitr then he went out for the prayer – i.e., Salaat al-‘Eid. (Al-Jassaas, Ahkaam al-Qur’aan, part 3, Soorat al-A’laa)
Wakee’ ibn al-Jarraah said:
“Zakaat al-fitr for the month of Ramadaan is like two sajdahs of sahw for the prayer. It makes up for any shortcomings in the fast as the prostrations make up for any shortcomings in the prayer.” (Al-Nawawi, al-Majmoo’, part 6).
Rulings on Zakaat Al-Fitr
The correct view is that it is fard (obligatory), because Ibn ‘Umar said:
“The Messenger of Allaah made zakaat al-fitr obligatory,” and because of the consensus of the scholars (ijmaa’) that it is fard. (Al-Mughni, part 2, Baab Sadaqat al-Fitr).
When it has to be Given
It becomes obligatory when the sun sets on the last day of Ramadaan. Anyone who gets married, has a baby born to him or becomes Muslim before the sun sets on that day, has to give zakaat al-fitr [on behalf of himself and/or his new wife or new baby), but if that happens after sunset, he does not have to give it.
Whoever dies after sunset on the night of fitr, sadaqat al- fitr must be given on his behalf. This is what Ahmad stated.” (Al-Mughni, part 2, Fasl Waqt Wujoob Zakaat al-Fitr)
Who is Obliged to pay it?
Zakaat al-fitr is obligatory on Muslims. Ibn ‘Umar said:
“The Messenger of Allaah made zakaat al-fitr, one saa’ of dates or one saa’ of barley, obligatory on the Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old.” (Al-Bukhaari, 1407)
Al- Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“The hadeeth of Naafi’ indicates that the Messenger of Allaah made it obligatory only on the Muslims, which is in accordance with the Book of Allaah, may He be glorified, because He has made zakaat as a purification for the Muslims, and purification can only be for the Muslims.” (Al-Umm, part 2, Baab Zakaat al-Fitr)
It is obligatory on those who are able to pay it. Al-Shaafa’i said:
“Everyone who, at the beginning of Shawwaal, has enough food for himself and those whom he is supporting, for that day, and has enough to give zakaat al-fitr on behalf of them and himself, should give it on behalf of them and himself. If he only has enough to give on behalf of some of them, then he should give on behalf of