ZAKAT - E - FITRA
(The numbered rulings are according to the Fatawa of Ayatullah Al-Udhma Seyyid Ali Al-Husaini Seestani, Dama Dhilluhu).
(The rulings in brackets are according to the Fatawa ofAyatullah Al-Udhma Seyyid Abulqassim Al-Khui, Ridhwanullahi Alayhi)
1) Payment of Fitra becomes Wajib (obligatory) after sunset on the eve of Eid- ul-Fitr on a person who is:
Ø Baligh (attained puberty),
Ø Aqil (sane),
Ø and is not needy, not indigent
Ø not unconscious
for all dependants wherever and whoever they are irrespective of age & belief.
NOTE 1: If a person spends money on someone which is sufficient for his maintenance, that is not enough to consider him as one of his dependants. Dependants are required to be under his care for their livelihood.
NOTE 2: If a person is a dependant of two people, his Fitra is obligatory on both by being divided between them.
2) For the purpose of Fitra, dependants include guests who are present at the host’s house at the time of sunset on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr. However, if a guest comes without the consent of the host, his Fitra becomes Wajib upon the host on the basis of Ehtiyat Wajib (obligatory precaution). This ruling also applies to a person who is forcibly made to maintain another person. But if he invites a person for Iftar on the night of Eid, he is not one of his dependants and his Fitra is not obligatory on the person who invited him.
(Ehtiyat Mustahab to pay for uninvited guest or one forcibly maintained.)
3) On the basis of obligatory precaution (Ehtiyat Wajib), one should not give Fitra from that food which is not staple in his place (town or city), even if it be wheat, barley, dates or raisins. In other words, the article of Fitra should be the common food of the people of the town normally eaten by them, even if it is not the only thing that they eat. This is regardless of whether it is from the four categories (wheat, barley, dates and raisins) or from other than them such as rice and maize.
(Staple food has not been made a condition).
4) Fitra is given to a needy person who, according to the Shari’a is a Faqeer, that is, a person who is not able to meet his living expenses for himself and for his dependants for one whole year, nor does he possess the means to earn a livelihood for himself and his dependants.
It is Ehtiyat Wajib that Fitra is given to a Faqeer who is a Shia Ithna- Asheri.
NOTE 1: The Faqeer to whom Fitra is given need not necessarily be Adil, but it is Ehtiyat Wajib that Fitra should not be given to a person who drinks liquor, or one who does not perform his daily Salaat or one who commits sins openly or one who will use the Fitra in a sinful way.
NOTE 2: The essential factor is the value at the time of the payment, not at the time of the obligation, and the country in which Fitra is paid, not the country of the person on whom the obligation is due.
(Ehtiyat Mustahab to give to a Shia Ithna-Asheri Faqeer.)
5) A non-Seyyid cannot give Fitra to a Seyyid even if he maintains a Seyyid and pays his Fitra.
6) It is Ehtiyat Mustahab (recommended precaution) that a Faqeer be given a minimum of one full Fitra. More can be given to one person also.
(Ehtiyat Wajib to give a minimum of one full Fitra to a person).
7) If a servant is employed and the employer agrees to maintain him/her fully, then the servant’s Fitra becomes Wajib upon the employer. But if the agreement is the payment of salary only, then his/her Fitra is not Wajib upon the employer.
8) If the price of one type of grain is double of the other, one cannot give half the measure of the better grain nor its cash value as Fitra.
9) It is recommended to give preference to one’s relatives when giving Fitra, then to the neighbors and then Ahlul Ilm (people of learning). Preference, however, can be given to another category of people if there is a good reason to do so.
10) For those who pray Salatul Eid, it is Ehtiyat Wajib to give the Fitra before the Eid prayers and for those not praying Salatul Eid the time extends up to before Dhuhr. If Fitra is set aside but not distributed by Dhuhr, then whenever it is disbursed, the Niyyah (intention) of Fitra should be made. If one does not give out or set aside the Fitra within the due time, he should give the Fitra later, on the basis of precaution, without making the Niyyah of Adaa or Qadhaa but only Qurbatan Ilallah.
11) An item set aside for Fitra cannot be used or substituted by another item.
12) On the basis of Ehtiyat Wajib, Fitra should not be sent outside the town one resides in if there are deserving people in that town. If one does so and the Fitra gets spoiled or lost then it must be given again.
13) Fitra cannot be given before the month of Ramadhan and it is better not to give it during the month of Ramadhan. However, if a loan was given to a person who deserves to receive Fitra, then when the Fitra becomes due that amount can be set off against the Fitra.
14) If Fitra is given from a thing which is inferior or defective, it will not be sufficient.
FAQ on Zakatul Fitrah
|Q. What is Zakatul Fitrah?
A: It is religious tax/alms (zakat) paid on the day when Muslims break the fasting period at the end of the month of Ramadhan. This alms is known as Zakat al-Fitrah.
Q. What do the Qur'an and Hadith say about Fitrah?
Q. When does Fitrah become wajib?
Q. What happens if someone forgets or does not give Fitrah on time?
Q. Can we give Fitrah in advance?
Q. To whom is Fitrah obligatory?
Q. When is a host required to pay Fitrah for his guest?
Q. What happens if the guest arrives after the sunset on Eid night?
Q. What happens if a guest comes uninvited and is present at the time
of the sunset on the eve of Eid al-Fitr?
Q. How much should we pay for Fitrah?
Q. Can we give cash value of any commodity mentioned above?
Q. Whom should we give the Fitrah to?
Q. Who should not be given the Fitrah?
Q. Are there any additional rules that we need to be aware of?
Reproduced from the Academy for Learning Islam.