ZAKAT - E - FITRA - Resources/ Articles
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 of Ayatullah Al-Udhma Seyyid Abulqassim Al-Khui, Ridhwanullahi Alayhi)
Compiled by Yusuf Kermalli Ė E-mail: email@example.com
01) The obligatory amount of Fitrah is one Sší which is 4 Mudd; 1 Mudd is equal to about three- quarters of a kilogram. So one Sší is equal to 3 kilograms (about 6.6 pounds).
02) Payment of Fitrah becomes Wajib (obligatory) after sunset on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr on a person who is:
∑ Baligh (attained puberty),
∑ Aqil (sane),
∑ Is not needy, nor poor,
∑ not unconscious
for himself and all his dependants wherever and whoever they are irrespective of age & belief. For those who pray Salatul Eid, it is Ehtiyat Wajib to give the Fitrah before the Eid prayers and for those not praying Salatul Eid the time extends up to before Dhuhr.
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 Fitrah is obligatory on both by being divided between them.
NOTE 3: If the Fitrah of a person is obligatory on another person, it is not obligatory on him to give his Fitrah himself.
NOTE 4: If it is obligatory on a person to pay the Fitrah of another person, his obligation will not end if the latter himself pays his own Fitrah
03) For the purpose of Fitrah, dependants include guests who are present at the hostís house at the time of sunset on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitrah. However, if a guest comes without the consent of the host, his Fitrah 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 Fitrah is not obligatory on the person who invited him.
(Ehtiyat Mustahab to pay for uninvited guest or one forcibly maintained.)
04) On the basis of obligatory precaution (Ehtiyat Wajib), one should not give Fitrah 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 Fitrah 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).
NOTE: It is sufficient if payment is made in cash instead of food.
DISBURSEMENT OF FITRAH
05) Fitrah is given to a needy person who, according to the Shariía 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.
NOTE 1: It is Ehtiyat Wajib that Fitrah is given to a Faqeer who is a Shia Ithna- Asheri.
(Ehtiyat Mustahab to give to a Shia Ithna-Asheri Faqeer.)
NOTE 2: The Faqeer to whom Fitrah is given need not necessarily be Adil, but it is Ehtiyat Wajib that Fitrah 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 Fitrah in a sinful way.
NOTE 3: The essential factor is the value at the time of the payment, not at the time of the obligation, and the country in which Fitrah is paid, not the country of the person on whom the obligation is due.
06) A non-Seyyid cannot give Fitrah to a Seyyid even if he maintains a Seyyid and pays his Fitrah. 07) It is recommended to give preference to oneís relatives when giving Fitrah, then to the neighbors and then Ahlul Ilm (people of learning).
08) It is necessary to have the intention (niyyah) of giving Fitrah to fulfill Godís obligation and for His pleasure only.
09) If one does not give out or set aside the Fitrah within the due time, he should give the Fitrah later, on the basis of precaution, without making the Niyyah of Ada or Qadha but only the Niyyah of Qurbatan Ilallah.
If a center or
person knows of someone needy in their city, it is not
religiously allowed to send the Zakat-ul-Fitrah to
feed the poor out of that city.
11) It is Ehtiyat Mustahab (recommended precaution) that a Faqeer be given a minimum of one full Fitrah. More can be given to one person also. (Ehtiyat Wajib to give a minimum of one full Fitrah to a person).
12) If a worker is employed and the employer agrees to maintain him/her fully, then the servantís Fitrah becomes Wajib upon the employer. But if the agreement is the payment of salary only, then his/her Fitrah is not Wajib upon the employer.
13) 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 Fitrah.
14) An item set aside for Fitrah cannot be used or substituted by another item.
15) On the basis of Ehtiyat Wajib, Fitrah should not be sent outside the town one resides in if there are deserving people in that town.
16) Fitrah 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 Fitrah, then when the Fitrah becomes due that amount can be set off against the Fitrah.
17) If Fitrah is given from a thing which is inferior or defective, it will not be sufficient.
According to the rulings of Āyatullāh Sayyid Ali al-Husayniī al-Sistānī (dz)
Q. What is Zakāt al-Fitrah?
A.It is religious tax/alms (zakāt) paid on the day when Muslims break (fatar) the fasting period at the end of the month of Ramadan. This tax/alms is known as Zakāt al- Fitrah.
Q. What do the Quran & the Hadīth say about the Fitrah?
A. Imams (a) say that the verses: Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success, and remembers (glorifies) the Name of his Lord and prays (87:14 & 15) refer to giving of Fitrah and saying prayers on Eidul Fitr. Imam al-Sādiq (a) said: For your fasting to be accepted, give zakāt.
Q. When does Fitrah become wājib (obligatory)?
A.Payment of Zakāt al-Fitrah becomes wājib (obligatory) after sunset on the eve of Eidul Fitr. The Zakāt al-Fitrah should be paid or set aside at the latest by the day of Eidul Fitr before Eid prayers for those who will perform the prayers, or before midday (the time of zuhr prayers) for those who will not perform Eid prayers. It is necessary to have an obligatory intention (niyyah) of giving Zakāt al-Fitrah to fulfill Godís command and for His pleasure only.
Q. What happens if someone forgets or does not give Zakāt al- Fitrah on time?
A.If one does not give out or set aside the Zakāt al-Fitrah within the due time, he should give it later, on the basis of precaution, without making the niyyah of adā (i.e. giving it on time) or qadhā (i.e. giving it after the time has elapsed) but give with the intention of Qurbatan Ilallāh only.
Q. Can we give Zakāt al-Fitrah in advance?
A. You can give Zakāt al-Fitrah anytime during the month of Ramadan before the night of Eid but the itís mustahab to first give it as a loan and then to change your intention from it being a "loan" to "Zakāt al-Fitrah" when the time for giving Zakāt al-Ftrah has entered.
Giving Zakāt with the intention of it being Zakāt al-Ftrah prior to the month of Ramadan is not permissible. However, you can send the appropriate amount as a temporary loan to the needy and then change your intention as described in the previous paragraph.
Q. Who is supposed to pay the Fitrah?
A.Every Muslim who is mature (bāligh), sane, financially able (meaning that they have means of supporting themselves and their dependents for the following year through savings and/or means of earning), and conscious on the eve of Eidul Fitr. Academy for Learning Islam Ramadan 1437 AH
Zakāt al-Fitrah should be paid on behalf of oneís self and all dependents (e.g. wife, children) whom one supports financially.
Q: What if Iím dependent on someone who isnít going to give Zakāt al-Fitrah on my behalf?
A. If you are a dependent on someone else for whom giving Zakāt al-Fitrah is wājib, but that person does not give it either out of forgetfulness or out of disobedience, it is ihtiyāt wājib for you to give the Zakāt al-Fitrah for yourself if the conditions are in place for it to be obligatory on you.
Q. What happens if a person is dependent on two people?
A. If a person is a dependent of two people, Zakāt al-Fitrah is obligatory on both by being divided between them.
Q. Can I give Zakāt al-Fitrah on behalf of others who are not my dependents?
A. You can offer them the required amount for them to then give to the needy. You can also distribute it on their behalf or give it to an agent to do so but only if they request you to do so.
Q. What happens if we invite guests for a meal on the eve of Eid al-Fitr?
A. If the guest is not considered to be your "dependent" Ė for example, when the guest is just invited for iftār on the night of Eid - his fitrah is not obligatory on you.
Q. What happens if my guest is considered to be a dependent?
A. If your guest is staying with you in a way that he is considered a "dependent" Ė even if it be for a temporary period, and even if he was not invited Ė then: if the guest arrives before sunset to stay at least through the night, itís wajib on you to give the Zakāt al-Fitrah for him. But if he arrives after sunset to stay at least through the night, it is ihtiyāt wājib to give his Zakāt.
Q. What should be given as Zakāt al-Fitrah?
A. Three kilograms (one sāĎa) of any local food staple (like wheat) per person or dependent. Note that an item that is not considered to be staple food locally should not be given as Zakāt al-Fitrah.
Q. Can we give cash value of any commodity mentioned above?
A. Yes. For example, if rice is a local staple and it costs $3/kg., the cash value of Zakāt al-Fitrah based on rice per person would be $9 and one the who has three dependents would give $36 ($9 for himself and $27 for each of his 3 dependents).
Q. To whom should we give the Zakāt al-Fitrah?
A. It can be given to the needy locals who are unable to meet their own or their dependents annual living expenses through their savings or through earning. Such needy must be a ShīĎah Ithnā ĎAsharī, unless none are to be found, in which case it Academy for Learning Islam Ramadan 1437 AH
may be given to any needy local Muslims. Only after searching and not finding deserving person locally, it can be sent outside of the city. The one exception is when remitting it to the MarjĎa (jurist) in which case sending it outside is allowed.
Q. To whom should the Zakāt al-Fitrah not be given?
A. One who consumes alcohol, does not say his daily prayers (salāt), and commits sins openly; and to one who will use it (directly or indirectly) in a sinful manner.
Q. Can we appoint an agent (like our local centerís administration) to distribute the Zakāt on our behalf?
A. Yes, if you have trust that this agent will distribute it to those who are deserving.
Q. Are there any additional rules that we need to be aware of when giving the Zakāt al-Fitrah?
(i) Zakāt al-Fitrah given by a non-Sayyid cannot be given to a needy Sayyid, but the reverse is permissible.
(ii) Amongst the needy in town, (non-dependent) relatives and neighbors should be preferred over others when giving Zakāt al-Fitrah, and those possessing knowledge, commitment to the religion, and merit should be given preference over others.
Checked by: Shaykh Salim Yusufali, Caledon, ON
For comments please contact: Academy for Learning Islam (A.L.I.) firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 1-647-928-1350, Toronto, Canada
FITRAH FROM WWW.NAJAF.ORG
● At the time of sunset on Eid ul fitr night (i.e. the night
preceding Eid day), whoever is adult and sane and is neither unconscious, nor
poor, nor the slave of another, he should give, on his own behalf as well as on
behalf of all those who are his dependents, about three kilos per head of wheat
or barley or dates or raisins or rice or millet etc. It is also sufficient if he
pays the price of one of these items in cash. As per obligatory precaution, he
should not give from that food which is not staple in his place, even if it be
wheat, barley, dates or raisins.
● If a person is not in a position to meet his own expenses, as well as those of his family, for a period of one year, and has also no one who can meet these expenses, then he is a poor person, and it is not obligatory on him to pay Zakat of fitrah.
● One should pay Fitrah on behalf of all those persons who are treated as his dependents at his house on the nightfall of Eid ul fitr, whether they be young or old, Muslims or non-Muslims; irrespective of whether or not it is obligatory on him to maintain them, and whether they are in his own town or in some other town.
● If a person appoints his dependent who is in another town, to pay his own fitrah from his property, and is satisfied that he will pay the fitrah, it will not be necessary for the person to pay that dependent's fitrah.
● It is obligatory to pay the fitrah of a guest who arrives at his house before sunset on Eid ul fitr night, with his consent, and he becomes his temporary dependent .
● The fitrah of a guest who arrives at his house on the night of Eid ul fitr before sunset, without his consent, and stays with him for some time, is also, as per obligatory precaution, wajib upon the host. Similarly, if he is forced to maintain someone, his fitrah will also be obligatory upon him.
● If a guest arrives after sunset on Eid ul fitr night, and is considered to be dependent upon the master of the house, payment of his fitrah is obligatory on the master of the house, as an obligatory precaution; but otherwise it is not obligatory, even if he may have invited him before sunset and may have broken his fast at his house.
● If a person is insane at the time of sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, and his insanity continues till Zuhr on Eid ul fitr, it is not obligatory on him to pay the fitrah. Otherwise it is necessary for him as an obligatory precaution to give fitrah.
● If a child becomes baligh, or an insane person becomes sane, or a poor person becomes self sufficient during sunset, and satisfies the conditions of fitrah becoming obligatory on him, he should give fitrah.
● If it is not obligatory on a person to pay fitrah at the time of sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, but necessary conditions making fitrah obligatory on him develop before Zuhr on Eid day, the obligatory precaution is that he should pay fitrah.
● If a non-Muslim becomes a Muslim after the sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, it is not obligatory on him to pay fitrah. But if a Muslim who was not a Shi'ah becomes a Shi'ah after sighting the moon, he should pay fitrah. #It is Mustahab that a person who affords only one sa'a (about 3 kilos) of wheat etc. should also pay fitrah. And if he has family members and wishes to pay their fitrah as well, he can give that one sa'a to one of his family members with the intention of fitrah and that member can give it to another family member, and so on, till the turn of the last person comes; and it is better that the last person gives what he receives to a person who is not one of them. And if one of them is a minor, his guardian can take fitrah on his behalf, and the precaution is the thing taken for the minor should not be given to anyone else.
● If one's child is born after the sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, it is not obligatory to give its fitrah. However, the obligatory precaution is that one should pay the fitrah of all those who are considered one's dependents after sunset, till before the Zuhr of Eid.
● If one who was dependent of a person, and becomes dependent of another before sunset, fitrah is obligatory on the other person whose dependent one has become. For example, if one's daughter goes to her husband's house before sunset, her husband should pay her fitrah.
● If the fitrah of a person is obligatory on another person, it is not obligatory on him to give his fitrah himself. #If it is obligatory on a person to pay the fitrah of another person, but he does not pay it, its payment will be, as an obligatory precaution, obligatory on the latter. So, if all the conditions mentioned in rule 1999 are fulfilled, he must pay his own fitrah.
● If it is obligatory on a person to pay the fitrah of another person, his obligation will not end if the latter himself pays his own fitrah.
● In the case of a wife who is not maintained by her husband, is she is dependent upon someone else, that person will have to pay her fitrah. But if she is not dependent on anyone else, she will pay her own fitrah if she is not poor.
● A person, who is not a Sayyid, cannot give fitra to a Sayyid, and if that Sayyid is his dependent, he cannot give to another Sayyid either.
● The fitrah of a child who sucks the milk of its mother or a nurse, is payable by one who bears the expenses of the mother or the nurse. But, if the mother or the nurse is maintained by the property of the child itself, payment of fitrah for the child is not obligatory on any one.
● Even if a person maintains the members of his family by haraam means, he should pay their fitrah out of halal property.
● If a person employs someone like a carpenter, or a servant, and agrees to maintain him fully, he should pay his fitrah as well. But if he agrees that he would pay him for his labour, it is not obligatory on him to pay his fitrah.
● If a person dies before sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, it is not wajib to pay his fitrah or that of his family, from his estate. But if he dies after sunset, it is commonly held that fitrah will be obligatory, but it is not devoid of Ishkal. However, it is better to act on precaution, and pay his fitrah as well as that of his family.
Disposal of Fitra
● As an obligatory precaution Fitrah should be paid to Shiah poor only, who fulfil the conditions mentioned for those who deserve receiving Zakat. But if there is no deserving Shiah in one's hometown, it can be given to other deserving Muslims. But in no circumstances should Fitrah be given to Nasibi - the enemies of Ahlul Bait (A.S)
● If a Shiah child is poor, one can spend fitrah on him, or make it his property by entrusting it to its guardian.
● It is not necessary that the poor to whom fitrah is given should be Adil (a just person). But, as an obligatory precaution, fitrah must not be given to a drunkard, or one who does not offer his daily prayers, or commits sins openly.
● Fitrah should not be given to a person who spends it on sinful acts.
● The recommended precaution is that a poor person should not be given fitrah which is less than a sa'a (about 3 kilos). However, there is no harm if more than that is given to him.
● When the price of a superior quality of a commodity is double that of the ordinary, like, when the price of a particular kind of wheat is double that of the price of its ordinary kind, it is not sufficient to give half a sa'a of the wheat of superior quality as fitrah. Also, it is not sufficient if the value of half a sa'a is given with the Niyyat of fitrah.
● One cannot give as fitrah, half a sa'a of one commodity (eg. wheat) and half a sa'a of another commodity (eg. barley), and if he gives these with the Niyyat of paying the price of fitrah even then it is not sufficient.
● It is Mustahab that while giving Zakat of fitrah, one should give preference to one's poor relatives and neighbours, and then to give preference to the learned persons over others.
● If a man gives fitrah to a person thinking that he is poor, and understands later that he was not poor, and if the property which he gave to him has not ceased to exist, he should take it back from him, and give it to a person who deserves. But if he cannot take it back from him, he should replace it from his own property. And if what he gave as fitrah is used up, and the person who took fitrah knew that he had received fitrah, he should gives its substitute, but if he did not know it, it is not obligatory on him to give substitute, and the man who gave fitrah should give it once again.
● If a person claims to be poor, fitrah cannot be given to him unless one is satisfied with his claim; or, if one knows that the claimant has been poor previously.
Miscellaneous matters rgarding Fitrah
● One should give fitrah with the Niyyat of Qurbat, that is, to fulfil the orders of Almighty Allah, and should intend to be giving fitrah at the time of disposal.
● It is not correct to give fitrah before the month of Ramadhan, and it is better that it should not be given even during the month of Ramadhan. However, if a person gives loan to a poor person before Ramadhan, and adjusts the loan against fitrah, when payment of fitrah becomes obligatory, there is no harm in it.
● It is necessary that wheat or any other thing which a person gives as fitrah is not mixed with another commodity or dust, and if it is mixed, but in its pure form it equals a sa'a (about 3 kilos) and the quantity of the thing mixed with it is negligible or usable, there is no harm in it.
● If a person gives fitrah from a thing which is inferior or defective, it will not be sufficient.
● If a person gives fitrah on behalf of a number of persons, it is not necessary for him to pay all from the same commodity. For example, if he gives wheat as fitrah of some of them of and barley for others, it is sufficient.
● If a person offers Eid ul fitr prayers, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, give fitrah before Eid prayers. But if he does not offer Eid prayers, he can delay giving fitrah till Zuhr.
● If a person sets aside fitrah from his main wealth, and does not give it to a person entitled to receive it till Zuhr of Eid day, he should make Niyyat of fitrah as and when he gives it.
● If a person does not give fitrah at the time when its payment becomes obligatory, and does not also set it aside, he should give fitrah later on the basis of precaution, without making the Niyyat of ada or qadha.
● If a person sets aside fitrah, he cannot take it for his own use, and replace it with another sum or thing.
● If a person possesses wealth whose value is more than fitrah, and if he does not give fitrah but makes a Niyyat that a part of that wealth is for fitrah, it is a matter of Ishkal.
● If the thing set aside for fitrah is lost, he should replace it if a poor person was available, and the fitrah giver delayed giving it, or, he failed to look after it properly. But, if a poor person was not available, and he cared for it properly, he is not responsible to replace it.
● If a deserving person is available in the hometown of a person, the obligatory precaution is that he should not transfer the fitrah to some other place, and if he does and it is lost, he should give its replacement.