This is the delight of a journey to share knowlege with those who are thirsty of love ,fear and hope for Allah Azza wa Jal.May this be an humble quest for all of an quenching thirst for knowlege,and an endless request of help,understanding and Hidaya Taufiq from Allah.O treasurer of Knowlege may you all live the Blessing of this command 'Iqra !
iqra bismi rabbika ladhi khalaq...'
scope of worship in Islam is universal, in the literal sense. For the
Quran tells us that each and every constituent of creation near or far,
seen or unseen, animate or inanimate - worships The True and Only
God. “Indeed, every being in the heavens and the earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a worshipper.” [Quran;
19: 93] It is only human beings, then, that are called upon to
voluntarily join in the wonderful symphony of worshipful creation.
five pillars are the cornerstones upon which we build such an
outstanding and worshipful life. But no such establishment of a
dignified life of faith on earth, either personally or socially, can
take place without one essential pillar that represents the intersection
of our professed convictions and our practical lives. Zakaah is that
pillar, for it is the primary instrument that Allaah has placed at our
disposal to spiritually and socially uplift every Muslim and the
entirety of our community and thereby to assert a benevolent hand for
the commonweal of humanity. Among Zakaah's most blessed manifestations -
and certainly its most widespread - is the obligatory annual giving of
the Zakaatul-Fitr charity, before the solemnizing of Ramadan by 'Eed
The Overarching Meaning of Zakaah
Arabic word 'Zakaah' means 'purity,' 'cleansing,' 'wholesomeness,' and
'integrity' (in both their physical and moral senses). It means, also,
'growth' or 'increase.' Understanding these linguistic meanings helps
our proper appreciation of what Zakaah is as a financial, or fiduciary
rite mandated by Allaah. For, indeed, each of these senses finds its
native expression in Zakaah's correct function in our lives and in our
local communities and societies. It is known also by the term
Sadaqatul-Fitr, or the Sincere, or Righteous Charity of Fast Breaking,
because it testifies to one's sincerity to Allaah and his or her
righteousness in seeking to comply with Allaah's legislation, or
Sanctioned Laws and legislations.
primary goal is not that of simple "charity." Allaah has instituted
other mechanisms for this purpose. Rather, Zakaah is much farther seeing
and reaching. Its objective is to secure the psycho-spiritual
well-being of every single Muslim as an individual servant of Allaah,
and to safeguard the socio-moral welfare of the entire Muslim nation.
reason that the objectives of Zakaah are so profound and sweeping is
that its principle is so universally sound and materially decisive.
Zakaah is the incumbent giving of wealth, in all its material
manifestations, from all those who have it (and this is its
comprehensive aspect) to all those whose need gives them a right to a
minimally dignifying sum from it—and this is its deeper significance.
For it means that Allaah has chosen to invest the wealth of some of us,
for lawful increase, with others among us as a trust that must be
conveyed to its rightful beneficiaries, if our own holdings are to
remain pure and our societies are to have integrity.
is, indeed, so profound about this is that it underscores to humanity
that all of its wealth, in fact, is disbursed to it on loan from Allaah,
who, as the Creator, is the sole Owner of life and all that the living
possess. Allaah has revealed this pillar of faith to every believing
community in history. But He has expanded it into an inclusive, highly
systematized institution enjoined upon all who would follow Islam.
The Sum of Zakaatul-Fitr
the stated amount of Zakaatul-Fitr was a Saa' of dates, or barley, or
wheat. A Saa' was a "goblet," or drinking utensil, at the time of the
There have been periodic inquiries by Muslim scholars (like the
well-known investigation by Abu Yoosuf, the great Hanafi scholar) to
determine updated weight-and-measure equivalents to that of the of Saa'
at the time of the Prophet .
There is some minimal discrepancy, or difference, in determining this
weight based upon the conversion of quantities of varying items (dates
and wheat, for example) into a unified measure. Thus a Saa' is now
estimated to be equal to anywhere from 2.176 to 2.25 kilograms, or just
under 5 lbs.
is, however, an opinion in the Hanafi school of jurisprudence with
regard to determining the correct amount of Zakaatul-Fitr that specifies
a half a Saa' of harvested wheat grain or its flour, but one full Saa'
for items such as barley, dates, and raisins. However, this was based on
the availability, or scarcity, of these items at the time this opinion
emerged. Hence, the price of the staple items by which Zakaatul-Fitr is
determined must be reconsidered in contemporary circumstances to the
advantage of the Zakaat-Fitr recipients.
classical Maaliki, Shaafi'ee and Hanbali positions on the type of
Zakaatul-Fitr offering discusses payment only in terms of weights and
measures of provisions, or foodstuffs. It is the Hanafi opinion,
however, that holds sway in this matter, which states that Muslims may
give the price of Zakaatul-Fitr, originally determined for grains and
dates, in contemporary currency equivalents. They argue this position on
the basis of a higher good or more practicable benefit, saying that
money enables the needy person to buy what he or she deems to be most
desirable or necessary on the day of 'Eed. They point out that a person
may, for example, not be in need of a provision of corn, or the like,
but rather in want of clothing, or meat, etc.
Who is liable for the Zakaatul-Fitr Payment
we have noted previously, every Muslim is liable for the payment of
Zakatu-Fitr, provided food exists for one, and one's dependents, for
'Eed eve and the following day. Knowing now what a Saa' is, in terms of
its contemporary weight equivalents, we can be more exact in defining
who is liable to make the Zakaatul-Fitr payment. Every Muslim, whether
rich or poor, who possesses (or has stored on his behalf) grains, or
similar foodstuffs - or the monetary means of achieving the like of this
- sufficient for one's sustenance, and that of one's dependents for a
full night and day, must give Zakaatul-Fitr.
This sum is due not per household, but per person. The Prophet said: "Give Zakaatul-Fitr on behalf of [all your] dependents"
[Al-Bayhaqi], for he indicated that Zakatul-Fitr would purify the
wealth of the rich and be the cause of Allaah giving more to the poor
than what they have given. Thus whoever meets the feeding requirements
for his or her family must pay the Zakaatul-Fitr payment for each and
every household member.
Shaafi'ee and the Hanbali schools of jurisprudence state that a Muslim
should give the Zakaatul-Fitr payment on behalf of him - or herself and
on behalf of every single person under his or her care—including one's
wife; children (even if they are older but still dependent, or
ineligible to make the payment according to Zakaatul-Fitr requirements);
parents (if they are poor or dependent); and any others who are
established dependents of the household (such as foster children,
orphans, and the like).
When is the Payment Due
Imaams Ash-Shaafi'ee and Ahmad
state that the Zakaatul-Fitr payment becomes obligatory after sunset
on 'Eed's eve, or the last day of fasting, because this is the end of
Ramadan. Abu Haneefah
(and also Ash-Shaafi'ee in an earlier opinion of his) held that the
sum of Zakaatul-Fitr becomes obligatory at the dawn of 'Eed day because
it is reported that the Prophet commanded his Companions
to pay Zakaatul-Fitr before going out to perform the prayer of 'Eed
[Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]. (Therefore, if one has a newborn before the
dawn of 'Eed, or one dies after the sunset of the final day of fasting,
his or her Zakaatul-Fitr must be paid, according to Abu Haneefah ).
Also, according to Abu Haneefah
it is possible to pay Zakaatul-Fitr in Ramadan in advance of
Zakaatul-Fitr, or even just prior to the commencement of Ramadan.
Ash-Shaafi'ee however, holds that Zakaatul-Fitr can be given on the first day of fasting Ramadan. Imaams Maalik and Ahmad
state that its payment becomes obligatory after the sunset of the last
day of Ramadan, but can be paid one or two days earlier.
Where Should Zakaatul-Fitr Be Paid?
general, the best place for the collection and distribution of one's
Zakaah and charity—and this includes Zakaatul-Fitr—is one's locality or
community, be it in one's city, state, or country. This is strongly
implied in the statement of the Prophet in sending the famed Companion Mu'aath Ibn Jabal
to teach the people of Yemen. He said to him, "Inform them that Allaah
has made the paying of Zakaah obligatory on them. Take it from their
rich and give it to their poor."
are provisions for transferring Zakaah resources to other communities
among Muslims; however, special guidelines for doing so have been
established by Muslim scholars in accordance with Islamic legislation,
to which the institutions responsible for the collection and
distribution of Zakaah among Muslims are to adhere.
Zakaatul-Fitr A Favorable Sign for Our Community
reemergence of Muslim concern for the paying and collection of all
Zakaah resources and charities—especially Zakaatul-Fitr —is an
auspicious sign, indeed, for the Muslim community. Zakaah has
increasingly taken a central place in contemporary Muslim discourse, as
its dynamic (almost miraculous) possibilities are again being realized
by Muslims. At least seven conferences on this topic have taken place in
Kuwait (and others in Pakistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt) in
recent decades. Their focuses have been diverse. A good summary of their
scholarly recommendations concerning Zakaatul-Fitr, however, is
represented in the Sixth International Conference on Contemporary Zakaah
Issues held in Kuwait in 1997. They are summed up herein to augment
this look at one of the most blessed and pleasing expressions of our
worship, to which Allaah alone has guided us. And all goodness and truth
is from Him alone.
Summary of the Recommendations of the Sixth International Conference on Contemporary Zakaah Issues(Kuwait, 1997)
Zakaatul-Fitr is obligatory upon every Muslim who has the food or
provision to sustain himself, and those whom he is obligated to support,
on the eve and the day of 'Eed, provided that this exceeds his basic
A man is obliged to pay Zakaatul-Fitr for his wife and minor children
who have no money of their own. In the case of one who has independent
children, one is not obliged for their payment.
What is obligatory is the giving of a Saa' (four handfuls) of dates,
barley, raisins, or other such grain, equal to approximately 2.25
kilograms of wheat. Originally, the giving of Zakaatul-Fitr was limited
to the kinds of food that had been stated in the relevant statement of
the Prophet .
However, jurists have established (through proper methods) that it may
be given out of other commonly consumed foods, such as rice, meat, milk
and so forth, but should be valued in accordance with the items
specified by the Prophet .
Moreover, it is permissible to give Zakaatul-Fitr in currency by paying
the equivalent value of what is obligated. Those Muslim Institutions
entrusted with its collection and distribution are required to assess
the value of the originally specified items in their areas, and to
disseminate that information in their communities, accordingly.
Zakaatul-Fitr must be given before the prayer of 'Eed. It is forbidden
to delay it until after the 'Eed day. If one, for any reason, is
prevented from giving it at that particular time, one must pay it after
that time passes. If there is a need, Zakaatul-Fitr may be given at any
time from the beginning of the month of Ramadan that is, its first
day—until the end of the specified time [of 'Eed day].
5. It is permissible for one to delegate another to give Zakaatul-Fitr on one's behalf.
It is permissible for the institutions that collect Zakaatul-Fitr to
exchange it from goods to currency, and vice versa, based on the general
interest of the community.
It is permissible, in special cases, to transfer Zakaatul-Fitr
collections from the people or locality in which it was collected to
nearby communities in more need. And it is equally permissible to spend
Zakaatul-Fitr in another community, if the giving community has no one
in need of it.
One must have a clear intention before giving one's Zakaatul-Fitr. If
one delegates, or gives permission, to another to give Zakaatul-Fitr on
his behalf, it is considered an explicit intention.
If the community decides, after due process of consultation among its
leadership and scholars, to delay the spending of what it has collected
from Zakaatul-Fitr payments until after the day of 'Eed, then this may
be done, provided that it serves a clear benefit for the community.
The Zakaatul-Fitr payment should be dedicated to the poor and the
needy. In some cases, however, it can be given to eligible recipients of
Zakaat of wealth; namely those stated by Allaah in the following verse
(which means): "for the poor and the
needy, and for those who work [to administer it], and for those whose
hearts are to be reconciled, and for freeing captives (or slaves), and
for those in debt, and for the cause of Allaah, and for the wayfarer…" [Quran 9:60]