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17 May 2021 / 5. Shawal 1442


What is Zakat al-Fitrah?

‘Zakat al-Fitrah’ is a religious tax paid on the day when Muslims break the fasting period at the end of the month of Ramadan.

As Muslims across the world spend the last days of Ramadan in prayer, performing good deeds and taking care of their religious accountabilities, paying Zakat al-Fitrah is among those dues that are foremost in our minds.

Paying Zakat al-Fitrah is obligatory on every Muslim who is mature (baligh), sane, financially able, and conscious. It should be paid on the eve of Eid al-Fitr and should also be paid on behalf of all full dependants (e.g. wife, children, needy parents, employees and domestic helpers) whom that person supports financially.

WF-AID is facilitating Zakat al-Fitrah payments in Africa and South Asia this Eid al-Fitr for those needing their payments to be delivered on their behalf. To pay Fitrah you will be re-directed to the WF-AID website, where you can complete your payments.

It is reported on the authority of Imām al-Ṣādiq (as):

“Indeed, one of the signs of the completion of fasting (the month of Ramadan) is to pay the zakat i.e. fitrah; just as sending blessings upon the Prophet (saw) in tashahhud is one of the signs of the completion of salat.

Indeed, whosoever fasts but does not pay Zakat al-Fitrah, the fasting is not accepted when it is abandoned intentionally, and likewise, salat is not accepted if one abandons blessings upon the Prophet (saw), whereas Allah (swt) has mentioned zakat before the salat”.

Allah (swt) says: Felicitous is one who purifies oneself and celebrates the name of the Lord and prays”. (Qur’an 87:14-15)

When should it be paid?

Giving Zakat al-Fitrah becomes Wajib (obligatory) at sunset on the eve of Eid al-Fitr. However, sending Zakat al-Fitrah earlier enables it to reach the needy on time, thus you can send it as a temporary loan to the needy and then change your intention from loan to Zakat al-Fitrah on the eve of Eid al-Fitr.

According to ruling number 1181 of Minhaj al-saliheen of His Eminence al-Sayyid al-Sistani, “It is permissible to pay zakat al-Fitrah in the month of Ramadan, although the recommended precaution is that it should be paid as a loan and then considered as Zakat al-Fitrah when the time arrives.”

What should be paid?

Zakat al-Fitrah for a person is given on the weight of 3 kilogrammes (one sa`a) of the staple food of the region where that person lives such as wheat, rice, maize etc. The monetary value of these items would also suffice. If those items are not the staple food of your region then precaution is to calculate from whatever is considered as staple food.

This can calculated as an estimated payable amount of £5 / $7 USD for each person.

Facts about Zakat al-Fitrah

An obligatory precaution should be to provide your Zakat al-Fitrah to a deserving needy Shia in your own locality with priority given to relatives or neighbours then to religious and learned potential recipients.

It is obligatory for a host to pay Zakat al-Fitrah for his invited guest who arrives at his house before sunset or for the host to pay for a non invited guest who could be classed as a dependant.

Children studying abroad are considered as dependants if they rely on the financial support of their parents.

Obligatory precaution is that the Zakat al-Fitrah should be distributed to someone who is Shia, poor and does not openly commit sins or where the payment would not be used for sinful purposes.

Zakat al-Fitrah from a non-Sayyid cannot be given to a needy Sayyid; the reverse is permissible.

As an act of Ibada, It should be given with the intention of submission to and seeking nearness to Allah (swt).

More information

Please note that the above rules are only an overview of the rulings on Zakat al-Fitrah according to His Eminence al-Sayyid al-Sistani (may Allah protect him). For more information, please see Islamic Laws.

For specific questions about your situation, please visit Ask an Alim, where you can submit a question and get a response from an Alim or view similar questions which may apply to you.

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