Zakaah al-Fitr is often referred to as Sadaqah al-Fitr. Sadaqah al-Fitr is a duty which is Waajib on every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so.
The main purpose of Zakaah al-Fitr is to provide those who fasted with the means of making up for their errors during the month of fasting. Zakaah al-Fitr also provides the poor with a means with which they can celebrate the festival of breaking the fast (`Eid al-Fitr) along with the rest of the Muslims.
“The Prophet (pbuh) made Zakaah al-Fitr compulsory so that those who fasted may be purified of their idle deeds and shameful talk (committed during Ramadaan) and so that the poor may be fed. Whoever gives it before Salaah will have it accepted as Zakaah, while he who gives it after the Salaah has given Sadaqah.”
[Abu Dawood – vol. 2, p. 421, no. 1605 – rated Saheeh]
Zakaah al-Fitr is only Waajib (obligatory) for a particular period of time. If one misses the time period without a good reason, he has sinned and can not make it up. This form of charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains obligatory until the beginning of Salaah al-‘Eed’ (i.e. shortly after sunrise on the following day). However, it can be paid couple of days prior to the `Eid’.
The amount of Zakaah is the same for everyone regardless of their different income brackets. The minimum amount is one Saa` (two handfuls ) of food, grain or dried fruit for each member of the family. Typically calculated as 2kg of barley, which is equivalent to Rs. 100 per person (in Pakistan, for 2015). It’s also said that if you can afford, you can give Rs.1280 (as per dates value in 2014) per person or more, but Rs. 100 will fulfill your obligation.
Who you can give to:
Who so ever is eligible to take Zakat, can take Fitr (commonly known as Fitra in Pakistan) as well. I wrote another post on Zakat.
Here’s the list again:
- the poor
- the needy,
- collectors of Zakah,
- reconciliation of hearts,
- freeing captives / slaves(fee al-Riqab),
- in the Way of Allah / Islamic causes (fee sabeel illah)
- the traveler.