Paying Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of both one’s married son and the latter’s household

Question 23: I am a married person and have children. I live with my father in his home; is it permissible for my father to pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on behalf of me and my children?

Answer: If your father pays Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of you, your children and wife, there is nothing wrong with this and it will suffice you for the obligation of paying Zakaat-ul-Fitr. However, if you pay it from your money on behalf of yourself and your dependants, this is better because it is you who should do so... read more here.

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Ruling on authorizing a Kaafir to distribute Zakaat-ul-Fitr

Question 22: Some Christians live in our village, and unfortunately some Muslims believe that the Christians are trustworthy so they deposit their trusts with them and not with the Muslims. A Muslim once gave a Christian Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) and charged him to distribute it among the poor. Is this permissible? Will this Zakaah be accepted from this Muslim?

Answer: It is not permissible to authorize a Kaafir (non-Muslim) to distribute Zakaat-ul-Fitr for he is not entrusted matters related to religion. Thus, the obligation will not be discharged except after the person on whom Zakaat-ul-Fitr is obligatory pays a substitute for it... read more here.

Transferring Zakaat-ul-Fitr to a country other than that wherein the Zakaah payer lives

Question 21: With regard to Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) in Europe and the United States; is it permissible to collect it and then send it to the Mujaahids (ones fighting in the Cause of Allaah) in some Islaamic countries? Some people claim that this is not permissible and that it should be paid in cereals and distributed among the needy who are not found in the countries where we are, while the Mujaahids are in dire need of it.

Answer: Zakaat-ul-Fitr is obligatory on every Muslim who witnesses sunset on the last day of Ramadaan. It is permissible to pay it one or two days before `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast). However, it is Mustahab (desirable) to pay it on the `Eed-ul-Fitr day before offering Salaat-ul-`Eed (the Festival Prayer), for this is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did. Collecting Zakaat-ul-Fitr from the beginning of Ramadaan is contrary to the Sunnah (whatever reported from the Prophet) and the action of the Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them), so it is not permissible to ask people to pay it before its due time... read more here.

The deadline for paying Zakaat-ul-Fitr

Question 20: At the end of the blessed month of Ramadaan 1416 A.H., I did not give Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) that was due on me and my family, as I had work which distracted me from giving it. Actually, I have decided to give it along with this year’s. Is it permissible to do so?

Answer: Zakaat-ul-Fitr becomes obligatory starting from sunset on the night preceding `Eed-ul-Fitr until before Salaat-ul-`Eed (the Festival Prayer). Anyone who delays it beyond its due time without an excuse shall be considered sinful and should still make up for it. However, it will then be regarded as a sort of Sadaqah (voluntary charity) according to the Hadeeth reported on the authority of Ibn `Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father): Anyone who gives it out before Salaat-ul-`Eed, it will be accepted as Zakaah. If anyone gives it after Salaat-ul-`Eed, it will be considered Sadaqah. (Related by ‘Aboo Daawood in his Sunan (v. 2, p. 262-263 Hadeeth no. 1609), Ibn Maajah, Al-Daaraqootnee and Al-Haakim have related this Hadeeth with a similar wording)... read more here.

Paying Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of a Kaafir

Question 19: Is it permissible to pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on behalf of the Kaafir (non-Muslim) whom I am acting for?

Answer: It is not permissible for you to pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of a Kaafir, for there is an absence of Islaam which is the principal condition for the validity of his action. Zakaat-ul-Fitr is a financial act of `Ibaadah (worship). This kind of `Ibaadah cannot be done on behalf of others except after having their permission if they are Mukallafs (persons meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions) and a Kaafir’s intention is not valid. Moreover, if it is not valid due to his Kufr (disbelief), it is not permissible to act on his behalf... read more here.

Buying items on the first days of Ramadaan and distributing it to the poor at the end of the month

Question 18: Is it permissible for the committees of Zakaah (obligatory charity) to buy the items to be given as Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on the first day of the month of Ramadaan and distribute it to the poor at the end of the month, given that the donors have not yet made the intention of giving Zakaah? So, is it permissible to give it before making the intention to do so?

Answer: The time of giving Zakaat-ul-Fitr is after seeing the crescent of the month of Shawwaal until before Salaat-ul-`Eed (the Festival Prayer). However, it is permissible to give it one or two days before seeing the crescent but no more. The Zakaah payer should give it to its deserving recipients on his or her behalf and on behalf of those he or she provides for. One can also authorize an honest person to give it on their behalf at the due time, for it is an obligation that one must fulfill. So, one is not permitted to make light of it or depend on organizations that do not pay due attention to it… read more here.

Paying Zakaat-ul-Fitr after its due time

Question 17: All Praise be to Allaah alone, and peace and blessings be upon the last of the Prophets. To proceed:

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ have readthe question submitted to the Grand Muftee (Islamic scholar qualified to issue legal opinions) from Al-Bir Society in Al-`Urayja’ suburb, a question which has been referred to the committee by the Secretariat General of the Council of Senior Scholars no. (6115) on Shawwal 20, 1419 A.H. The question reads as follows:

Charitable organizations, authorized by the poor, collect Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) from the benefactors in behalf of the poor but they distribute it few days after the `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast). What is the ruling in this case?

Answer:  Having reviewed the question, the committee answered that it is not permissible to delay giving Zakaat-ul-Fitr beyond Salaat-ul-`Eed (the Festival Prayer), unless its deserving recipients authorized someone to take it at its due time in their behalf, in which case the reception of the authorized agent at its due time is the same as if the authorizing persons received it themselves… read more here.

Where Zakaat-ul-Fitr should be paid?

Question 16: I am a resident of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and I want to pay Zakaah (obligatory charity) or Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast); is it permissible to pay it here on behalf of myself and my family or should my family pay it on behalf of me and themselves in their country; or should each of them pay it in the country where they live?

Answer:  Every person should pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr in the place where he resides until sunset of the last day of Ramadaan. The person in question who is a resident of the Kingdom should pay his Zakaat-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia, while his family should pay their Zakaat-ul-Fitr in their country. This is the best. However, there is nothing wrong if the person pays Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of his family in the country where he resides, since his family is his dependants. Concerning Zakaah on property, the principal ruling is that it should be paid in the place where the money is raised. However, if it is necessary to transfer it to a poorer area where people are in more need of it, it is permissible to do so… read more here.

Ruling on Zakaat-ul-Fitr for a man who died before the sunset of the last day of Ramadaan

Question 15: A man died before sunset of the last day of Ramadaan and another died after sunset; on whom is it obligatory to pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast)?

Answer: Zakaat-ul-Fitr is not obligatory on anyone who dies before sunset on the night preceding `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast), as it becomes obligatory only after sunset of the last night of Ramadaan and the man in question died before the set time of Zakaat-ul-Fitr. On the other hand, Zakaat-ul-Fitr should be paid on behalf of the person who died after sunset, for it became obligatory on him as he died in the set time of Zakaat-ul-Fitr… read more here.

The Eight deserving recipients of Zakaat-ul-Fitr

Question 14: Sometimes we give out the soul-purifying Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) to the Fuqaha` (Muslim jurists) following this Madh-hab (School of jurisprudence), and at other times to the needy.

Answer: Allaah (Exalted be He) has enjoined one sort of Zakaah (obligatory charity) to be taken from the wealthy whose property has reached the Nisaab (the minimum account on which Zakaah is due) or more. This Zakaah is taken from the wealthy to be given to the poor and the rest of the eight deserving recipients of Zakaah whom Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has specified in Soorah Al-Tawbah, saying: Al-Sadaqaat (here it means Zakaah) are only for the Fuqaraa’ (poor), and the Masaakeen (needy) and those employed to collect (the funds), and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islaam), and to free the captives, and for those in debt, and for Allaah’s Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allaah. And Allaah is All-Knower, All-Wise. So, if a Muslim has given their Zakaah to any of these categories or to the ruler, they shall have fulfilled their duty. A Muslim is also permitted to give some of their Zakaah to the ruler and the rest to some of these categories, unless the ruler demands it all. However, it is Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islaamic law and Muslims of sound intellect) and groundless to enjoin the wealthy to give the Zakaah twice: once to the ruler and again to any given person like a Faqeeh (Muslim jurist). This is an unjust act that must be avoided. I have been informed that some people assign an amount of money to be taken from their wealth as a due obligation for the benefit of some shaykh belonging to a Sufi order. The amount assigned is one-fifth of one’s wealth, and such shaykhs say: This is the fifth of the booty due on people. Also, they regard the properties of Shee`ah (Shi’ites) as Ghaneemah (war-booty). Actually all these obligations are void and have nothing to do with the pure Sharee`ah (Islaamic law). As for the one-fifth which Allaah (Exalted be He) has mentioned in the Aayah (Qur’aanic verse) that reads: And know that whatever of war-booty that you may gain, verily one-fifth (1/5th) of it is assigned to Allaah, and to the Messenger, and to the near relatives [of the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)], (and also) the orphans, Al-Masaakeen (the poor) and the wayfarerit refers to a one-fifth of the properties Muslims take from the Kaafirs (disbelievers) as a Ghaneemah after defeating them… read more here.

Manner of determining the due measure of Zakaat-ul-Fitr (Saa`)

Question 13: Rice is the most common food used in our land. We use the prophetic Mudd (a dry measure of half bushel, 543 grams) for measuring, which legally suffices for one person. After that, we measure the bag of rice and draw our measure on this basis. We determine the number of Mudds that each bag contains and give Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) according to this basis. What is the legal ruling on this work? Is it permissible or not?

Answer: The value of the Prophetic Saa` is 3 kilograms approximately, so everyone should give this amount, i.e., 3 kilograms, as the obligatory charity paid before `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast). Now that you know the amount that should be paid by each person, you can calculate the amount required from a number of people… read more here.

Paying Zakaat-ul-Fitr using a bag with a label showing its weight without ensuring the written weight

Question 12:  If for paying Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) to a specific person, one takes a bag of rice with a label showing that the weight of the bag is 40 or 45 kilograms according to the measure of the producing company. Thus, it is taken without emptying and measuring it by means of Saa`, according to which every 3 kilograms are regarded as one Saa`. In case the weight of the bag is less than the required amount, one will add to it, but if it is more, it will be Sadaqah (voluntary charity). Is this permissible?

Answer: It is necessary to be sure of the measure of the bag, which one will give as Zakaat-ul-Fitr. It is not sufficient to depend on the label written on the bag or the random estimation that it equals such and such amount, because it may be of a lesser amount, thus one is not fully clear from the obligation of Zakaat-ul-Fitr… read more here.

The amount of food to be paid as Zakaatul-Fitr

Question 11:  What is the amount of Zakaatul-fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) in kilogram? I have given out an amount of ten kilograms of rice on behalf of four members of my family, but later I doubted and asked about the amount due on every single individual and was told that it is 2.25 kg.

I hope Your Eminence would inform me of the amount in kilograms, and what should I do if the amount I gave out fell short of the due amount? Please give us Fatwaa. May Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: The amount of Zakaatul-Fitr which is due on every individual is about 3 kilograms of rice or other staple foodstuffs of the region where one lives. Accordingly, the questioner should make up for the incomplete amounts remaining as due Zakaatul-Fitr on behalf of those four persons… read more here.

Paying Zakaat-ul-Fitr; the value and measure of the Saa’

Question 10:  What is the real value of the Saa` mentioned in the Prophetic Hadeeth relevant to Zakaatul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast)?

Answer: Zakaatul-Fitr must be paid of the staple food and it is not acceptable to pay the value. The amount of the Saa` is 3 kilograms approximately… read more here.

Who should pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of an Orphan?

Question 9:  Should I pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on behalf of the orphan whom I support in Africa?

Answer: Zakaat-ul-Fitr should be paid in the country where every person lives before the end of Ramadaan, for it is related to the body, i.e. it is a purification for the body. Accordingly, the orphan in question should pay it himself in his country or it should be paid there on his behalf by the organization that supports him… read more here.

Where Zakaat-ul-Fitr should be paid?

Question 8:  I live in Saudi Arabia, while my wife and my son live in Egypt; should I pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on their behalf? Please note that my wife lives with my father, mother, and sisters; should my father pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of me and them in Egypt? Please note that some of our relatives there are deserving recipients of Zakaah.

Answer: You should pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr in the country where you will be staying till the end of Ramadaan. Your father should pay it on behalf of your wife and children in the country where they are staying. However, if you pay their Zakaat-ul-Fitr along with yours in the country where you are staying, there is nothing wrong with this. The same applies if they pay your Zakaat-ul-Fitr in the country where they are staying… read more here.

Collecting Zakaat-ul-Fitr from people in cash and delivering it to the Ministry of Social Affairs of the state

Question 7: One of the Arab countries undertakes the duty of collecting Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) from people in cash through Zakaah officers sent to villages and cities. These sums of money are collected and delivered to the balance of the Ministry of Social Affairs of the state to be paid throughout the year on a periodic basis. Every three months, the aid is given to the legal recipients registered in the Ministry of Social Affairs. However, the aid may be delivered to some people who are not legal recipients. This money also covers the salaries and allowances of the government officials who undertake the task of collecting these sums from villages and cities. Thus, Zakaat-ul-Fitr is considered a source of supplying the Ministry of Social Affairs. Some people feel uneasy about this and then pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr twice. First, they pay it according to the legal command. Second, they deliver it to government officials. Please, advise us about the validity of this activity to inform people and guide them to the proper legal way in this regard. Please let the Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) be in written form to be easy for us to print it out.

Answer: You should pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr at the due time that is legally fixed for its payment, which is the night preceding the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast). However, it is acceptable to give it one or two days earlier than the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr. The amount given should be Saa` of staple food which is about 3 kilograms that should be of edible substance (i.e. wheat, barley, corn, rice, etc). It is not acceptable to pay the value of the Saa`, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded us to give it out of the [staple] food… read more here.

Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of the guests who spend the whole of Ramadaan with the host

Question 6: Is it obligatory on a host to pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on behalf of his guests who spend the whole of Ramadaan at the host’s home? Is it obligatory to pay Zakaah on behalf of a woman, whose marriage is not consummated, bearing in mind that she is still at her father’s home? What is the meaning of the Hadeth reading: The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded the payment of Zakaat-ul-Fitr for every Muslim whether minor or old, free or slave. (Related by Al-Daraqootnee on the authority of Ibn `Umar and was ranked as good by Al-Albaanee) May Allah bless you. Al-salaamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allaah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you.)

Answer: A Muslim may pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of the guest whom he supported during Ramadaan if he was informed of that and the guest agreed before the payment. However, it is better for the guest to pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr on his own behalf from his own money for it is he who is addressed by the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) order.

Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of the wife whose marriage is not yet consummated has the same ruling as that of expenditure; as the husband is not required to pay her expenses until she comes to his home. The same applies to Zakaat-ul-Fitr... read more here.

Distributing Zakaat-ul-Fitr as Cash money

Question 5: Is it permissible to pay the equivalent of Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) in cash to the needy, by giving them the price of the prescribed amount of staple food, i.e., a Saa` (1 Sa` = 3 kg. approx.)?

Answer: It is not permissible to pay money instead of food as Zakaat-ul-Fitr. The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded the giving of food as Zakaat-ul-Fitr and specified its weight in Saa`, which indicates that it is fixed and that payment of its value does not discharge the obligation. The poor can then sell the food after receiving it and make good use of the money… read more here.

Those deserving Zakaah

Question 4: Is it permissible to pay the Zakah (obligatory charity) due on me to the chieftain of the tribe? Note that he does not deliver the Zakah to the legal recipients and he takes it himself. Is it permissible to take the ewe due on the sheep of my brother as Zakaah and give its price to the Zakaah collectors? Is it permissible for me to do that and retain the ewe with my sheep where it feeds and drinks?

Answer: It is only permissible to pay the Zakaah to the Muslim ruler on demand or to the poor. It is permissible to pay the Zakaah to the chieftain of the tribe if he distributes it to the legal recipients, provided that the ruler does not request it officially. However, if the chieftain takes Zakah for himself, it is impermissible to pay it to him. It is also impermissible to pay the value of Zakaah due on the cattle unless Zakaah official collectors request the value of the cattle; only then, the value is accepted. As for retaining the ewe that you bought from your brother with your sheep, there is nothing wrong with that… read more here.

Paying Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of one’s wife

Question 3: We know that Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) is Waajib (obligatory) upon every Muslim who should pay it for himself and for those under his charge such as his children, wife and servant. However, if the wife travels to visit her parents in another country and stays there for more than two months until it is the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) while she is still there at her parents, should the husband pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr due on her or should her parents pay it, because she is staying with them at the time of payment?

Answer:  If the case is as you have mentioned, Zakaat-ul-Fitr that is due on the wife should be paid by her husband… read more here.

Distributing Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of those entrusting others with this duty

Question 2: All praise is due to Allaah. May peace and blessing be upon the Last Prophet! To proceed

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ has reviewed what was sent to the General Chairman from the Charity and Social Services Society, Yanbu`. It is referred to the committee from the Secretariat General of the Council of Senior Scholars with number (6143) and dated 28/10/1410 A.H. The society’s question reads as follows:

Some citizens and other foreign residents came to us asking those in charge of the society to accept Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast), due to their unawareness of the legal recipients worthy of the Zakaah in the city. The process runs as follows:

1. The society does accept the value of Zakaat-ul-Fitr [i.e. does accept it in cash].

2. The society then buys rice with the money of Zakaat-ul-Fitr delivered to it.

3. By the end of Ramadaan and at the fixed time of the payment of Zakaat-ul-Fitr, the society forms committees for the distribution of Zakaah in the city, the neighboring villages and desert communities.

Upon the request of the honorable brothers, we present this question hoping to receive the Shar`ee (Islaamically lawful) opinion in this regard. As for the distribution of Zakaah to the neighboring villages and desert communities, we would like to know if it is acceptable when the distribution is delayed beyond the legal time fixed? We are waiting for your Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) on this issue. May Allaah grant us all success to do what leads to welfare and goodness! Kindly receive our question and accept our due greetings and assurance of respect!

Answer: After studying the case in question, the committee answered that there is nothing wrong with the society’s undertaking the duty of distributing Zakaat-ul-Fitr on behalf of those entrusting it with this duty. The society should pay the Zakaah before Salaat-ul-`Eed (the Festival Prayer) and it is impermissible to delay it, because the Prophet (may Allaah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) commanded the payment of Zakaat-ul-Fitr to the legal recipients before Salaat-ul-`Eed and it is Waajib (obligatory) to pay it in the form of food, not money… read more here.

Zakaat-ul-Fitr should be given to the poor of your locality

Question 1: It is the habit that my brothers give Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) to my mother to distribute it because they are not living in the town and are not familiar with the inhabitants. Is this permissible? However, I distribute Zakaah (obligatory charity) according to my own knowledge and when she knows, she gets angry with me. Am I to blame? Am I unjust to my mother through this behavior?

Answer: Your brothers should pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr that is due on them to the poor existent in the place in which they live at the time when Zakaat-ul-Fitr becomes due. However, if no poor people exist near their location and they send the Zakaat-ul-Fitr to your mother to distribute it, you should not distribute it unless you have her permission. That is because she is the agent and she should distribute Zakaat-ul-Fitr in person or entrust a trustworthy person, with whom she is satisfied, whether she chooses you or anyone else… read more here.