Translated by Manal Samhat
As the last days of the month of Ramadan approach, and considering the numerous questions we received on Zakat Al-Fitrah and its related rulings, we would like to shed light on some of them
What is Zakat Al-Fitrah? When should it be paid? How much is it, and to whom it should be paid?
What is Zakat Al-Fitrah?
Zakat Al-Fitrah or the Zakat of the bodies is an incumbent financial duty which Allah has imposed on the people for the sake of the poor and the needy, and it is a condition that ought to be met for the fasting to be accepted, and it is safety from death till the coming year.
It is narrated that Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “Whoever pays Zakat al-Fitrah, Allah Almighty will compensate by it whatever (amount) he has skimped of his Zakat”.
It is also narrated that Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “(One) of the complements of fasting is paying Zakat (i.e. Zakat Al-Fitrah) just as sending salutation to the Prophet (p.) is the complement of prayer; for whoever fasts but does not pay Zakat, there’s no fasting for him if he abandons it willfully”.
Zakat Al-Fitrah is an obligatory religious duty incumbent on whoever is financially capable, knowing that it is incumbent on himself, his family, and even the young and those exempted from fasting, and even the maids who serve in the houses and sleep there, even if they are not Muslims. It is not incumbent to pay it on behalf of the fetus; it is only recommended.
How much is Zakat Al-Fitrah? To whom it should be paid?
The amount of Zakat Al-Fitrah is 3 kg of food of any kind, whether wheat, bread, rice, dates or meat, to be paid to the poor and the needy, knowing that the amount of that can be paid in cash. As for the definition of the poor, it is he who does not have enough money to sustain himself for a year, and it is stipulated as an obligatory precaution, that the one to whom Al-Fitrah is given out should not be among those who have abandoned praying or those who drink alcohol or sin in public.
When should it be paid?
Zakat Al-Fitrah should be taken out on the morning of Eid Al-Fitr, and it can be paid on any day during the month of Ramadan (before the Eid). Moreover, it can be put aside and deliver it to the beneficiary when it is possible.
Remark:The value of Zakat Al-Fitrah in Lebanon is 3,000 L.L. minimum. As for the other countries, its value differs according to the prices available.