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Sadaqatul -Fitr is charity given to the poor at the end of the fasting in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The Arabic word Fitr means the same as iftar; breaking a fast and it comes from the same root word as Futoor, which means breakfast. It is a demonstration of the mutual obligation of the able Muslims towards the needy fasting Muslims, to cast happiness and joy in the heart of such needy Muslims after a complete month of fasting.

Sadaqat al-Fitr is a duty which is wajib (required) of every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so.

According to a tradition narrated by Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), the holy Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) enjoined the payment of one Saa’ of dates or one Saa’ of barley as Zakat-ul-fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the ‘Eid prayer.’  (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Abdullah Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates,“The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) declared the payment of Sadaqah al-fitr as obligatory; it purifies the fasting person from any indecent act or speech, and is a source of feeding the poor.  If one pays Sadaqah al-fitr before the salaah, it is considered an accepted charity, if he pays it after the salaah, it is considered an ordinary charity.” (Abu Dawud)

There are many similar narrations establishing the same ruling.

The head of the household may pay the required amount for the other members. In as-Saheehayn it is narrated that Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We used to give it at the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), a saa‘(four double handfuls) of foodstuff, or a saa‘ of dates, or a saa‘ of barley, or a saa‘ of raisins.

A number of scholars interpreted “foodstuff” in this hadeeth as referring to wheat; others are of the view is that what is meant is the foodstuff of a region, no matter what it is, whether it is wheat, corn, pearl millet, and so on. This is the correct view, because zakaah is a means by which the rich help the poor, and the Muslim is not required to help with anything other than the staple food of his country.

This is the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him). It was also favoured by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen and others.

It is also worth mentioning that For zakat al-fitr to be obligatory, there is no stipulation of a specific minimum threshold of wealth or that one full year should have passed since acquiring it, or any of the other stipulations that are applicable to zakaah on one’s wealth.

It also has nothing to do with what a person owns of wealth, property or cars, because he pays zakat al-fitr on his own behalf and on behalf of the people on whom he is obliged to spend.


Ruling concerning the time of giving it out:

Zakat al-Fitr is only Wajib for a particular period. This form of charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains obligatory until the beginning of `Eid Prayer (i.e. shortly after sunrise on the following day). However, it can be paid prior to the above-mentioned period, as many of the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet) used to pay Sadaqah al-Fitr a couple days before the `Eid.

Nafi` reported that the Prophet's companion Ibn 'Umar used to give it to those who would accept it and the people used to give it a day or two before the `Eid. [Bukhari]

Ibn 'Umar reported that the Prophet ordered that it (Zakat al-Fitr) be given before people go to perform the (`Eid) prayers


Saa’ refers to four double handfuls (of foodstuffs)

Zaakat : charity

Saheehayn (Bukhari and Muslim) compilation of authentic traditions of the Prophet Muhammad-peace be upon him-

Eid-the festival marking the end of Ramadan

Wajib: compulsory


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