Lecture: Zakaatul Fitr – Is it money or food?
Zakaatul Fitr is a charity that is due at the end of Ramadan. A few points regarding it:
1) It is an obligation according to the majority of scholars.
2) It is paid by the head of the household for ALL those under his care.
3) It is to be paid in the form of 1 saa (Don’t ask me for the measurement. I always get confused.) of dates, barley, cheese or wheat, according to the majority.
Brother Abu Taubah (in the lecture below) says that it’s an innovation to pay cash instead of money. I wouldn’t go that far because there is a group of scholars (a minority) that say it is allowed. While I don’t agree with them (the evidence doesn’t support their view), I wouldn’t call it a innovation, just a mistaken ijtihaad on their part (in my view).
Unfortunately, the “zakaatul fitr can be money” view is very popular with the laymen although it was NOT the practice of the early generations.
Do people give zakaatul fitr as money because they believe that it is the right view or because it is easier than giving food? Allah knows better.
[I think the cost of 1 saa of rice is something like AED 15. I’d advise all the brothers and sisters to encourage their children to pay it from their own pocket money. This will instill in them a sense of responsibility.]
4) It HAS to be paid before the Eid prayer.
How long before the Eid prayer? Some scholars said any time before Ramadan but many of then said it should be within the last two days and not before that. So it’s best not to pay it too early.
You can delegate someone to do it though. For example, Dar Al Ber offers zakaatul fitr services. If you pay AED 10 or 15 (I can’t remember the amount), they’ll buy the food on your behalf and feed the poor person towards the end of Ramadan.
5) The recipients are the same as the 8 categories of people who can receive zakaah.
6) Like zakaah, it is better to pay it in one’s own place of residence.
I’ll put up some resources on Zakaatul Fitr, insha-Allah.
Here’s the first one:
Zakaatul Fitr – Is it money or food? By Abu Taubah