Islam >> About Islam
Wednesday Aug 03, 2011
Zakat Al Fitr
By: Imam Ali Siddiqui
It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Remember! Zakat al-Fitr is Wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) on every Muslim, man or woman, free or in servitude, adult or child.” (Hadith: Tirmidhi's Sunan)
Literal meaning of Zakat (or Zakah) is the process of purification. Fitr is from the word Fitrah and its literal meaning is (one’s) nature or natural state. Hence the meaning of Zakat al-Fitr is to purify one’s nature.
Ibn Abbas (ra) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) made the Zakat al-Fitr obligatory for the purpose of: purifying our fasting from vain talk and shameful mistakes, to make arrangements for the poor and the needy for food and clothing (for the festival of Eid). (Hadith: Abu Dawud, Ibn Maja)
WHO SHOULD PAY?
Every adult Muslim, with sufficient food for the family for a day, should pay Zakat al-Fitr for himself/herself and all his/her dependents. Even those who did not fast should pay it. Zakat al-Fitr should also be paid for the child born or the person died before the Fajr (dawn) on the day of Eid.
HOW MUCH SHOULD BE PAID?
At the time of the Prophet (saw), payment of Zakat al-Fitr was made in terms of weight of grain. It is one Sa for each person. One Sa approximately equals to 3.15 kg or 6.94 lbs. The Muslim jurists agree that Zakat al-Fitr can also be paid in cash equivalent to the cost of 3.15kg/6.94 lb. of grain including rice, wheat, lentils, corn, and dry cheese. (For this year it is estmated at $10 per person)
Sakat Alfirt is $10 per person. Please donate your zakat alfitr and Zakat almaal as early as possible to allow us to distribute to needy families as soon as possible.
WHEN TO PAY?
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said, "Whoever paid it (Zakat al-Fitr) before Salatul Eid, it is acceptable Zakat before Al'lah. Whoever paid it after Salat-ul-Eid, it is just a charity." The companion of the Prophet (ra) used to pay it a few days earlier. (Hadith: Bukhari)
Imam Shafi'i held the opinion that Zakat al-Fitr can be paid as early as the beginning of Ramadan. I suggest that Zakat al-Fitr should be paid early enough so it will reach the needy and the poor before the Eid day. It will enable them to use it for food and clothes and give them the opportunity to enjoy the happiness of Eid-ul-Fitr.
WHO SHOULD BE PAID?
Zakat al-Fitr should be paid directly to the needy and the poor. However, you can also pay it to an organization, which would distribute it in accordance with the teaching of Islam. Remember! It is still your responsibility. So, make sure before paying that the organization will distribute it according to the teaching of Islam and before Salat-ul-Eid.
Zakat Al Mal
Zakah is an annual tithe on one's wealth or possessions.
Zakah is one of Islam's obligations and one of its five main pillars.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Islam was built upon five pillars: to witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, performing prayer, giving alms, performing the pilgrimage, and fasting the month of Ramadan.” [Sahih Al Bukhari]
Furthermore, Allah strongly warns those who are careless in paying their Zakah. He said,
“Those who hoard up treasures of gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah; tell them of a painful punishment, on the Day when that wealth will be heated in the Fire of Hell and with it will be branded their forehead, their sides and their backs, and it will be said to them: "This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard" [Quran 9:34-35]
What are the Benefits of Zakah?
There are a lot of benefits in giving charity and especially the Zakah. These benefits are mentioned in the Quran and Sunna. Here are some of them:
Satisfying Allah SWT and gaining His pleasure, and then gaining Paradise in the Hereafter, as the duty of paying Zakah is a kind of worship ordered by Allah SWT.
Purifying the soul from selfishness and purifying the heart from the love of material.
Protecting the society from crime as the poor people would be satisfied by what the rich people pay to them. At-Tabarani relates in al-’Awsat and as-Saghir, on the authority of ‘Ali, that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Allah has enjoined upon rich Muslims a due to be taken from their properties corresponding to the needs of the poor among them". The poor will never suffer from starvation or lack of clothes unless the rich neglect their due. If they do, Allah will surely hold them accountable and punish them severely.”
Uniting the society where the poor feel the brotherhood with the rich and vice versa.
Who must give the Zakah?
There are conditions that must be satisfied by the person in order to give Zakah.
These conditions in brief are:
1. Islam. The person must be a Muslim.
2. Adulthood. The Zakah is not needed from a child
3. Sanity. The Zakah is not a must from an insane person.
4. Owning the money that is in excess of what's needed for necessities.
5. The Nisab. It is a minimum amount of money that is owned by a person before Zakah can be levied. The Nisab for gold is 85 grams (20 mithqals 7.318 troy ounces) and for silver it is 595 grams (200 dirhams of .999 pure silver).
6. The Nisab must be kept one year by the owner.
Who must be paid the Zakah?
Islam specifies those to whom the Zakah can be paid. Eight categories of people are mentioned in the Chapter of the Holy Quran named Al-Tawba (Repentance), where Allah SWT said:
“The sadaqat (meaning the Zakah) are only for the Fuqara’ (the poor), Al-Masakin (the needy), those employed to manage and collect it, to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined towards Islam, to free the captives, for those in debt, for Allah’s Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything) - a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” [Quran 9:60]
How is the Zakah paid?
If somebody has the Nisab and this amount was kept for one entire year then Zakah must be paid on it. The amount to be paid is 2.50% of the entire amount owned by that person.
If the person has an amount of gold or silver with the Nisab then 2.50% is to be paid.
If the person owns money and this money been held with him for one year then he needs to check whether or not the Nisab has been reached.
He finds that out by checking if he has money equivalent to the price of 595 grams of silver. (Silver was considered here rather than gold for the benefit of the poor.) If a person owns this amount or more then he has to pay 2.50% of the total amount.
Regarding trading goods at the end of the year the goods must be evaluated, including the profits with their previous capitals. The Nisab must be determined - related to the price of silver - and 2.50% is paid out for Zakah.
The Prophet Muhammad ( Peace be upon him ) addressed his companions on the last day of Sha`ban, saying, "Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which a night better than a thousand months; a month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer's sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all."
Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah