Masjid al-Mu’min Zakaatul-Fitr Announcement
Ramadan 1437/July 2016
As salaamu alaykum wa Ramadan Mubarak,
Paying Zakaat ul-Fitr is an obligation (i.e. it is wājib) which must be fulfilled before the ‘Eid prayer begins.
The Arabic word zakaat has two meanings: (1) to purify, and (2) to grow, while al-fitr means to cut off or to end one’s fast. Zakaatul-fitr is also called sadaqatul-fitr. The word sadaqah is the Arabic word for charity.
It has been narrated Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) prescribed Zakaatul-fitr as a purification of the fasting person from empty, obscene talk and as a means of feeding those who are poor... – This hadith has been related by Abu Dawud
وَ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ تَعَالى عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: فَرَضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ طُهْرَةً لِلصَّائِمِ مِنَ اللَّغْوِ وَالرَّفَثِ وَطُعْمَةً لِلْمَسَاكِينِ...
The fasting person who neglects to pay his or her zakaatul-fitr has his or her reward for the fast suspended between the heavens and the earth until it is paid. If it is paid late it is counted as regular sadaqah (charity). This is indicated by the 2nd part of the above-mentioned hadith narrated by Ibn Abbās:
فَمَنْ أَدَّاهَا قَبْلَ الصَّلَاةِ فَهِيَ زَكَاةٌ مَقْبُولَةٌ وَمَنْ أَدَّاهَا بَعْدَ الصَّلَاةِ فَهِيَ صَدَقَةٌ مِنْ الصَّدَقَاتِ
“Therefore, whoever pays it before the (‘Eid) prayer it will be accepted and counted as Zakaat. And whoever pays it after the prayer it will be counted as a sadaqah like any other sadaqah”.
This is an obligation upon every free (“free” meaning “non-slave”) Muslim. He who has enough provision for himself and his dependents’ basic living expenses for the day of ‘Eid ul-fitr - even if he must borrow the Zakaatul-fitr (given that he hopes to repay it) must give Zakaatul-fitr. If one can only afford to give part of the Zakaatul-fitr then one must do so, starting with himself then his wife, then his children, and so on until he has given what he can afford. The Zakaatul-fitr of a male child must be given by the child’s father or guardian unless the child is wealthy in which case it is not obligatory to do so.
The man or head of the household pays it for him or herself and for his dependents. For example if you are a man with 1 wife and 3 children, then you are paying for 5 people. If you are a man with 2 wives and 4 children you are paying for 7 people. If you are a single mother with 1 child you are paying for 2 people. The father is responsible for paying for all of his children even if they do not reside with him.
Shehu ‘Uthman Dan Fodiyo (may Allah envelop him in His Mercy) quotes the following hadith in his book called “The Support of the Scholars”:
عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِىَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ فَرَضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ صَاعاً مِنْ تَمْرٍ، أَوْ صَاعاً مِنْ شَعِيرٍ عَلَى الْعَبْدِ وَالْحُرِّ، وَالذَّكَرِ وَالْأُنْثَى، وَالصَّغِيرِ وَالْكَبِيرِ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ، وَأَمَرَ بِهَا أَنْ تُؤَدَّى قَبْلَ خُرُوجِ النَّاسِ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ
It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) who said “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) made giving Zakaatul-fitr obligatory in the amount of a sā’a [that is: 2.03 liters/64 oz or 4 lbs of rice] of dates or a sā’a of barley, upon every slave, free person, male, female, child, and adult from the Muslims. And he ordered that it be given before the people come out for the (‘Eid) prayer.” – This hadith has been related by Bukhari in his Sahih.
The amount that must be given for oneself and each Muslim dependent is one sā’a or 2.03 liters / 64oz or 4 lbs of rice. One sā’a is made up of four “mood”. A “mood” is the amount of rice or any other food that will fill up the cupped hands of a person with average-sized hands ("average" is relative to the size of the hands of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
It should be paid in the form of the main staple food of one’s region from one of the following categories of food:
Rice (this is the best food to give in the United States since it is a staple here),
Dried cheese that has had its cream extracted;
Scholars have also permitted this to be paid in cash.
Masjid al-Mu’min is prepared to accept and distribute your Zakaatul-fitr. If you are paying your Zakaatul-fitr in cash, we have set the amount at $6; which is the average price of a sā’a of rice (4lbs). So to clarify, if you are a man who has a wife and 3 children you would pay 5 sā’a or $30 for your Zakaatul-Fitr. If you are a man with 2 wives and 4 children you are paying for 7 people i.e. $42. If you are a single mother with 1 child you are paying for 2 people i.e. $12.
There are envelopes in the masjid for your Zakaatul-fitr. Just write “Zakaat ul-Fitr” on it, put your money in the envelope, and then put it in the safe. You can also use our PayPal Account for this purpose: : Make sure to indicate that it is for “Zakaatul-Fitr”.
The ‘Eid prayer will be Wednesday July 6th or Thursday July 7th depending on the sighting of the new moon so make sure that you fulfill your obligation before then.
May Allah, the Most High, accept and bless your fast and bring you all closer to Him!
Imam Na’eem Abdullah