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Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas (Allah is pleased with him) narrates, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ prescribed Zakatul-Fitr (Sadaqatul-Fitr) as a purification for the fasting person from idle talk and obscene speech and as food for the poor. If anyone pays it before the prayer (Eid salah), it will be an accepted zakah. If anyone pays it after the prayer, it will be a sadaqah like any other sadaqah. [Abu Dawud, hadith 1609]
Sayyiduna Jarir (Allah is pleased with him) narrates, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The fasts of the month of Ramadhan are suspended between the heavens and the earth. It does not ascend until the Zakatul-Fitr is paid.” [Al-Targheeb Al-Tarheeb]
Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (Allah is pleased with him) narrates, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ instructed the payment of one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of barley as Zakatul-Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old. He ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the Eid prayer. [Bukhari, hadith 1503]
Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (Allah is pleased with him) narrates, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ commanded us that the Zakatul-Fitr should be paid before the people went to salah (Eid salah). Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (Allah is pleased with him) used to pay it one or two days before. [Abu Dawud, hadith 1610]
Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas (Allah is pleased with him) delivered a sermon at the end of Ramadan from the pulpit (in the masjid) of Basrah. He said: “Bring forth the sadaqah.” It seemed the people were not aware. Then he said, “Which of the people of Medina are present here? Go to your brothers and teach them, for they do not know. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ prescribed this sadaqah as one Sa’ of dates or barley, or half a Sa’ of wheat payable by every freeman and slave, male and female, young and old.” [Abu Dawud, hadith 1622]
Note: In the blessed era of Nabi ﷺ a Sa’ was used to measure volume. There is a difference of opinion amongst the Ulama on the precise volume of 1 Sa’ and ½ Sa’ in modern measurement units.
Sadaqatul-Fitr is a charity that is given near the end of Ramadhan and before Eid Salah. The wisdom behind this charity is twofold:
- To purify the fasts of Ramadhan from any defects, eg. idle talk, foul language, etc.
- Eid al-Fitr is a day of happiness and celebration for all Muslims. This can only be possible when the poor can also enjoy this day and not worry about putting food on the table. For this reason, the wealthy have been prescribed to give a small amount in charity to the poor.
- Sadaqatul-Fitr is wajib (mandatory) on every Muslim who is legally responsible (adult and sane), possessing the nisab on the day of Eid al-Fitr, in excess of any debts and of basic personal needs. This is irrespective of whether the nisab was in possession for the whole lunar year.
- Sadaqatul-Fitr is also wajib (mandatory) for those who may have missed some fasts or did not fast the entire month.
- It is mandatory on behalf of oneself and one’s children who are minor (not baligh).
- It is not mandatory to pay on behalf of one’s mature (baligh) children and wife, but may do so with their permission.
- It becomes wajib at the dawn of Eid al-Fitr. Therefore, if a person dies before the dawn of Eid al-Fitr or a baby is born after dawn, Sadaqatul-Fitr will not be wajib for these two.
- It is recommended to pay it after dawn and before the Eid salah. Delaying it is disliked. Not paying it is sinful.
- In current times it would be preferable to pay the Sadaqatul-Fitr in advance so the recipients can receive it before Eid al-Fitr. Paying it during Ramadhan will bring added reward.
- When determining the amount of Sadaqatul-Fitr, one will look into the price of one’s city.
- The recipients of Sadaqatul-Fitr are the same as it is for Zakah.
Any one of the following or its equivalent in cash can be given in Sadaqatul-Fitr:
- ½ Sa’ of Wheat
- 1 Sa’ of Dates
- 1 Sa’ of Barley
- 1 Sa’ of Raisins/sultanas
The market value of the four items that can be given in Sadaqatul-Fitr is different, for this reason, the amount of Sadaqatul-Fitr may vary.