Zakatul Fitr (The Obligatory Charity)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Zakatul Fitr (The Obligatory Charity)

Excerpts from the ‘Jurisprudence of Worship’
By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn Uthaymeen رحمه الله تعالى

Question: Oh Noble Shaykh, What is the meant by Zakatul Fitr and does it carry with it any purpose?

The meaning of Zakatul Fitr: A sa’a (in every sa’a there are 4 amdad (4 mudd). One mudd- is a handful for a regular sized man and it is roughly equivalent to 510 grams. So one sa’a is roughly 2040 grams of wheat however this can be different depending on what is being measured as it is a measurement of volume not of weight) of food that is given out by a person at the end of Ramadān and the reason for it is to show thanks for the blessings of Allāh سبحان الله و تعالى upon one for his completion of Ramadān and now in his breaking from (his fast in) Ramadān and due to this it is called the Sadaqatul Fitr or Zakatul Fitr. As it is related to this (ie. giving thanks to Allāh for this breaking of obligatory fasting with the completion of Ramadān) and this is it’s legislative purpose.

As for it’s conditional reason, it is that if the sunset on the night of Eid (ie. the night of the last day of Ramadān) it becomes obligated. So if someone was born after sunset the night of Eid then it is not obligated (upon the father or guardian to give on his behalf) upon him Zakatul Fitr (for that year) rather it is (only) preferred upon him (to do so). And if one died before the sunset of the Night of Eid then it is not obligated for him Zakatul Fitr as well. This is because he died before the presence of the condition of obligation (sunset on the night of Eid). And if a person were to get married (completes a marriage contract) to a woman before the sunset on the last day of Ramadān, then it becomes incumbent upon him to give on her behalf Zakatul Fitr and this is the opinion of the majority of the people of knowledge as she was indeed his wife during the time the condition (of Zakatul Fitr) was found. And if he gets married (completes a marriage contract) to a woman after the sunset it is not obligated for him (to give on her behalf) her Zakatul Fitr.

This is based upon the opinion that the husband is obligated to give Zakatul Fitr on behalf of his wife and his children. However, if we were to rule based on the opinion that every person is obligated to give Zakatul Fitr for only themselves, which is apparent from the Sunnah, then this transfer (of responsibility) in this affair is not correct.

Jurisprudence of Worship- Fatwa Regarding Sáum (Fasting). By Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih ibn Uthaymeen (pg. 297)

Translated by: Abu Uwāis, Muhammad Abdullahi Elmi