• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Ramadan: How to measure Zakat al-Fitri, the recipients and all you need to know about it

As Ramadan enters its last days, Muslims worldwide are preparing to fulfil a final act of worship before the celebration of Eid al-Fitr: the giving of Zakat al-Fitr.

This charitable practice is not only a reflection of faith but also a communal effort to ensure that all members can partake in the joyous occasion of Eid.

The basics of Zakat al-Fitr

Zakat al-Fitr, also known as Fitrana, is an obligatory charity given to the poor at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The primary purpose of Zakat al-Fitr is to purify those who fast from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy.

How to measure Zakat al-Fitr

The amount of Zakat al-Fitr is equivalent to one Sa’ (approximately 2.40 kg or 5.29 lbs) of the most common staple food in your community, such as rice, beans, garri, and others. One Sa’ is equivalent to three dericas or 12 milk cups in Nigerian context.

Measurements for Zakat al-Fitri

Alternatively, many scholars permit the payment of its monetary equivalent. To calculate the monetary value, one should determine the current price of the staple food and multiply it by the weight of one Sa’.

Eligibility for paying Zakat al-Fitr

Every Muslim is required to pay Zakat al-Fitr, provided they have food in excess of their needs. It is incumbent upon the head of the household to pay this Zakat on behalf of their dependents, which include spouses, children, and any other dependents.

Timing of Zakat al-Fitr

Zakat al-Fitr should be given before the Eid al-Fitr prayers. It can be paid during the last few days of Ramadan, but it is most important that it reach the needy before the Eid prayers so they can celebrate the festival.

Recipients of Zakat al-Fitr

The recipients of Zakat al-Fitr are the same as those eligible for Zakat, which include the poor, the needy, and those in debt. The aim is to provide these individuals with enough sustenance so they do not have to ask for help on the day of Eid.

When giving Zakat al-Fitr, it’s important to adhere to the prescribed items that are considered acceptable. Here are things that cannot be used for Zakat al-Fitr:

Non-staple foods: Zakat al-Fitr should be given in the form of staple foods of the region, not in non-staple or luxury food items.

Non-food items: The charity is meant to be food that can be used immediately, so non-food items are not suitable for Zakat al-Fitr.

Insufficient quantities: The amount must be at least one Sa’ (approximately 2.40 kg or 4.797 pounds) of the staple food; anything less does not fulfill the requirement.

Raw materials and goods for sale: Items that are not food, such as raw materials and goods produced for sale, do not qualify as Zakat al-Fitr

Zakat al-Fitr is a beautiful tradition that embodies the spirit of community and compassion in Islam. It ensures that as Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan, they remember those in need, fostering a sense of brotherhood and solidarity.

Always consult with a knowledgeable authority if you’re unsure about the specifics for your region and circumstances.