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Zakat-Ul-Fitr, also commonly known as Fitrana or Sadaqat-Ul-Fitr, is a charity that has to be paid for by every household. Unlike Zakat, where only the individuals who have savings above the nisaab amount are required to pay Zakat, Zakat-Ul-Fitr applies to every member of the household as well. This means that if a household has a husband, wife, and three children, that household must pay Zakat-Ul-Fitr for all five members of that household.
Why do we pay Zakat Ul Fitr?
The Messenger of Allah (saw) instructed all Muslims to give this charity:
Allah's Messenger (saw) made it incumbent on all the slave or free Muslims, male or female, to pay one Sa' of dates or barley as Zakat-Ul-Fitr. (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
There are two most commonly known reasons for giving this charity to the poor. The first one is that charity purifies you from sins and shortcomings. The last thing any of us want is to have worked so hard during Ramadan, stayed hungry for a whole month, prayed at night, refrained from many bad deeds, and given a lot in charity, only to find that a few habitual sins have invalidated our worship. Giving charity helps to remove those sins and purify our deeds. It is a means of saying to Allah (swt) that we have accumulated sins, known and unknown, and we ask Him for His infinite mercy and compassion to remove those sins so that our worship can be accepted.
The second common reason is that Eid being a day of celebration, requires everyone to be able to celebrate. How can a person who has not got the basic things such as food, water, and clothes be able to celebrate? Rather, he/she would prefer to be working to survive, as opposed to celebrating Eid. So giving Zakat-Ul-Fitr helps those in need be able to celebrate the ending of the month of Ramadan together. This unity bonds Muslims together throughout the world and are meant to be the happiest of days of the year.
When does Zakat-Ul-Fitr have to be paid?
In a hadeeth, it was narrated that:
The Prophet (saw) ordered the people to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr before going to the Eid prayer. (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
In another hadeeth:
Ibn `Umar said, "The Prophet (saw) made incumbent on every male or female, free man or slave, the payment of one Sa' of dates or barley as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (or said Sadaqah-Ramadan)." The people then substituted half Sa' of wheat for that. Ibn `Umar used to give dates (as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr). Once there was scarcity of dates in Madinah and Ibn `Umar gave barley. 'And Ibn `Umar used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr for every young and old person. He even used to give on behalf of my children. Ibn `Umar used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr to those who had been officially appointed for its collection. People used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (even) a day or two before the Eid. (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
From this hadeeth we can note that giving Zakat-ul-Fitr before the Eid prayer, even if it is a day or two, must be done.
How much do I need to give?
Sa' is a measurement used to quantify something during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (saw). It equates to approx 2.6kg to 3kg. He (saw) instructed us to give one Sa' of dates or barley. Since we are in the West, it is a little difficult to be able to do that. So by paying the equivalent amount, we can ensure that the full weight of this amount has been paid, and someone can fulfill the rest of this obligation for us elsewhere.
The current amount that needs to be paid per person for Zakat-ul-Fitr is £5. So if you have 5 people in your household, the household needs to pay £25 in total.
How can I pay Zakat-ul-Fitr?
Paying Zakat-ul-Fitr is incredibly easy! We have everything in place here at ILM to ensure that your Zakat-ul-Fitr can be paid. Paying it beforehand is better so that we can ensure it reaches those in need of it in time. Since we, being people living in the West, don't have direct access to these poor people and communities, we would have been able to give it by hand. But ILM is working on the ground in these communities and can do that for us.
Simply click here to read more information and make a quick donation now. Remember, you need to make sure that you pay it before the Eid prayer on Eid-Ul-Fitr!