1396: Zakaat al-Fitr is food, not money, and it is to be given to needy Muslims only


What do you give for zakatul fitr? Is it money or grain? and what about if you don`t know any body to be given? Is it permissable to give it to the masjid or a kaafir homeless, or kaair in general?

Praise be to Allaah.

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made giving a saa’ of dates or a saa’ of barley as Zakaat al-Fitr an obligation for all Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old, and ordered that it should be given before the people went out to pray (Salaat al-Eid).” (Al-Bukhaari, 1503).

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “We used to pay as Zakaat al-Fitr a saa’ of food or a saa’ of barley (which was their food at that time) or a saa’ or dates or a saa’ of aqit (dried yoghurt) or a saa’ of raisins.” (1506)

From this it is clear that Zakaat al-Fitr must be food, not money, so we must adhere to what has been recorded in the Sunnah. So give one saa’ of whatever is the staple food in your country, such as rice or wheat, for example, on behalf of yourself and each member of your household. (A saa’ is equivalent to approximately 3 kilograms). It is not permissible to give it to anyone except a needy Muslim. If you cannot find anyone in your own country, you can delegate someone else to give it on your behalf in another country. May Allaah help us and you to do the duties that He loves. And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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