Fri 18 Jm2 1435 - 18 April 2014
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Can the imam of the mosque collect zakaat al-fitr, and where should it be distributed?

When should zakaat al-fitr be given and where should it be distributed? Is it permissible for the imam of the mosque to collect it then distribute it to those who are entitled to it, even if that is a while later? Does it increase if there is inflation? Is it permissible to send it to the mujaahideen in Palestine for example, or to put it into a fund for building a mosque, for example?.

Praise be to Allaah.  

The time for giving zakaat al-fitr is the night before Eid al-Fitr until before the Eid prayer. 

It is permissible to bring it forward two or three days. It should be given to the poor Muslims in the country where it is given, but it is permissible to send it to the poor in another country if those people are in greater need. It is permissible for the imam of the mosque and others who are in positions of trust to collect it and distribute it to the poor, but it must reach those who are entitled to it before the Eid prayer. The amount is not linked to inflation, rather it has been defined in sharee’ah as being one saa’. Whoever does not have any more than enough food for himself and his dependents on the day of Eid is not obliged to give it. It is not permissible to use it for building a mosque or for other charitable projects. 

And Allaah is the Source of strength. 

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas, 9/369
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