According to the Shariah, Fitra becomes incumbent when the new moon of Shawwal is sighted. This is known as Zakat of Fitra, which is payable by every Baligh person for oneself and all dependents, temporary or otherwise, regardless of gender and age. It is also Mustahab to pay Fitra for an unborn child. Fitra has been set for £6.00 per head and will be distributed to the needy, first locally and then abroad. The KSIMC of London will disburse on Eid day as per Sharia requirements. Please donate using the following link:
What is Zakat al-Fitra?
Zakat al-Fitra is an obligatory annual tax and is due after the month of fasting. Because Zakat al-Fitra is an act of worship, it must be paid with the intention of seeking nearness to Allah (swt), as is the case with the Zakat on wealth.
What is mentioned about Zakat in the Ahadith?
Imam al-Baqir (a) said, “Indeed Allah Almighty coupled zakat with prayer; thus He said, ‘Establish the prayer and give the zakat.’ So whoever establishes the prayer but did not give zakat, it is as if he did not establish the prayer.” (Wasa’il as-Shi’a, vol. 6, pg 11)
Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a) said,
“Protect your wealth by [paying] zakat.” (WASA’IL AS-SHI’A, VOL. 6, PG 4)
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said,
“(Zakat) Al-Fitra is obligated by whatever obligates Zakat.” (Wasa’il as-Shi’a, vol. 6, pg 226)
When is Zakat al-Fitra due?
If a person performs the ‘Eid prayers, then based on obligatory precaution, he must give Fitrah before ‘Eid day prayers. However, if he does not perform ‘Eid day prayers, then he can delay giving Fitrah until the time of Dhohr prayers on the day of ‘Eid al-Fitr.
When does Zakat al-Fitra become obligatory (wajib)?
Zakat al-fitra becomes obligatory at the time of sunset (ghurūb) on the eve of Eīd al-Fiṭr.
If a person performs Eid prayers, then based on obligatory precaution he must give fiṭrah before Eid prayers. However, if he does not perform Eid prayers, he can delay giving fiṭrah until the time of ẓuhr prayers on the day of Eīd al-Fiṭr.
Can we give Zakat al-Fitra in advance?
You cannot give fiṭrah (as fiṭrah) before the month of Ramadan. However, there is no problem if you give a loan to a poor person before Ramadan and then count the loan as fiṭrah (i.e. you change your intention to fiṭrah) once fiṭrah becomes obligatory on you.
As for during Ramadan, it is better that you do not give fiṭrah during the month of Ramadan unless you opt for the loan formula mentioned above.
Upon whom is Zakat al-Fitra obligated?
- A person who at the time of sunset on the night of ‘Eid at Fitr is baligh, sane, not unconscious or poor, must give on his behalf and on behalf of those who are dependent on him, one Sa’ – approximately three kilograms – of food per head to someone who is entitled to receive the zakat. The food that he gives must be considered to be a staple food in his town and it suffices that he gives the food’s monetary value instead, which in the UK is set at £5.
- If a person cannot meet his and his family’s living expenses for one year and does not have an occupation by which he can meet those expenses for one year, then such a person is classed as a poor person and it its not obligatory on him to give Zakat al-Fitra.
- It is obligatory on one to give the Fitrah of a guest who arrives at his house before sunset on the eve of ‘Eid al-Fitr and spends the night at his place and is considered to be his dependent, albeit temporarily. If a person is invited to break his fast (Iftar) on the night of ‘Eid al-Fitr, he is not considered to be the host’s dependent and the guest’s Fitrah is not the responsibility of the host.
- A person whose Fitrah is obligatory to be paid by another person is not obligated to give his Fitrah himself. However, if the other person does not or cannot give his Fitrah, then based on precaution, it becomes obligatory on him to give his own Fitrah provided he falls into the conditions mentioned above in point 1.
- If your Fitrah is obligatory on another person and you decide to give your own Fitrah, the obligation on the one who must give is it not exempted and must still pay it.
Who is your Zakat al-Fitra distributed to?
- Zakaat al-Fitrah is only given to the poor, those believers to satisfy the criteria of being unable to meet their living expenses for one year, unable to pay off their debts and who will not use the money or food stuffs for sinful purposes.
- It will first be provided to those believers in your own town, if not in your area or country. In the event that there are no poor Shi’a in one’s town, it can be given to other Muslims who meet the criteria, so long as they are not a Nasibi– a hater of the holy Ahl al-Bayt (a).
- It is recommended that in giving Zakat al-Fitra one should prefer his poor relatives and neighbours first and the learned and virtuous persons over others.
- A Sayyid cannot accept Zakat from someone who is not a Sayyid except in case of necessity, such as when his expenses cannot be met by other religious funds such as Khums. Zakat can be given to a person whom one does not know whether he is Sayyid or not.
What happens if I sponsor an orphan somewhere in the world?
It is obligatory for sponsors to pay the Zakaat al-Fitrah of the orphan or person he is sponsoring. The payment should be in proportion to the amount of the child’s sustenance which the sponsor covers. As a precaution the sponsor may pay the full amount of the Zakat.
What happens when I have paid my Zakat al-Fitra?
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said,
“Give charity, for surely giving charity increases wealth substantially; so give and may Allah (swt) have mercy upon you.” (Wasa’il as-Shi’a, vol. 6, pg 257)