Before the end of this month of Ramadan, you are expected to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr for yourself and on behalf of your family. Every Muslim adult who by the time of Idd prayers will have food in excess of his needs must pay Zakat-ul-Fitr.
According to Maalim Ali Ausat of Bustani la Manufaa programme on 95.1 Iqra fm, Zakat-ul-Fitr has been highly recommended by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) upon all Muslims who can afford to pay it. The payment of Zakat-ul-Fitr, Maalim Ali says, has two major purposes that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) highlighted: “It cleanses the little mistakes that one might have committed during the month of fasting. “And two, it takes the worries off the poor who might have otherwise been forced to beg for something to share with their families during the Islamic celebration.”
The following are the frequently asked questions about Zakat-ul-Fitr with answers:
Who should pay?
Every adult with sufficient food for his family for a day should pay Zakat-ul-Fitr for himself and those who rely on him for maintenance including children who did not fast. Zakat is also payable for a child born before the dawn of Idd-ul-Fitr or for a person who dies before the dawn.
How much should be paid?
At the time of the Prophet (SAW), payment of Zakat-ul-Fitr was made in terms of weight of grain. The Muslim jurists agree that Zakat-ul-Fitr can also be paid in cash equivalent to the cost at least 2kg of grain including rice, wheat, maize flour and other foods.
How to calculate Zakat-ul-Fitr
Zakat-ul-Fitr is a flat amount per household member paid by the head of the household for himself and his or her dependents. For those who prefer to give money, they should pay a sum equivalent to the price of food recommended for a locality per head in the family.
When to pay?
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “Whoever paid it (Zakat-ul-Fitr) before Salat-ul-Idd, it is acceptable Zakat before Allah. Whoever paid it after Salat-ul-Idd, it is just a charity.”
Imam Shafi’i held the opinion that Zakat-ul-Fitr can be paid as early as the beginning of Ramadhan.
Who should be paid?
Zakat-ul-Fitr should be paid directly to the needy and the poor. However, it is usually recommended that one looks close to his home and help a member of the family. This, according to Maalim Ali, serves to benefits: You get to comply with the Islam and second you bring the family bond closer. Zakat must never be paid to a member who is directly under the care of the giver.