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Zakat al-Fitrah FAQ (According to Fatawa

Zakat al-Fitrah FAQ (According to Fatawa

of Ayatullah Sayyid Al-Sistani)

Q. What is Zakat al-


A: It is religious tax/

alms (Zakat) paid on

the day when

Muslims break the fasting period at the end

of the month of Ramadan. This alms is

known as Zakat al-Fitrah.

Q. What do the Qur'an and Hadith say

about Fitrah?

A: Imams (as) say that the verses: Indeed

whosoever purifies himself shall achieve

success, and glorifies the Name of his Lord

and prays (87:14 & 15) refer to giving of

Fitrah and saying prayers on Eid al-Fitr.

Hazrat Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S.) said: for

your fast to be accepted, give zakat.

Q. When does Fitrah become wajib


A. Payment of Fitrah becomes obligatory

after sunset on the eve of Eid al-Fitr. The

Fitrah should be kept aside and paid on Eid

al-Fitr before Eid prayers or before midday

for those who cannot say their Eid prayers.

It is necessary to have obligatory intention

(Niyyah) of giving Fitrah for God's pleasure


Q. What happens if someone forgets or

does not give Fitrah on time?

A. If one does not give out or set aside the

Fitrah within the due time, he should give

the Fitrah later, on the basis of precaution,

without making the niyyah of adaa or

qadhaa but only Qurbatan Ilallah.

Q. Can we give Fitrah in advance?

A. Giving Fitrah before the eve of Eid al-Fitr

is not permissible. However, if you wish to

send Fitrah earlier so that it reaches the

needy on time, then you can send it as a

temporary loan to the needy and then

change your intention from loan to Fitrah

on the eve of Eid al-Fitr.

Q. To whom is Fitrah obligatroy?

A. Paying Fitrah is obligatory on every

Muslim who is mature (baligh), sane,

financially able, and conscious on the eve

of Eid al-Fitr. Fitrah should also be paid on

behalf of all dependents (e.g. wife,

children) whom one supports financially.

Q. When is a host required to pay Fitrah for

his guest?

A. If a person invites another person to his

house on the eve of Eid al-Fitr and if the

guest is present at the host's place at the

time of the sunset then it is obligatory for

the host to pay Fitrah for his guest.

Q. What happens if the guest arrives after

the sunset on Eid night?

A. In this case the guest will pay his/her

own Fitrah and it is not obligatory on the

host to pay Fitrah for the guest.

Q. What happens if a guest comes

uninvited and is present at the time of the

sunset on the eve of Eid al-Fitr?

A. Ayatullah Sayyid Al-Sistani says that the

host should still pay the Fitrah as an

obligatory precaution. However, Marhum

Ayatullah Sayyid al-Khui was of the opinion

that is recommended for the host to pay

Fitrah of an uninvited guest.

Q. How much should we pay for Fitrah?

A. Fitrah for a person is given on a weight

of three kilograms (one sa'a) on any food

commodity like wheat, barley, rice, millet,

raisins or dates. Ayatullah Sayyid Al-Sistani

is of the opinion that the item that is not a

staple food in your town should not be

given in Fitrah. Say, for example, if milletis

not a staple in Vancouver then Vancouver

Mumineen should not pay Fitrah on millet.

Q. Can we give cash value of any

commodity mentioned above?

A. Yes, cash value in lieu of any foodstuff

mentioned can be given as Fitrah. Thus, if a

kilo of rice costs $2.00, the cash value of

Fitrah on rice per person would be $6.00.

We recommend, Fitrah on basmati rice to

be Canadian Dollars 7.00 for residents of

Canada and US Dollars 6.00 for US

residents. (Please check prices for other

items in your areas.)

Q. Whom should we give the Fitrah to?

A. It is given to the needy who are unable

to meet their own or their dependants

annual living expenses, nor do they have

the means to do so through earning.

Ayatullah Sayyid Al-Sistani says that the

needy who is given the fitrah must be a

Shiah Ithna Ashari.

Q. Who should not be given the Fitrah?

A. A needy who: consumes alcohol, does

not say his daily prayers (salat), commits

sins openly, or he who is known to use the

Fitrah in sinful way.

Q. Are there any additional rules that we

need to be aware of?

A. Following are some important rules:

(i) Fitrah should not be sent outside the

town one resides in, if there are deserving

Mumineen in that town.

(ii) Fitrah from a non-Sayyid cannot be

given to a needy Sayyid; the reverse is


(iii) A needy should be given at least one


(iv) Amongst the needy, relatives should be

preferred over others when giving Fitrah,

next in line are neighbors and then the



Islam commands us to be GRATEFUL to

ALLAH (SWT) by using His favours in proper

manners. We should share ALLAH's favours

on us, with others. Allah can provide them

(needy ones) better than what He has given

to us, but He wants to test us: Is the loveof

Allah more in our hearts or the love of


Sadaqah al-Fitr (voluntary charity) is a very

important part of Fasting in Ramadan. One

very important aspect of fasting is that we

become aware of how poor people feel.

Poverty is a cause of many problems.

Many of our ministers do not know what

starvation is like, and they have other

interests. How would they try to solve this


Al Hamdulillah, Islam has really solved the

big problem of Slavery. And Insha Allah,

Poverty will be solved.