THE RULINGS OF ZAKAAT AL- FITR BY MUHAMMAD SAALIH AL `UTHAIMEEN
InnalhamdaLillaahinahmaduhuwanasta’eenahu wa nastaghfiruhu, wa na’oodhubillaahi min shuroorianfusinaa wa min sayi’aatia’maalinaa. Man yahdihIllaahufalaamudillalahuwa man yudlilfalaahaadiyalahu. Waashhadu an laailaaha ill-Allah wahdahu la sharikalahu wa ashhaduannaMuhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhusallalahualayhi wa alaalihiwasallam.
إِنَّ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللَّهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
(Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).
]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُون[
O you who believe! Fear Allaah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islaam. Soorat-ul-Aal-i-'Imran ayah 102
]يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمِ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا[
O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer. Sooratun- Nisaa' ayah 1
]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا]
O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.Soorat-ul-Ahzaabayaat 70-71 
Praise be to Allah, Who has endowed us with the legislation of Islam and prescribed for us such kinds of worship as to attain nearness to Him. We praise Him for making fasting and optional night prayer easy for us. He rewards those who observe them with faith and anticipation of His good reward and forgiveness of sins. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, with Whom there is no associate. To Him all glory and honor are due. I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, the best of worshipers of Allah and the best of those who observe Prayer, fasting and pilgrimage. May Allah bless him, his family, his Companions and those who will follow them until the Day of Resurrection.
O people! Fear Allah, glorified is He. Contemplate on your affairs, what you have done in this honorable month (Ramadan) whose end is approaching. It will be a witness, either for or against you, depending on the deeds you have done in it. So, hasten to make use of its remaining days through repentance and asking Allah’s forgiveness and doing good deeds and saying good words, so that you may make up for what have lost in previous days because of negligence and carelessness.
The days of this month have been occupied by fasting, remembrance of Allah and recitation of the Holy Qur’an. Performing obligatory and optional night Prayers has illuminated its nights. The affairs of the righteous have been on the optimum level of worship. These honorable nights and blessed days, however, have come to an end, as if they were an hour in a day. How great is the grief for these days and nights in which carelessness and negligence were obvious. We ask Allah to bless the remaining days to make up what we have lost and to conclude it by offering us forgiveness, emancipation from the Hellfire and to return it again with safety and faith.
O Muslims! Your Lord has prescribed for us certain kinds of worships to be observed at the end of this month, with which we can increase our faith and perfect our worship. By the end of this month Allah has ordained for us Zakaat Al-Fitr, Takbir and ‘Id Prayer. Zakaat Al-Fitr has been prescribed by the Prophet (SallaAllahuAlaihiWaSallam) as a Sa’ of food, dried dates, barley or any other kind of food. Abu Sa`eed (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (may peace be upon him) prescribed Zakaat Al-Fitr as a Sa` of food, Sahih Muslim 984. Whenever these kinds of food are good for the poor it is better to pay Zakaah from them.
Give it willingly of best quality since you will not get the reward except by expending of that which is dearest to you. Thanks to Allah, it is a small amount, which is obliged once a year. Why is a Muslim not desirous of the good, which is better in the sight of Allah and more in reward? He is allowed to give this Zakaah to more than one person and to give more than one Zakaah to one person because the Prophet (SallaAllahuAlaihiWaSallam) prescribed it as one Sa` but he did not specify the amount to be paid. This indicates that the matter is open to the tradition of people. Therefore, if a family used to gather their Zakaah in one container from which they give the poor without measuring, there is no harm but they should tell the person they give, lest he should pay it as Zakaah on behalf of himself. Zakaat Al-Fitr is due upon every Muslim, whether young or old, man or woman. Pay it on behalf of yourself and on anyone for whom you are responsible of wives and relatives. It is not due upon the pregnant but it is better to pay Zakaat on her behalf.
It is better to pay it on the day of ‘Id Al-Fitr before the ‘Id Prayer, if it is easy for you. You may also give it a day or two before the ‘Id, but not earlier than that. It should not be delayed until after the ‘Id, except for an excuse, such as the case of sudden announcement of the advent of the ‘Id or he believes that there is no harm to pay after the prayer. It is not allowed to be paid to anyone other than the poor or his deputy. It must be paid to the poor or to his deputy because it is lawful for the poor to assign a person to be his deputy to receive Zakaat on his behalf. If you want to pay Zakaat to any person and you fear that you might not be able to see him when paying it, let him assign a person to be his deputy to receive it or to assign you as his deputy to be with you as a trust until you meet him.
As far as Takbir is concerned, Allah ordains it. Almighty Allah says: “Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also Clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.”Quran Surah Al-Baqarah: 185
You should recite Takbir right from the sunset of the day preceding the ‘Id day until ‘Id Prayer. Recite Takbir in mosques, homes and streets. “Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar la ilahaillal-lah, Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar walillahil-hamd” (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, to Allah all praise is due). Say this with loud voice as a sign of glorification of Allah and highlighting of Islamic rituals. Women, however, should recite Takbir quietly. As for the prayer, the Messenger (SallaAllahuAlaihiWaSallam) ordered all people even women to perform it, so go out for the prayer whether men, women, young or old. Women should go out neither applying perfume nor disclosing their ornaments. However, menstruating women should keep away from their Musalla (place of Prayer) because this place is regarded as a mosque. As to men, they should go out perfumed, wearing the best of their garments after taking a bath.
According to the Prophet’s tradition (SallaAllahuAlaihiWaSallam), one may eat three, five or any odd number of dates before getting out to perform ‘Id Prayer. Some women may be aware of the announcement of ‘Id but refrain from breaking their fast except at the place of prayer. This action has no basis in Shari’ah, rather they should intend breaking the fast once they get the announcement of ‘Id because keeping fast on this day is prohibited. I seek Allah’s refuge from the accursed Satan, Allah says which translates as: “But those will prosper who purify themselves, and glorify the name of their Guardian-Lord, and (lift their hearts) in Prayer” Quran Surah Al-A`la: 14-15
May Allah guide us to receive the blessings of the holy Qur’an