Clarifying the Rulings of Sadaqatul Fitr – RAMADAN with WISDOM [Part 31]
Clarifying the Rulings of Sadaqatul-Fitr: Salih al- Fawzaan
All the praise is for Allah Who has, by His Grace, completed the righteous actions. May prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the first to procede in goodness; and upon his family, companions and upon all those who cling to his Sunnah until the Day of Recompense.
Know that Allah has made Sadaqatul –Fitr the conclusion of the fast. We praise Allah for the Tawfeeq in completing (the fast) and we ask Him to accept it and that He makes us from those manumitted from the fire at the end.
O Muslims, Allah has legislated for you at the end of this great month acts of worship which increase you in nearness to Allah. So He has legislated for you Sadaqatul-Fitr as purification for the fasting person from vain evil speech and sin. Allah’s Messenger (S) has obligated it upon the child, the elder, the male, the female, the free person and the slave. It is purification for the body, nourishment for the poor and a consolation for the indigent. The Muslim gives on behalf of himself and those who are his dependants; such as his wife, children and the rest of those who he is required to spend on. It is recommended that one give it on behalf of the child in the womb (of the wife). The place of its payment is the land in which one is at the completion of the month [and it is not permissible to transfer it to another land as long as there are in one’s land those who are entitled to it. So if there are none in one’s land who are entitled to it then he can send it to the poor people of the land closest to him. The poor people of the land are those who are residents therein or they have come to it from another country.] If there are those on whose behalf he is required to pay, in another land other than the land that he is in, then he pays their sadaqatul-Fitr along with his own in that land; and it is permissible for him to have them to pay it on his and their behalf in their land.
The time for payment begins at the setting of the sun on the night of the ‘Eid and continues until the ‘Eid prayer. It is permissible to hasten (its payment) a day or two before the ‘Eid. But to delay its payment until the morning of the ‘Eid is better. If one postpones its payment until after the ‘Eid prayer without an excuse then he pays it in the later part of the day. If he does not pay it on the day of the ‘Eid, then he is required to make up after that day. By that it is clear that it is a must that one pay sadaqatul-Fitr regarding the one who is able to do so. The time of payment is divided into:
1.) A Permissible Time; and it is that which a day or two days before the ‘Eid.
2.) A Preferred Time; and it s that which is between the setting of the sun on the night of the ‘Eidup until the ‘Eid prayer.
3.) A Sufficient Time; and it is that which is after the ‘Eid prayer up until the end of the day.
4.) A Time in Which One is Making Up For Missed Payment While Having Incurred the Sin (of being delinquent in payment); and it is after the day of the ‘Eid.
The one who is entitled to Zakaatul-Fitr is the same one who is entitled to Zakaatul-Maal (Zakaah paid upon one’s wealth), from the indigent, the poor and their likes. So one pays it to those who are entitled to it in the time frame for payment or he pays it to the one appointed over his/her affairs. It is not sufficient to give it to an individual who is not appointed over the affairs of the one entitled to it.
The amount given as Sadaqatul-Fitr is a Saa’ of wheat, barley, dates, raisins or cheese. Or it can be whatever takes the place of these things from that which is grown in the land; such as rice, corn, millet and everything which is grown in the land. And the measure of a Saa’ by the kilo is approximately three kilo (2. 172 Kg)
It is not sufficient to pay the monetary price instead of food because it is in opposition to the text. [And it is not permissible to pay dirhaams so that one buys food in another land as some of the people do today; because this is opposition to the Sunnah. A fatwa has been issued from a group of the senior scholars in forbiddance of that, and for Allah is the praise. This is forbidden for a number of reasons:
1.) It is payment of the price (which is not permissible).
2.) It is payment of the Sadaqatul-Fitr outside of the land wherein the person has been fasting.
3.) It advances the time of payment; because they pay monies at an early time within the month so that they can send it and it may arrive in the land which they intend it to go. This, we do not contend, is helping those in need in any of the lands of the Muslims. However, this is not to be done with regards to the acts of worship which are restricted to a particular place, a particular manner and a particular time. For these must be performed in accordance with these restrictions.]
Currency was in fact present during the time of Allah’s Messenger (S). So if it was sufficient then he would have clarified that to his Ummah. And whoever issues a fatwa saying that one may pay the price (monetarily) has issued a fatwa based upon ijtihaad and ijtihaad can either be incorrect or correct. Paying the monetary price is an opposition to the sunnah and it has not been transmitted from the Prophet (S) or from any of the Companions that they paid the monetary price for Zakaatul-Fitr.
Ahmad said: “The monetary price is not to be given.” It was said to him that a people say: “’Umar ibn ‘Abdul-Azeez used to take the monetary price.” He said: “They toss the statement of the Messenger of Allah (S) and say: ‘So and so said.’ While ‘Umar said: ‘Allah’s Messenger (S) obligated the payment of Zakaatul-Fitr with a Saa’” (end of his statement)
O Muslims, from that which Allah has legislated for you at the end of this month is the Takbeer (saying of Allahu Akbar-Allah is Greater) from the setting of the sun on the night of the ‘Eid up until the ‘Eid prayer. The Exalted has said: “He wants that you should complete the number of days and that you magnify Allah (saying Allahu Akbar) for having guided you so that you may be grateful.” (Qur’an 2:185)
And from that which Allah has legislated for you at the end of this month is the ‘Eid prayer; and it is from the completion of the remembrance of Allah the Mighty and Majestic. Allah the Exalted has said:
“Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall have success. And remembers the name of his Lord and prays.”(Qur’an 87:14-15) Some of the Salaf said:“What is intended here is Zakaatul-Fitr and the ‘Eidprayer, and Allah knows best.”
May prayers and be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.
Translated By: Raha ‘Azeezuddeen Batts