THE ISLAMIC LAW OF ZAKAT | PART.7

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THE ISLAMIC LAW OF ZAKAT | PART.7

In the Name of God, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.


الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لا صلاةَ لِمَن لا زكاةَ لَهُ ، ولا زكاةَ لِمَن لا وَرَعَ لَهُ

Imam Al-Sadiq (as) said, ‘The prayer of one who does not give the alms-tax is void, and the alms-tax of the impious is void.’

[Mishkat al-Anwar, no. 46]


Zakāt Al-Fiṭrah

1. When should a person give Zakat Al Fitr?

Answer: At the time of sunset on Eid ul fitr night (i.e. the night preceding Eid day), whoever is adult and sane and is neither unconscious, nor poor, nor the slave of another, he should give, on his own behalf as well as on behalf of all those who are his dependents, about 3 kilos per head of wheat or barley or dates or raisins or rice or millet etc. It is also sufficient if he pays the price of one of these items in cash. As per obligatory precaution, he should not give from that food, which is not staple in his place, even if it be wheat, barley, dates or raisins.


2. Should a person pay Zakat Al Fitr, if he is not in a position to meet his own expenses, as well as those of his family, for a period of one year?

Answer: If a person is not in a position to meet his own expenses, as well as those of his family, for a period of one year, and has also no one who can meet these expenses, and he is a poor person, then it is not obligatory on him to pay Zakat of fitrah.


3. Who should a person pay Zakat Al Fitr for?

Answer: One should pay Fitrah on behalf of all those persons who are treated as his dependents at his house on the nightfall of Eid ul fitr, whether they be young or old, Muslims or non-Muslims; irrespective of whether or not it is obligatory on him to maintain them, and whether they are in his own town or in some other town.


4. Can a person appoint his dependent who is in another town, to pay his own fitrah from his property?

Answer: If a person appoints his dependent who is in another town, to pay his own fitrah from his property, and is satisfied that he will pay the fitrah, it will not be necessary for the person to pay that dependent’s fitrah.

(If a person appoints his dependant who is in another town to be his agent and give the dependant’s fiṭrah from that person’s property, in the event that he is confident that he will give the fiṭrah, it is not necessary for the person to give his dependent’s fiṭrah himself.)


 5. How should a person pay Zakat Al Fitr when it comes to a guest?


Answer:

  • It is obligatory to pay the fitrah of a guest who arrives at his house before sunset on Eid ul fitr night, with his consent, and he becomes his temporary dependent.

  • And the fitrah of a guest who arrives at his house on the night of Eid ul fitr before sunset, without his consent, and stays with him for some time, is also, as per obligatory precaution, wajib upon the host. Similarly, if he is forced to maintain someone, his fitrah will also be obligatory upon him.

  • If a guest arrives after sunset on Eid ul fitr night, and is considered to be dependent upon the master of the house, payment of his fitrah is obligatory on the master of the house, as an obligatory precaution;

  • But otherwise it is not obligatory, even if he may have invited him before sunset and may have broken his fast at his house.

6. Should a person pay Zakat Al Fitr if he is insane?

Answer: If a person is insane at the time of sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, and his insanity continues till Zuhr on Eid ul fitr, it is not obligatory on him to pay the fitrah. Otherwise it is necessary for him as an obligatory precaution to give fitrah.


7. Should a child who becomes baligh or an insane person who becomes sane, or a poor person who becomes self-sufficient during sunset, give fitrah?

Answer: If a child becomes baligh, or an insane person becomes sane, or a poor person becomes self-sufficient during sunset, and satisfies the conditions of fitrah becoming obligatory on him, he should give fitrah.

And If it is not obligatory on a person to pay fitrah at the time of sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, but necessary conditions making fitrah obligatory on him develop before Zuhr on Eid day, the obligatory precaution is that he should pay fitrah.


8. Should a non-Muslim or a non-Shia pay the fitrah if he becomes Shia after Sunset?

Answer: If a non-Muslim becomes a Muslim after the sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, it is not obligatory on him to pay fitrah. But if a Muslim who was not a Shi’ah becomes a Shi’ah after sighting the moon, he should pay fitrah.


9. Should a person pay the fitrah if that person only affords one sa’a (about 3 kilos) of wheat?

Answer It is Mustahab that a person who affords only one sa’a (about 3 kilos) of wheat etc. should also pay fitrah.

And if he has family members and wishes to pay their fitrah as well, he can give that one sa’a to one of his family members with the intention of fitrah and that member can give it to another family member, and so on, till the turn of the last person comes; and it is better that the last person gives what he receives to a person who is not one of them. And if one of them is a minor, his guardian can take fitrah on his behalf, and the precaution is the thing taken for the minor should not be given to anyone else (and the recommended precaution is that the guardian should not take it with the intention of taking it for the minor or insane person but rather for himself.)


10. Should a person pay the fitrah if his child is born after the sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr?

Answer: If one’s child is born after the sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, it is not obligatory to give its fitrah. However, the obligatory precaution is that one should pay the fitrah of all those who are considered one’s dependents after sunset, till before the Zuhr of Eid.


11. If a person is a dependent of someone and before sunset, he becomes a dependent of someone else, who should his fitrah?

Answer: If a person is a dependent of someone and before sunset, he becomes a dependent of someone else, his fiṭrah is obligatory on the person of whom he became a dependent. For example, if a girl moves to her husband’s house before sunset, her husband must give her fiṭrah.


12. If the fitrah of a person is obligatory on another person, can he give his own fitrah?

Answer: If the fitrah of a person is obligatory on another person, it is not obligatory on him to give his fitrah himself.


13. Is a person whose fiṭrah is obligatory on another person obligated to give his own fiṭrah?

Answer: A person whose fiṭrah is obligatory on another person is not obligated to give his fiṭrah himself. However, if the other person does not or cannot give his fiṭrah, then based on precaution it becomes obligatory on him to give his own fiṭrah provided that the conditions mentioned in question 1 are fulfilled, he must pay his own fitrah.

And if a person whose fiṭrah is obligatory on another person gives his own fiṭrah, the obligation on the one who must give it is not exempted.


14. How should the fitrah of a man’s wife be paid if the wife is not maintained by her husband?

Answer: In the case of a wife who is not maintained by her husband, if she is dependent upon someone else, that person will have to pay her fitrah. But if she is not dependent on anyone else, she will pay her own fitrah if she is not poor.


15. Can a non-Sayyed give fitrah to a Sayyed?

Answer: A person, who is not a Sayyid, cannot give fitra to a Sayyid, and if that Sayyid is his dependent, he cannot give to another Sayyid either.


16. Is the fitrah of a child who is breastfed by its mother or a wet nurse obligatory?

Answer: The fiṭrah of a child who is breastfed by its mother or a wet nurse is obligatory on the person who pays for the living expenses of the mother or the wet nurse. However, if the mother or the wet nurse takes her living expenses from the child’s property, then the fiṭrah of that child is not obligatory on anyone.


17. Is a person obliged to pay the fitrah of his family members even if he earns haram money?

Answer: Even if a person maintains the members of his family by haraam means, he should pay their fitrah out of halal property.


18. Should a person pay the fitrah of a worker if he for example employs someone like a carpenter or a servant?

Answer:  If a person employs someone like a carpenter, or a servant, and agrees to maintain him fully, he should pay his fitrah as well. But if he agrees that he would pay him for his labour, it is not obligatory on him to pay his fitrah.


19. If a person dies before sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, is it wajib to pay his fitrah or that of his family, from his estate?

Answer:  If a person dies before sunset on the night of Eid ul fitr, it is not wajib to pay his fitrah or that of his family, from his estate. But if he dies after sunset, it is commonly held that fitrah will be obligatory, but it is not devoid of Ishkal. However, it is better to act on precaution, and pay his fitrah as well as that of his family.


Disposal of Fitra

20. who should a person pay Zakat Al-Fitr to?

Answer: As an obligatory precaution Fitrah should be paid to poor Shiah only, who fulfil the conditions mentioned for those who deserve receiving Zakat. If a Shiah child is poor, one can spend fitrah on him, or make it his property by entrusting it to its guardian.

But if there is no deserving Shiah in one’s hometown, it can be given to other deserving Muslims. But in no circumstances should Fitrah be given to Nasibis or Khawarij – the enemies of Ahlul Bait (as)

But there is no problem in extending the recommended charity [Sadaqa] to [a non-Muslim] who does not show hatred against Islam and Muslims; and one who gives such a charity will be rewarded for this deed.


21. Can the fitrah be given to a non-adil?

Answer:  It is not necessary that the poor to whom fitrah is given should be Adil (a just person). But, as an obligatory precaution, fitrah must not be given to a drunkard, or one who does not offer his daily prayers, or commits sins openly.


22. Can Fitrah be given to person who spends it on sinful acts?

Answer: Fitrah should not be given to a person who spends it on sinful acts.


23. Can the fitrah be less than 3 kilograms?

Answer: The recommended precaution is that a poor person should not be given fitrah which is less than a sa’a (about 3 kilos). However, there is no harm if more than that is given to him.


24. Is it sufficient to give half a sa’a (1,5 kg), when the price of a superior quality of a commodity is double that of the ordinary, like, when the price of a particular kind of wheat is double that of the price of its ordinary kind?

Answer: When the price of a superior quality of a commodity is double that of the ordinary, like, when the price of a particular kind of wheat is double that of the price of its ordinary kind, it is not sufficient to give half a sa’a of the wheat of superior quality as fitrah. Also, it is not sufficient if the value of half a sa’a is given with the Niyyat of fitrah.


25. Can person give half a sa’a of one commodity (eg. wheat) and half a sa’a of another commodity (eg. barley) as fitrah?

Answer: One cannot give as fitrah, half a sa’a of one commodity (eg. wheat) and half a sa’a of another commodity (eg. barley), and if he gives these with the Niyyat of paying the price of fitrah even then it is not sufficient.


26. Can a person give Zakat Al-Fitr to one’s poor relatives?

Answer:  It is Mustahab that while giving Zakat of fitrah, one should give preference to one’s poor relatives and neighbours, and then to give preference to the learned persons over others.


27. What should a person do if he gives fitrah to a person thinking that he is poor, and understands later that he was not poor?

Answer:  If a man gives fitrah to a person thinking that he is poor, and understands later that he was not poor, and if the property which he gave to him has not ceased to exist, he should take it back from him, and give it to a person who deserves.

But if he cannot take it back from him, he should replace it from his own property.

And if what he gave as fitrah is used up, and the person who took fitrah knew that he had received fitrah, he should give its substitute, but if he did not know it, it is not obligatory on him to give substitute, and the man who gave fitrah should give it once again.


28. Can a person give Zakat Al-Fitr to a person who claims to be poor?

Answer: If a person claims to be poor, fitrah cannot be given to him unless one is satisfied with his claim; or, if one knows that the claimant has been poor previously.


Miscellaneous Matters Regarding Fitrah

29. What intentions should a person have before giving Zakat Al Fitr?

Answer:  One should give fitrah with the Niyyat of Qurbat, that is, to fulfil the orders of God the Almighty, and should intend to be giving fitrah at the time of disposal.


30. Can a person give fitrah before the month of Ramadhan?

Answer: It is not correct to give fitrah before the month of Ramadhan, and it is better that it should not be given even during the month of Ramadhan. However, if a person gives loan to a poor person before Ramadhan and adjusts the loan against fitrah (counts the loan as fiṭrah), when payment of fitrah becomes obligatory, there is no harm in it.


31. Is it necessary that wheat or any other thing which a person gives as fitrah is not mixed with another commodity or dust?

Answer:  It is necessary that wheat or any other thing which a person gives as fitrah is not mixed with another commodity or dust, and if it is mixed, but in its pure form it equals a sa’a (about 3 kilos) and the quantity of the thing mixed with it is negligible or usable, there is no harm in it.


32. Can a person give fitrah from a thing which is inferior or defective?

Answer: If a person gives fitrah from a thing which is inferior or defective, it will not be sufficient.


33. If a person gives fitrah on behalf of a number of persons, Is it necessary for him to pay all from the same commodity?

Answer: If a person gives fitrah on behalf of a number of persons, it is not necessary for him to pay all from the same commodity. For example, if he gives wheat as fitrah of some of them of and barley for others, it is sufficient.


34. Should a person give fitrah before Eid prayers?

Answer: If a person offers Eid ul fitr prayers, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, give fitrah before Eid prayers. But if he does not offer Eid prayers, he can delay giving fitrah till Zuhr.


35. What should a person do if he does not give it to a person entitled to receive it till Zuhr of Eid day?

Answer: If a person puts aside some of his property with the intention of fiṭrah but does not give it to someone who is entitled to receive it until the time of ẓuhr prayers on the day of Eid al-Fiṭr, he must make the intention of fiṭrah whenever he gives it, and there is no problem if there was a rationally acceptable reason for the delay.


36. What should a person do if he does not give the fitrah at the time when its payment becomes obligatory, and does not also set it aside?

Answer: If a person does not give fitrah at the time when its payment becomes obligatory, and does not also set it aside, he should give fitrah later on the basis of precaution, without making the Niyyat of ada or qadha.


37. If a person sets aside fitrah, can he take it for his own use?

Answer: If a person sets aside fitrah, he cannot take it for his own use, and replace it with another sum or thing.


38. If a person possesses wealth whose value is more than fitrah, and if he does not give fitrah, can the person make that a part of that wealth is for fitrah?

Answer: If a person possesses wealth whose value is more than fitrah, and if he does not give fitrah but makes a Niyyat that a part of that wealth is for fitrah, it is a matter of Ishkal.


39. If the property that one has set aside for fiṭrah perishes, in the event that he had access to a poor person but delayed in giving the fiṭrah, or he was negligent in looking after it, should he replace the fitrah?

Answer:  If the property that one has set aside for fiṭrah perishes, in the event that he had access to a poor person but delayed in giving the fiṭrah, or he was negligent in looking after it, he must replace it. However, if he did not have access to a poor person and he was not negligent in looking after it, he is not responsible to replace it.


40. Can a person give Fitrah to a poor person outside his hometown?

Answer: If a deserving person is available in the hometown of a person, the obligatory precaution is that he should not transfer the fitrah to some other place, and if he does and it is lost, he should give its replacement.


Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad (saw) and His Family (as) 


| Ayatollah Sayyed Ali As-Sistani and Amir Zabidi 


Further reading 


https://www.al-islam.org/mizan-al-hikmah-scale-wisdom/alms-tax-zakat

https://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2291/

https://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2292/

https://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2293/

https://www.al-islam.org/islamic-laws-ayatullah-ali-al-husayni-al-sistani/zakat-part-ii-ii#zakat-fitrah

https://www.al-islam.org/islamic-laws-ayatullah-abul-qasim-al-khui/zakat#zakatul-fitr


THE ISLAMIC LAW OF ZAKAT | PART.7

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