A Question About The Rules of Zakãtul-Fitr (Jaka)
Question Number: 3225
Assalãmu alaykum to our sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. We are Muwahhidûn from Iraq and we love you for the sake of Allah because you said the right word in the face of an unjust ruler. We also expect prayer from you.
As for the question, the Zakãtul-Fitr (Jaka) when is the time of offering it?
And the Saa’, how much is it? (does it equal four full handfuls?),
And with what is Zakãt al-Fitr offered?
Is it permissible for it to be offered with money, and if possible, what is the amount of the money?
And to whom is it given, can it be given to the mujahideen due to the severity of their need for money if only it is permissible to offer it with money based on evidence.
Questioner: Abû Ubaydah As-Salafi
Answer: Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. Afterwards Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and may Allah for whose sake you love me love you as well, in it we ask Allah to grant you and us firmness and good end.
Zakat al-Fitr is obligatory for every Muslim and it does not fall except for insolvency (poverty) due to the hadith of Abdullah ibn Umar that:
“the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him imposed Zakatul-Fitr of Ramadan on people, a Saa ‘of dates or a Saa’ of barley; every freeman or slave, male or female. Muslims.”
And this hadith is mentioned in the two Saheeh (Bukhari and Muslim), and others, and mentioned in it are varieties of sustenance at the time of the Prophet peace be upon him.
In the hadith of Abu Sa’eed:
“We used to offer Zakãtul-Fitr with a Saa’ food or a Saa’ of barley, or a Saa’ of dates or a Saa’ of the pickup, or a Saa’ of raisins”.
[Bukhari and Muslim]
The word ‘food’ mentioned in this hadith covers all types of foods, and he specifically mentioned those items in his speech for being their staple food.
In these ahadeeth is a mention of its miqdãr (magnitude), and it is a Saa’ of food; and the Saa’ is the Saa’ of the people of Madeenah because the hadith already suggests that, and also the hadith:
“The scale is the scale of the people of Mecca, and the measurement is the measurement of the people of Madeenah”
[Narrated by Abu Dawood and Nasãi and others from Ibn Umar with a chain reaching the prophet].
As for the Saa’ of the people of Madeenah, it does not cease to be available by the grace of Allah and it is possible for a Muslim to obtain it and use it. And it is estimated by the people of Knowledge to be equivalent to four full handfuls of an average man, and the Mudu is to combine the two palms and fill them.
As for measuring it by weight (kilogram), this is not correct unless if the type of food and the weight of its Saa’ is known, because every kilo of food may vary in size from one another; what is more accurate to say, for example is that, a saa’ of dates weighs a certain kilo, this also lacks enough accuracy due to the different types of dates, of different weights and sizes. The lesson, as preceded is based on measurement of the people of Madeenah and not scale.
As for its time; it is obligatory to offer it before the Eid prayer and from its name zakaat al- fitr, it is clear that it is not obligatory except at the end of Ramadan, If a man dies on the twenty-eighth day, for example, there is no obligation of Zakãtul-Fitr on him because he did not live up to the time it becomes due; There is nothing wrong in gathering it a day or two before Eid as the Companions use to do and then distributing it on the eve (night before) Eid.
Due to the hadith of ibn Abbaas that the Prophet peace be upon him:
“Zakat al-Fitr is an obligation to serve as a purification for the fasting person from idle and obscene talk and to feed the poor, if it is offered before the prayer, it is an accepted zakaah, and whoever gives it after the prayer, it is a kind of charity,”
[Narrated by Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah].
In this hadith also is a reference to the direction to offer it which is the poor.
Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaadul Ma’ad (2/22):
“It is part of the guidance of the prophet peace be upon him to restrict this charity to the poor, and he does not use to divide it among the eight categories grip by grip nor did he order that, nor did any one of his companions, and none after them, but one of the two views we have chosen is that it may not be offered except to the poor alone, and this position is the most correct compared to the statement that it should be divided among the eight categories ”
In this is an answer to your question that can it be given to the mujahideen, if the severe conditions of the Mujahideen in some parts of the world is of the level that entitles them to what the poor is entitled to, then, there is nothing wrong in giving it to them. If not, it is the exclusive right of the poor people, and Allah provided for the mujahideen from other types of Zakãt..
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
“This is why Allah has enforced it as food stuff just as he enforced it as Kaffaarah, and based on this opinion, it is not fed to except those who are entitled to the Kaffaarah and they are those who are responsible for themselves and it is not given to those whose hearts are in doubt or slave nor is it given to others and this is the strongest opinion based on evidence”
[Fataawa, 25 / 73).
In the words of Shaykh al- Islam is also a reference to the necessity of offering it with food stuffs not cash which is correct, even if the poor are better in need of cash, they should be given cash in another time. However, Zakãtul-Fitr should be offered as prescribed by Allah to us in the words of the Prophet peace be upon him. Because Ibãdah (worship ) is a restricted act (Tawqeefiyyah) and as long as the Prophet peace be upon him has mentioned food stuff despite the needs of the poor in his time for cash just as they need it in all eras; Therefore stick to his way and do not leave it and mess around with your Ibãdah depending on the desirability of somebody or amendment of another person, and remember the saying of his, peace be upon him:
“whoever innovates in this affair of ours, what is not part of it, he is rejected”
“whoever does an action that is not ordered by us, he is rejected” .. (i.e. not accepted).
And Allah knows best.
Answered by Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (hafidhohulloh)