بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
As we near the end of Ramaḍān, there is an important obligation that is approaching. Everyone should be aware of it, and at the end of the month those who are responsible for it must see to it. It is the ṣadaqat al-fiṭr. In this writing, we shall discuss some of the evidence establishing it, some rulings regarding it, and how one can pay it.
Some of the Textual Evidence Mentioning Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr & Its Virtue
The Prophet (upon him be peace) prescribed the ṣadaqat al-fiṭr in the second year after the hijrah. This happened when fasting in Ramaḍān was legislated and prior to the legislation of zakāh. A few days before Ramaḍān ended, the Prophet (upon him be peace) addressed the people and informed them that they must pay it. He detailed how it should be paid and who should pay it. Ibn ʿUmar (Allāh be pleased with him) related:
«فَرَضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ زَكَاةَ الفِطْرِ صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ، أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ عَلَى العَبْدِ وَالحُرِّ، وَالذَّكَرِ وَالأُنْثَى، وَالصَّغِيرِ وَالكَبِيرِ مِنَ المُسْلِمِينَ، وَأَمَرَ بِهَا أَنْ تُؤَدَّى قَبْلَ خُرُوجِ النَّاسِ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ»
“Allāh’s Messenger (upon him be peace) prescribed the ṣadaqat al-fiṭr as a ṣāʿ measurement of dates or a ṣāʿ measurement of barley, for the slave and the freeman, the man and the woman, and the child and the adult Muslims. He ordered that it should be paid prior to the people going to the (Eid) prayer.”
According to some, paying it before the Eid prayer may be found in the Qurʾān. Allāh says:
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ تَزَكَّى وَذَكَرَ اسْمَ رَبِّهِ فَصَلَّى
“Successful is he who purifies himself (by giving charity), mentions the name of his Lord, and then prays.”
And commentating on this verse, Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī, Ibn ʿUmar, Ibn al-Musayyib, and others (Allāh be pleased with them) mentioned that it is regarding the morning of ʿĪd al-Fiṭr. One first gives ṣadaqat al-fiṭr, then he mentions his Lord with the takbīrāt while going to Eid and before the prayer, and then he offers the Eid prayer.
Imām Bukhārī also related a narration on Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī’s authority that indicates to this being the Companions’ continual practice. The inhabitants of Madīnah did not see there to be any charity more virtuous than ṣadaqat al-fiṭr. And it has been related that the Prophet (upon him be peace) said:
إِنَّ شَهْرَ رَمَضَانَ مُعَلَّقٌ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ لَا يُرْفَعُ إِلَّا بِزَكَاةِ الْفِطْرِ
“Verily, the month of Ramaḍān is left suspended between the heavens and earth and will not ascend up except for by paying the ṣadaqat al-fiṭr.”
The emphasis on it is also found in many statements related from our pious predecessors. For instance, Wakīʿ b. al-Jarrāḥ (Allāh be pleased with him) said:
زَكَاةُ الْفِطْرِ لِشَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ كَسَجْدَتَي السَّهْوِ لِلصَّلَاةِ تَجْبُرُ نُقْصَانَ الصَّوْمِ كَمَا يَجْبُرُ السَّهْوُ نُقْصَانَ الصَّلَاةِ
“Ṣadaqat al-fiṭr for the month of Ramaḍān is like the prostrations of forgetfulness for the prayer. It compensates for deficiency in one’s fasting just like the prostrations compensate for deficiency in one’s prayer.”
Some Rulings Regarding Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr
In the Ḥanafī Madhhab, ṣadaqat al-fiṭr is obligatory (ar. wājib). The wording, faraḍa, expresses how the Prophet (upon him be peace) communicated the ruling to his Companions, and it implies obligation. When one pays it, he discharges an obligation that is incumbent on him to observe in this world and shall reap abundant reward when he reaches the next.
Every Muslim who possesses a zakāt-able niṣāb in surplus to his basic needs and those of his family must pay it. One must pay it for his own self and for his young indigent child or adult child who is mentally incapacitated. One does not need to pay it for his wife or adult children, while it is permissible for him to do so.
The jurists mention that the amount payable is half a sāʿ of wheat or flour. And if dates, raisins or barley is given, then it is a full sāʿ. Paying it in cash rather than foodstuff is preferred.
While one may pay the ṣadaqat al-fiṭr at any time during the month of Ramaḍān, it becomes obligatory when fajr enters on the day of Eid. Thus, if one would die before then or if a child would be born after, it would not be obligatory for them. It is best that it is paid before going to perform the Eid prayer. If one has not paid it by then, then they should try to pay it as soon as possible. Ṣadaqat al-fiṭr does not fall away because of non-payment; in fact, it remains an obligation that one must discharge.
In the current situation, with most not being able to attend the mosque for the Eid prayer, it is still necessary that ṣadaqat al-fiṭr be paid.
How to Pay It
Each ṣadaqat al-fiṭr amount that is paid may be given to one eligible recipient. Dividing one payment up between multiple recipients does not suffice while it is permissible to give multiple payments to just one recipient. Thus, by way of example using this year’s minimum amount, it would be permissible to give seven dollars to one individual, but one could not divide that seven between two recipients. If one would be paying on behalf of five people, for example, then it would be permissible to give thirty-five dollars to one recipient.
This year’s minimum amount is seven dollars per person. The amounts that one may pay based on the other commodities that can be given are as follows:
(1) Wheat: Half Sāʿ (3.75 lb) = $7 per person
(2) Barley: Full Sāʿ (7.5 lb) = $15 per person
(3) Raisins: Full Sāʿ (7.5 lb) = $40 per person
(4) Dates: Full Sāʿ (7.5 lb) = $42 per person
This is the most virtuous charity that one can give, and through giving more one will receive abundant reward in the Hereafter. If one can, then giving an amount equal to a more valuable commodity is best. May Allāh accept our fasts and our charity.
To pay it, please visit: https://us.mohid.co/il/nwcs/dsf/masjid/online/donation/index/9 or Quickpay/Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org to avoid the processing fees.
 Sharīʿat Allāh al-Khālidah, 53.
 al-Baḥr al-Rāʾiq, 2:270.
 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, 2:130.
 Q, 87:14-15.
 al-Durr al-Manthūr, 8:485; Tafsīr Ibn ʿAṭīyah, 5:470.
 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, 2:131.
 Tafsīr al-Ṭabarī, 24:374. The passage includes zakāt al-fiṭr and siqāyat al-māʾ.
 Ibn al-Jawzī, al-Tabṣirah, 2:103; Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī, Mirqāt al-Mafātīḥ, 4:1299. Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī mentioned that this narration is “ḥasan gharīb.”
 Ṣifat al-Ṣafwah, 2:99.
 al-Baḥr al-Rāʾiq, 2:270.
 al-Fatāwā al-Hindīyah, 1:191.
 Radd al-Muḥtār, 2:358.
 Ibid., 2:366.
 al-Fatāwā al-Hindīyah, 1:192.
 Ibid., 1:193.