بسم اللــــه الرحمـــــــــن الرحيم
Important Fatwa concerning Zakāt ul fitr
Answered by our Shaykh, the ‘Allāmah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu ‘Abdirrahman Yahya bin ‘Ali Al-Hajūri – may Allāh preserve him
When does the time of zakāt ul fitr begin? And when does it end? And what are the types which zakāt is given from? And is flour given, and is money given?
The time for Zakāt ul fitr: It is for the breaking of Ramadhān, the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ made obligatory Zakāt ul fitr of Ramadhān a sā’a (four handfuls with both hands) of dates or a sā’a of barley upon the male and the female and the free and the slave and the small and the big from the Muslims, it is to be given before the eid prayer, this is what is incumbent, that it is given before the prayer, and after the prayer it is not considered zakāt ul fitr, it is considered charity from the rest of the charitable donations unaccepted as zakāt ul fitr, and some people of knowledge have delved into this issue and that it is from the means of broadening on the people and perhaps his situation is tight, and perhaps the haste of the eid prayer will cause him to forget, so there is no problem to give it on the night of eid or before that by a day.
As for giving it in the middle of Ramadhān or in the beginning, or from the last ten then it is not accepted due to the hadith:
من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد
“Whoever introduces into this affair of ours what is not from it will have it rejected.”
And the hadith:
إن الله حد حدودا فلا تعتدوها
“Verily Allāh made limits so do not transgress them.”
These are limits clarified by the Book and the Sunnah, it is not accepted from the last ten, there is no evidence for this, but (we act) according to what the evidence has come with.
So this is its time, the day of eid before the prayer, and if the affair becomes restricted as has preceded, this is its beginning time, it’s end time is when the imām begins the prayer, the time has ended for giving zakāt ul fitr.
And it is better to be from barley or dates, upon what the hadith of Ibn Umar in the two Sahihs dictates, the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ made Zakāt ul fitr obligatory a sā’a of barley or dates, this is what the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ made obligatory and we advise to seek this out, and a person should not say: barley has no value, it has a great benefit, and verily some people don’t know how to make it and give focus to it, coffee can be made from it, and big bread, and it has many benefits, and it’s benefits have been compiled in a juz’.
Also it is allowed to give from the most popular food source of that country, and the evidence for that is the hadith of Abī Saīd Al-Khudrī may Allāh be pleased with him that he said:
كنا نخرج زكاة الفطر صاعا من تمر أو صاعا من شعير أو صاعا من طعام أو صاعا من أقط، و في رواية: صاعا من زبيب
“We used to give as zakāt ul fitr a sā’a or dates or a sā’a of barley or a sā’a of foodstuff or a sā’a of jamīd.”
And in a narration a sā’a of raisins
So these things mentioned were their most popular foodstuff, either from barley, or from dates, and they used to give from the most popular of foodstuff, so whoever it is made easy for him these five mentioned with what preceded he gives, and whoever does not find except the likes of rice or what him and his children regularly consume daily he gives from it and this is a good affair and allowed.