Reminder: Pay Sadaqatul fitr before the Eid Salaah

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 20 June 2017| 25 Ramadaan 1438

‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) enjoined the payment of one sa’ of dates or one sa’ of barley as Zakat al-Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the ‘Id prayer.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:409)

The dispensing of Sadaqat al-Fitr becomes compulsory upon an individual with the break of dawn on the day of ‘Id [al-Fitr, the 1st of Shawwal]. (Bada’i al-Sana’i, 2:544)

It is recommended to pay the Sadaqat al-Fitr before attending the place where ‘Id salah will be performed. (Sharh Fath al-Qadir, 2:305)

It is permissible to pay Sadaqat al-Fitr prior to the day of ‘Id. ‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Umar said, “People used to give Sadaqat al-Fitr a day or two before the ‘Id. (Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:411)

In today’s climate, it is better and preferable to pay the Sadaqat al-Fitr many days in advance. The whole idea of Sadaqat al-Fitr is to benefit and suffice the poor on the day of ‘Id. Discharging of it prior to the ‘Id salah in the masjid or musallah, as it is common practice in the west, defeats the purpose and objective of Sadaqat al-Fitr. Hence, once should ideally pay the Sadaqah in adequate time so it can reach those who are worthy of it in due time. (Kitab al-Fatawa, 3:362)

If somebody failed to pay Sadaqat al-Fitr prior to the ‘Id salah, it will be permissible to discharge of it afterwards. Although to delay it is discouraged and disliked. (Nur al-Idah, p.162)

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “If one pays Sadaqat al-Fitr before thesalah, it is considered an accepted charity, if he pays it after the salah, it is considered an ordinary charity.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, p. 263)

There is dispute amongst the classical scholars with regards to exactly how many days in advance can Sadaqat al-Fitr be paid. The preferred view is that it will be permissible to pay even before the onset of Ramadan. However, to discharge of it in the month of Ramadan is the most preferred course of action, as all the scholars agree to this. (Kitab al-Fatawa, 3:363)

The Recipients of Sadaqat al-Fitr
The scholars are unanimous that the recipients of Sadaqat al-Fitr are identical to that of Zakat. This is based on the following verse:“Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Surat al-Tawbah v. 60)

The verse contains eight types of people:
1. Poor (fuqara’): They are those people who do not own in excess of their personal needs any type of wealth that is equal to the value of nisab (612.36 g of silver).

2. Needy (masakin): According to some scholars, they are those whose economic status is worse than the poor (fuqara’). The difference is a technical difference, but the principle is that neither of them possess in excess of their personal needs any type of wealth that is equal to the value of nisab.

3. Zakat collectors (‘amilin alayha): This refers to those individuals commissioned by the head of the Islamic government to collect Zakat. This isn’t applicable today.

4. Those whose hearts are being reconciled (mu’allafah al-qulub): This was an avenue to dispense your Zakat in during the early days of Islam. The Zakat money would be given to three types of people:
1. Those disbelievers from whom it was perceived that by giving this donation, they would embrace Islam.
2. To the leaders of the disbelievers in order to save the believers from their evil.
3. To those who have just accepted Islam. This payment would be made to elevate their spirits.
According to the Hanafi scholars, this avenue is now abrogated. (Sharh Fath al-Qadir, 2:265)

5. Emancipating slaves (fi ‘l-riqab): Zakat money can be used to purchase a slave from his master in order to set him free. Again, this is inapplicable.

6. Debtors (al-gharimin): This is regarding a person who despite having assets at his disposal, he is overwhelmed with debt and the debt exceeds the value of his assets.

7. Those in the cause of Allah (fi sabil Allah): According to the majority of scholars, this refers to and is restricted to only those people who are engaged in Jihad (military struggle).

8. Travellers (ibn al-sabil): This refers to those travellers who are in a desperate situation and have no access to their personal money. Money nowadays can be wired across the globe in a matter of minutes, hence, one who has the ability to receive his money, will not be allowed to take Zakat or Sadaqat al-Fitr.

You may contribute your Fitrah to SANZAF. Operation Fitrah is one of the vital annual relief projects undertaken by SANZAF. The campaign has shown significant growth in both magnitude and effectiveness over the past 41 years.

This year SANZAF will distribute more than R5 million in nutritional food, fresh produce and canned goods at the end of Ramadan. Visit www.sanzaf.org.za for more information.

Source Extracts- Muslims village