SADAQATUL FITR By Mufti Waseem Khan (Hafizahullah)
Sadaqatul Fitr is a compulsory charity which is given at the end of Ramadhan to the poor and needy. It is given to help them particularly on the day of Eidul Fitr and also serves as a purification for the giver against mistakes made while fasting.
Sadaqatul Fitr is incumbent on every Muslim male and female who is sane, has reached the age of puberty and possesses the Nisaab of Zakaah on the day of Eidul Fitr beyond the basic necessities of life. Some scholars have mentioned that Sadaqatul Fitr is compulsory on every Muslim who possesses approximately 4 3/4 lbs. of barley, raisins or dry cottage cheese which is not needed as a basic food for himself or his family for the day of Eidul Fitr. To be precautious in this matter, every Muslim who may not even be well to do must also pay the Sadqatul Fitr (or Fitrah).
Those who have the means to do so must pay on behalf of themselves and those under their care. For example, a father must pay on behalf of his wife, children- both minor and adult, as well as those under his care such as adopted children or others maintained by him. However if the wife owns an income or has sufficient means to pay Sadaqatul Fitr then she should pay on behalf of herself. Similarly if adult children have sufficient means to pay Sadaqatul Fitr then they should pay on behalf of themselves.
Sadaqatul Fitr can be given in the following items: dates, barley, raisins, cottage cheese, wheat, corn or flour or money. The amount to be given is one Saa’ which is equivalent to 2.174 Kg. or 4 3/4 lbs. or its value in money.
Sadaqatul Fitr becomes compulsory on the day of Eid and should be given before the Eid Salaah. If however one did not give it before the Eid Salaah then he must give it after the Salaah. To delay its payment after the day of Eid is Makruuh and against the Sunnah but must still be given if it was not given before. It is also permissible to give it during the month of Ramadhan.
Sadaqatul Fitr should be given to the poor and needy i.e. those who are entitled to receive Zakaah. Those who cannot receive Zakaah are also not entitled to receive Sadaqatul Fitr. However poor and needy non-Muslims can be given the Sadaqatul Fitr.
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.