What is the difference between Zakāt and Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
There are several differences between Zakāt and Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr, they include the following:
- Zakāt is farḍ (obligatory) and a pillar of Islam whilst Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is wājib (necessary) according to the Ḥanafī school of thought.
- Zakāt is proportionate to a person’s wealth and is generally 2.5%. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is fixed, ½ Ṣāʿ of wheat or one Ṣāʿ of barley, dates or raisins.
- The obligation of Zakāt is subject to the passing of one year once the Niṣāb threshold is reached. This condition does not apply to Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr.
- Zakāt becomes obligatory when a person owns wealth equivalent to Niṣāb from Zakātable assets (gold, silver, livestock, business assets, currency). However, Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr becomes necessary when a person owns wealth equivalent to Niṣāb whether it is from Zakātable assets or from non-Zakātable assets that are in excess of his personal needs. For example, a person who only owns houses (excessive of his needs) will be liable to give Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr but not Zakāt.
- There is no Zakāt on non-mature children, nor is there is Zakāt on behalf of them. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is necessary on behalf of non-mature children.
- Zakāt must be paid by the owner of the wealth. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is given by the head of the household on behalf of the non-mature children.
- Zakāt can be due anytime of the year based on the lunar date of owning Niṣāb. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is given before Eid Ṣalāh on Eid day or before this.
- Zakāt can only be given to Muslims. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr can be given to a dhimmī (a non-Muslim living in Muslim lands) according to Imam Muḥammad (d. 189/805) (al-Aṣl, 2:259) and many Ḥanafī scholars (Tabyīn al-Ḥaqāʾiq, 1:300), although fatwā has been given by some Ḥanafī scholars on the position of Imam Abū Yūsuf (d. 182/798) that it is not permissible (Radd al-Muḥtār, 2:369).
- There is no Zakāt on non-Muslims. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is necessary on a Muslim master on behalf of a non-Muslim slave (al-Mabsūṭ, 3:103).
- The purpose of Zakāt is to purify the person (Qurʾān, 9:103) and the wealth (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, 1404) along with other purposes such as allievating poverty. The purpose of Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is to feed the poor and act as purification of the fasting from idle talk and obscenities (Sunan Abī Dāwūd, 1609).
Allah knows best
11 Shawwāl 1438 / 5 July 2017
Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad and Mufti Muhammad Tahir
This answer was collected from IslamicPortal.co.uk, which is a repository of Islamic Q&A, articles, books, and resources. Various schools write and oversee the answers, including Maulana Yusuf Shabbir, Mufti Shabbir Ahmed, and Mufti Muhammad Tahir.