Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
In the Shafi’i School, what is the proper way to pay the Zakat al-Fitr?
Thank you for your question.
It says in the Reliance of the Traveller,
The zakat of ‘Eid al-Fitr consists of 2.03 liters of the main staple of the area in which it is given, of the kinds of crops on which zakat is payable. If the main staple is bread, as in many countries, only wheat may be given and is what is meant by the expression giving food here and in all texts below dealing with expiations (e.g. j3.22(2)). (The Hanafi school permits paying the poor the wheat’s value in money, both here and for expiations). It is permissible to give the best quality of the staple food of the area, but not to give less than the usual quality, such as by giving barley where wheat is the main staple.
It is permissible to give the zakat of ‘Eid al-Fitr to deserving recipients anytime during Ramadan, though the best time is on the day of ‘Eid al-Fitr before the prayer. It is not permissible to delay giving it until after the day of the ‘Eid (that is, one may give it until sunset), and is a sin to delay until after this, and one must make it up (by paying it late).
Is it permissible for a Shafi`i to pay his zakat al-fitr in the form of money?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.