Issues in Zakatul-Fitr [from the Work of Al-Imaam AshShaukaanee]

Sunday 11-Nov-2018, 9:45AM / 855

It is a measure of Sâ from known staples; and it is to be given on behalf of each person (who is a Muslim). The obligation lies on the master of a slave and provider for the young ones and people similar to those. It will be given before going out for the Eid. Whoever cannot take care of his feeding for a day and night is not obliged to give Zakatul-Fitr. The Zakatul-Fitr is to be distributed as the (obligatory) Zakâh is distributed.

I say: As for the statement that it is a measure of Sâ from known staples and to be given by every Muslim, the proof for that is the hadith recorded on the authority of Ibn Umar – may Allâh be pleased with him – as contained in the Sahîhayn and other works; he said:

'The Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – made Zakatul-Fitr obligatory in Ramadan a measure of Sâ of dates or of barley; upon the slaves (due from their masters), non-slaves, males, females, young and old ones among the Muslims.'

There are several other Ahâdîth under the section.

There is one in Sahîh Muslim and other books [that goes thus]:

وليس على المسلم في عبده صدقة إلا صدقة الفطر

'Zakâh is not obligatory on any Muslim as regard his slave except Zakatul-Fitr.'

Ad-Dâraqutnî and al-Bayhaqî recorded a hadith on the authority of Ibn Umar – may Allâh be pleased with him – who said:

'The Messenger of Allâh commanded the giving of Zakatul-Fitr on behalf of the young and old ones, non-slaves and slaves that you take care of.'

Ad-Dâraqutnî also recorded the like of the above narration on the authority of Alee bn Abee Tâlib – may Allâh be pleased with him. There is however weakness in its chain; there are several routes for the hadith.

The commands as regard those who are not religiously responsible are in reality with respect to those who are religiously responsible.

The view of the majority of the scholars such al-Imâm Ahmad and ash-Shâfi'î is that the Zakatul-Fitr to be given is a measure of Sâ of wheat and other staples.

Some Companions (of the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) are of the view that the Zakatul-Fitr to be given is half a measure of Sâ. That is what al-Mundhir related on the authority of Alee (bn Abee Tâlib), Uthmân (bn Affân), Abu Hurairah, Jâbir, Ibn Abbaas, Ibn az-Zubayr, and his mother, Asmâ bint Abee Bakr – may Allâh the Mighty be pleased with them all; the reports have come from them with authentic chains as al-Haafidh – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – stated. That is also the opinion of Zayd bn Alee so also is the opinion of Imâm Yahyâ and Abu Hanifah – may Allâh bestow mercy on all. That is what the author of al-Bahr related too. Those scholars hold to the hadith recorded on the authority of Ibn Abbaas – may Allâh be pleased with him; a report that went back to the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – that he – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said:

صدقة الفطر مدان من قمح

'Zakatul-Fitr is two mudd from wheat'

Al-Hâkim recorded the above hadith. At-Tirmidhî also recorded its like on the authority of Amr bn Shu'ayb from his father from his grandfather – may Allâh be pleased with them; a report that went back to the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam. There are several Ahâdîth under the section that give weight to that view.

As for the statement that the Zakatul-Fitr should be given before the Eid Prayer, that is according to the hadith recorded on the authority of Ibn Umar – may Allâh be pleased with him – as found in the Sahîhayn and other books that the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – commanded that Zakatul-Fitr should be given before people go out for the Eid Prayer.

Abu Dâwud, Ibn Mâjah, ad-Dâraqutnî and al-Hâkim, who authenticated it, recorded a hadith on the authority of Ibn Abbaas – may Allâh be pleased with him – back to the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – that he – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said:

فمن أداها قبل الصلاة فهي زكاة مقبولة ومن أداها بعد الصلاة فهي صدقة من الصدقات

'Whoever gives it (i.e. Zakatul-Fitr) before the Prayer then that it is an acceptable Zakâh, and whoever gives it after the Prayer then that will be regarded as one of the acts of charity.'

As for the statement that whoever cannot take care of his feeding for a day and night, that Zakatul-Fitr is not obligatory on him, this is because if he should give out his meal for the day or part of the meal, he will be regarded as a person entitled to Zakâh not a person who is ought to give Zakâh, that is because the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said:

اغنوهم في هذا اليوم

'Make them (the poor) be sufficient today.' Al-Bayhaqî and ad-Dâraqutnî recorded the hadith on the authority of Ibn Umar – may Allâh be pleased with him.

If one can take care of one's feeding for more than a day and night, then such a person must give Zakatul-Fitr provided the addition staple he has can reach the level from which he will give Zakatul-Fitr. What adds to that is the forbiddance of asking question from whomever can take care of his feeding for a day and night as is recorded by al-Imâm Ahmad and Abu Dâwud on the auhtrotiy of Sahl bn al-Handhalah – may Allâh be pleased with him – back to the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam. This is because the narrations are speaking in the absolute sense; the rich and the poor are not specifically mentioned.

Ahmad and Abu Dâwud recorded a hadith on the authority of Abdullâh bn Tha'labah – may Allâh be pleased with him – who said that the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said:

صدقة الفطر صاع تمر أو صاع شعير عن كل رأس أو صاع بر أو قمح بين اثنين صغير أو كبير حر أو عبد ذكر أو انثى غني أو فقير أما غنيكم فيزكيه الله وأما فقيركم كم فيرد الله عليه أكثر مما أعطى

' Zakatul-Fitr is a measure of Sâ of barley, to be given on behalf of every head. Or a measure of Sâ of wheat (to be divided) between two persons; on behalf of the young and old ones, non-slaves and slaves, males or females, the rich and poor. As for the rich ones among you, Allâh will use it (i.e. Zakatul-Fitr) to cleanse them (of their sins), as for the poor ones among you, perhaps Allâh will return for them more than what they give.'

There is a difference of opinions (from the scholars) as to what is the minimum standard whoever wants to give the Zakatul-Fitr will have of staples. Some scholars say he must possess the Nisâb, some say he must possess food that can take care of ten persons.

Al-Imâm Mâlik, ash-Shâfi'î, Attâ, Ahmad bn Hanbal, Ishâq and al-Mu'ayyad bi-lllah (in one of his two opinions); they all say, what will be considered is that the person that will give Zakatul-Fitr must possess the meal for a day and night.

As for the statement that Zakatul-Fitr should be distributed as the Zakâh (of wealth) is distributed, the proof for that is because the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – called Zakatul-Fitr a Zakâh; that can be derived from his statement – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam: 'Whoever gives it before the Prayer then that it is an acceptable Zakâh…' Another proof is the statement of Ibn Umar – may Allâh be pleased with him – that the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – issued a command regarding Zakatul-Fitr.

The two reports had been earlier given but it is proper that priority should be given to the poor because of the command that they should be sufficed (from asking) on that day. When the items are plenty (such that enough has been given to the poor), then other recipients of Zakâh can be considered.