The true value of the Zekat al Fitre
„Free them from neediness on this day“
… with these words the Prophet ﷺ made Zekat al Fitre obligatory for the ummah. However, feeding the needy does not reflect the only wisdom behind Zekat Al Fitr. There is more to it, as we will learn later….
Islam has given Muslims exactly two great and important holidays: Eid al Fitre and Eid al Adha. It is precisely these that all Muslims should be allowed to enjoy and celebrate without worrying about their sustenance. Therefore, on the day of the Feast of Sacrifice (Adha), the meat of the sacrificed animals is distributed and on the day of Fitre, food is distributed to the needy by every Muslim who is able to do so.
But there is more to the Fitre than just feeding the needy. It purifies our fast from inappropriate actions and bad speech. Each of us commits spiritual impropriety during the fast. Perhaps one speaks an inappropriate word to one’s family or treats someone unkindly or even witnesses defamation! Many examples can be found…
Through this misbehaviour, we lose much of the reward of our fasting. Fasting is not only abstinence from food and drink. Rather, it also involves refraining from sins and bad behaviour. Refraining from eating is easy. If we have broken our fast by eating and drinking, it is clear and everyone knows exactly that this day will not be accepted and the fast must be made up. But who of us knows how much reward of fasting is left after the last misdeed? …
Alhamdulillah that our Lord has given us a form of purification for this with the Zekat al Fitr, which gives us hope, to receive the complete reward, for our fasting.
Ibn Abbas reports:
“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ imposed Zakat al-Fitr on the one who fasts in order to protect himself from any objectionable action and speech, and for the purpose of providing food for the needy. It is accepted as zakat for the one who for the one who fulfils it before performing the Id prayer, and it is Sadaqah for the one who complies with it after the prayer.”
So let us not consider the Zaket al Fitre only as a duty which we distribute from our hearts to the needy. Rather, it is also as an opportunity to purify our missteps in Ramadan and thus emerge in shaa Allah with accepted deeds and as better people from it!
May Allah accept all our deeds in this blessed month, amin!
Who has to pay Zekat al Fitr?
Zekat al Fitre must be paid by every Muslim who has enough food left for himself and his family for one day, even if he gives the donation. The father of the family spends Zekat – Al Fitre on every member of the family whose maintenance is his responsibility. This includes his wife, children, but may also include parents and other persons in his care. Those who are only responsible for themselves only pay this amount.
According to the majority of scholars, the Zekat Al Fitre must be spent as food. However, one can also appoint a person or charity to distribute the food to the needy.
When must Zekat al Fitre be paid?
It must be paid before the Eid prayer. It is best to make it at least 1-2 days before – Please note that payments received after Eid cannot be considered for distribution and will be treated as Sadaqah.
How is the Zekat al Fitre used?
The Zekat al Fitre is distributed by SBC according to the Sunnah as basic food to those in need in our project countries.
How much is the Zekat al Fitre?
The amount for the Zekat al Fitre this year is CHF 10 per person.
According to the Sunnah, 4 Sa’ of food should be given. This is roughly equivalent to 3 KG of basic foodstuffs. The 10.- francs covers the cost of this food.