Chapter Twenty-Seven: On the Zakat al-Fitr

27.1. Its ruling

The zakat al-Fitr is an obligatory sunna which the Messenger of Allah made compulsory for all Muslims, whether old or young, male or female, free or slave.

[It is a confirmed sunna. It seems that is is obligatory in the School. There is disagreement about the words "the Messenger of Allah made it compulsory". It is said that it means he stipulated it and so it is sunna, and that does not contradict his words, "On all, whether old or young." The shaykh uses the terms for what is less than obligatory. The Messenger of Allah said, "Zakat al-Fitr after Ramadan obligatory for the Muslims - slave or free, male or female, young or old, being a sa' of dates or a sa' of barley." It is said that it means that he made it compulsory. That what the author of Mukhtasar thinks.]

27.2. Its amount

27.2a. Its measure

Its amount is one sa'a measuring by the sa'a of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

[It is four mudds by the mudd of the Prophet. A sa'a is a measure of volume equivalent to 4 mudds. A mudd is the amount contained by a man's cupped hands.]

27.2b.What it is paid in

It should be paid in kind using the staple food of the people of the region, which might be wheat or barley or sult barley or dates or dried cheese or raisins or millet or sorghum or rice. It is also said that if the staple food of the people is al-'alas, which is a small grain similar to wheat, that the zakat al-fitr can be paid with that.

[The land where the zakat is paid, whether their food is like his food or better or worse. If his food is better than their food and he pays the zakat in it, that is allowed. If it is less valuable than their food, and he pays it with it out of avarice, then the apparent words of Ibn al-Hajib mean that it does does not satisfy the requirement by agreement.

If he pays it from other than these nine types, it is not allowed in the well-known position. This is when some or all of them exist as foods. If they do not exist, all or some, and other things are used as food, they satisfy the requirement.]

27.3. Who pays the zakat of children and slaves

The zakat al-fitr of a slave is paid by his master and that of a young child, who has no personal wealth, by his father. A man has to pay the zakat of every Muslim for whose maintenance he is responsible, and he should also pay for his mukatab (partially freed slave) because even if he is not responsible for his maintenance, the mukatab is nevertheless still his slave.

[The father pays for the child who has no wealth. It is understood from this that he does not pay for an adult. It is not absolute: if he is male, adult and wealthy, he does not pay for him. If he becomes adult within the time it is due, he prays for him. He pays for the female, even if she is adult, until she marries. What is understood by "no personal wealth" is that if he has wealth, he does not pay for him. That is the case. It is paid by Muslims, but not unbelievers.]

27.4. When it is paid

It is recommended to pay the zakat al-fitr at daybreak on the day of the 'Id al-Fitr.

[In Muslim it reports that the Prophet used to command that the zakat al-fitr be paid before people went out to the place of prayer. This is the time of recommendation and not the time of obligation. There are two well-known statements about that. One is that it becomes obligatory at sunset of the last of the day of Ramadan and ends at the rising of dawn on the day of the 'id. It is permitted that it be paid a day or two before the day of fitr. It is not cancelled when its time passes because it is a right of the poor for which liability remains. He does not sin as long as the day of Fitr still remains. If he delays it when he is able to pay it, he sins. He gives to a free poor Muslim. He does not give it to an unbeliever, nor to a wealthy man.]

27.5 Other things about 'Id al-Fitr

27.5a. Breaking the fast before the prayer

On the morning of the 'Id al-Fitr, it is recommended to break your fast before leaving for the prayer-place, whereas on the morning of the 'Id al-Ad-ha it is recommended not to do so.

[Break it with anything, but it is best that it be broken with dates, an odd number, based on what the Prophet did. It is not recommended to break it on the morning of 'Id al-Adha. Then it is recommended to refrain until you return from the prayer so that you can eat from the sacrifice since that it what the Prophet did.]

27.5b. Varying the route

On both 'ids, however, it is recommended to go to the prayer by one route and return from it by another.

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