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Can Zakat Al-Fitr Be Paid in Money?

Question: 1396

What do you give for Zakat Al-fitr? Is it money or grain? And what about if you don't know anybody to be given? Is it permissible to give it to the Masjid or a Kafir homeless, or Kair in general?

Summary of answer

Zakat Al-Fitr must be given in food, not money, so we must adhere to what has been recorded in the Sunnah.

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family.

Can Zakat Al-Fitr be paid in money?

Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made giving a Sa` of dates or a Sa` of barley as Zakat Al-Fitr an obligation for all Muslims, slave and free, male and female, young and old, and ordered that it should be given before the people went out to pray (Salat Al-`Eid) .” (Al-Bukhari, 1503)

Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “We used to pay as Zakat Al-Fitr a Sa` of food or a Sa` of barley (which was their food at that time) or a Sa` or dates or a Sa` of dried yoghurt or a Sa` of raisins.” (Al-Bukhari, 1506)

From this, it is clear that Zakat Al-Fitr must be food, not money, so we must adhere to what has been recorded in the Sunnah. So give one Sa` of whatever is the staple food in your country, such as rice or wheat, for example, on behalf of yourself and each member of your household. (A Sa` is equivalent to approximately 3 kilograms). 

Can you give Zakat Al-Fitr to non-Muslims?

It is not permissible to give it to anyone except a needy Muslim . If you cannot find anyone in your own country, you can delegate someone else to give it on your behalf in another country. May Allah help us and you to do the duties that He loves. 

And Allah knows best.


Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

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