About Zakat Fitrah
Zakat Fitrah is also known as Zakat on the Person, Zakat of Ramadan or Zakat Fitri. Zakat Fitrah was obliged in the second year of Hijrah, the same year that fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory. Every Muslim is required to pay Zakat Fitrah at the conclusion of Ramadan as a token of thankfulness to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for having enabled him to observe fasts. Its purpose is to purify those who fast from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy. This view is based upon the hadeeth which reads,
“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ enjoined Zakat Fitrah on those who fast to shield them from any indecent act or speech, and for the purpose of providing food for the needy. It is accepted as Zakah for the one who pays it before the `Eid prayer, and it is sadaqah for the one who pays it after the prayer.”
In addition, it provides for the needs of the poor and the indigent and relieves them from having to ask others for charity on the day of `Eid.
Who must pay Zakat Fitrah?
- Possess something (food, goods or cash) in excess of his own needs and all his dependants for the day and night of Eidul Fitri.
- To observe both periods of end of Ramadan and beginning of Syawal. A person who dies before sunset and a child born after sunset on the night before first of Syawal, are exempted from paying Zakat Fitrah.
Zakat Fitrah is an obligation on the person and his dependants such as his wife, children who have not reached maturity and parents. If he is unable to pay Zakat Fitrah for himself and/or his dependants due to certain difficulties, his dependants may pay Zakat Fitrah for themselves and/or for him with his permission. What is important is that Zakat Fitrah payment has been made for every individual.
When is Zakat Fitrah due?
Zakat Fitrah is due at the end of Ramadan and it must be paid before the start of Eidul Fitri prayers. If it is paid after Eidul Fitri prayers it becomes just an ordinary charity (sadaqah).
Zakat Fitrah Rates
The Zakat Fitrah rate that is obligatory on every person is one sa’ or 2.3kg of the staple food of the territory in which the person is in. In Singapore, the staple food is rice and since 2005, Singapore have a two-tier Zakat Fitrah rate and the payer can choose which is the most suitable for them based on their daily consumption.
Normal Rate ($5.00 per person in 1439H / 2018): Based on the median price of 2.3kg of rice (normal/average grade) that is consumed as a staple.
Higher Rate ($7.00 per person in 1439H / 2018): Based on the median price of 2.3kg of rice (higher grade) that is consumed as a staple.
Where to Pay Zakat Fitrah
It is to be paid in the region or place where the person meets the arrival of Maghrib ending Ramadan. If during that duration he is in a journey and there is no one suitable to receive Zakat Fitrah, the person then needs to pay his Zakat Fitrah at his place of destination upon arrival.