"Of their goods take alms, that so thou might purify and sanctify them; and pray on their behalf,
verily thy prayers are a source of security for them."
[Quran: Chapter 9:103]


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Zaqat of Fitra (Zakat)

At the time of sunset on Eid ul Fitr night (i.e. the night preceding Eid day), whoever is adult and sane and is neither unconscious, nor poor, nor the slave of another, he should give, on his own behalf as well as on behalf of all those who are his dependents, about Three kilos per head of wheat or barley or dates or raisins or rice or millet etc. It is also sufficient if he pays the price of one of these items in cash. As per obligatory precaution, he should not give from that food which is not staple in his place, even if it be wheat, barley, dates or raisins.

We must remember that the immediate benefit of Zakat of Fitra is that one shall be safe from accidental or destined death the following year. It is related from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that he told his financial secretary to pay the Zakatul Fitra of all his family members and not to overlook any of them.

“Because if his Zakat is not paid I would be in constant fear of his demise.”

“What do you mean by ‘demise’?” asked the secretary.

“Death”, replied Imam (a.s.), “And its reward is the acceptance of a month of fasting.”

Imam (a.s.) also said, “Zakatul Fitra completes (perfects) the fasts of the month of Ramadhan.”

Zakat can be spent in eight ways as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.

Zakat can be spent for the following eight purposes:

(1) It may be given to a poor person, who does not posses actual or potential means to meet his own expenses, as well as that of his family for a period of one year. However, a person who has an art or possesses property or capital to meet his expenses, is not classified as poor.

(2) It may be paid to a miskin (a destitute person) who leads a harder life than a Faqir (a poor person).

(3) It can be given to a person who is a Wakil of Holy Imam (a.s.) or his representative to collect Zakat, to keep it in safe custody, to maintain its accounts and to deliver it to the Imam or his representative or to the poor.

(4) It can be given to those non-Muslims who may, as a result, be inclined to Islam, or may assist the Muslims for fighting against the enemies, or for other justified purposes. It can be given to those Muslims also whose faith in the Prophet or in the Wilāyat of Amir ul-Mu’minīn in unstable and weak, provided that, as a result of giving, their faith is reinforced.

(5) It can be spent to purchase the slaves to set them free, the details of which have been given in its relevant Chapter.

(6) It can be given to an indebted person who is unable to repay his debt.

(7) It may be spent in the way of Allah (S.w.T.) for things which have common benefit to the Muslims; for example, to construct a mosque, or a school for religious education or to keep the city clean, or to widen or build tar roads.

(8) It may be given to a stranded traveller.

(9) These are the situations in which Zakat can be spent. But in situation number 3 and 4, the owner cannot spend without the permission of Imam (a.s.) or his representative; and the same applies to the 7th situation, as per obligatory precaution.

Types of Zakat



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