Zakat al-Fitr is charity given to the poor in conjunction with the holy month of Ramadan. It is also names as zakat Al-Abdan and Ar-Ru-us (zakat body and head) as it is compulsory for every Muslim without exception whether big or small, old or young, male or female, rich or poor, free or slaves.
When is it compulsory to pay Zakat al-Fitr?
It starts on the 2nd of Hijrah following muslim calender.
What is the purpose of Zakat al-Fitr?
The main purpose of Zakat al-Fitr is to provide the poor with a means with which they can celebrate the festival of breaking the fast (`Eid al-Fitr) along with the rest of the Muslims.
Every Muslim is required to pay Zakat al-Fitr at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan as a token of thankfulness to God for having enabled him or her to observe the obligatory fast. Its purpose is:
As a levy on the fasting person. This is based on the hadith: The Prophet of Allah, "The fasting of the month of fasting will be hanging between earth and heavens and it will not be raised up to the Divine Presence without paying the Zakat al-Fitr."
To purify those who fast from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy.
The latter view is based upon the hadith from Ibn `Abbas who related, “The Prophet of Allah enjoined Zakat al-Fitr 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.”
(Astro Awani / 13 July 2014)---
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