RULING OF ZAKAT AL-FITRAH
The Fitrah of such a guest is obligatory on a person who has arrived with the consent of the host before Maghrib time on the eve of Eid, if it is said that: he has provided the guest food that evening; even if that guest is not someone who is dependent on the host.
The Fitrah of such a guest who has arrived without the consent of the hosts before the Maghrib time of Eid’s eve and has stayed for a while, is obligatory as per precaution. Similar is the case of one whose expenses are borne forcefully by him.
It is not obligatory upon the host to pay the Fitrah of a guest who has arrived after the Maghrib time of Eid’s eve, even if he was invited before Maghrib and he ate Iftar in their house.
If an individual makes another one who is dependent on him and lives in some other city, his agent to pay Fitrah for himself from his wealth, and if he is satisfied that the other person will pay the Fitrah, then it is not obligatory on him to pay Fitrah for that person.
If a person is insane on the eve of Eid Al-Fitr, Zakat Al-Fitrah is not obligatory on him.
If before Maghrib or coinciding with it, a boy becomes adult, an insane becomes sane, a poor becomes rich, and then if he meets the conditions of Zakat Al-Fitrah’s incumbency, he must pay Fitrah.
If Zakat Al-Fitrah is not obligatory on a person until Maghrib of Eid Al-Fitr’s Eve, but he realises the conditions of Fitrah’s obligation before the Zuhr time on the Eid day, then it is recommended for him to pay Zakat Al-Fitrah.
Fitrah is not obligatory on a nonbeliever who becomes Muslim after the Maghrib of Eid’s eve; but a Muslim who was not Shia becomes Shia after the moon has been sighted must pay Zakat Al-Fitrah.
A person who possess only one Saa’ (3 kilograms approx.) of wheat or the likes of it, it is recommended for him to pay Zakat Al-Fitrah, and if he has family members on behalf of whom he wishes to pay Fitrah, then with the intention of Fitrah, he can give one Saa’ to one of his family members, who will also give it to the other member with the same intention, and likewise until it reaches the last member, and it is better that the last person gives the commodity he has purchased from that amount to someone who is not one of them; if one of them is minor, his guardian will receive on his behalf and as per recommended precaution, he must not give the thing he has received on behalf of the minor to anyone else.
If a child is born after the Maghrib time of Eid’s eve, or someone becomes dependent on him after the Maghrib time, then it is not obligatory to pay Fitrah on their behalf. However, it is recommended to pay Fitrah on behalf of those who are become dependent on him after Maghrib until the Zuhr time of the Eid day.
If an individual’s dependency is shifted from one person to another before Maghrib or coinciding it, then his Fitrah is obligatory on the person whose responsibility he has become newly. For instance, if his daughter goes to her husband’s house before Maghrib, then his husband must pay Fitrah on her behalf.
It is not obligatory on such a person to pay Fitrah whose Fitrah must be paid by someone else.
If the Fitrah of a person is obligatory on someone else but he doesn’t pay his Fitrah, even then its payment will not become obligatory on him. But if a rich person is dependent on a poor, then in such a case, as per obligatory precaution, the rich must give his own Fitrah.
If a person’s Fitrah is obligatory on someone else but he pays his Fitrah himself, then the obligation will not cease from the person upon who the payment was obligatory.
A woman whose husband does not pay her expenses and she is dependent on someone else, her Fitrah is obligatory on that person. And if she is not dependant on anyone else, then she must pay Zakat Al-Fitrah if she is not poor.
One who is not Sayyid cannot give Fitrah to a Sayyid; even if a Sayyid is dependent on him, he cannot give the Fitrah on his behalf to another Sayyid.
The Fitrah of an infant who is suckling milk from his mother or nursemaid, must be obligatorily paid by the one who is bearing the expenses of his mother or the nursemaid. But if the mother or nursemaid meets her expenses from the money of the infant, the Fitrah of such an infant is not obligatory on anyone.
Even if a person is meeting the expenses of his family from an illegal or Haram source of income, he must pay their Fitrah from a legal or Halal source.
If a person hires someone with the condition that he will bear his expenses, then he must pay Fitrah on his behalf as well. But if the condition is that he will bear a part of his expenses or gives him an amount of money for his expenses, then it is not obligatory for him to pay Fitrah on his behalf.
If a person dies after the Maghrib time of Eid’s eve, then his Fitrah and the Fitrah of his family members must be paid from his wealth, but if he dies before Maghrib, then it is not obligatory to pay his Fitrah and of his family members from his wealth.
As per obligatory precaution, Zakat Al-Fitrah must be paid to a Shia Ithna Ashari poor even if he lives in another city, and because the transferring of this Zakat from one city to another is against precaution, if a poor Shia does not exist in one’s own city, then he must take his money to another city and give it to a poor with the intention of Zakat.
If the infant of a Shia is poor, then with the permission of his lawful guardian, one can spend it on him, or by means of giving it to the guardian, he can make it the infant’s property.
A poor who is being given Fitrah must not necessarily be just, but as per obligatory precaution, one must not pay Fitrah to a person who drinks alcohol or commits sin openly.
One should not give Fitrah to someone who will spend it on a sinful act.
If a person pays Fitrah of a commodity whose value is double its normal value, like if he pays of such kind of a wheat whose value is double the normal kind of wheat in the market, then it is not sufficient to pay half a Saa’ (its value has been mentioned before), and it is a matter of doubt even if he pays it with the intention of Fitrah’s rate.
One cannot give half Saa’ from one commodity, like wheat, and other half from another commodity, like barley. It is doubtful even if he pays it with the intention of Fitrah’s rate.
It is recommended that in payment of Zakat Al-Fitrah, one must give preference to his own poor relatives over others, then his poor neighbours, then the learned poor, but if others hold preference due to any specific aspect, then it is recommended to prefer them.
If a person pays Zakat Al-Fitrah to a man considering him poor and later realizes that he was not poor, if the money he has given him is not spent, then he must take it back from him and give to the deserving person. And if he cannot take it back from him, then he must pay Fitrah again from that person’s wealth, and if it is also consumed, then if the case is such that the receiver of Fitrah knew that what he is receiving is Fitrah, he must pay that same amount in exchange, and if he did not know, paying the same amount is not obligatory on him and one must pay Fitrah again.
If a person claims to be a poor, one cannot pay him Fitrah unless he can trust on his words, or if he knows for certain that he was poor earlier.
One must pay Zakat Al-Fitrah with the intention of seeking proximity to Allah (s.w.t.) and while paying it, he must form the intention.
It is not correct to pay Fitrah before the month of Ramadan but the validity of its payment within the month of Ramadan is not farfetched; if someone gives loan to a poor before the month of Ramadan or within the month of Ramadan, and after Fitrah becomes incumbent on him, he reckons the amount lent to him as Fitrah, then there is no objection to it.
Wheat or any other commodity that is paid as Fitrah, must not be adulterated with any other commodity or mixed with sand; and if it is mixed, if its pure form reaches the value of one Saa’, or the mixed commodity is extremely less, then there is no objection to it.
If one pays Fitrah with a defective commodity, it is not sufficient.
A person who pays Fitrah of a few individuals, must not necessarily pay with the same commodity. It is sufficient if he pays the Fitrah of some of them with wheat and the rest with barley.
One who offers the Eid prayer must pay the Fitrah or keep it separately before the prayer, as per obligatory precaution. But if he does not offer the Eid prayer, he can delay the payment of Fitrah till the Zuhr prayer.
If a person separates an amount from his wealth with the intention of Fitrah but does not pay it to a poor until the Zuhr prayer of the Eid day, then as per obligatory precaution, he must form the intention of Fitrah whenever he makes the payment.
If a person does not pay Fitrah or keep it separately when its payment has become obligatory, then he must pay Fitrah later without the intention of Adaa or Qadha.
If one separates Fitrah from his wealth, then he cannot use it for his personal purpose and give another money as Fitrah.
If a person has a sum of money which is higher than the value of Fitrah, then if he doesn’t pay the Fitrah and forms the intention that some of that sum is for Fitrah, his intention is objectionable.
If the money which a person has separated for Fitrah gets spent while the person had access to poor but delayed the payment of Fitrah, then he must pay the same amount in exchange; and if he did not have access to poor, he is not responsible.
If a deserving person is available in one’s own locality, then as per obligatory precaution, one should not carry Fitrah to any other place. If he carries it to another place and it gets wasted, then he must pay the same value in exchange.
Q) What is the time of Fitrah payment? Can a person delay the payment of Fitrah for the purpose of paying it to any specific poor?
A) The time of paying Zakat Al-Fitrah is the day of Eid and one can delay the payment in order to pay Fitrah to a specific poor; but one must not show negligence and dereliction in its payment. He can also pay it by means of Post or bank.
Q) Is it permissible to pay Zakat Al-Fitrah for the aid of a Masjid or Madrasa?
A) As per obligatory precaution, Zakat Al-Fitrah must be paid to poor Shia Ithna Ashari people, even if they live in another city.
Q) Can we buy something for the poor with the amount of Zakat Al-Fitrah?
A) The Fitrah which one has separated from his wealth, must be paid to the poor in the same form, and it is not permissible to exchange it with another commodity.
Q) What is the ruling regarding the soldiers who spend the eve of Eid in their army camp? Is it obligatory on their father to pay their Zakat or should they pay for themselves or will the army pay on their behalf?
A) As per the assumption of the question, in case of possessing wealth, they must pay their own Fitrah. Allah knows best.
Q) If a guest pays his own Fitrah with the permission of his host, will it remove the obligation from the host’s shoulder?
A) The obligation will remain intact. Allah knows best.
Q) Can a person pay Zakat Al-Fitrah to his son, wife, father or mother (if they are deserving) or not?
A) Zakat Al-Fitrah cannot be paid to those whose subsistence is incumbent on you. Allah knows best.
Q) What is the rule regarding the payment of Zakat to the relief committees, welfare organizations and charitable establishments?
A) In the opinion of his highness, Zakat Al-Fitrah must be paid to a Shia Ithna Ashari poor, as per obligatory precaution. For the amount which a person pays to these organizations and establishments, he must be certain that is spent without any variation in its use (on a Shia Ithna Ashari poor), if not, they his responsibility will not cease. Hence, there is no objection for those who attain such certainty. For instance, a person who pays Zakat Al-Fitrah but is not a Sayyid himself, he must be sure that it has reached a non-Sayyid poor, and not a Sayyid, a Madrasa, a Masjid or a Hussainiya. Allah knows best.