Difference between Zakat, Fitra, Fidya, and Sadaqa.

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Difference between Zakat, Fitra,Fidya and Sadaqa
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There are two types of Sadaqah, namely optional Sadaqah and compulsory Sadaqah. Optional Sadaqah is where a person freely gives money to a good cause and hopes for a reward from Allah Ta’ālā; this type of Sadaqah can be given to the Masjid. The second type of Sadaqah is one that is mandatory, whether through the initial dictates of the Sharī‘ah such as Zakat and Sadaqat al-Fitr (Fitra) or through a person making it binding and compulsory upon himself such as taking a vow, Kafārah etc. Any type of Sadaqah, which is compulsory upon a person, has to be given in the same avenues that a person would give for zakat, i.e. poor and needy; thus, it cannot be given to the Masjid.

What is Zakat?

Zakat is compulsory on a Sahib Al-Nisab. A Sahib Al-Nisab is one who possesses the Nisab of Zakat (a required amount of money or assets that qualifies a person liable of discharging Zakat). A person who possesses this amount of cash/assets for a complete year, will give two and a half percent of its total in Zakat.

The standard Nisab of Zakat is Two Hundred Dirhams (silver coins) equivalent to 612.35 grams of silver or Twenty Mithqals of Gold equivalent to 87.479 grams of gold or any currency that equals the value of this amount of gold and silver. If this amount of wealth remains in a person’s possession for a complete year, then on the expiry of this year it will be Wajib on him to give Zakat of two and a half percent of the total. If his wealth is lesser than 612.35 grams of silver or 87.479 grams of gold or its equivalent amount in currency then Zakat will not be Wajib on him. (Baheshti Zewar, Vol. 1 Pg. 297, Zam Zam)

Zakat is compulsory on cash, assets etc. which are in a person’s possession for an entire year. However, if perchance a person has liabilities on his cash etc. which if calculated will not qualify him as a Sahib Al-Nisab, then in such a case he will not be liable of discharging Zakat.

Also read :5 Reasons Why a Muslim Pay Zakat /Zakah

What is Sadaqa tul Fitr?

Fitrah, is a form of charity given to the poor at the end of Ramadan and is due on every member of a household, including any children or elderly and is obligatory to pay before Eid salah.The actual ruling of Sadaqat al-fitr according to the Hanafi mazhab is that one could either give out ½ sa’ (صاع) of wheat, or 1 sa’ of dates, barley or raisins. It will also be permissible give out the prevalent value of any of the above mentioned in cash. Sadaqatul Fitr is half a Saa (1.75kg to 2.32 kg / 3.86 lb to 5.11 lb) of wheat or 3.2 kg of barley(or its monetary equivalent) which is equivalent to the amount of Sadaqatul Fitr in your country

What is Fidya?

One will be required to pay Fidyah if one cannot fast due to old age or chronic illness. One cannot pay Fidyah if one has the ability to fast. Moreover if one recovered from one’s illness such that one can fast again during/after Ramadhaan, then one should make up all the previous fasts.

The fidya of each fast is half a Saa (1.75kg to 2.32 kg / 3.86 lb to 5.11 lb) of wheat or 3.2 kg of barley (or its monetary equivalent) which is equivalent to the amount of Sadaqatul Fitr in your country.(ref)

Importance of giving Zakah in Hadeeth and more info on Zakat

Hadith Mubarakah – 

Narrated by Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying: If any owner of gold or silver does not pay what is due on him, when the Day of Resurrection would come, plates of fire would be beaten out for him; these would then be heated in the fire of Hell and his sides, his forehead and his back would be cauterized with them. Whenever these cool down, (the process is) repeated during a day
Sahih Muslim – (Book #005, Hadith #2161)


Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Anyone whom Allah has given wealth but he does not pay its Zakat, then, on the Day of Resurrection, his wealth will be presented to him in the shape of a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two poisonous glands in its mouth and it will encircle itself round his neck and bite him over his cheeks and say, “I am your wealth; I am your treasure.”
Sahih Bukhari – (Book #60, Hadith #88)

There are 8 conditions to zakah being fardh , 5 to do with the person and 3 with the wealth.

  1. Person should be a muslim —- zakah is not due on the wealth of a unbeliever living in a muslim territory, mukatib, rather they will pay jizya , a protection tax. This is a condition because zakat is an act of worship and such worship cannot be done by a kafir.
  2. Free and not a slave— because exclusive ownership cannot otherwise not be applied.
  3. Maturity, not imposed on a minor
  4. Sanity— According to Imam Abu Hanifa , zakah is not due on minors who have not yet gained intellect or those who are mentally unsound. However Imam Shafi and Imam Ahmed rah hold the opinion that it should be paid by their parents or guardian. Difference of opinion in baligh and aqil.
  5. Ownership of wealth cannot have debt (exceeding the wealth)
  6. Complete ownership of the wealth
  7. A year has passed over it.
  8. Nisab or minimum amount of things which are productive in nature of which profit is delivered like grazing cattle, crops, gold ,silver or merchandise or business. 

8 Recipient of Zakah- “To whom can you give Zakah?

Zakat can be paid to deserving individuals or groups who fall into one or more of eight zakatable categories designated by God in the Quran.

Indeed, [prescribed] charitable offerings are only [to be given] to the poor and the indigent, and to those who work on [administering] it, and to those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to [free] those in bondage, and to the debt-ridden, and for the cause of God, and to the wayfarer. [This is] an obligation from God. And God is all-knowing, all-wise. – Al-Tawbah, 9:60

So you can give zakat to People who qualify any of these categories.

1. The poor (al-fuqarâ’), meaning low-income or indigent.

2. The needy (al-masâkîn), meaning someone who is in difficulty.

3. Zakat administrators.

4. Those whose hearts are to be reconciled, meaning new Muslims and friends of the Muslim community.

5. Those in bondage (slaves and captives.

6. The debt-ridden.

7. In the cause of God.

8. The wayfarer, meaning those who are stranded or traveling with few resources.

Who must pay Sadaqatul Fitr:

The rulings of sadaqat al-fitr are usually found in the chapter of zakat in the works of the jurists. However, after realizing that many people are not aware of the sadaqat al-fitr and the right of the poor to receive it, its details has been included in this article.

Sadaqat al-Fitr is a required charity on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr given to the same poor individuals who are allowed to receive zakat.

It is related by the Companion Abdullah ibn Umar and his father Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with both) that “…the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) obligated (the payment) of zakat al-fitr in Ramadan (with) a sa’ of dates or a sa’ of barley upon every free person and slave, (whether) man or woman, from the Muslims.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

How Does One Pay Sadaqat al-Fitr?

The one who must pay sadaqat al-fitr gives one of the following:

a) half a sa’* of wheat or similar food grains,

b) a full sa’ of dates, barley, raisins or similar food grains,

c) or the equivalent monetary value of either a or b.

The actual ruling of Sadaqat al-fitr according to the Hanafi mazhab is that one could either give out ½ sa’ (صاع) of wheat, or 1 sa’ of dates, barley or raisins. It will also be permissible give out the prevalent value of any of the abovementioned in cash. If one wishes to give out items besides the abovementioned, then he will have to give out an amount equal to the value of the abovementioned. For example, if one wishes to give out rice, he should give out rice equivalent to the value of ½ sa’ of wheat, etc.

وهي نصف صاع من بر أو دقيقه أو سويقه، أو صاع تمر أو زبيب، أو شعير

(Maraqi al-Falah ma’a Hashiyat al-Tahtawi Pg.724 – Darul Kutub Al ‘Ilmiyyah)

Who Must Pay Sadaqat al-Fitr?

Sadaqat al-fitr is necessary (wajib) upon:

* any free Muslim, regardless if they are male, female, adult, child, sane, or not sane,
* who possesses the zakatable minimum (nisab) in any form of wealth,
* in excess of their immediate needs and debts,
* on the morning Eid al-Fitr arrives (i.e. entering of Fajr),
* regardless if an entire lunar year has passed upon this wealth or not.

For sadaqat al-fitr, the zakatable minimum (nisab) is the same as the annual zakat, which is 612 grams of silver or 87.48 grams of gold or their equivalent monetary value. However, for sadaqat al-fitr, one calculates the nisab according to any form of wealth one owns beyond one’s basic needs and immediate debts.

How is the Calculation of the Nisab of Sadaqat al-Fitr Different From the Annual Zakat?

Calculating the nisab of sadaqat al-fitr differs from calculating it for the annual zakat. With the annual zakat, one must own the nisab by means of specific forms of wealth (like gold, silver, cash, livestock, or trade goods) in excess of one’s basic needs and a lunar year passes upon this wealth.

With sadaqat al-fitr, the nisab is calculated by means of any form of wealth one has in excess of one’s basic needs and immediate debts, regardless if a lunar year passed upon this wealth or not. If this excess wealth reaches the nisab on the morning of Eid al-Fitr (i.e. entering of Fajr), then it is necessary (wajib) for one to pay sadaqat al-fitr. It is quite possible that someone may not have to pay the annual zakat but at the same time be required to pay the sadaqat al-fitr.

For example, someone who does not have any zakatable items in his possession, like cash or trade goods, does not have to pay zakat. But this same person owns other assets equal to the value of the nisab and these assets are in excess of his personal needs, such as having a surplus car, surplus televisions, or surplus computers. In this case, he does not pay the annual zakat but he does pay sadaqat al-fitr.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

When Does One Pay Sadaqat al-Fitr?

It becomes necessary (wajib) to pay sadaqat al-fitr when Fajr enters on Eid al-Fitr (1st of Shawwal).

It is recommended to pay sadaqat al-fitr after Fajr enters before heading to the Eid prayer area.

It is valid to pay sadaqat al-fitr before Fajr enters on Eid al-Fitr or after it.

And Allah knows best.

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