Zakat al Fitr is a small amount that Muslims pay as charity at the end of Ramadan. In Arabic, the word “zakat” means “to purify”, and “Al Fitr” means “breaking the fast”. So, Zakat Al Fitr means “the charity for breaking the fast” since it is paid at the end of Ramadan when the season of fasting has come to a close.
The Wisdom Behind Zakat, and Its Types
In Islam, it’s mandatory to cleanse one’s soul and wealth by donating to those who need help. This act is called Zakat, the 3rd pillar of Islam.
1. Zakat Al – Fitr
Zakat Al-Fitr purifies a person’s fasting from any shortcomings since no one’s fast is complete. A word spoken out of place, or something done when it shouldn’t be, affects one’s fasting. And Al Zakat is the way to purify that.
This Zakat also helps underprivileged people enjoy Eid along with everyone else. When we pay Zakat Al-Fitr during the last 10 days of Ramadan, people receiving it get a chance to be included in the festivities of Eid instead of feeling hungry or left out.
2. Zakat Al-Mal
This type of Zakat is paid on one’s wealth and assets. It is mandatory for every Muslim who has a specific amount of wealth or assets to pay for it. Zakat Al-Mal is calculated as 2.5% of one’s total wealth and assets, including savings, investments, and property.
Zakat Al-Fitr Rules, Calculations, and Eligible Recipients
Zakat Al Fitr is mandatory for every self-supporting Muslim who can pay it. The amount of Zakat Al-Fitr is calculated based on the cost of one meal per person in the local currency. It is specified by the Islamic authorities in each country.
It is not a tax on a person’s wealth. Instead, it’s paid on behalf of each individual, like a head tax.
Eight categories of people eligible to receive Zakat Al-Fitr, as mentioned in the Quran
- The poor: Those who do not have the means to meet their basic necessities.
- The needy: Those who may have some income but still struggle to fulfill their needs.
- Zakat administrators: Those responsible for collecting, managing, and distributing zakat funds.
- People whose hearts are to be reconciled: This category includes new converts to Islam or those who may be inclined towards Islam
- Captives: Zakat can be used to free workers held against their will or assist those in hostage.
- The debt-ridden: People who have debts they cannot repay to relieve their burden
- In the cause of Allah: Those striving in the cause of Allah, such as those engaged in spreading Islam and religious education
- The wayfarers: Travelers who are stranded or in need of assistance during their journey
When, How Much Zakat to Pay, and Where?
Zakat Al-Fitr must be paid before the Eid prayer at the end of Ramadan. Many Muslims pay Zakat Al-Mal during Ramadan, as it is believed to be a particularly auspicious time for charitable acts. However, it must be paid once a year, based on the Islamic lunar calendar.
As mentioned, Zakat Al-Mal is calculated as 2.5% of one’s total wealth and assets. As for Zakat Al-Fitr, it’s specified by Islamic authorities each year based on the country’s economic situation and poverty levels.
Donating an accurate amount of Zakat is crucial. If you are unsure how to do so, consult a knowledgeable person.
Fulfilling Your Zakat Obligations with Takaful, Online
You can pay your Zakat to anyone who falls under the abovementioned categories. To make your donations more accessible and through a reliable and transparent channel, you can donate with Takaful.
By donating through Takaful, you can ensure your Zakat contributions are used for the welfare of children in need, funding various projects and initiatives that promote health, education, and security. With Takaful, you can also follow up to know where your contributions were employed.
By paying Zakat, Muslims purify their wealth and souls and contribute to the greater good.
By fulfilling your Zakat obligations through an organization like Takaful, you can ensure that your Zakat contributions are being used effectively to bring positive change in the lives of underprivileged children.
Fulfill your Zakat obligations online with Takaful.