Zakat ul-Fitr is often referred to as Sadaqat ul-Fitr. The word Fitr means the same as Iftar, breaking a fast and it comes from the same root word as Futur which means breakfast. Thus, Islamically, Zakat ul-Fitr is the name given to charity which is distributed at the end of the fast of Ramadhan. Zakat Al-Fitr is an obligatory charity of the month of Ramadan. It’s a charity that is incumbent on every Muslim to perform during the end of Ramadan fast. This charity should be given during the month of Ramadan anytime before the `Eid-ul-Fitr prayer. It can be given until the `Eid-ul-Fitr time, that is why it is called Zakat Al-Fitr. It is meant to purify us from our misdeeds or inadequacies in the month of Ramadan. According to the holy Qur’an, Allah says “he who purifies himself shall prosper …. Remembering his Lord’s name and praying” Q87:14- 15. Zakatul fitr is intended to feed those that have no food to eat on Eid ul Fitr day, it is a free gift to support the needy especially those in one’s community so that everyone will be happy on the festival day. It also purifies the fast of the giver from his shortcomings during the holy month. This free gift should be given a day or two before the Eid day or very early on Eid day before going to the prayer in order to achieve the aim in which the Zakat is targeted. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) instructs us Muslims to use grain food for the payment of Zakatul Fitr. The Sahabi, Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said, "In the Prophet's time, we used to give it (Zakat ul-Fitr) as a Sa' of food, dried dates, barley, raisins or dried cheese. According to Abu Sa’d Al-Khudri, the practice during the era of the holy prophet (SAW) was to pay four (4) MUDU [equivalence to fourteen (14) tins of milk] such as Rice, Beans, Garri, Yam Flour, Millet and so on. On this note, we can pay our Zakat Al-Fitr on any of the underlisted food items. However, scholars have also opined that these items could be paid in their monetary values (Fatawa Mu’ashira - page 336). According to the current prices of these food items in some of the state of the federation, intending payers of Zakat Al-Fitr can select the food items of these choice with the corresponding price as indicated in the table below. It is to multiply these by the number of the dependant including himself. Some scholars see giving of money as an innovation which should not be encouraged, wa Lahu aalam.
Lagos Kwara Abeokuta Ijebu-ode Osun Oyo Abuja Edo Ondo
Rice 700 525 420 420 420 504 450 375 420
Bean(red) 700 615 540 520 290 630 500 470 525
Yam flour 630 280 300 300 525 560 300 300 525
Maize 420 210 210 210 180 210 170 195 180
GUINEA CORN 420 210 200 200 180 210 170 195 180
GARRI 280 240 150 150 150 140 280 180 150
Millet 420 - 210 210 225 350 170 195 225
Cassava flour 490 263 150 150 120 560 210 200 120
Bean (white) - 440 250 450 450 - 481.5 420 450
Wheat 420 - - - 240 - 180 200 240
It is incumbent on every Muslim to pay the Zakatul Fitr. Those that have not are enjoined to pay it from the food given to them so that no one in the Muslim community will be left without food on the Eid day. It is also suggested that those that have so little to eat should take what has been given to them, place it on the right side then, transfer it to the left side. This will serve as a means of paying the Zakat for them before they consume it and they will have reward for giving Zakatul Fitr too.

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