The Zakat ul Fitr and the Fidyah
On 24/06/2016 | 0 Comments


The Nabiy  Muhammad ﷺ commanded us to discharge the fitrah to those to whom it is due. This command came in the year when the fast of Ramadan became a fard and before zakah became compulsory. This was in the month of Sha’ban during the second year of the Hijrah. The Nabiy ﷺ performed a khutbah a day or two before Eid and commanded that the fitrah be discharged.

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ بَشِيرِ بْنِ ذَكْوَانَ، وَأَحْمَدُ بْنُ الأَزْهَرِ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا مَرْوَانُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو يَزِيدَ الْخَوْلاَنِيُّ، عَنْ سَيَّارِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الصَّدَفِيِّ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ فَرَضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ طُهْرَةً لِلصَّائِمِ مِنَ اللَّغْوِ وَالرَّفَثِ وَطُعْمَةً لِلْمَسَاكِينِ فَمَنْ أَدَّاهَا قَبْلَ الصَّلاَةِ فَهِيَ زَكَاةٌ مَقْبُولَةٌ وَمَنْ أَدَّاهَا بَعْدَ الصَّلاَةِ فَهِيَ صَدَقَةٌ مِنَ الصَّدَقَاتِ ‏.‏

Ibn Abbas said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ enjoined Zakatul-Fitr as a purification for the fasting person from idle talk and obscenities, and to feed the poor. Whoever pays it before the (Eid) prayer, it is an accepted Zakah, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is (ordinary) charity.” (Dawud and Ibn Majah)

حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي نَافِعٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ فَرَضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَدَقَةَ الْفِطْرِ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ، أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ عَلَى الصَّغِيرِ وَالْكَبِيرِ وَالْحُرِّ وَالْمَمْلُوكِ‏.‏

Ibn Umar said: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ has made Sadaqat-ul-Fitr obligatory, (and it was), either one Sa’ of barley or one Sa’ of dates (and its payment was obligatory) on the young and the elderly and free men as well as on slaves. (Bukhariy and Muslim)

Imam Shafi’iy has stipulated a Sa’ to be the equivalent of 2,176 grammes while Imam Abu Hanifah says that a Sa’ is equal to 3,800 grammes.

The measure of 2,176 is widely accepted as the most common figure given for a Sa’ but to follow Imam Abu Hanifah would be admirable for those who can afford the higher rate.

For the serious scholar, there exists another hadith which stipulates that a Sa’ is equal to four mudds (This hadith has been quoted below). The Shari’ah regards a mudd as equivalent to 675 grammes. This would mean that the measure of a Sa’ would be more than the 2,176 grammes stated above.

The commodities given differs from country to country as the Sa’ should be calculated using the staple food of one’s resident country. The staple product should not be of a low grade or a very high grade but should be of average quality.

The fitrah, as well as the fidyah, may be given in the cash equivalent of the staple commodity according to the Math-hab of Imam Abu Hanifah. The other three Imams do not allow this.

The ruling of Imam Abu Hanifah is widely accepted amongst the followers of the other matha-hib. For those who wish to give the cash- equivalent may adopt the view of Imam Abu Hanifah. According to Imam Abu Hanifah, it is better to distribute the Zakat ul Fitr in the form of money on the basis that it will be more beneficial to the poor.

Fitrah Calculation

(Calculated using the cost of 1kg average rice (ZAR20.00 equivalent USD1,34) in South Africa for 2016)

Imam Abu Hanifah:

Sa’ (3,800 g) x ZAR20 (1,000 g of rice) = ZAR76.00

The other Imams:

Sa’ (2,176 g) x ZAR20 (1,000 g of rice) = ZAR43.52


A fidyah signifies giving food to a poor and needy person for every day that was missed during Ramadan due to valid reasons. A fidyah according to Imam Abu Hanifah is half of a Sa’ or its equivalent in value. According to the majority viewpoint (Shafi’iy, Malikiy and Ahmad bin Hanbal), a fidyah is a mudd of food.

A Mudd is equivalent to 675 grammes, regarded by the Shari’ah as a sufficient measure of food to feed a person as a meal per day.

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ يُونُسَ، حَدَّثَنَا اللَّيْثُ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ، قَالَ أَمَرَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِزَكَاةِ الْفِطْرِ، صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ، أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ‏.‏ قَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ فَجَعَلَ النَّاسُ عِدْلَهُ مُدَّيْنِ مِنْ حِنْطَةٍ‏.‏

Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar: The Prophet ﷺ ordered (Muslims) to give one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of barley as Zakat-ul-Fitr. The people rewarded two Mudds of wheat as equal to that. (Sahih Bukhariy 1507)

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ رُمْحٍ الْمِصْرِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا اللَّيْثُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ أَمَرَ بِزَكَاةِ الْفِطْرِ صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ ‏.‏ قَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ فَجَعَلَ النَّاسُ عِدْلَهُ مُدَّيْنِ مِنْ حِنْطَةٍ ‏.‏

Ibn Umar narrated that:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ enjoined Zakatul-Fitr, one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of barley. Abdullah said: The people made two Mudd (equal to half of a Sa) of wheat as its equivalent. (Sunan Ibn Majah 1825

Fidyah Calculation

(Calculated using the cost of 1kg average rice (ZAR20.00 equivalent USD1,34) in South Africa for 2016)

Imam Abu Hanifah

Half of a Sa’ (1,900 g) x ZAR20 (1,000 g of rice) = ZAR38.00 per day

The other Imams

One mudd (675 g) x ZAR20 (1,000 g of rice) = ZAR13.50

It is a sunnah mu‘akkad (a strongly recommended tradition) to give much voluntary sadaqah during the month of Ramadan. Abdullah Bin Abbas narrates the following:

وعن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما‏:‏ قال‏:‏ كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل وكان جبريل يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن فَلَرَسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حين يلقاه جبريل أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة‏”‏ ‏.‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was the most generous of the men, and he was the most generous during the month of Ramadan when Jibril visited him every night and recited the Qur’an to him. During this period, the generosity of Messenger of Allah ﷺ waxed faster than the rain bearing wind. (Bukhariy and Muslim)

In summation, giving voluntary charity is regarded as a meritorious act of kindness. For those able to, following the generous viewpoint of Imam Abu Hanifah will increase us in selflessness and lead us to socio-centricity in an age where egoism and the “I” culture dominates.

May Almighty Allah accept our charity during this blessed month.


Additional reading on the Sa’ and the Mudd can be found on pages 247 to 250 of Fiqh al-Zakah by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Click the link below for the complete book:

Fiqh al-Zakah by Yusuf al-Qaradawi


Fiqh al Islami wa Adillatuhu Vol.1 by Dr Wahbah Al-Zuhayli
Tafseer al Muneer by Dr Wahbah Al-Zuhayli
The Book on Fasting by Abdurraghiem Sallie
Atlas Trading (cost of average rice for 2016)

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