Fitrana, also known as Zakat ul Fitr, is a compulsory act that all Muslim’s partake in during the Holy month of Ramadan. Giving to charity is an important part of everyday life for Muslims because Zakat (paying alms) is the Third Pillar of Islam, and Zakat ul Fitr is an obligatory charity given before Eid prayers begin at the end of Ramadan.
It's not uncommon to get Zakat and Zakat ul Fitr mixed up, as they have similar meanings as well as names. There are many questions relating to Zakat ul Fitr (Fitrana), and we have answered them for you below.
One of the most common questions we receive is “How much is Fitrana?” and the answer is simple. The amount you pay for Zakat-ul-Fitr is based on the current price of a staple food, equivalent to a specific weight.
This year, the amount you pay for Zakat ul Fitr 2020 is £5 per person.
“The Prophet (PBUH) enjoined the payment of one Sa' of dates or one Sa' of barley as Zakat ul Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the Eid prayer."
The meaning of Fitrana can be explained through the translation of “Zakat ul Fitr”; this translates to charity given to break a fast. This obligatory donation is given before Eid prayers commence at the start of Eid, and is given to ensure those in need are able to partake in Eid ul Fitr celebrations.
Every Muslim should pay Fitrana – if a dependent is unable to make a payment, the head of the household must make the payment on their behalf. It is important that a payment is made for every member of the household.
Fitrana payments must be made before Eid prayers commence at the end of Ramadan. This is to ensure that monies donated are able to be distributed amongst those most in need in order for them to join in with Eid celebrations.
To pay Fitrana 2020 in the UK, all donations must be made before Eid commences on Saturday 23rd May. Please note, dates are subject to the official sighting of the moon.
You can pay your Fitrana donations with Muslim Aid today.
The main difference between the two is eligibility. Zakat ul Fitr is compulsory on all Muslims regardless of age or financial standing, whereas Zakat is paid by all eligible adults who hold wealth above the Nisab threshold. The only exemption from paying Fitrana is for those who do not have one sa’ (approximately 2.6 – 3kg) of their staple food in excess of their needs.
Because of the wider range of people who have to pay Zakat ul Fitr, it is the responsibility of the head of the household to pay for those under their care. Thus, for children, this task is undertaken by parents or guardians on their behalf.
Another major difference centres around the amount of money that must be given. Whilst Zakat always equates to 2.5% of an individual’s total savings, Zakat ul Fitr donations tend to be significantly smaller - at around £5 or less.
One final difference relates to when the two payments are due. Zakat is one of the least restrictive of the Five Pillars of Islam and can be paid at any time during the year, as long as the payments reflect a full Islamic (lunar) years’ worth of savings. On the other hand, Zakat ul Fitr must be paid during the Holy month of Ramadan and most notably, before the month finishes and Eid commences. It is important to keep this deadline in mind, as making a payment too late renders it invalid. As giving Zakat ul Fitr is obligatory for all Muslims, this cannot be made up at a later date.
Muslim Aid utilises your Zakat-al-Fitr donations to help make a difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable, disadvantaged people in the world. From supporting the innocent citizens of Syria through to assisting the Muslim community within Myanmar, we continually work to support those in need.
Your £5 Fitrana donation can make all the difference. Please donate today.