£5 per person
Zakat-ul-Fitr, which is regularly referred to as Fitrana, is one of the obligatory acts that Muslims must undertake during the Holy month of Ramadan. Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and involves giving a portion of one’s savings to charity. Fitrana is similar to Zakat in this way but must be given before Eid prayers begin at the end of Ramadan, hence the name, Zakat-ul-Fitr.
It is not uncommon to get Zakat and Zakat-ul-Fitr mixed up. Aside from their similar names, both have some similarities by definition, which we will explain below.
The first difference lies with eligibility. Zakat-ul-Fitr is compulsory on all Muslims regardless of age or financial standing. The only exemption 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. Zakat, on the other hand, is compulsory only for Muslims whose total annual wealth meets or exceeds the Nisab value.
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.
At the very latest, Zakat-ul-Fitr must be paid before Eid prayers commence. It’s important to keep this deadline in mind as making your payment too late renders it invalid and as giving Zakat-ul-Fitr is obligatory for all Muslims, this cannot be made up.
With this information, Fitrana 2019 must be paid between 6th May* (the start of the holy month of Ramadan) and 4th June* (the start of Eid-ul-Fitr).
* Please note that dates are subject to change depending on the sighting of the moon.
Muslim Aid utilises your Zakat-ul-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. Donate today.