By Muhammad Asghar
ISLAMABAD, July 4 (APP): Sadqa-e-Fitr (also known as Fitrana) is an amount of charity – in the form of staple foodstuffs – which all Muslims with the means are required to pay at the end of holy month of Ramazan.
Sadqa-e-Fitr is an act of thankfulness towards Allah Almighty for having enabled us to observe the fasts of Ramazan and also purifies us from any shortcomings during the month. In addition, it is intended to share joy and happiness amongst Muslims, especially the poor and needy, by helping them to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr.
According to Mufti Taqi Usmani, it is a Sunnah that the Sadqa-e-Fitr is paid before performing the Eid prayer.
It can also be paid before the Eid day, but it is not advisable to pay after Eid prayer.However, if a person has failed to pay Fitrana at proper time, then he/she should pay it as soon as possible.
It is incumbent on every Muslim who has enough basic foodstuffs to feed himself and his family for the duration of one day and one night.
A Muslim must pay Sadqa-e-Fitr on behalf of himself, his wife, children and any dependents. Sadqa-e-Fitr is an obligation for every Muslim, male or female, who owns 613.35 grams of silver or equivalent, either in the form of money, ornaments, stock-in-trade,or in the form of some goods or commodities beyond one’s normal needs.
The prescribed amount of `Sadqa-e-Fitr’ is 1.75 kilograms of wheat or its value in money. This amount is prescribed for paying Sadqa-e-Fitr for one person only.
If a person has some minor children, the same amount has to be paid on behalf of each one of them separately while adult male and female family members are responsible to pay the Fitrana themselves. A father is not bound to pay `Sadqa-e-Fitr’ on behalf of his adult children or vice-versa.
However, if the head of the family, by his own free will, wishes to pay `Sadqa-e-Fitr’for each one of the members of his family, he should seek their authorization for that purpose. In this case the `Sadqa-e-Fitr’ paid by him will be valid on their behalf.
Fitrana is not necessary on behalf of a child who was born after the break of dawn in the Eid day, nor is it necessary to pay Sadqa-e-Fitr on behalf of a person who dies before the dawn of the Eid day. It must be paid before the Eid prayer for it to be considered as such.
If it is not paid before the Eid prayer it is considered sadaqah and not Fitrana.Most religious scholars are of the opinion that Fitrana is a debt, which remains due so that even if it is not paid within time, one must still pay it.
Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) prescribed the amount of Sadqa-e-Fitr as a sa’a of staple foodstuffs i.e. rice, dates etc. A sa’a is a unit of measurement equal to 4 handfuls of an average man. As such, the exact weight differs based on the foodstuff in question.
According to Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb Ur Rehman,the minimum amount that should be given in charity is Rs 100 with respect to wheat, in accordance with Barley it is Rs 320, with respect to price of dates and Raisins it is Rs 1,600.
A breadwinner of a family is needed to pay at least Rs 100, on behalf of each of his dependents, if he wishes to pay according to wheat price. It should be noted here that Sadqa-e-Fitr fixed last year and year before that, with respect to wheat was Rs 100 also.
Fidya amount needed to be paid for 30 days with respect to wheat price is Rs 3,000,with respect to barley, Rs 9,600, with respect to dates, Rs 48,000 and with respect to raisins, Rs 48,000 should be paid for 30 days.
He said, a Muslim, who possesses food in excess of his needs, must pay Sadqa-e-Fitr before the Eid prayers.
If the person is a breadwinner, he should also pay Sadqa-e-Fitr for his dependant, such as wife, children, dependent relatives or servants.
Mufti Muneeb also advised the people to pay the amount to the poor before Eid-ul-Fitr so that they could also celebrate the festival.
The most deserving people for Sadqa-e-Fitr are close relatives followed by neighbours and the poor.
Mufti Munib Ur Rehman said real spirit of Fitr and Fidya is two-time meal of a destitute person, so it is better these are paid the meal cost of a hotel.
However, those who are wealthier, they should try to pay more to extend assistance to the poor.