The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE) has fixed Dh20 ($5.44) per person as the amount for Zakat Al Fitr this Ramadan. It was the same amount set last year.
Every Muslim man and woman, who owns more than what he or she needs, is obligated to give Zakat Al Fitr as prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the GAIAE’s Fatwa Centre explained.
It is meant not only to help those in need but also to “cleanse any ‘flaw’ in the faithful’s fasting”.
Zakat Al Fitr can be given to official organisations, like the UAE Red Crescent or Zakat Fund, which support the less fortunate.
The GAIAE Fatwa Centre, along with Islamic researchers, also issued the following guidelines in giving Zakat Al Fitr:
1. One can give more than Dh20 ($5.44).
2. It can be given from the first day of Ramadan and until the morning of Eid Al Fitr, “before the Eid prayer time”.
3. Even if one misses this period, the person still has to give the zakat after Eid “yet he or she must seek forgiveness”.
4. The zakat can also be contributed in kind, like 2.2kg of rice. Islamic researcher Dr Sheikh Mohammed Ashmawy said the set amount – four normal handfuls of dates or barley as per Sunnah – is found to weigh 2.2kg and valued at Dh20.5.
5. It can be sent abroad, according to researcher Dr Mahmoud Saleh. People may send it to the needy or their relatives in their home country, or to another country’s residents who are in dire need because of starvation, calamity or war.
6. Older children, who are earning money yet still living with their parents, are advised to give Zakat Al Fitr on their own, or else their parents need to provide for them.
7. Parents shall also give the same for their girls who are still under their guardianship.
8. Domestic helpers should give Zakat Al Fitr, “but if given by their employers, they will be rewarded by Almighty Allah for it”. However, employers need to tell their domestic helpers about this.
9. Employers may also give Zakat Al Fitr to their poor Muslims helpers.
10. One should not give Zakat Al Fitr for sponsored orphans. If given on their behalf, one should tell their guardians.