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Zakāt al-fiṭra (Arabic: زكاة الفطرة) or zakāt al-fiṭr (Arabic: زكاة الفطر) is an obligatory act in fiqh which means to give charity to the needy, by certain amount and method of calculation, on the day of Eid al-Fitr.

It is obligatory for the head of households to pay zakat al-fitra for every person of their household. The amount of zakat al-fitra upon each person –based on the usual main food- is one sa' (around 3 Kg.) of either of wheat, barley, date, or raisin; or its equal in cash. The time of fulfilling this obligation is before the eid prayer or the noon prayer in Eid al-Fitr.

The distribution categories of zakat al-fitra are the same as those of zakat. However, some faqihs have limited its distribution to the poor. Zakat al-fitra could be paid to the poor directly but giving it to the infallible imam or his deputy is better.

According to the narrations, the verses 14 and 15 of Quran 87 are interpreted as giving the zakat al-fitra and the eid prayer. Paying zakat al-fitra completes fasting and secures its acceptance. Paying zakat al-fitra for a person saves him from death in the following year. And it is the complement to zakat. Read more...