The difference between Zakat and Sadaqah al-Fitr

The difference between Zakāt and Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr

Question

What is the difference between Zakāt and Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Answer

There are several differences between Zakāt and Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr, they include the following:

  1. Zakāt is farḍ (obligatory) and a pillar of Islam whilst Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is wājib (necessary) according to the Ḥanafī school of thought.
  2. Zakāt is proportionate to a person’s wealth and is generally 2.5%. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is fixed, ½ Ṣāʿ of wheat or one Ṣāʿ of barley, dates or raisins.
  3. The obligation of Zakāt is subject to the passing of one year once the Niṣāb threshold is reached. This condition does not apply to Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr.
  4. Zakāt becomes obligatory when a person owns wealth equivalent to Niṣāb from Zakātable assets (gold, silver, livestock, business assets, currency). However, Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr becomes necessary when a person owns wealth equivalent to Niṣāb whether it is from Zakātable assets or from non-Zakātable assets that are in excess of his personal needs. For example, a person who only owns houses (excessive of his needs) will be liable to give Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr but not Zakāt.
  5. There is no Zakāt on non-mature children, nor is there is Zakāt on behalf of them. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is necessary on behalf of non-mature children.
  6. Zakāt must be paid by the owner of the wealth. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is given by the head of the household on behalf of the non-mature children.
  7. Zakāt can be due anytime of the year based on the lunar date of owning Niṣāb. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is given before Eid Ṣalāh on Eid day or before this.
  8. Zakāt can only be given to Muslims. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr can be given to a dhimmī (a non-Muslim living in Muslim lands) according to Imam Muḥammad (d. 189/805) (al-Aṣl, 2:259) and many Ḥanafī scholars (Tabyīn al-Ḥaqāʾiq, 1:300), although fatwā has been given by some Ḥanafī scholars on the position of Imam Abū Yūsuf (d. 182/798) that it is not permissible (Radd al-Muḥtār, 2:369).
  9. There is no Zakāt on non-Muslims. Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is necessary on a Muslim master on behalf of a non-Muslim slave (al-Mabsūṭ, 3:103).
  10. The purpose of Zakāt is to purify the person (Qurʾān, 9:103) and the wealth (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, 1404) along with other purposes such as allievating poverty. The purpose of Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr is to feed the poor and act as purification of the fasting from idle talk and obscenities (Sunan Abī Dāwūd, 1609).

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir

11 Shawwāl 1438 / 5 July 2017

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad and Mufti Muhammad Tahir

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