Zakat al-Fitr is charity given to the poor at the end of the fasting in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Sadaqat al-Fitr is a duty which is wajib (required) of every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so.
Purpose of Zakat
The main purpose of Zakat al-Fitr is to provide the poor with a means with which they can celebrate the festival of breaking the fast (`Eid al-Fitr) along with the rest of the Muslims. It purify those who fast from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy.
Every Muslim is required to pay Zakat al-Fitr at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan as a token of thankfulness to God for having enabled him or her to observe the obligatory fast.
Hadith about Zakat al-Fitr
“Narrated Ibn Umar (RA): Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) has made the payment of Sadaqat-ul-Fitr obligatory, either one Sa’ of barley or one Sa’ of dates (per head) on young and old people and on free men as on slaves.”
(Hadith No. 1512, Book of Zakat, Sahih Bukhari, Vol.2).
“Ibn Umar (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would order paying Sadaqat-ul-Fitr before going to Salat on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr.”
(Hadith No. 1509, Book of Zakat, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 677, Chapters on Zakat, Jami’-At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2).
“Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) obligated Zakat-ul-Fitr for the one who fasts as a means of purifying him from vain talk and immoral deeds, and as a means of feeding the poor. Whoever gives it before the (Eid) prayer will have it counted as an accepted Sadaqah, and whoever gives it after the prayer will have it counted as a charity among charities.”
(Hadith No. 1609, Book of Zakat, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 2).