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With the excitement of the new year ahead of us and the joyous completion of the holy month of Ramadhan, it is easy to forget about the needs those who are impoverished and our obligation to provide charity to them. Therefore, we should be reminded that such people in need require our help to make it through the year. Zakat-ul-Fitrah is a special form of obligatory Zakat given at the end of the month of Ramadhan, during the day of Eid.
Zakat is obligatory tax prescribed by Allah the Mighty; he likened it to prayer in many verses. He has mentioned in the Qur'an:
"Successful indeed are the believers who are humble in their prayers and who shun vain conversation and who are payers of the poor due." (23:1-4)
The Prophet (as) confirmed it in many tradition as a pillar of Islam.
It is obligatory on the individual who is sane, adult (physically mature), and wealthy (whose finances are secure through available assets or continuous income).
to pay starts from the beginning of the night of Eid and ends at the time of Eid prayer. If the time was missed, then the Zakat must be paid with the intention of absolute servitude to Allah.
to three kilograms (about 6.6 pounds) of a popular food such as rice or wheat (per person). This is a US$10.00 minimum equivalent per eligible person. For example, a family of 5 would pay US$50.
on the poor--those who do not have financial support for the year. It is not to be received by the Hashimite (descendants of the prophet Muhammad) unless the giver is Hashimite.
directly to the poor, to your local mosque or center, or to the religious authority and their agents, who have knowledge and experience in the proper venues of appropriation.
can send it to IMAM ahead of time, and in turn we will devote the money on your behalf on the night of Eid it will be sent to the poor and needy.
Please note that if a center or person knows of someone needy in their city, it is not religiously allowed to send the Zakat-ul-Fitrah to feed the poor out of that city. (Reference: Minhajul-Saliheem, Book 1, page 383. Year 2001. Mas'ala #1182)