Q. What is the status of Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr?
A. Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr is wājib (al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah)
Q. On whom is Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr wājib (compulsory)?
A. Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr is wājib on every Muslim who has the value of niṣāb on the day of ‘īd after subtracting debts.
Q. I have minor children. Is there Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr upon them?
A. Yes, Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr will have to be discharged on their behalf by their guardian. If they have their own savings then it could be discharged from their money.
Q. To whom can Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr be given?
A. Those people who do not have zakāh niṣāb and are considered poor.
Q. When can Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr be discharged?
A. Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr can be discharged before the day of ‘īd.
Q. What is the deadline for discharging Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr?
A. Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr should be discharged before the ‘īd ṣalāh. If one fails to do so it should be discharged as soon as possible.
Q. Does Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr necessarily have to be discharged in cash?
A. No, one can give food etc. to the value of Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr.
Q. What is the significance of Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr?
A. Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr is a Sunnah of Rasūlullāh (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and an opportunity to ease the plight of those in need.
Q. What is the consequence for those who do not discharge Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr?
A. Rasūlullāh (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: The fast remains suspended between the heavens and the earth until Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr is discharged. (al-Targhīb)
Q. What is the best method of discharging Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr i.e. should I give it to an organisation or individual?
A. It is preferable to pursue the needy and hand it to them personally. However, it also permissible to hand it to an organisation provided the organisation discharges it timeously (and correctly).
Q. What is the position of my Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr if I handed it to an organisation that discharged it long after the prescribed time?
A. By giving your Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr to an organisation you have appointed them wakīl (representative) on your behalf to discharge your fiṭrah. Your fiṭrah will only be discharged when the organisation distributes the money. Default from their side will be considered a default on your path. It is thus advisable that you query from the organisation as to when and how they discharge their funds.
Q. I did not discharge Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr timeously. What should I do?
A. Discharge it as soon as possible.
Source: Jamiatul Ulama KZN, South Africa – www.jamiat.org.za (with slight edits)