Assalamualaikum. I would like to ask on zakat fitrah. Is it permissible for me to pay zakat fitrah on behalf of my fiancé? Thank you.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Zakat fitrah has its own set rate and it is wajib to be paid when the sun sets on the last day of Ramadhan, following the set conditions, for each mukallaf and those who are under one’s nafaqah (sustenance/maintenance). (See: al-Muktamad fi alfiqh al-Syafi’e, 95)
Zakat fitrah is sanctioned on the second year of hijrah when Ramadhan fasting is sanctioned.
The majority of the jurists agreed that it is wajib for each Muslim individual to pay zakat fitrah if he is alive in the month of Ramadhan as mentioned in a hadith narrated by Ibn Umar where the Prophet PBUH said:
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَرَضَ زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ عَلَى النَّاسِ صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ عَلَى كُلِّ حُرٍّ أَوْ عَبْدٍ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
Ibn Umar said that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) prescribed the payment of Zakat-ul-Fitr (on breaking the fast) of Ramadan for people, for every freeman, or slave, male and female among the Muslims-one sa' of dried dates, or one sa' of barley.
Sahih Muslim (984)
The obligatory conditions to pay zakat fitrah are:
- Al-Islam, it is also obligated to the apostates after they revert back to Islam.
- Time, indeed, there is a set time when it is obligated. Which is during the sun sets on the last day of Ramadhan.
- Capable to pay for zakat fitrah when it is obligated to pay for it. If his capability is after the time passes, then it is not obligated. (See: al-Muktamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi’e, 2/98)
Paying for Zakat Fitrah
Zakat fitrah is obligated upon the bearer and those who are wajib for him to provide nafaqah (his dependents). This includes his wife, usul and furu’ (lineage) from men and women with the condition that they are among the needy and poor. (See: al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyah al-kuwaitiyah, 23/339).
Sheikh Muhammad al-Zuhayli in his book stated that it is impermissible for one to pay for zakat fitrah on behalf of others (ajnabi) except with the person’s permission. Also, it is invalid if it is done without permission. This is because zakat fitrah is an act of worship and it will not be fulfilled except by having the person’s permission. However, when permission is given, then the zakat fitrah is valid. (See: al-Muktamad fi alfiqh al-Syafi’e, 2/102)
Based on the above question, it is permissible to pay zakat fitrah on behalf of one’s fiancé or others who are not under his care by getting their permission first.
However, it is best for one to pay zakat fitrah for himself first and all under his care from among his usul and furu’ who are not well-off. This is what is commanded in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA where the Prophet PBUH said:
خَيْرُ الصَّدَقَةِ مَا كَانَ عَنْ ظَهْرِ غِنًى، وَابْدَأْ بِمَنْ تَعُولُ
"The best charity is that which is practised by a wealthy person. And start giving first to your dependents."
Sahih al-Bukhari (1426)