What do the scholars and experts of shari’ah say regarding Sadaqah al-Fitr? Who are the people who are required to pay it and who are its rightful recipients?
All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ, and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger.
Sadaqah al-Fitr is wajib upon every Muslim. A person must pay this for himself and for those whom he is responsible for.
In Durr al-Mukhtar, Imam Khaskafi states: Sadaqah al-Fitr is wajib on every free Muslim, even if they are a minor or insane. If their guardians did not pay on their behalf, when they become adults (baligh) they will have to pay for those previous missed years. Sadaqah al-Fitr is wajib upon those people who are considered Sahib al-Nisab in the shari’ah. This will be anyone who is liable to pay zakah.
The recipients of Sadaqah al-Fitr are exactly same as the recipients for zakah. These recipients have been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Surah al-Tauba: 60)
And Allah ﷻ knows the best.
This Fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari