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قال الله تعالى: (وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ)
The ayah means:{Perform the prayers and pay Zakah} Ayah 43 of Suratul-Baqarah

The Zakah of Fitr is due on every Muslim who is alive part of Ramadan and part of Shawwal. The due Zakah for each is a saa^ or four mudd (four times the fill of two cupped, average-sized hands) of the most common staple food of that country like wheat, rice or the like. This zakah is obligated, if the Muslim has in his possession an excess which covers his debts and the expenses of one’s needs: Clothing, lodging and the sustenance on the day of the ^Id and the night afterwards. This includes also the expenses for covering these same needs for those whom one must support on the day of the ^Id and the night afterwards.

It is an obligation upon the Muslim to pay the due Zakah for himself and his Muslim dependents if on the day of the Feast of Fitr (^Id-ul-Fitr) and the night after it he has enough to meet his debts, clothing, lodging, and sustenance, and the sustenance of those whom he must support.

The man must pay for his wife, his non-pubescent children, his slaves, and his poor Muslim parents. He may not pay for his pubescent children or solvent parents without their permission.

It is permissible to pay the Zakat of Fitr any time during Ramadan, even the first night, however, it is recommended to pay the Zakat during the day of the Feast, and before the prayer of the ^Id, because this mends the hearts of the poor people before the prayer.

It is prohibited to prolong spending the Zakah of Fitr until after the sunset of the day of the Feast without an excuse.

For all types of Zakah, the intention is obligatory upon setting one's Zakah aside. Zakah must be paid to the Muslims among the eight categories of people deserving of Zakah mentioned explicitly in the Qur'an:

        قال الله تعالى:(إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ)

        Which means: {Zakah must be exclusively paid to the fuqara’, masakin, al-^amilun ^alayha, mu'allafatu qulubuhum, riqab, gharimun, fi sabilillah, and ibnus-sabil.} Ayah 60 of Suratut-Tawbah:

1. Those who are poor who earn less than half their basic needs (al-fuqara');
2. Those who are poor who earn half but less than all their basic needs (al-masakin);
3. The Zakah workers who are assigned by the caliph (al-^amilun ^alayha);
4. The new converts to Islam whose hearts are to be reconciled (al-mu'allafatu qulubuhum);
5. The slaves who are short in satisfying their contract for purchasing their freedom from their owners (ar-riqab);
6. Those who are unable to pay their debts (al-gharimun);
7. The volunteer fighters (fi sabilillah);
8. The travelers who do not have enough to enable them to reach their destination (ibn-us-sabil).

It is neither permissible nor valid to pay Zakah to other than those eight types of people specifically mentioned; that is why it is not valid to pay Zakah for every charitable project. Allah knows best.
According to the Arabic language, Zakah means: purification and growth.

Islamically, it is the name for that which is paid in a specific way, as a result of having money, or one being alive. It was given this name, because the money grows by the blessing of giving Zakah and because it purifies the one who gives it from being sinful.

Zakah is among the major matters of Islam. During the second year after the migration, Allah made it obligatory. Among the items that Zakah is obligatory on are:

1- Camels, cattle, sheep, and goats.
2- The staple crops: These are the crops that one stores to eat in other than times of necessity, like wheat, barely, and corn.
3- Fruits: It is obligatory in two of the fruits: palm trees (dates) and grape vines (raisins).
4- Trade articles: These are articles used for the purpose of making a profit. If one uses some money to buy and sell and then buy and sell and so on, with the purpose of gaining money, then this is trading. The zakah is due after the elapse of one lunar year, if the trade articles amount in value to a nisab of gold or silver. One has to give in as zakah 1/4 of 1/10 of the market value of these articles, i.e., 1/40th of the market value, i.e., 2.5% of the market value.
5- Gold and silver. Note: The nisab of gold is 20 mithqal. It is 84.875 grams of pure gold. The nisab of silver is 200 dirham and it is 594.125 grams of pure silver.
6- Zakatul-Fitr is also obligatory: This is Zakah for the body, not money. The Muslim pays it on behalf of himself, his Muslim wife, young children, and Muslim poor parents during the month of Ramadan or on the day of ^Idul-Fitr.

The Conditions of Zakah
There are two types of conditions for Zakah: conditions that make it obligatory and conditions for its validity.

The conditions that make it obligatory are five: Islam, freedom, total ownership, the passage of one year for the items which require one year to pass, and to own the quotum, which is the minimum amount that is subject to Zakah. Also the animals must have been grazed in a pasture that is not owned by anybody and must be animals that are not used for work.

The conditions of Zakah’s validity are:
1- Paying it to the aforementioned eight types of people who deserve it.
2- Paying it to a Muslim, because it is invalid to pay it to a blasphemer.
3- Paying it to a free person, because it is invalid to pay it to a slave, except the Mukatab (the slave that has a contract with his owner to be set free if he works and gives a certain amount of money to his owner within a specific time.).
4- To pay it to someone who is not a descendant of Hashim or Al-Muttalib.