Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 2 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439
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When we receive the zakat of ‘Eid Al-Fitr after the Eid prayer, should we buy a sacrificial animal and distribute its meat among the poor?

When we receive the zakat of Eid Al-Fitr after the ‘Eid prayer, should we buy a sacrificial animal and distribute its meat among the poor?

Answer

The majority from among the Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali scholars maintain, as does Al-Hasan Ibn Ziad, the Hanafi scholar, that the obligatory time for paying zakat al-fitr is restricted. Consequently, anyone who pays it after sunset of the day of 'Eid without an excuse is blameworthy and must make it up (by paying it late). The majority of Hanafi scholars have maintained that the obligatory time for giving zakat al-fitr is unrestricted because the command for paying it is not limited. Therefore, paying it at any time does not necessitate making it up. However, it is recommended to pay it before going to 'Eid prayer.

Scholars concur that zakat al-fitr is not waived if its prescribed time elapses because it is a financial obligation upon one who is eligible to pay it and, as such, it is a debt that is not waived except by its performance.

Sheikh Al-Bajuri, the Shafi'i scholar, wrote: "It is permissible to pay it — i.e. zakat al-fitr, at the beginning of the month of Ramadan but it is recommended to do so before the 'Eid prayer (if it is held early in the day) following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Otherwise, it is recommended to pay it at the beginning of the day (of ‘Eid). It is disliked to delay paying it until the end of the day of 'Eid i.e. before sunset, and prohibited to give it out after that time. In this respect, zakat al-fitr is unlike zakat on property which is permissible to delay provided this does is not detrimental to the recipients."

Sins depend upon a person's choice, intent or ability. The majority of scholars have therefore maintained that whoever is unable or forgets to pay zakat al-fitr on time must make it up. According to Hanafi scholars, such a person must give it when he remembers or is able to pay it and is not blameworthy.

The ruling
Based on this, the sum of money in the charity box must be paid at once in cash to its deserving recipients and you are not to buy anything for them out of this sum.
And God the Almighty knows best.
 

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» Giving money to the poor: for sufficiency or wealth?
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» Spending zakat funds towards the teaching of the Arabic language
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» Paying zakat after the death of the father