Zakat Al Fitr (also called Sadaqat Al Fitr) is an obligation for every Muslim, male or female, who owns 613.35 grams of silver or its equivalent, either in the form of money, ornaments, stock-in-trade, or in the form of some goods or commodities beyond one’s normal needs.
Every person who owns such an amount has to meet the obligation not only on behalf of himself but also on behalf of his minor children.
The prescribed amount is 1.75 Kgs of wheat or its value in money.
Zakat is paid for one person only. If a person has minor children, the same amount has to be paid on behalf of each one of them separately.
The following points must be remembered concerning the payment.
Zakat is obligated on each adult male or female separately and the relevant adult himself is responsible to pay. The husband is not required to pay on behalf of his wife nor is the wife supposed to pay it on behalf of her husband. Similarly, a father is not bound to pay Zakat Al Fitr on behalf of his adult children or vice-versa.
However, if the head of the family, by his own free will, wishes to pay Zakat for each member of his family, he should seek their authorisation. In this case, amount paid by him will be valid on their behalf. It is the duty of every adult member of the family to discharge his own obligation or to request the head of the family to pay it on his behalf.
It is a ‘Sunnah’ that Zakat Al Fitr is paid before performing Eid Prayer. It can also be paid before the Eid day but it is not advisable to delay until the performance of Eid prayer.