How Fitra Is Given


For fitra, half a sa' of wheat or wheat flour is given. Or one sa' of barley or dates or raisins is given. In Hanafi Madhhab [1], at times when wheat, barley and flour are abundant it is better to give their equivalents in gold and silver. During times of scarcity it yields more thawab (reward) to give these things themselves. In Hanafi Madhhab sa' is (the volume of) a container with the capacity of one thousand and forty dirhams of millets or lentils. One sa' is four muds, that is, four menns. Mud and menn are equal and are two ritls. One ritl is a hundred and thirty dirham-i shar'i or 91 mithqal, so one sa' is [728] mithqals, or [1040] dirhams, that is 3500 gr. of lentils. Since barley is lighter than wheat and wheat is lighter than lentils, a container that is filled with one thousand and forty dirhams of barley is larger than one sa'. But it will be circumspection to call it one sa'. It will be circumspection to give 364 mithqals, or five hundred and twenty [520] dirhams, which is seventeen hundred and fifty [1750] grams, of wheat instead of half a sa'. Thus a little more will have been given. For, half a that is, kinds of property, can be given, yet when 'value' is said gold and silver are usually meant. Also Zeyla'i (rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih) conveys that it is better to give its value in gold or silver." Then, one should follow the words of the majority and give the fitra in gold or silver. Silver money is not in use now. And the value of paper money has been made dependent upon that of gold. Therefore, the value of silver with respect to the currency is below its value in the Shari'a [2]. It is given with its value according to the currency so that it will be to the advantage of the poor. In case it is difficult to give them, one should give half a sa' [1750 grams] of wheat or flour instead of giving other property or paper money. One may also give paper money instead of gold by following the facility we have described in the first chapter. In the Madhahib of Maliki and Hanbali it is better to give dates, in Shafi'i, it is better to give wheat, and in Hanafi it is better to give what is most valuable. If it is difficult also to give wheat or flour, one may give bread or corns of equal value. To give bread and corns, not their weight but their cost or value is considered.

[1] madhhab: all of what a profound 'alim of (especially) Fiqh (usually one of the four-Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali) or iman (one of the two, namely Ash-ari, Maturidi) communicated.
[2] Shari'at: (pl. of Shari'a) i) rules and commandments as a whole of the religion. ii) religion.