The amount to be paid as Zakat-ul-Fitr

Q 1: What is the amount to be paid for Zakatul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) and when is it due? Who are the people deserving it in France? Is it permissible for it to be collected by the Imam (the one who leads congregational Prayer) of the Masjid (mosque) to be distributed later to those deserving it even after a period of time has passed? Is it subject to inflation? May it be sent to Mujahids (those who fight in the Cause of Allah) in Afghanistan, for example, or added to a charity fund for building a Masjid?

A: The amount to be paid in Zakatul-Fitr is one Sa` (1 Sa`=3 kg. Approx.) of dates, barley, raisins, cheese or food. It is due by the night preceding `Eid-ul-Fitr and may be paid until the `Eid Salah (Prayer). However, it may be paid two or three days before this time limit. It should be given to poor Muslims in the country where the person paying it lives and may be given to poorer Muslims of another country. The Imam of the Masjid as well as any trustworthy person may collect it and distribute it to the poor provided that it is received by those deserving it before the `Eid Salah. Its value is not subject to inflation as it is estimated by Shari`ah to be one Sa`. Furthermore, those who have no more than the foodstuff necessary for themselves and their families and sufficient only for the day of `Eid are exempted from paying it. It may not be added to the funding of building a mosque or any other charitable enterprise. (Part No. 9; Page No. 370) May Allah grant us success. May blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!