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The Value of Zakat al-Fitrah in US and UK

With the excitement of the joyous completion of the holy month of Ramadan, it is easy to forget about the needs of those in poverty and our obligation to provide charity to them. Therefore, we should remember that such people in need require our help to make it through the year.

Zakat al-fitrah is a special form of obligatory zakat given at the end of the month of Ramadan, during the day of Eid.

According to Imam Mahdi Association of America the estimated minimum value of zakat al-fitrah, for 2018, in the United States, is US $10.00 per eligible person. The sum must be paid on a person’s behalf as well as on behalf of all those who are his dependents. This would also include any guests who are staying overnight during the eve of Eid al-Fitr, under the care of the person. A family of four, for example, who also has two guests staying overnight during the eve of Eid al-Fitr would pay six times the individual zakat amount, for a total of US $60.00, to account for each family member and guest.

And according to Islamic Center of England the value of Zakat al-Fitra for 2018, in the United of Kingdom is £4.50 per eligible person.

Please note, if a center or person knows of someone needy in their city, as an obligatory precaution, it is not religiously allowed to send the zakat al-fitrah to feed the poor outside of that city. [Reference: Minhaj al-Salihin, Book 1, page 383, 2001, Mas’ala #1182.]

How is the Monetary Value Calculated? 

The estimated minimum value of Zakat al-Fitra for 2018 is US $10.00 per eligible person.  The monetary value is estimated through the common understanding (Urf) of the current value of the basic food commodity. Since prices vary from region to region and fluctuate from season to season, we have determined the value based on the Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as a general search of the cost of the top two basic food commodities, Flour and Rice, from nationwide retailers. We have applied a precautionary buffer (Ihtiat) to the value since the CPI values are averages and true costs may vary in range in different parts of the country. Please note, a person may pay more than the estimated value if desired, but the minimum amount is what is obligatory.

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