Q&A (Fatwa)

#1008: Is Zakaatu Al-Fitr Obligatory Upon The Dead Who Witnessed The Beginning Of Ramadan

“Assalaamu alaykum. Can zakat-ul fitr be given on one who started Ramadan but returned to ALlaah before Ramadan ENDS? Secondly, what is the most authentic view regarding the deceased missed fasts?”


Wa Alaykum Salam Warahmatullah Wabarakaatuh

Beloved One, may Allah bless you and your family with Guidance and Istiqaamah upon His Path, amin.

What is known among the Fuqahaa is that Zakaatu Al-Fitr is only obligatory upon the one who was alive at the time of the setting of the sun on the last day of Ramadaan. And whosoever is not alive at that time, there is no obligation of the Zakaatu Al-Fitr on him. This matter is one upon which the Fuqahaa have agreed.

Just as the Zakaatu Al-Fitr is obligatory upon the infant that was born on the last Day of Ramadan since the infant witnessed the time of obligation.

And Allah knows best. Barakallahu fikum.

Secondly, With respect to the missed fast of the deceased, then it should be done on his/her behalf only if he/she had an opportunity to make the Fast before death and didn’t make it.

To make it clear, a woman began Ramadaan in her menstrual period and therefore missed 4 days from Ramadaan for instance, if she passes away in Ramadaan it means she never had the opportunity to observe it. In this case, there is no blame on her and there is no need to observe the fast on her behalf.

The reason is simple: she was excused from its observance while she was alive and did not delay its observance on her own volition.

But if the scenerio is such as she had the opportunity to observe it and then failed to do so, then one of those who have right to inherit her must observe that on her behalf. This is the position of the Muhaddithin and it is evidenced by the Hadith that was recorded by both Imam Al-Bukhari and Muslim from Aa’ishah radiyallahu anha that the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam said:

من مات وعليه صيام صام عنه وليه

“Whomsoever passes away and had some fast binding on his neck unobserved, then his Wali observes the Fast on his behalf”

However, this obligation is considered not by way of compulsion but by way of encouragement and recommendation (Mandub).

There is a second positon however, and it states that feeding be done in his or her behalf instead of the Fast.

The measure of the feeding is one Mudd on behalf of each day missed to be given to the needy from the Food that is mostly consumed in the land where they live

And Allah knows best.

Barakallahu fikum.
Jazakumullahu Khayran

Abū Asim

28th Ramadān, 1441AH.

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