The fitrana is a charity obligation required by Islam from all Muslims. It is basically given to the poor in order to give them the means to join in the celebration of the Eidul-Fitr. Islam requires all Muslims to take part in the celebration. Those who have the means to celebrate must share so that those who have nothing to spare for the celebration can join in. Fitrana 2016 is to be given by all Muslims, regardless of the financial status or age. The exception is only those who have very little and cannot even meet their familys basic needs. These exempted people can be recipients of fitrana instead. According to Islam, there are 8 categories of who can receive fitrana. These are:
Poor Muslim brothers and sisters Needy Muslims Collectors of the zakah Those that need reconciliation of hearts Captives or slaves, to free them Debtors Muslims fighting for the cause of Allah, as in Jihad, or those who are fighting against Islam non-believers but are not salaried soldiers
The main basis for fitrana recipient is a deserving Islam believer with an income insufficient to meet the needs of their families for a year. This, however, cannot be given to a Muslims own dependents. It has to be someone else within the Muslim community.
Good candidates that can receive and enjoy this include pious persons and deserving neighbors. Fitrana given by Sayyids (the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad) can be given to non-Sayyids (not descendants of the Prophet) and/or to poor Sayyids. Deserving Sayyids cannot receive the fitrana paid by non-Sayyids. It must come from fellow Sayyids.
Islam absolutely mandates that the recipient of the fitrana must be carefully chosen. The recipient must be adil. This means that the recipient must be a person who is just and fair. It is a must that this person can be trusted to distribute or use the fitrana 2016 properly. It can be used for the celebration of Eidul-Fitr or can be kept to add to the recipients familys means or resource for the coming days. It is of utmost importance that it must not be given to a person who may possibly use it for gambling, drinking liquor, or other acts that Islam deems sinful.
If in case deserving recipients cannot be found or identified, the fitrana is sent to where deserving recipients are. For instance, if no one within the immediate community is deserving, it can be sent to another place where there are deserving recipients. The fitrana may also be sent to the mujatahid. The mujatahid will then have the responsibility of determining how to justly distribute the fitrana.
While sending fitrana to other places is acceptable, Islam highly recommends that it should be distributed locally. It is better for the recipient to be within the place where the giver also resides.
Giving fitrana 2016 is most advisable to be done at any time during the month of Ramadan, from the night before the Eidul-Fitr and until noon.
If giving to the recipient is not possible for any reason, the amount must be set aside. Then, when the recipient is present, it must be given as soon as possible. If not, then it must be given to a mujatahid, who will see to it that it is sent to a deserving recipient.
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