Ramadan has arrived, and Muslims around the world have begun fasting for the holy month. It is also time to settle Zakat Fitrah payments.
These payments are made in-person (to a zakat appointee known as an amil) at the nearest mosque. However, the current COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent Movement Control Order have complicated matters.
How to pay
Most state religious bodies have elected to appoint a limited number of amil zakat this year to facilitate zakat payments. In addition to this, online options have been introduced for those looking to maintain social distancing while also meeting their religious requirements.
Additionally, there is now also a wealth of options for paying zakat fitrah through your smartphone. Each state (except Pahang) has either developed an app, or partnered with an existing solution. Giving you many additional options for zakat payments.
That said, not every state has the same level of resources; leading some to have more comprehensive options than others.
It should also be noted that Johor and Pahang have decided against allowing people to pay their zakat fitrah in person. This means online payments are the only option for people living in those states.
How is zakat fitrah calculated?
This particular zakat is based on the staple food of the particular region; in our case it is about 2.6kg worth of rice. This is roughly calculated to be worth RM7 per person in the household. That said, Kedah, Sabah, and the Federal Territory have this at a lower value.
Some state religious bodies have also been introducing different zakat fitrah rates depending on the quality of rice consumed by the household. Basically, if you can afford better rice, you should also be making a bigger contribution to your community.
For example, this is how it is calculated in Selangor:
However, there is no set law to determine which zakat fitrah bracket you fall into. It’s up to you to determine how much you can afford to pay.
*While it is not compulsory, Kelantan encourages people to pay RM14 or RM21 if they can afford it.
When do you need to pay zakat fitrah?
It is compulsory for the head of the household to pay the zakat fitrah during the time between sunset on the last day of Ramadan and sunrise of the first day of Syawal. However, this payment can also be made throughout the month of Ramadan.
The best time is for the payment to be made before the Eid prayers on the first day of Syawal.
Zakat during the MCO
Zakat fitrah this year is especially important as it is being used to help those facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, some RM12 million has been set aside as financial assistance to the needy as part of relief efforts.
Online payment is highly recommended this year, despite many states still going through with conventional methods. While the number of new infections is reducing each day, it is important to maintain social distancing to ensure that the downward trend continues.
This article was repurposed from “How To Pay Zakat Fitrah During The MCO” on iMoney.com.my.