Sadaqa al-fitr is an act of worship, and thus it necessitates the pronouncement of the intention to be uttered upon payment or beforehand, during the allocation of the amount.
Through intention, the heart intends that the sadaqa al-fitr is for the sake of God, and though the essence of this intention lays in the heart, it can also be uttered in confirmation. The benefactor should be in a state of mind wherein he recognizes that he is returning to its proper owners the wealth entrusted with him by the Creator—rather than seeing himself or herself as a “generous” person. Thus, there is no need to publicize by saying, “This is sadaqa al-fitr,” during payment, and there is an important requirement to avoid issuing reminders of one’s generosity: “Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury” (Baqara 2:264).
In terms of assisting the poor in taking care of their necessities, it is better to offer sadaqa al-fitr in cash, although according to need, it may well be paid in the form of the other items. Sadaqa al-fitr must be handed over to the poor as bestowed property; critically, therefore, it is not valid for someone to pay sadaqa al-fitr in expectation of a repayment.
Senturk, Omer Faruk. “Charity in Islam” Tughra Books Press. January 2007.
- December 16, 2013
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