Is the time for paying zakaat al-fitr from after the prayer until the end of that day?
Praise be to Allaah.
The time for paying zakaat al-fitr does not begin after the Eid prayer, rather it starts after sunset on the last day of Ramadaan, which is the first night of the month of Shawwaal, and it ends with the Eid prayer. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded that it should be paid before the prayer. Ibn âAbbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: âWhoever pays it before the prayer, it is accepted zakaah (i.e., zakaat al-fitr), and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is ordinary charity.â Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2/262-263, no. 1609; Ibn Maajah, 1/585, no. 1827; al-Daaraqutni, 2/138; al-Haakim, 1/409.
It is permissible to pay it one or two days before that, because of the report narrated by Ibn âUmar (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: âThe Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined sadaqat al-fitr in Ramadaan.â According to another report, they used to pay it one or two days before the end of Ramadaan.
Whoever delays it after its time has sinned, and he has to repent for delaying and give it to the poor.
And Allaah is the Source of strength.
Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas, fatwa no. 2896
-- Islam QA