Ṣadaqah al-Fitr


Ml Mohammad Taha Karaan


I have been told that the amount for Sadaqah al-Fitr when one is a follower of the Shāfiʿī Madhhab is twice that of the followers of the Ḥanafī Madhhab. Is this true? Would you kindly also explain how the amount is arrived at?


In the Shāfiʿī madhhab the quantity to be given in Ṣadaqat al-Fitr is 1 sa. This is a standard quantity that does not fluctuate for different commodities. In this regard the Shāfiʿī madhhab differs from the Ḥanafī madhhab, since in the Ḥanafī madhhab, the quantity is ½ a sa for wheat and 1 sa for other commodities such as maize and rice.

Converting the sa into weight

There exists a further difference between the Shāfiʿī madhhab and the Ḥanafī madhhab on the weight of the sa:

  1. In the Shāfiʿī madhhab, the sa is given as 5 and ⅓ ritl. (This is also the position of Imam Abu Yusuf).
  1. Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Muhammad’s opinion is that the sa is 8 ritls.

A ritl, according to Imam Nawawi, equals 128 and 4/7 dirhams; and a dirham is 2,97 grams. Thus:

1. Shāfiʿī madhhab

1 dirham = 2.97 grams
128 and 4/7 dirhams = 1 ritl = 381.857 grams
381.857 grams x 5 and ⅓ = 2036.443 grams = 2.036443 kilograms
therefore 1 sa = 2.036 kg

This amount is in accordance with the views of Imam Shāfiʿī, (as well as Imam Abu Yusuf), who hold that the sa is 5 and ⅓ ritls.

2. Ḥanafī madhhab

According to Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Muhammad, the sa is 8 ritls, so the conversion will look as follows:

381.857 grams x 8 = 3064.856 grams = 3.064856 kilograms
therefore 1 sa = 3.064 kg
and ½ sa = 1.532 kg

Note, however, that the above calculation was done on the basis of Imam Nawawi’s view that the ritl is 128 and 4/7 dirhams. There might well be slight differences in this regard.


There is a common misconception that Ṣadaqah al-fitr for Shāfiʿī is is double the quantity for Ḥanafī. This is not accurate. Firstly, it is true (though only partially so) when the commodity considered is wheat. For other commodities, such as maize or rice, it would not be true. For maize or rice it would be 1 sa for Shāfiʿī as well as Ḥanafī.

Secondly, the generalization that “Shāfiʿīs have to pay twice the amount Ḥanafīs pay” overlooks the important fact that for Ḥanafī a sa is 8 ritls, while for Shāfiʿīs it is 5 and ⅓ ritls. For Ḥanafīs ½ a sa would be something like 1.5 kg, while for Shāfiʿīs ½ a sa would be about 1 kg and a full sa would be closer to 2 kg.

It would be more correct to say that where wheat is taken as staple food, Shāfiʿīs would pay 1.5 times the amount Ḥanafīs would (i.e. more than what Ḥanafīs pay), while for commodities other than wheat Shāfiʿīs have to pay of what Ḥanafīs pay (i.e. less than what Ḥanafīs pay).