Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr (Fiṭrah)
Ml Mohammad Taha Karaan
I have been told that the amount for Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr 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-Fiṭr (commonly referred to as Fitrah) is 1 ṣāʿ. 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 ṣāʿ for wheat and 1 ṣāʿ for other commodities such as maize and rice.
Converting the ṣāʿ into weight
There exists a further difference between the Shāfiʿī madhhab and the Ḥanafī madhhab on the weight of the ṣāʿ:
- In the Shāfiʿī madhhab, the ṣāʿ is given as 5 and ⅓ riṭl. (This is also the position of Imam Abu Yusuf).
- Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Muhammad’s opinion is that the ṣāʿ is 8 riṭls.
A riṭl, 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 riṭl= 381.857 grams
381.857 grams x 5 and ⅓ = 2036.443 grams = 2.036443 kilograms
therefore 1 ṣāʿ = 2.036 kg (for all commodities)
This amount is in accordance with the views of Imam Shāfiʿī as well as Imam Abu Yusuf, who hold that the ṣāʿ is 5 and ⅓ riṭls.
2. Ḥanafī madhhab
According to Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Muhammad, the ṣāʿ is 8 riṭls, so the conversion will look as follows:
381.857 grams x 8 = 3064.856 grams = 3.064856 kilograms
therefore 1 ṣāʿ = 3.064 kg (for commodities such as maize and rice, but not wheat)
and ½ ṣāʿ = 1.532 kg (for wheat)
Note, however, that the above calculation was done on the basis of Imam Nawawi’s view that the riṭl is 128 and 4/7 dirhams. There might well be slight differences in this regard.
There is a common misconception that Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr for Shāfiʿīs is double that for Ḥanafīs. 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 ṣāʿ for Shāfiʿīs as well as Ḥanafīs.
Secondly, the generalization that “Shāfiʿīs have to pay twice the amount Ḥanafīs pay” overlooks the important fact that for Ḥanafīs a ṣāʿ is 8 riṭls, while for Shāfiʿīs it is 5 and ⅓ riṭls. For Ḥanafīs ½ a ṣāʿ would be something like 1.5 kg, while for Shāfiʿīs ½ a ṣāʿ would be about 1 kg and a full ṣāʿ 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 ⅔ of what Ḥanafīs pay (i.e. less than what Ḥanafīs pay).