What should Fiṭrah be paid in?


Ml Yusuf Karaan

19 April 2023


As a Shāfiʿī, is it permissible to give a Fiṭrah parcel consisting of 2 kg rice and other “staples” like peanut butter, flour, oil, noodles, etc?


For Fiṭrah and Fidyah, the ‘staple food’ (qūt) spoken about in the books of Fiqh is not as broad as it may seem. Within the Shāfiʿī discipline, the only staples that suffice are those on which Zakāh is to be paid.

The only foods applicable are:

  • dates
  • grapes
  • cheese
  • milk

    with the vast majority being seed-grown produce, which include, among others:
  • wheat
  • barley
  • maize/corn
  • rice
  • chickpeas
  • lentils
  • millet
  • spelt
  • olives
  • sesame
  • safflower

We further stipulate that from these staples, you are required to pay in that which is dominant in your region, or that which is considered of higher value than it. Rice is without a doubt our dominant staple, along with wheat bread and flour. However, almost all jurists of the school allow neither bread or flour in Fiṭrah, with the exception of two, namely Ab al-Qāsim al-Anmāṭī on flour, and Ab al-Faḍl ibn ʿAbdān on bread.

As for those things considered higher value than rice (this is in terms of Sharʿī considerations, and not modern day prices), they are wheat, barley, and maize/corn, in descending order of value. Hence, you are allowed to pay in these items, though you’d have to do your own measurement of volume, i.e. fill a 3 litre vessel in wheat, barley, and corn respectively, then weigh the vessel to obtain the mass measurement corresponding to 3 litres of said product.

If one wishes to provide items other than the required rice, let it be in excess of the full 3 kg. The excess will thus serve the purpose of Ṣadaqah, not Fiṭrah.

وﷲ تعالى أعلم

And Allah knows best

Y Karaan
DUAI Fatwa Department


I have a plastic replica of a Ṣāʿ and Mudd container (produced by Al Wosta Plastic Factory), but when I measured out 3 litres Speco Rice, it only amounted to 2.5 kg. My question is, does the Ṣāʿ measurements differ?


It is important to note that the conversion from volume to mass will result in variable masses depending on the item being weighed. This holds true even in varieties/brands of rice.

These variations lie in grain size (long, medium, or short), de-husking, milling (brown or white), and parboiling. Depending on which of these qualities the rice possesses, the corresponding mass measurement will vary. In order to account for all these variations, we are required to round up our final amount such that no matter which
variety the person chooses to pay his/her Fiṭrah in, the given amount (in kg) will consistently be equal to or exceeding the required 3 litres worth, never falling below it. This process is called Istiẓhār (استظهار), and is done for the sake of convenience.

At the same time, if you are able to measure out 1 Ṣāʿ (3 litres) of whichever rice you choose, then giving that will be sufficient without the need for further conversions, as you would be returning to the original method by which the Prophet ﷺ and his blessed companions measured their Fiṭrah/Fidyah.

And Allah knows best

Y Karaan
DUAI Fatwa Department