General Islamic Topic Zakat

How Should Money from Prohibited Means, Fidyah and Kaffarah be Managed by The Baitulmal?

How should the money from prohibited means, fidyah and kaffarah be managed by the Baitulmal (or zakat institutions)?

Praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgment.

We are informed regarding this issue and the 92nd Islamic Syari’ah Consultative Committee of Federal Territories Meeting on 7th July 2015 was held to discuss this issue, where the following are what has been agreed.

Kaffarah for Fasting

Kaffarah means an act that is performed as an effort to remove or erase a sin by freeing a slave, a donation to charity and fasting under certain conditions. It is also an action that could patch any imperfections in our worship.

First: Where Should the Money from Prohibited, In Contradiction with Sya’riah or Doubtful Means be Distributed To?

According to Ibn al-Arabi in his commentaries:

“If someone is in doubt, and he is uncertain how much of it is permissible and how much is prohibited with him, then it is obligated for him to be careful about the amount he has with him and he is obligated to return the money to their rightful owner until he no longer has doubts about the remaining he has with him.”

Al-Imam al-Ghazali in Ihya’ Ulumuddin (2/93) said:

“If the permissible and prohibited assets are incorporated with one another and cannot be differentiated, then it is permissible for us to use it. This is in regards to the asset or property that we receive today (during the time of al-Imam Ghazali, who pass away on 505H, where the incorporation of permissible and prohibited is grave, and the case is worse now). However, if the permissible and prohibited can be differentiated, then, it is obligatory to avoid the prohibited.”

[Al-Ghazali in Ihya’ Ulumuddin (2/93)]

The conclusion that can be drawn for when the income of someone is from both the permissible and prohibited:

  • Try to differentiate between the permissible and prohibited
  • If that is possible, then the prohibited money should be returned to their rightful owner and the remaining can be spent for one’s family expenses.
  • If it cannot be differentiated, then it is permissible to be used.

As for money from prohibited means:

  • It should be returned to its rightful owner
  • Distributed for the benefit of Muslims, such as building roads, bridges, toilets, and others.
  • Baitulmal
  • Donated to charity on behalf of the rightful owner

Second: Fidyah

Fidyah is a fine for a Muslim who has reached puberty if one left an obligatory fast for certain reason or if he delayed replacing the fast (qadha) in Ramadan.

For someone who does not replace (qadha) the obligatory fast until the next Ramadan, then he has to pay fidyah and qadha. Syeikh Muhammad Syarbini al-Khatib stated in al-Iqna’ (1/243) (which means):

“And whoever delayed the replacement (qadha) of Ramadan fasting when he is capable until the next Ramadan, then he has to pay a mudd (a cup) of food (rice in Malaysia) for each day (that is not replaced) and to replace (qadha) the number of days that he has missed. This is the opinion of the six companions of the Prophet and not even a single companion contradicted this opinion. And it is considered a sin to delay it. He (al-Nawawi) said: It is obligatory for him to pay a cup of food if he does not replace the fasting until the next Ramadan. However, if he is incapable to qadha (replace) the fast due to prolonged illness until the next Ramadan, then there is no fidyah for him because of this.”

[Muhammad Syarbini al-Khatib in al-Iqna’ (1/243)]

Methods of Payment

First: According to Imam al-Syafi’e, payment in the form of money to replace food (rice) is invalid [Refers the explanation by al-Mawardi in his book al-Hawi al-Kabir (2/179)]. However, contemporary scholars ruled it permissible.

Second: In mazhab Hanafi, it is permissible to pay fidyah through cash (the equivalent price of food) as a replacement of the food. If someone pays his fidyah through cash (in his currency, for example, Ringgit Malaysia or US Dollar), it is valid. Scholars of mazhab Hanafi have differing opinions regarding which is prioritized; food or its price (cash/money) [refers al-Mawardi in al-Hawi al-Kabir (3/179); az-Zabidi al-Ibadi in al-Jawharah an-Nayyirah (1/134); and Badruddin al -Aini al-‘itabi al-Hanafi in Al-Banayah Syarah al-Hidayah (3/349)].

Third: When we conform (taqlid) to Mazhab Hanafi in paying (by cash) for fidyah, the amount is half a sa’ from wheat or one sa’ of barley or dates. What should be reminded, in mazhab Hanafi the fidyah is not from ghalib qut al-balad (staple food of a country), unlike in mazhab Syafie, but in their opinion, the fidyah is half sa’ of wheat or one sa’ of barley or dates. One sa’ according to mazhab Hanafi is equivalent to 6 mudd and not 4 mudd as the opinion of mazhab Syafie. Hence, when evaluating the value for fidyah one must take into account regarding this difference. As an example, the price of ½ sa’ of wheat (is equivalent to 3 mudd in mazhab Hanafi) using cash, then distributed to the rightful recipients (the poor and needy). Thus, for the application of it in Malaysia, firstly, the price of ½ sa’ of wheat or one sa’ of barley or dates need to be determined. As an example, if the price is RM3 (almost equivalent to USD1), then the fidyah of RM3 is valid. However, to take a cautious approach in this issue, then you can set the fidyah as RM4 and set the intention of the extra RM1 for donation [refers Muhammad Bin Hasan as-Syaibani in al-Hujjah ‘Ala Ahl al-Madinah (1/398); as-Sarakhsi al-Hanafi in al-Mabsuth (3/100)].

Fourth: It is permissible to give fidyah through a representative who will then distribute it to the rightful recipients. This is one of the exceptions of invalidity of using representatives in doing ibadah. In regards to giving fidyah through a representative, the representative must be someone who is knowledgeable and trustworthy. It is also permissible to give it to an employee of a religious body (for example to country’s baitulmal) where it is an official body responsible to distribute fidyah to the rightful recipients in accordance with Islam [refers al-Khatib Asyarbini as-Syafi`e in Mughni al-Muhtaj].

Fifth: Important reminder; it is invalid to pay fidyah before it is due and it is paid according to the number of days. Thus, a fidyah is invalid if it is paid at the beginning of Ramadan for 30 days [refers al-Nawawi in al-Majmu’].

As a conclusion, money from prohibited means can be used as a general fund for the benefit of the public, while fidyah and kaffarah are distributed to the poor and needy.

May this explanation be an answer to the issue of money in Baitulmal account of which from kifarah, fidyah and prohibited means.

Wallahua’lam.

Taken with slight changes from http://muftiwp.gov.my

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