Types of Donations in Ramadan
Ramadan is the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims around the world observe the entire month with respect and courtesy. In addition to observing fasts, donations are made towards different causes to help those in need. There is a rise in obligatory as well as other types of donations during Ramadan. These donations include:
Zakat al-Mal is an obligatory donation that is owed when the wealth of a person reaches a specific amount. Although it can be donated at any time of the year, most people donate it during Ramadan. The amount of Zakat depends on the wealth of the person, including bank balance and commodities in gold and silver. You can calculate Zakat using our Zakat Calculator.
Zakat ensures a flow of wealth from the rich to the poor. It also helps people living under the poverty line to survive in society. For the rich, it is only a small percentage of their wealth, but for underprivileged families, it can be enough for an entire year.
Zakat can only be donated to people that are eligible for it. The Government of Pakistan has a special register that has a list of such families and individuals. Zakat and the Ushr Department register such families.
You can also donate Zakat to charitable organizations instead of donating directly to individuals or families. Not only is it more convenient, but these organizations usually work for big causes.
Zakat Al-Fitr, also known as “Fitrana”, is paid right before the Eid Al-Fitr prayer, which marks the end of Ramadan. Fundamentally, it is about donating the excess food to the people in need. But you can donate money equal to that food as well. It depends on the type of food that you usually consume.
The amount of Fitrana would be different for those who mostly consume wheat than those who eat more rice. Each year, different institutes provide an amount corresponding to different food types consumed in Pakistan.
Each member of the family has to pay this donation and if they cannot, it is the responsibility of the family head to pay their shares. Like Zakat Al-Maal, this donation also can only be made to the people eligible for Zakat. The amount of Zakat Al-Fitr is usually less than Zakat Al-Maal, but as a lot of people donate it, the overall sum becomes quite significant.
Furthermore, it is not obligatory to pay all the amounts to just one family or organization. You can distribute it between different families and organizations.
It is usually better to donate Zakat Al-Fitr to charitable organizations instead of donating directly to eligible families. Since charitable organizations receive multiple donations and have more resources, they work for big causes and can make a huge impact.
The average rate of Fitrana was about PKR 140 per head and considering the average family size in Pakistan, it adds up to around PKR 600-700 per family.
Kaffara is an obligatory payment that becomes applicable when one misses a mandatory fast in Ramadan or makes it invalid by certain activities. There are multiple days to pay Kaffara, but it is usually paid by feeding 60 deserving people. The amount depends on the number of fasts a person has missed.
Allah Almighty has exempted some individuals from mandatory fasts, including those with chronic ailments, advanced age, and travelers. Fidya is given out when an individual is certain that he/she would not be able to offer Qadha because of the mentioned conditions. The amount owed in Fidya varies each year and several religious institutes release that at the start of Ramadan.
Sadaqah is not an obligatory donation, but it is highly appreciated in Islam. It is not determined by the total wealth or the annual income of the individual. Instead, it is the choice of the individual to donate as much as they want to. There is no limit and no formula to determine the amount of charity. One does not have to be financially strong to give out charity.
Charity can be given to any individual, family, or organization. You should also consider giving charity to organizations that are working to help those in need. For example, you can give charity to put food on a family’s table or to support a life-saving surgery. It gives great mental satisfaction to the donors as Allah Almighty has promised rewards for such people.
“Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public, have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” [Quran 2:274]
The sacred month of Ramadan boosts the passion in Muslims to help others in every capacity. The month sees a rise in donations all around the world. While these donations can be made directly to individuals or families, it is better and much more convenient to donate to charitable organizations. Transparent Hands is one such organization that has been helping underprivileged patients across the country. Since 2014, we have provided over 40,000 surgical and medical treatments to deserving patients. However, we can only continue to do so with your support. Donate to this cause now.