This type of Zakat should be set aside on the eve of Eid al-Fitr and paid on the day itself, which marks the end of the Month of Ramadan and is the first day of the month of Shawwal. A sum must be paid on a person’s behalf as well as on behalf of all those who are his dependents. This would also include any guests who are staying overnight during the eve of Eid al-Fitr, under the care of the person. A family of 4, for example, who also has 2 guests staying overnight during the eve of Eid al-Fitr would pay a total of 6 times the Zakat, to account for each family member and guest. For every individual, the minimum given must be enough to feed one miskeen (needy person), which is the equivalent of 6.6 pounds of a popular basic food commodity such as rice or wheat (flour), as opposed to a cooked full meal. Therefore, the Dollar amount given is the estimated recommended equivalent value of 6.6 pounds of the basic food commodity. On the day of Eid, the zakat will be distributed to the poor. (Click here to view how it was calculated).
If it is difficult for you to pay Zakat al-Fitrah to its eligible recipient in your town, and you prefer to use I.M.A.M.’s services, you may make your payment ahead of time and delegate I.M.A.M. to allot Zakat al-Fitrah on your behalf on the night of Eid. I.M.A.M. will then disburse it according to the religious criteria.