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Amount of Fidyah and Zakāt al-Fiṭr

All praise is due to Allah, and may peace and salutations be upon the Prophet ﷺ.

SUMMARY

Fidyah amount is recommended to be $15 in 2023-2024, and the Zakāt al-Fiṭr amount is recommended to be $10.

DETAILS OF FIDYAH

Fidyah is a payment made per missed fast if someone is not able to fast in Ramaḍān, and it is expected that they will never regain the ability to make up for the missed fasts — for example, if they are sick with no hope of recovery. If someone misses a fast due to being temporarily sick or traveling, they would make up the fast at a later date and they would not pay fidyah.

The fidyah amount is “ṭaʻāmu miskīn” (Qur’ān, 2:184), or “feeding a poor person [each day].” Scholars of the past and present made efforts to determine an appropriate quantity based on the staple food items of their own time, place, and custom. The Mālikīs and Shāfiʻīs translated the amount into one mudd (or one-quarter ṣāʻ) of food, which is a volumetric measure roughly equivalent to 0.75 liters. The Ḥanafīs said that the quantity should vary based on the type of food (one ṣāʻ of dates, or one ṣāʻ of barley, or half a ṣāʻ of wheat)1. The Ḥanbalīs had a similar conclusion, determining that the fidyah should be one mudd of wheat, or half a saa‘ of dates or barley.2 One approach to calculate the monetary value of fidyah is to convert these volumes of food into weights, and then use minimums, maximums, averages, or weighted averages to determine a dollar amount.

The approach of the Fiqh Council of North America on this matter is to follow the spirit of the Qur’ānic injunction of “feeding a poor person [each day]”, which is to determine the average price of a reasonable amount of food for a person each day. Following a methodology similar to move.org, we looked at Numbeo’s estimated monthly food costs3 in each state’s most populous city4 and used these to determine the daily cost of food. Data from 2021 is as follows:

RankStateMost populous cityMonthly food costDaily food cost
1HawaiiHonolulu$556.76 $18.56 
2VermontBurlington$497.41 $16.58 
3AlaskaAnchorage$483.24 $16.11 
4New YorkNew York City$482.87 $16.10 
5West VirginiaCharleston$427.19 $14.24 
6MississippiJackson$423.33 $14.11 
7South CarolinaCharleston$411.29 $13.71 
8MassachusettsBoston$406.21 $13.54 
9District of ColumbiaWashington DC$405.08 $13.50 
10WashingtonSeattle$402.08 $13.40 
11PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia$401.02 $13.37 
12GeorgiaAtlanta$397.97 $13.27 
13AlabamaBirmingham$397.39 $13.25 
14MinnesotaMinneapolis$395.39 $13.18 
15Rhode IslandProvidence$390.19 $13.01 
16WisconsinMilwaukee$385.97 $12.87 
17DelawareWilmington$380.39 $12.68 
18OregonPortland$375.41 $12.51 
19MainePortland$372.21 $12.41 
20CaliforniaLos Angeles$370.96 $12.37 
21FloridaJacksonville$364.25 $12.14 
22IowaDes Moines$347.05 $11.57 
23OklahomaOklahoma City$346.66 $11.56 
24TennesseeNashville$346.37 $11.55 
25WyomingCheyenne$345.62 $11.52 
26New JerseyNewark$343.77 $11.46 
27MarylandBaltimore$343.67 $11.46 
28ConnecticutBridgeport$343.30 $11.44 
29OhioColumbus$341.48 $11.38 
30North CarolinaCharlotte$341.10 $11.37 
31NebraskaOmaha$336.90 $11.23 
32IllinoisChicago$327.31 $10.91 
33MichiganDetroit$327.12 $10.90 
34ColoradoDenver$326.92 $10.90 
35North DakotaFargo$326.66 $10.89 
36LouisianaNew Orleans$325.19 $10.84 
37MontanaBillings$323.91 $10.80 
38IndianaIndianapolis$318.03 $10.60 
39KentuckyLouisville$315.20 $10.51 
40MissouriKansas City$312.63 $10.42 
41New MexicoAlbuquerque$307.79 $10.26 
42ArizonaPhoenix$302.80 $10.09 
43VirginiaVirginia Beach$298.01 $9.93 
44NevadaLas Vegas$293.43 $9.78 
45TexasHouston$286.64 $9.55 
46South DakotaSioux Falls$286.23 $9.54 
47ArkansasLittle Rock$282.46 $9.42 
48UtahSalt Lake City$282.23 $9.41 
49IdahoBoise$281.12 $9.37 
50KansasWichita$261.35 $8.71 
51New HampshireManchester$183.00 $6.10 
Monthly Food Costs by State

As can be seen, the amount varies based on location, and are approximate amounts. If a community feels that another figure, based on the parameters mentioned in this fatwa, better suits their particular locality, they may adjust accordingly. For example, they may look up the value for their locality from the Numbeo website.

However, the Fiqh Council does not see a problem with using a national average across the United States. Based on data from Numbeo, this would be $13.65 as of August 1, 2023, which we have rounded up to $15. 

DETAILS OF ZAKĀT AL-FIṬR

Zakāt al-Fiṭr, also called ṣadaqat al-fiṭr, is an obligatory charitable payment given at the end of Ramaḍān. 

The zakāt al-Fiṭr amount is generally considered to be one ṣāʻ of staple food based on a narration of the Prophet ﷺ.5 As a volumetric measure, a ṣāʻ of food will translate into different weights depending on the item of food, and then each item of food can be converted into an associated retail dollar cost.

Food ItemWeight6U.S. Retail Cost7
Rice5.4 pounds$4.91
Wheat flour4 pounds$3.64
Pasta2.2 pounds $2.99
Oats2.43 pounds$3.30
Dates4.63 pounds$18.89
Barley3.53 pounds8$3.21
Ṣāʻ of Food Items to Dollar Cost

As can be seen, the amount can vary greatly based on the specific food item selected. Further variation can be found based on the specific location. Even greater variation can be found if the volumetric amount is first converted into a weight without considering the specific food item (not taking into consideration that different food items have different densities), and then the specific food item is selected to convert into a cost.

If we were to approximate based on a blended average of staple food items in the United States, the zakāt al-Fiṭr amount would be more than five dollars, but because of the large variation in price (e.g. the high price for dates), we encourage Muslims to increase the amount to $10 out of caution.9

Prepared by Sh. Umer Khan and Dr. Yasir Qadhi, approved by the Fiqh Council of North America

  1. The Ḥanafīs also supported the opinion of two meals per day, which is also fine. ↩︎
  2. الموسوعة الفقهية ج ٣٢ ص ٦٧ https://shamela.ws/book/11430/20217 ↩︎
  3. https://www.numbeo.com/food-prices/country_result.jsp?country=United+States ↩︎
  4. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states%27_largest_cities ↩︎
  5. https://hadithprophet.com/hadith-32363.html ↩︎
  6. https://unity1.store/2015/07/16/a-fatwa-on-zakat-al-fitr-and-food-banks-in-the-uk/ ↩︎
  7. https://www.selinawamucii.com/insights/prices/united-states-of-america/ ↩︎
  8. https://www.bakkah.net/en/zakat-fitr-measurements-saa-three-litres-mudd.htm ↩︎
  9. This would also be roughly equivalent to the Ḥanafī “two meals” opinion. ↩︎
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