The Zakah of Fitr is due on every Muslim who is alive part of Ramadan and part of Shawwal (the month after Ramadan.)
The due Zakah for each is a “sa^” or four times of a pair of average-sized hands cupped together filled with the most common staple food of one’s area. It is an obligation upon the Muslim to pay the due Zakah for one and one’s Muslim dependants if on the day of the Feast of Fitr (^Id-ul- Fitr) and the night after it he has enough to meet one’s debts, clothing, lodging, and sustenance, and the sustenance of those whom one must support.
The man must pay the Zakah of Fitr for his wife, non-pubescent children, slaves, and poor Muslim parents. He may not pay for his pubescent children or solvent parents without their permission. It is permissible to pay the Fitr Zakah any time during Ramadan, even on the first night. However, it is recommended to pay it during the day of the Feast and before the ^Id Prayer, because this mends the hearts of the poor people before the Prayer. It is prohibited to delay paying the Fitr Zakah until after the sunset of the day of the Feast without a valid excuse.
Recipients of Zakah:
For all types of Zakah, the intention is obligatory upon setting one’s Zakah portion aside. Zakah must be paid to the eight categories of Muslims deserving of Zakah as mentioned explicitly in the Qur’an (Surat at-Tawbah, Verse 61):
إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ
Among the eight types which are most common today are:
- Al-Fuqara’: Those (who are poor) who earn less than half their basic needs.
- Al-Masakin: Those (who are poor) who earn half, but less than what meets all their basic needs.
- Al-Mu’allafatu Qulubuhum: The new converts to Islam whose hearts are to be reconciled.
- Al-Gharimun: Those who are unable to pay their debts.
- Ibn-us-Sabil: The travelers who do not have enough to enable them to reach their destination.
It is neither permissible nor valid to pay Zakah to other than the eight types of Muslims specifically mentioned in the above verse. That is why it is not valid to pay Zakah to any charitable project, hospital, or the like to meet this obligation