Zakat-ul-Fitr is Zakah on the individual. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is reported to have said:
“Remember Zakat-al-Fitr is essential (Wajib) for every Muslim, man or woman; free or in servitude; adult or child.” (At-Thirmidhi)
Zakat-ul-Fitr or Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is a special charity paid to the needy on or before the day of Eid -ul-Fitr, which is the first day of the month of Shawwal following the month of Ramadan. Zakat-ul-Fitr is paid as atonement for any shortcomings in the worship of Fasting during the month of Ramadan.
On the day of Eid -ul-Fitr, which marks the completion of the month of Ramadan, every Muslim possessing an amount of food in excess of his and his family’s need for a day (24 hours) is mandated to pay Zakat-ul- Fitr on behalf of himself and all his dependent(s).
Zakat-ul-Fitr or Fitrah is “the one full meal per person or cash equivalent to the cost of one full meal, given directly to the needy of the community before Eid-ul-Fitr prayer. Arrangements for paying Fitrah should be made ahead of time so that it reaches the eligible recipients in time for them to make use of it on Eid day. The quantity of Zakat-ul-Fitr traditionally amounts to one Sa`. One Sa` is equivalent to 2751–3800 grams of food such as wheat, barley, rice, or the like. In Greater Chicago the cash equivalent of Fitrah has been determined by Islamic Organizations to be $5.00 – 7.00 for each member of the family.
The categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakat-ul-Fitr are the same as for those who are eligible to receive the regular Zakat.