This year, Tajik Muslims have reportedly made Sadaqa al-Fitr donations totaling 40 million somoni (equivalent to 4.3 million U.S. dollars)

According to the Committee on Religious Affairs (CRA) under the Government of Tajikistan, a total amount of Sadaga al-Fitr donations collected by heads of mahalla (residential community) councils this year is more than 40 million somoni.  

This amount reportedly includes not only cash but also food products and voluntary works.

“The money collected by mahalla councils has been distributed among poor families and spent for road repairing and laying on water supply,” an official source at CRA said, noting that a special commission comprising imam-khatibs and community activists has control distribution of donations.  

This year, the Shouroi Ulamo (Council of Ulema -- an Islamic council that issues fatwas (religious rulings) has set Sadaqa al-Fitr at 5.00 somoni per person.   

Sadaqa al-Fitr (also known as Zakat al-Fitr) is charity given to the poor at the end of the fasting in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.  The Arabic word Fitr means the same as iftar, breaking a fast, and it comes from the same root word as Futoor which means breakfast. 

Sadaqa al-Fitr is a duty which is wajib (required) of every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so.

Every Muslim is required to pay Sadaqa al-Fitr at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan as a token of thankfulness to God for having enabled him or her to observe the obligatory fast.

The amount of Sadaqa al-Fitr is the same for everyone regardless of their different income brackets. The minimum amount is one sa`a (four double handfuls) of food, grain or dried fruit for each member of the family.  This calculation is based on Ibn 'Umar's report that the Prophet made Sadaqa al-Fitr compulsory and payable by a sa`a of dried dates or a sa`a of barley.  According to the majority of Sunni scholars One Sa'a is approximately between 2.6 kg to 3 kg.  Cash equivalent (of the food weight) may also be given if food collection and distribution is unavailable in that particular country.

Sadaqa al-Fitr plays a very important role in the development of the bonds of community.  The rich are obliged to come in direct contact with the poor, and the poor are put in contact with the extremely poor.  This contact between the various levels of society helps to build real bonds of brotherhood and love within the Islamic community and trains those who have, to be generous to those who do not have.

The main purpose of Zakat al-Fitr is to provide the poor which they can celebrate the festival of breaking the fast (Eid al-Fitr) along with the rest of the Muslims.