Fitrana of Zakatul Fitr is a charitable donation of food or money that must be given before Eidul Fitr prayer, before the end of the month of Ramadan for the love of Allah (SWT). Fitrana must be given by every self-supporting adult Muslim who has food in excess of their needs, on behalf of themselves and their dependent family members.
“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) ordained Zakat ul Fitr [Fitrana] to purify the fasting person from indecent words or actions, and to provide food for the needy. It is accepted as Zakat for the person who gives it before the Eid prayer; but it is a mere Sadaqah for the one who gives it after the prayer.”
[Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]
Every Muslim who has food in excess of their needs must pay Zakat ul Fitr (Fitrana). Unlike Zakat, it is incumbent on everyone in your household. Therefore, the head of the household, or parents and guardians, need to pay Fitrana on behalf of other members of the family before the end of the month of Ramadan.
At the time of the Prophet (SAW) Fitrana (Zakat ul Fitr) would be given as one saa’ – one saa’ is equivalent to four madd. A madd is the amount that can be scooped up when one puts their hands together.
The monetary value of one saa’ based on the current price of a staple food such as flour or rice is approximately $5. Therefore, the Fitrana amount due for each person is $5.
One of the conditions of Fitrana is that it must be paid before the Eid prayer begins so that those in need can benefit in time for Eid. However, if paid after it will be treated as Sadaqah and its reward will be lesser.