By the Noble Shaykh Saleh ibn Fawzan al-Fawzan
Translated by AbuAbdulMalik
The types of foods that should be given as Sadaqat’ul Fitr
As for the type of foods that should be given and the permissibility for people using the staple food of their country, then there is a hadeeth related in the two Saheehs and other books of hadeeth stating that Allah’s Messenger (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) enjoined Sadaqat’ul Fitr to be paid with one Sa’a of dates, or one Sa’a of barley on every Muslim, free or slave, male or female, young or old.
The five staple foods in the time of the Messenger of Allah (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) were: wheat, barley, dates, raisins, and cheese.
Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyah (raheemullah) states these (the five food types) used to be the staple food in Madeenah, thus people living in a village or city were staple food differs from the above are to pay one Sa’a (approximately 3 kilograms) of their own staple food (as Sadaqat’ul Fitr).
Thus, if their staple food is other than grain, such as milk, meat or fish, they are to give Sadaqat’ul Fitr thereof, whatever it may be.
This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars, which is regarded as the correct one in this regard, and there are no other contrary opinions to be followed. This is because Sadaqat’ul Fitr is legally legislated to support the needy on the day of the Feast with the same staple food of the people in the same place where they live.
Therefore, it is sufficient for the Muslim to give the needy flour as Sadaqat’ul Fitr, though it is not one of the five food types of the food mentioned in the hadeeth of the Prophet (sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in this regard. Though bread and cooked food can be useful for the needed, and cost little to prepare for eating, grains are likely to be more useful to them since it can last for a longer time.