Allaah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) obligated the Muslim and those he provides for, young and old, male and female, free and slave to give a saa’ (around 2 kilograms) of dates or a saa’ of barley or a saa’ or dry cheese, or a saa’ or raisins or half a saa’ of wheat, or a saa’ of the food of the people’s land.
He (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) would give it out in food and not cash.
It was from his (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) practice to give the Zakaat-ul-Fitr a day or two prior to the ‘Eed prayer.
It was from his (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) practice to specifically give the Zakaat-ul-Fitr to the needy people (masaakeen). And he (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) would not divide it separately for the eight categories of people mentioned in the Surah At-Tawbah (60)1 He (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) would appoint one of his Companions to collect and guard the Zakaat-ul-Fitr.
For the evidence on these issues and on the Rulings of Fasting, refer to the following books: Fasting in Ramadaan of ‘Alee Al-Halabee and Saleem Al-Hilaalee, The Night Prayer of Shaikh Al-Albaanee and Zaad Al-Ma’aad of the great scholar Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah.