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|Rulings on Kafaarat Yameen
I would like to know how much is the kafaarat yameen. Can I give it to needy people in my hometown or I should give it to needy people in canada?
Praise be to Allaah.
Kafaarat yameen is mentioned by Allaah in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masaakeen (poor persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families, or clothe them or manumit a slave. But whosoever cannot afford (that), then he should fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths (i.e. do not swear much). Thus Allaah makes clear to you His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that you may be grateful” [al-Maa’idah 5:89]
So the person has the choice of three things:
1– Feeding ten poor persons with the average kind of food that he feeds his family, by giving each person half a saa’ of the usual local staple, such as rice etc. This is equivalent to approximately one-and-a-half kilograms. If rice is usually eaten with some kind of sauce then along with the rice he should give them some sauce or meat. If he gathers together ten poor people and offers them lunch or dinner, this is sufficient.
2– Clothing ten poor people, which means giving each one clothing that is suitable for praying in, so for a man he would give a thobe or dishdasha or a lower garment and upper garment (izaar and rida’), and for a woman a concealing dress and a head cover.
3– Freeing a believing slave.
Whoever cannot do any of the above should fast for three consecutive days.
What is meant by feeding (a poor person) is half a saa’ of the staple food of the country, such as dates, wheat, etc. This is equivalent to approximately one and a half kilograms of rice.
With regard to giving the price of the food instead of the food itself, the correct view is that giving the price does not fulfil the conditions of the kafaarah (expiation). This is the view of the majority of scholars. Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni: “The kafaarah is not achieved by paying the price of the food or clothing, because Allaah mentioned giving food, so the kafaarah is not achieved by anything else. Allaah gives us the choice of three things’ if it were permissible to give the price, the choice would not have been limited to these three…” (al-Mughni by Ibn Qudaamah, 11/256)
See Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/464; Kitaab al-Aymaan wa’l-Nudhoor, Muhammad ‘Abd al-Qaadir, 87.
If you cannot find any poor person who deserves to receive zakaah in the country where you live, there is nothing wrong with transferring the kafaarah to another country via a trustworthy person or group who can act as the agent of the person who is paying the kafaarah, so that it can reach deserving people of the categories mentioned in the aayah, under the conditions of kafaarah stated. This could be done by giving the money to a trustworthy individual or organization so they would (on your behalf) buy the goods mentioned by the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and distribute them to the person who is considered to be poor or needy, the one who does not have enough of the bare necessities.
And Allaah knows best.
Question Date: 2011-04-08
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