|The amount of Zakat al-Fitr, as we referred to earlier, is one Sa` of food. There is consensus on this amount among the scholars concerning all types of food except wheat and raisins. As for these two types the Shafi`is, Malikis, and Hanbalis agree that the prescribed amount is one Sa`, however, the Hanafis say it is sufficient to pay half Sa` from wheat and they differed concerning raisins.
After discussing the arguments of these two opinions al-Qaradawi reached the following conclusion: wheat was not a common food amongst them during the time of the Prophet so he did not prescribe one Sa` of it as he did with the other types of food.
As for those of the Companions of the Prophet who prescribed half Sa` of wheat instead of one Sa` of barely or dates like Mu`awiyah and other Companions, he views that they did so by analogy since the value of wheat was more than those of other types of food which were equal.
But according to their opinion, he says, the value should be considered and taken as the criterion and this will cause instability and confusion for it changes from one place to another and from time to time.
He mentioned that in Pakistan the value of wheat is less than that of dates, so how should we pay for it half the amount (i.e. Sa`) that we should pay for dates? He also mentioned that nowadays raisins are more expensive than wheat and dates. The only solution for these problems, he says, is to regard Sa` as the criterion and basis.
Al-Qaradawi explains why the Prophet appointed Sa` as the measure and did not prescribe it in money saying that in his opinion there are two reasons for this: First, money was still rare among the Arabs, particularly the Bedouins. They did not have their currency.
So if the Prophet had prescribed it in money, he would have caused hardship to them. Second, the purchasing power of money changes from time to time. For instance, the purchasing power of a certain currency sometimes becomes low and other times high, so paying Zakat al-Fitr in money makes its value unstable.
That is why the Prophet prescribed it with a stable measure, that is an amount of food that fulfills the needs of one family. For one Sa` provides a family with food for a whole day.