Zakaat Al-Fitr (Fast-breaking Zakaah):
It is obligatory upon all the Muslims, male and female, young and old, and it is to be paid before the people went out to perform ‘Eed Al-Fitr Pray.
Everyone has to give a Saa‘ (that equals 2.40 kg approximately). It is to be give from the staple food of one’s area whether it s wheat, barley, dates or the like of such kinds that the people used to eat in one’s country and use it most such as rice, corn, meat, or what they people eat in ones country. It is permissible to pay it in cash money equivalent to the value of its sale instead of the prescribed amount of the stable food for Zakaat Al-Fitr if there is necessary to do so.
It is permissible to give it early before the Day of ‘Eeds by a day or two. Giving it on the Day of ‘Eed and before prayer is even better. If a person delays it after the ‘Eed prayer without a legal excuse, then he is a sinner and he has to make up for it. However, if there is a legal excuse for his delay, then he has to make up for it.
In fact, this issue is very controversial among our prominent scholars. Some of them prevent giving Zakaat Al-Fitr in cash for it is not the way of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, while some others allow it. (Translator)