Delayed giving zakaat al-fitr until after the day of Eid because he could not find any poor people
The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked:
Is the time for paying zakaat al-fitr from after the Eid prayer until the end of that day?
They replied: The time for paying zakaat al-fitr does not start after the Eid prayer, rather it starts at sunset on the last day of Ramadaan, which is the first night of the month of Shawwaal, and it ends with the Eid prayer, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined that it should be paid before the prayer, and because of the report of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever pays it before the (Eid) prayer, it is accepted zakaah, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is (ordinary) charity.” It is permissible to pay it one or two days before that because of the report of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr at the end of Ramadaan … at the end of which he said: And they used to give it one or two days before that. But the one who delays it until after the proper time is sinning, and he has to repent from delaying it and give it to the poor. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
I did not pay zakaat al-fitr because Eid came suddenly, and after Eid al-Fitr I kept asking about what I should do with regard to this matter. Is it waived for me or do I have to pay it? What is the reason behind it?
He replied: Zakaat al-fitr is obligatory. Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr. It is obligatory upon every Muslim, male and female, young and old, free and slave. If it so happens that Eid comes suddenly, before you can pay it, then you should pay it on the day of Eid, even if that is after the prayer, because if one misses the time of an obligatory act of worship for a reason, it must be made up when the reason ceases to apply, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning prayer; “Whoever forgets a prayer or sleeps and misses it, let him pray it when he remembers it, for there is no expiation for it other than that.” And he recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “and perform As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑Salaah) for My remembrance” [Ta-ha 20:14]. End quote from Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (18/271).
He also said: But if he delays it for a reason, such as forgetting or because there were no poor people to be found on the night before Eid, then it will be accepted from him, whether he puts it back with his own wealth or leaves it until he finds a poor person comes.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about transferring zakaat al-fitr, and he replied: There is nothing wrong with transferring zakaat al-fitr to a city other than the city of the man who gave it, if that is done for a need because there are no poor people in his city. But if it is done unnecessarily, because there are people in his city who could accept it, then it is not permissible according to what some scholars have said.
End quote from Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (18/318).