Q. Can a person pay his zakat al-fitr in the form of money? What are the conditions in the Hanafi madhhab?
A. The allowance has been given by the Fuqaha, especially in the Hanafi Mazhab for one to pay his Zakaat Al Fitr in the form of money. This is recorded in many books of the Hanafi Fiqh. For example in the famous Ad Durrul Mukhtar, it is written, ‘And giving of the value i.e. dirhams (money) is preferable than giving of the items themselves’. (Chapter on Sadaqatul Fitr).
While commenting on this Allama Shami has mentioned that it is stated in Tatar Khaniyah from Al Muheet that one can give the value of wheat, barlely or dates (as Zakaat Al Fitr). (Raddul Mukhtar vol.2 pg. 366).
As mentioned in Ad Durrul Mukhtaar, the act of giving money (the value) in Zakaat Al Fitr is preferred when there is ease and affluence/plenty. However, if there is hardship/adversity then giving the items like wheat, barley, dates etc. is preferable. (Chapter on Sadaqatul Fitr).
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan