Ruling on buying food for Zakaat al-Fitr a little early

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
An Islamic centre in the west wants to buy an amount of food such as rice, for example, a while before Eid, say ten days before, then they will announce that they are prepared to accept money from Muslims for Zakaat al-Fitr, which they will then distribute on their behalf. This is because it will not be possible to buy this amount of food if they take the money one or two days before Eid. What is the ruling on this?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
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Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

We put this question to Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah preserve him, who answered as follows:

There is nothing wrong with the centre buying food a little early and then selling it to those who want to pay Zakaat al-Fitr, and then distributing it within the prescribed time.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

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