Fitra should be given to deserving believers whose income is not sufficient to spend on their families for one year. Fitra cannot be given to one's own dependents. Deserving neighbors and pious persons are good candidates to receive and enjoy the fitra. Fitra from Sayyids (descendants of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny) can be given to poor Sayyids or non-Sayyids. Fitra from non-Sayyids cannot be given to Sayyids. If deserving persons are not easy to find or identify, fitra should be sent to places where such persons can be found, or the amount should be sent to a mujtahid who would do justice in its distribution.
It is absolutely mandatory that the recipient of fitra be ‘adil, I.e., a just and fair person who can be trusted to distribute it properly, and it is necessary to ensure that fitra is not given to anyone who may in any possibility use it for sinful acts such as drinking liquors, gambling, etc.
Although it is permissible to send fitra to any place, it is better to distribute it to a deserving person locally. The time for giving fitra is from the night preceding Eidul-Fitr up till noon. If this is not possible for any reason, the amount of fitra must then be set aside and be distributed when deserving persons are present, or it may be sent to a mujtahid for proper distribution, and it cannot be paid prior to the time when it becomes due. The best time to pay it is before noon prayers on Eid al-Fitr.