As we move into 2020 we wanted to share with you some answers to frequently asked questions about giving Zakat to Muslim Aid.
The Qur’an (9:60) states that “the eight categories of eligible recipients of Zakat are: the poor, the needy, the administrators of Zakat, new Muslims (or reconciling the hearts of others), people in slavery, the debtors, in the path of Allah, and for travellers/wayfarers.”
How long has Muslim Aid been distributing Zakat?
For 35 years, Muslim Aid has distributed Zakat – the third Pillar of Islam – to the poor and needy all around the world. Our processes are designed to follow the allocation of Zakat and its usage from donation point through to programme spend and funds reporting.
How did we spend your Zakat last year?
In 2019, we funded 62 Zakatable projects at a total cost of £4.8m. This Zakat giving has reached all countries that Muslim Aid works in from as far afield from Gaza to Pakistan to Yemen andincluded the administration of Zakat at 12.5%.
Who did Muslim Aid distribute Zakat to?
All 62 projects were Zakat applicable and within the framework of the eight categories of the eligible recipients of Zakat. As stated in the Qur’an (9.60) these are: the poor, the needy, the administrators of Zakat, new Muslims (or reconciling the hearts of others), people in slavery, the debtors, in the path of Allah, and for travellers/wayfarers.
Muslim Aid’s Zakat projects are focused on disaster, emergency response, and uplifting the poor and less fortunate.
Can you give us an example of how Zakat has been spent in one country?
For example, in Somalia your Zakat has been helping families who are continually at risk of famine, as a result of ongoing droughts. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, without access to livelihood opportunities to help them improve their situation. There is not enough food to feed the population and humanitarian support is desperately needed.
In 2019 Muslim Aid helped 3,500 people across six IDP camps where people have had to flee. 700 families have received $100 a month for a six month period, to help them buy food, water, medical supplies, household items, pay for school fees and help them start up businesses.
How is Muslim Aid developing its Zakat framework?
Muslim Aid is a member of the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) and has been working together with them on Zakat since late 2018. This collaboration includes research projects that analyse Zakat collection and governance within British Muslim charities.
Following this there has been a consensus from all the member charities to develop an agreed Zakat Framework to help navigate the various challenges that arise from giving Zakat today.
How is Muslim Aid moving forward into 2020?
Muslim Aid remains fully committed to ensuring it’s Zakat processes are better and even more robust. This year we will be developing both an internal Zakat Committee and a scholarly Zakat Panel. We will also be working closely with the MCF as it develops a unified approach on Zakat for Muslim charities working in the sector.
With Ramadan coming up it’s time to think about how you give your Zakat. Muslim Aid uses your Zakat to help some of the poorest people in the world.
Find out how to calculate your Zakat here.