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Zakat — Life changing initiative by Muslims

If you are doing a charity, make sure it reaches the proper destination. If it does not reach the proper destination, it may get misused. With the motto of making charity reach households, many organisations are making efforts in Mumbai and around the state. Instead of providing money directly, the organisations provide ration kit, household equipment, medical or educational assistance that can lead the beneficiary to do hard work and establish himself.

The holy Quran has categorised eight categories of people to give the Zakat. To be liable for Zakat, one’s wealth must amount to more than a threshold figure, termed the “Nisab”. Zakat can be given throughout the year, but Muslims generally donate it in Ramzan to get maximum reward for the hereafter.

Zakat is based on income and the value of all of one’s possessions. It is customarily 2.5 per cent (or 1/40) of a Muslim’s total savings and wealth above a minimum amount known as Nisab. If a Muslim pays Zakat separately, the amount may not be much. Whereas the organisations are making efforts to survey and get the families that are eligible to get the Zakat.

Shaikh Humayu, Secretary, Jamat-e-Islami Hind, Mumbai spoke to Afternoon Voice and described the process of providing Zakat to the needy. He said, “The Social Welfare Department of Muslim Organisation Jamat-E-Islami takes effort to do a survey and distribute the Zakat through proper channel. The survey takes place throughout the year and notes the names of families that require aid.”

The organisation Jamat-e-Islami conducts survey of all the poor households through volunteers. The volunteers do connect with the families that need assistance. They ask them to fill a form. The survey takes place throughout the year. They prepare a list. The list is being reviewed after almost every two to three years to update it. The awareness about donation is created through word of mouth publicity. Instead of giving funds, the Jamat try to offer them equipment or something that can play a key role in changing their lives. After collecting the funds, a meeting takes place and process of distribution of Zakat and donation starts through various channels.

Farooq Shaikh, transport businessman, who also handles Social Service department of Jamat-e-Islami Malwani said, “The work is purely for the upliftment of poor sections of the community. Shaikh said that he has been working for the cause since last many years and Jamat takes continuous effort to bring the poor families in light and help them to provide the aid.”

Shaikh Shabina, a beneficiary of Zakat and mother of three said that the aid has helped them get food. Shabina said, “My son is facing severe kidney issues. He is on dialysis. Earlier, my husband donated his one kidney and he is not working anywhere. My daughter is studying in tenth standard for which, the helping organisations pay a part of tuition fees. The ration kit and food being offered are of immense help.”

Some Insights

Organisations have been performing charity activities since last 20 years.

In Mumbai, the organisations have established centres in which hundreds of volunteers are working for charity.

The donation gets utilized for Community development, monthly ration distribution, special nutrition, ration and medical care for Tuberculosis patients and their families, blood donation camps, medical help and guidance, counselling centre to resolve family issues.

Proper records and bank accounts are being maintained and audit of donation and utilisation is undertaken every year.

The Jamat distributes pamphlets with the information of money being used.

By Nooruddin Inamdar

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