Hyderabad: Muslims are beginning to distribute zakat by themselves instead of donating to charitable organisations. The preference is now given for self employment and modern education of the needy.
While traditionally the amount contributed as zakat is used to help people during the month of Ramzan with food and clothing, donors from city now help out education and health ventures.
“The intention of zakat is to help in uplifting the poor. But it is not happening due to unorganized distribution or lethargy in identifying the needy. One has to ensure that his donations are reaching the neediest and providing solace to them,” said IT professional Abdul Moiz from Malakpet.
Hence, I have started selecting beneficiaries after visiting local educational institutions and collecting details of the students who need financial assistance. “After obtaining their willingness, I take of their educational expenses throughout the year,” he said.
Several hundred people make a beeline to the city markets and households in the month of Ramzan, to collect donations liberally made by the Muslim community. It is this time of the year when the wealthiest Muslims prefer to pay their annual zakat – the 2.5 per cent share of annual savings. Zakat is obligatory for every Muslim who is ‘sahib–e-nisaab’, one whose annual saving equals not less than the value of 77 gm gold or 520 gm silver. “It is mandatory for a Muslim who fulfills the criterion to pay it. Least he will be held accountable by the Allah. If they do not have money, they have to sell a part of their assets and pay it,” said Maulana Rizwan Qureshi, Khateeb Macca Masjid.
More women prefer to give on their own
More Muslim women are coming forward to make the zakat donations on their assets, mostly gold, as mandated by Islamic laws. This is being attributed to awareness on the subject through the social media.
“In past, the men donated zakat on behalf of the women, but with many Muslim women working, they are themselves calculating and donating it,” said Ahmednagar corporator Ayesha Rubina.
With the women also paying zakat, the total donations of any family have increased significantly. School principal Maherunnisa said the zakat amount is increasing with the value of gold. “As against Rs 20,000 about five years ago, I am now paying about Rs 35,000 zakat on gold. The amount also includes the zakat calculated on the rent,” she said.
“Calculating the value of the assets is must for reaching to the accurate amount you have to pay,” said a woman Islamic scholar....