Saudi Arabia, 20 OIC partners support global Zakah Fund



“We have received tremendous support and encouragement for the project from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah as well as Islamic scholars in different countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt,” said Saleh Kamel, chairman of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

He said measures have been taken to establish an international Zakah commission to streamline the collection and distribution of Zakah, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. “We have signed agreements with Mauritania, Senegal and Malaysia to establish the commission,” said Kamel, a prominent businessman.

There are more than 20,000 societies and agencies that are currently involved in the collection and distribution of Zakah in different parts of the Islamic world. The new fund will have offices in all Muslim countries as well as in others that have significant numbers of Muslims, the ICCI chief said.

Kamel said the fund would carry out its activities in a transparent manner. “It will collect both Zakah Al-Fitr and Zakah Al-Mal (wealth) and the funds will be distributed under the supervision of the commission,” he explained. The commission includes experts from the Islamic Development Bank, the OIC and the ICCI.

Zakah is obligatory on Muslims who are required to give a specific amount of their wealth to the poor. The concept of Zakah exemplifies Islam’s strong concern toward realizing social and economic justice. It serves as an equitable redistribution of wealth and income, which is enforced through moral obligation and fiscal measures.

However, the economic impact of Zakah depends on how it is administered, especially with regard to its collection and distribution. The administration of Zakah in most Muslim countries is unfortunately not up to the expected level. As a result, the full potential of Zakah has not yet been realized.

“There are many individuals who deserve Zakah in Islamic countries and the money will go to them directly, not to any other agency,” said Kamel, while explaining the modality of the fund’s operation.

Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, chairman of the World Forum for Muslim Scholars, welcomed the move to establish the Zakah fund. The Zakah Al-Fitr alone will amount to $ 2 billion if accumulated at the global level, Qaradawi pointed out.





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