Home CULTURE Transformative Trends in Ramadan Charity: Focus Shifts to Education, Livelihood Grants

Transformative Trends in Ramadan Charity: Focus Shifts to Education, Livelihood Grants

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Transformative Trends in Ramadan Charity: Focus Shifts to Education, Livelihood Grants

The National Zakat Conference held in New Delhi in February delved into strategies to empower Zakat recipients to become contributors, thus fostering a cycle of economic empowerment.

Team Clarion

MUMBAI – The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan heralds a period of spiritual reflection and charitable giving for Muslims worldwide. In Mumbai, this tradition of philanthropy has evolved, with a noticeable shift in the allocation of Zakat (annual poor money) towards education and livelihood grants. While traditional causes like food and clothing assistance remain important, organisations report a growing emphasis on strategic donations aimed at fostering sustainable development in the community.

According to Syed Suhail Abbas of Zakat Centre India (ZCI), there has been a discernible move away from ‘consumptive’ causes towards ‘productive’ ones. Abbas emphasised that Zakat, far from being a mere charity, is an obligation for financially capable Muslims to contribute 2.5% of their annual wealth increment towards societal betterment. ZCI, operating across the country, focuses on empowering individuals through education and entrepreneurship, viewing these avenues as the catalysts for lasting change.

Aamir Edresy, representing the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), highlighted the success of IndiaZakat, the nation’s pioneering digital crowd-fundraising platform. Since its inception, IndiaZakat has garnered significant support, raising Rs 19 crores from nearly 65,000 donors. Notably, 40% of these funds have been directed towards educational initiatives, underscoring a collective recognition of education as a fundamental pillar of progress.

IndiaZakat operates on principles of transparency and accountability, ensuring that donations reach beneficiaries directly, without intermediary fees. Iftekhar Bidkar, head of IndiaZakat, credits the platform’s success to the passion of its volunteers and the community’s growing awareness of Zakat’s potential to drive meaningful change.

A recent survey conducted by AMP reflects a widespread belief in Zakat’s transformative power, with 77% of respondents expressing confidence in its ability to uplift the country’s Muslim community. Moreover, 70% of participants advocate for strategic donations targeting specific beneficiaries, aligning with efforts to maximise Zakat’s impact.

The National Zakat Conference held in New Delhi in February delved into strategies to empower Zakat recipients to become contributors, thus fostering a cycle of economic empowerment. Amid discussions on the burgeoning Zakat economy, estimated to be between Rs 10,000 crores to Rs 30,000 crores annually, calls emerged for the establishment of a national body to oversee and coordinate Zakat initiatives comprehensively.

The evolving landscape of charitable giving reflects the community’s commitment to harnessing Zakat’s potential for holistic societal development. With a renewed focus on education and economic empowerment, a spirit of compassion intertwines with the pursuit of lasting change, illuminating pathways towards a brighter future for all.

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