The Zakat Fund Disbursement Committee in Abu Dhabi has approved AED38.6 million for the needy, as part of the ‘Support Project’ benefitting 1,331 families in the UAE since the beginning of 2020. The project is expected to help reduce income and wealth inequality among low-income families during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Abdullah bin Aqeedah Al Muhairi, Secretary-General of the Fund and Chairman of the Committee, stated that it is one of the key projects adopted by the fund that provides monthly aid to needy families in the country. The fund is supported by wealthy philanthropists in the country.
Zakat is a religious obligation. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Islam orders all Muslims to practice charitable giving called Zakat and sadaqah. Muslims all over the world are obliged to give these charities to help the needy. Philanthropy has strong roots in Islam. The institution of Zakat is a collaborative giving model.
Islam requires its adherents to give away at least 2.5 percent of their annual income and other assets above a threshold that includes covering living expenses. Sadaqah contributions, which come on top, are considered voluntary. However, most Muslims give sadaqah as well to help the poor in their communities.
One can not spend Zakat donations on non-Muslims unless they intend to attract these not-yet Muslims to the religion. The Quran clearly specifies eight types of Zakat recipients including the poor and the needy.
Al Muhairi also pointed out that the fund supports beneficiaries from the eight categories eligible to receive Zakat through its project that continues throughout the year, noting that the fund’s officials are keen to always promote its projects and quickly disburse donations, through the weekly meetings of the committee.
He thanked the philanthropists and donors who donated to the fund, stressing that it is a federal government authority that complies with approved Zakat disbursement regulations of the country.