The Zakkat and Sadaqah (alms) Foundation, Lagos, says it has disbursed N318 million to more than 2,000 Muslims in the South-West region in 2018.
Ma’aruf Ahmad, Operations Manager of the foundation, disclosed this to newsmen on Friday during a Zakkat Awareness workshop at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, ABUTH, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The workshop was organised by the Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, IMAN, ABUTH chapter in collaboration with the Zakkat and Sadaqah Foundation of Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop was part of activities lined-up for the foundation’s 5th Annual General Meeting and Health Week.
Mr Ahmad said the foundation was able to raise N318 million through the enlightenment campaign by Ulamas (Islamic scholars).
“Because of the enlightenment, many people have been calling to inquire about their eligibility to pay Zakkat.
“Whoever invites us; we go and conduct test on them based on what they present as their wealth.
“When such a test is conducted, some will entrust the money to us while some will decide to disburse it themselves,” he explained.
Mr Ahmad said that the aim was to re-awaken Muslims on their Zakkat obligation, especially the wealthy individuals.
According to him, giving out Zakkat purifies the wealth of the owner, while defaulters suffer from different calamities both on earth and the hereafter.
He said that Zakkat was a trust from Almighty Allah; and whatever deed carried out with the money would be given account of to Allah on the Day of Judgment.
“Since it is a trust from Allah, after collating the money, we usually call for applications from deserving masses.
“Apart from the application, a beneficiary will be required to bring a letter from a recognised Imam or from a trusted representative,” he said.
He said the foundation had received about 6,000 applications, adding that people usually give out Zakkat during Ramadan (fasting period) and disburse same after the fast.
Mr Ahmad who appreciated Muslims who give out Zakkat, noted that some beneficiaries had used the money wisely and became givers of Zakkat too.
“Some of the beneficiaries have started giving out Zakkat; there is one woman with four children whose husband absconded, she benefited from our disbursement two years ago.
“She got Keke Marwa (Rickshaw) and she and her children grew the business and bought another one.
“The following year, she gave out Zakkat,” he said.
He said foundation was also used the money to organise a Medical Caravan, where they go into villages to offer free medical treatment to the less privileged.
He appealed to all Muslims to go for a Zakkat test to know if they were qualified to pay in order to fulfill their religious obligation.