Scholars pitch for Zakat in advance

A major portion of Zakat this year is going towards helping those affected by the lockdown and this leaves a little or nothing to help the traditional beneficiary groups like madrasas, orphanages, old-age homes, destitutes, widows, unemployed and coaching centres Civil Services examinations and schemes like housing for the poor. More over, hundreds of Hafiz (those who lead the late night Taraweeh prayers in mosques during Ramzan) have also lost their livelihood due to closure of mosques.

About Rs 1,000 crore Zakat paid in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh every year We have precedents where advance Zakat was allowed to meet emergency financial needs of the poor. One can pay Zakat for any number of years in advance.

In case of advance Zakat, one should recalculate Zakat based on income in each of the subsequent years to pay the balance, if any,” senior Islamic scholar Moulana Abdul Kareem told STOI. Mujtaba Hasan Askari, managing trustee of Helping Hand Foundation, said with Ramzan falling in the lockdown phase, almost 75% of Zakat is going in the form of relief for essential supplies for weaker sections. “As a result, other key social sectors and socio-religious programmes may feel the pinch. We have merged both  Covid-19 ration and Ramzan ration schemes.

Apart from our regular beneficiaries of Ramzan, we received thousands of requests for food supplies,” said Askari. About Rs 1,000 crore Zakat is paid in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh every year. In Hyderabad, Zakat is traditionally used for funding madrasas and distribution of clothes. In the last one decade, however, Zakat is used for education, skill development, women empowerment and healthcare. It has made a huge difference to the underprivileged groups, he said. jo humey milna hai, woh aapko dena hi padega.

you can’t escape Aslam Hyderabad needs at least Rs 200 crore of Zakat to meet the essential supplies during Ramzan to bridge the hunger gap. Scholars also call for a balance between the Covid-19 relief during Ramzan and other traditional social needs for the year ahead.

Quran Foundation has clarified that it has consulted with scholars based on the queries received from Zakat donors whether it can be paid in advance for a few years. “It is permissible according to the majority of scholars to pay Zakat in advance for disaster relief works,” the foundation said in a statement.

Curtsy:, by Syed Akbar

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