MUMBAI — Seventy-five per cent Muslims, who pay zakat, want that the Islamic charity should be used for education and economic empowerment and self-employment. And the same percentage of people believe that the zakat, which is obligatory to pay for each rich Muslims, has the potential to transform the community if used in an appropriate way.
This is the findings of the survey conducted by the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) on the distribution and collection of zakat. 4589 people from across the country and abroad took part in the survey. Of which, 94% of people opined that there should be collective zakat fund management. The survey which has been conducted online asked various questions related to paying zakat, distributing zakat and collecting zakat.
“Thousands of crores of money gets collected and distributed as Zakat annually in India. In spite of this huge amount, we do not see a tangible impact on the upliftment of the community. The idea of this survey was to identify the pain areas which hinder the effective utilisation of Zakat and how it can be leveraged in a better and more organized way to improve the socio economic condition of Indian Muslims,” said Amir Edresy, President of AMP, a group of Muslim Professionals that work for upliftment of the community.
More than 60% of the people donate to the same set of individuals every year whereas when asked about whether they have seen changes in the lives of zakat takers, majority of them (55%) mentioned they do not worry about that and just wanted to complete their duty of paying zakat.
While releasing the report of survey findings, M. Z. Rehman, President Indo-Arab Chambers of Commerce and an expert in Shariah Finance said that Zakat being a tool for social welfare and upliftment should be exempted from all kinds of taxes. He added “Zakat is the 3rd most important pillar of Islam after Faith and Worship. In the Arabic language, Zakat means growth, blessings, purification and development. The issues of poverty and deprivation being faced by Muslims in India can be overcome if all Zakat eligible Muslims pay their Zakat in a collective manner and address those issues. Our educated class has to learn more about their religious obligations so they do not miss the Almighty’s blessings in the World as well as the Hereafter”.
Findings of the survey:
- 30% of the respondents have either no knowledge or can’t say about the Zakat and its benefits.
- Overall 40% plus respondents who pay zakat, opined that they are not so confident to correctly calculate zakat.
- 2/3rd of the people donate less than 20,000 rupees of zakat a year, with 30% donating more than 20,000 rupees of zakat a year…considering a huge population of zakat giver in our community the value of zakat could be in thousands of crores of rupees in a year.
- More than half the people donate their zakat as per the requirement anytime in the year, with a major emphasis of 40% people preferring to pay in the month of Ramazan..
- More than 60% of the people donate to the same set of individuals every year whereas when asked about whether they have seen changes in the lives of zakat takers, majority of them (55%) said they do not worry about that and just wanted to complete their duty of paying zakat.
- More than 75% of the people either pay zakat to their relatives or local zakat seeker/whoever approaches for zakat. Only 15% of the people donate their zakat to Baitul Maal or NGO for organized Charity and 10% plus for Madrasas.
- Zakat currently is donated for various purposes with NO specific focus.
- When asked about “what should be the best way to give zakat”, overall 70% of the people said it should be “Collectively (strategic donation)”.
- More than 75% of the people strongly agree that “Collective zakat” has the potential to transform the lives of our community if used in an appropriate way.
- More than 75% of the people feel that zakat should be used for Education, Economic empowerment & Self-employment.
- Overall 94% of the people opined that there should be a mechanism for collective zakat fund management.