LUCKNOW: Though Fatima got admission to an engineering college, she had almost lost hope of completing her higher studies due to financial constraints. Her father, a clerk, asked her to discontinue studies as it was hard for him to support his six children . Help came to Fatima's way through 'zakat' (charity). Now, Fatima is close to fulfilling her dreams of becoming an engineer.
Like Fatima, the holy month of Ramadan gives many poor and needy a reason to cheer as it is the time of the year when the faithful make generous donations, mostly in the form of the ritual charity. Zakat has been derived fromwhich means 'to purify' . It is one of the five .
"In Islam, it is compulsory for every Muslim to give zakat comprising 2.5% of their wealth. If an individual's wealth including cash and kind is equal to 52 tolas (10gm) of silver over a period of one year, he or she has to pay zakat . Specifically paid during Ramadan, it benefits and helps poor and needy achieve their goals," said Imam-e-Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali.
He added that as compared to last year, the price of silver has fallen drastically, hence, this year a large number of people will come under the ambit of zakat. Last year, 52 tolas of silver cost around Rs 55,000 but this year, it has come down to nearly Rs 26,700. "While calculating zakat, some people do not include their jewellery, business property and savings. Ifstart giving zakat properly, it will eradicate poverty from our country," he said.People indulge in this obligatory charity in various forms. Paying zakat directly to the poor is the best way. While most of them make a donation to madrassas , religious NGOs and social organisations, others give clothes and gifts to orphanages and old-age homes. a child's education or or give charity to those seeking medical aid.
Naba Khan, a private executive said, "When we observe roza, we become sensitive to the sufferings of the hungry. Through zakat, we help them become independent.
(The Times Of India / 23 July 2013)
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