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Thursday, 31 July 2014

India: Muslims set for Eid with zakat to help needy

RAIPUR: Muslims are bracing up to donate a portion of their savings as zakat-al-fitr as they eagerly wait for news about sighting of moon that would mark end of month-long Ramzan fasting and beginning of Eid celebrations.

On the eve of Eid, several Muslim families were preparing for the zakat, meant to help poor and underprivileged.

Raipur's biggest Madrassa hopes to collect over Rs 1.5 crore from its 2.5 lakh Muslim population as Zakat-al-fitr this year.

"Zakat al-fitr is obligatory on every Muslim. They are required to pay as charity 2.5% of gold or savings they possess that doesn't serve as basic food. Zakat is given after performing Eid dua and before breaking the fast by head of the family. Muslim law considers it as an income tax paid to help the deprived ones including gareeb, yateem, bewa (poor, orphan and widows) and others in the name of Allah-tala," Maulana Mohd Ali Farooque of city's biggest Madrassa Israul Muslimihin told TOI.

Anticipating for a raise of 20% in collection this year, Farooque said that Fitrah (fitr) was given in form of 2.45 kilogram of wheat or equivalent amount on behalf of each member of family. Zakat is a process of purification of soul on individual level and a cure against miseries. Rich are obliged to come in contact with poor and the poor with even less fortunate, he said.

Among dozen families that distribute free rations, clothes, money and fees for education, Javed Khan's family plans to begin shopping for clothes they give as charity to family of servants and poor for the whole year. Shelling around a Rs 1 lakh on Eid the Khan family in Raipur encourages charity and feed more than 100 people on day.

"According to Islam, a part of all the savings and gold that we possess is for the needy ones. While there were many who aren't honest to shell out stuff, our family serves for the whole month. Starting from servants at home, neighbours, relatives, society and Madrassa, Zakar-al-fitr is given to all Muslims we know," said Khan.

Similarly, Siddqui family in Durg pays to students for professional courses in engineering, medical and MBAs till they finish the course. "Now that we have been practicing this for last 20-25 years, students who have lost their parents approach us for help. Islam gives importance to education and equal rights to all," Rasheed Siddqui said. Meanwhile, Monday night is going to be a late night shopping affair for most families which would be followed by midnight gathering and namaz (prayers) at mosque if the moon is sighted.

(The Times Of India / 29 July 2014)
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