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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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Malaysia: Standard Chartered expects 2014 to be good for sukuk industry

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Standard Chartered Saadiq, the Islamic banking unit of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, expects 2014 to be good for the Malaysian sukuk industry, driven by the strength of the economy.
Chief Executive Officer and Global Head, Consumer Banking, Standard Chartered Saadiq, Wasim Saifi, said the bank is already in discussions with several customers in looking at setting up specific sukuk issuances.
“From a global perspective, there is already strong interest in Malaysian ringgit sukuk issuances.
“This is evident from the recent issuance by a Turkish institution which represents a major amount raised by an overseas investor in a single sukuk issuance,” he added.
Wasim told selected media members this at the recent Standard Chartered Malaysia media education session on Islamic Banking.
TF Varlik Kiralama, a wholly-owned asset leasing company of a leading participating bank in Turkey, recently issued a RM800 million sukuk under its inaugural RM3 billion Sukuk Murabahah Programme.
It is the first issuance by a Turkish issuer of Malaysian Ringgit denominated sukuk in the Malaysian debt capital market.
Wasim said the first two quarters look promising for the sukuk industry, buoyed by a robust gross domestic product which posted 6.2 per cent growth in the first.
Despite expectations of a further hike in Malaysia’s key interest rate, he said it would not hold back issuances, as borrowers are unlikely to defer raising money even if the cost of doing so goes up.
Malaysia’s Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) was raised by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent on July 10, the first increase for the past three years.
“If the OPR goes up, then the cost of raising money will also increase, regardless of bank borrowings or sukuk and impact all options. Therefore, it will not slow down sukuk issuances,” he added.
According to Wasim, the sukuk market was also buoyed by robust overseas transactions this year, alongside Malaysia.
For the first half of 2014, Malaysia accounted for US$41.7 billion or 63 per cent of new sukuk issuances in the global market.
In the primary sukuk market, new issuances registered robust growth of 8.2 per cent globally in first half of 2014, reaching US$66.2 billion from US$61.2 billion in the corresponding half of last year, driven by traditional markets in Malaysia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as transactions in Turkey, Pakistan and the United Kingdom (UK).
This year also marked a landmark year for sukuk issuances.
Hong Kong is positioning for the debut of its first sovereign sukuk in September. The UK will see the debut of its pioneer sovereign sukuk issuance of 200 million pounds in June.
(Malay Mail Online / 30 July 2014)
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