Preparing for Zakat Month with the IBN Rushd Centre for Islamic Research
Last week we were delighted to attend a Zakat workshop at the IBN Rushd Centre of Excellence for Islamic Research in the heart of Birmingham. The workshop was an incredible opportunity for our non-Muslim members of the Penny Appeal team to learn the ins and outs of one of the five pillars of Islam, zakat. A cross-section of our workforce was represented at the workshop from Finance to Communications, and IT to HR; it was truly incredible to see our colleagues of other faiths and no faith come together to learn all about the sacred act of giving zakat.
The workshop, which was led by Director and Head of Research, Dr Shahrul Hussain, broke down everything there is to know about zakat into three modules which were delivered throughout the day. Firstly, an introduction to zakat, followed by the principles of zakat and finally the application of zakat on assets. The workshop was particularly interesting as it shed light on just how paramount the act of giving zakat is within the Muslim faith.
Zakat is not merely an obligation which must be followed in order to demonstrate a responsibility, it is an act to be observed with true intention in one’s heart to ensure a portion of one’s wealth is transferred to the ownership of another who truly needs it. The idea of a ‘deserving recipient’ was a key theme throughout the workshop as it is throughout the act of giving zakat. A recipient must fall into one of only eight categories outlined in the Qur’an. We had an interesting discussion around what acts of charity and giving should and shouldn’t technically be executed as zakat.
Dr Hussain was truly passionate about the responsibility for the proper collection and allocation of zakat and has dedicated much of his life to researching the way in which NGOs such as ours here at Penny Appeal go about giving the Muslim population of the UK the option to give their zakat through us. He explained that for zakat to be valid, it must be given with true intention in the heart before the payment is made; intention cannot be given retrospectively. We learnt that there are certain people who you cannot lawfully give zakat to, such as your parents, children, and non-Muslims as well as the rules around the threshold, the ‘nisab’ if you are in debt. We explored the variation in opinion through the different Islamic schools of thought regarding many different aspects of zakat.
As Ramadan is fast approaching, our departments are gearing up for a busy period of charitable antics, so it was a perfect time for us to learn all about why many Muslims align their zakat payments to be given within the holy month of Ramadan. As you know, blessings and rewards are multiplied abundantly during this period so giving zakat at this time makes the spiritual return immense.
Dr Hussain walked us through the importance of zakat within the Islamic faith, reminding us that it is our duty to give it with intention, and give it to a deserving recipient. That’s why here at Penny Appeal, we’re dedicated to following strict protocol and governance regarding the collection, administration, and allocation of zakat donations from our incredible donors. We’re always looking for new ways to ensure our charitable efforts on the whole are in accordance with all necessary legislation, rules and regulations. We promise to use your zakat to make a BIG difference in the lives of those in desperate need around the world.
Having such a diverse workforce makes opportunities like attending this zakat workshop at the amazing IBN Rushd Centre hugely important and appreciated. We’d like to extend a huge, orange thank you to Dr Shahrul Hussain, his team, and the entire centre for such a warm welcome and an incredible day of learning and discussion. No question went unanswered, and we truly had a great day.
If you want to learn more about zakat, take a look at our Zakat page.
MONDAY 29 JAN 2024