Zakat is a key ritual worship and an important social/economic tool to reduce poverty. It is a large responsibility for organisations who undertake the collection and dissemination of Zakat funds.
In light of this, Project Us Foundation recently commissioned a piece of work to develop a Zakat framework to somewhat formalise an approach to fulfill this responsibility.
Zakat, a requirement from Allah, is not merely a personal choice or a discretionary donation. It is a mandatory duty for which one will be held accountable by Allah, and it is considered a divine commandment rather than a voluntary act.
Zakat is crucial as it promotes positive change, not only in financial matters but also in spiritual aspects. It eradicates poverty and greed from people's hearts while strengthening the Islamic economy, resulting in stability and prosperity.
Zakat is a mandatory payment on specified wealth that is owned or possessed, according to the Shari’ah. It is required when an individual possesses wealth equal to or exceeding the Nisab, which is considered a threshold of wealth indicating richness. The Qur'an and Sunnah provide guidelines on which types of wealth are subject to Zakat and the rates at which they should be charged.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) outlined a comprehensive inventory of items that are eligible for Zakat, along with their respective rates. He also set up exemptions and criteria to determine the applicability of Zakat. However, it is important to note that Zakat becomes obligatory only when certain conditions, which pertain to both the payer and the wealth being assessed, are fulfilled. These conditions are viewed as a Mercy from the Almighty.
The money collected from Zakat is then distributed to eight types of people
1. Fakir – those with little to no income or wealth
2. Miskin – those who are without food
3. Amil – anyone designated to collect and distribute Zakat
4. Riqab – anyone held involuntarily against their will in captivity or as a slave
5. Gharmin – those struggling with unmanageable debt
6. Fisabilillah – those who fight for Allah(SWT)
7. Ibnus Sabil – struggling or stranded travellers
8. Muallaf –Revert Muslims
Manner for distributing zakat
Once the Zakat giver transfers complete ownership and possession of the Zakat to any of the mentioned eligible categories, their obligation is fulfilled. This can be achieved by providing a specific amount of money to fulfill the recipient's basic needs or by equipping them with tools for trade or means of production to empower them towards self-sufficiency.
Who is ineligible to receive zakat?
1. Immediate family members such as parents, grandparents, children, or grandchildren, and a husband cannot give Zakat to his wife.
2. Institutions or organisations that use Zakat funds for purposes such as construction, investment, or salaries.
4. Deceased person who has no heirs, as they cannot become the owner of Zakat funds.
It is important to ensure that the recipient of Zakat is truly in need before giving Zakat, and if there is uncertainty about their financial status, it is better to verify before giving Zakat. If Zakat is given without proper inquiry and it is later found out that the recipient is not in need, the Zakat given is not considered valid and must be given again to the rightful recipient.
Throughout the history of Islam, including the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), there is ample evidence that emphasizes the priority of providing Zakat, a form of alms-giving, to the poor and needy within a local community rather than those outside of it.
Addressing local crises facing our community such as Muslim refugees, domestic violence victims and more.
Local Zakat is an obligation as it fosters a sense of unity and helps address local needs effectively.
Our downloadable Zakat guides aim to provide you with the right information whatever your circumstances may be.
Project Us’ mission is to inspire, uplift and support ourcommunity domestically and globally by providing them with access and opportunities for them to flourish and succeed while caring for them with immediate relief and aid.
We will authentically deliver our Islamic values while committing to being transparent and efficient, focusing on helping the members of our community who are struggling, serving them with dignity and respect while maximising the impacts of your donations.
Together, as a community united by compassion and dedication, we are determined to transform lives and elevate the Muslim not-for-profit sector. Through our commitment to these our giving initiatives, we strive to make a lasting difference and sow the seeds of hope and positivity for generations to come.
It all starts with Us. We are Project Us.
Our vision is simple but mighty. We exist to serve and elevate our community. The beneficiaries are our recipients and your akirah.
We believe is activating a flourishing and compassionate society rooted in our Islamic values, where we strive to authentically embody the principles of generosity, empathy, and care for others.
We will focus on:
- Strengthening family bonds,
- Provide fresh and nutritious food for those who are financially struggling.
- We will care for Muslim orphans
- We will care for Aussie Muslim kids that require foster care
- We will support our amazing elderly Aussie Muslims by teaching them how to read the Quran from scratch
- We will provide our community with free programs to support good health and upskill their knowledge.
Our aim is to create a positive and lasting impact on the Australian Muslim community and beyond.
We proudly support 3 giving initiatives
PROTECT Us Programs
Our Community Initiative aims to nurture stronger family bonds and promote healthy relationships and Islamic connection. With the cost-of-living skyrocketing, we will deliver fresh and nutritious food boxes to those facing financial stress, while empowering them with free resources like financial and computer literacy courses for greater independence.
EMPOWER Us Programs
Our Children Initiative focuses on improving the lives of orphans caring for their education, health, and well-being. As well as offering employment training and opportunities, enabling them to thrive as independent adults.
We also address the growing issue of Muslim children requiring foster care, ensuring they maintain their cultural and religious identity by providing supportive environments and networks.
Honour Us Programs
Our Elderly Initiative honours our heroes, our mothers, fathers, and risk-takers. We provide Health and well-being programs i.e. how to manage changes to your physical, mental and well-being.
We also provide them free access to programs that teaches them to read the Quran! Starting with the basics of reading Arabic and the aim to read the Quran.