Our Vision & What Makes Us Unique
Zakat Foundation of America is unique among humanitarian organizations in advancing zakat as a vehicle for social change. The third pillar of Islam, zakat is an obligatory claim on the wealth of the affluent to empower the indigent. ZF channels this egalitarian spirit of zakat into a global vision of social development that transcends national boundaries, and stands as the foremost authority on interpreting zakat as a factor for positive change.
ZF strives to be an exceptional relief and development organization utilizing sustainable methods, while modeling the spirit of cooperative internationalism that will be essential in an increasingly unstable world. As a direct result of its reputation for path-breaking humanitarianism with a global vision, ZF is rapidly growing in reach and capacity. Every year brings new projects that expand the scope of our work and deepen its impact on the communities we serve.
We foster charitable giving to alleviate the immediate needs and ensure the self-reliance of the poorest people around the world with zakat and sadaqa dollars of privileged Muslims and the support of other generous donors. We believe that people of privilege can “purify” their wealth through charity, and those tried with loss are accorded a rightful share from the resources of the affluent.
We accomplish our mission by:
- Bringing immediate relief during and after disasters, building and supporting schools, orphanages and health clinics, supporting community development programs and micro-credit, providing Ramadan Iftars and food distribution, and providing fresh meat for Udhiya/Qurbani and Aqeeqah through the support of community-based initiatives
- Serving as a trusted zakat and sadaqa resource center for our Muslim donors
- Serving as a trusted charity option for all donors through financial transparency and strict standards of efficiency and accountability
- Minimizing expenses by maintaining a small administrative staff
- Maximizing donations by establishing strategic partnerships
Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) was founded in 2001 upon the Islamic principle illustrated in the Gracious Quran:
“They feed with food -despite their own desire for it-
the indigent, and the orphan and the captive (saying):
‘We feed you purely for the sake of God.
We desire no reward from you, nor thankfulness.’”
(Surah al-Insan, 8-9)
ZF was established during a time when humanitarian organizations faced increased scrutiny in their activities and procedures, leading to new standards in transparency and accountability. As a US-based, Muslim-run charity organization that serves needy communities both at home and abroad, ZF demonstrates the inclusive beauty of the Islamic tradition through programs that reach the destitute worldwide.
ZF has differentiated itself from a traditional US-based Muslim charity approach of exclusively supporting communities abroad and reaches poor and indigent communities within the United States as well. Since its establishment, ZF has progressed from mostly offering immediate emergency aid and Seasonal Programs to a focus on severing the roots of poverty, utilizing zakat and sadaqa donations to develop long-term, sustainable solutions.
Zakat Foundation of America is a non-governmental, non-political, non-profit international relief and development organization organized under the laws of the State of Illinois. As a humanitarian relief and development organization, Zakat Foundation endeavors to adhere to the core humanitarian principles set forth in the Code of Conduct for International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, particularly its provisions on humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality.
President Obama’s testament to the peace and beauty of Islam and contributions Muslims make in society.