seasonal islamic hero

Seasonal Islamic Giving

During seasonal Islamic giving, Zakat Foundation has fed 10 million meals to fasters last Ramadan and distributed 10 million lbs of meat as offerings of nearness (Qurbani) this past Hajj season.

Whoever gives the food of fast-breaking to the faster shall have the like of the faster in reward, not diminishing the reward of the faster in the slightest.


There are natural rhythms to everything in life, and this includes our charitable giving. As the sacred times open to us — Ramadan and Hajj specifically — our hearts beat with a greater pulse to give. Yet this heart-sound of giving also echoes charity’s cadence in our hearts when glad tidings come to us — the birth of a child or other blessed windfalls; or when we succumb to some low impulse and transgress and seek to materially express sincere regret; and, perhaps, even more so when we see the suffering of other human beings, for whom our hearts open with that defining human desire to alleviate their pain, touch them with goodness, and help replace their loss.

We find our givers in all these occasions and circumstances seeking to give openhandedly from the bounty God has given them. We fed 10 million meals to fasters last Ramadan at the request of our donors and distributed 10 million pounds of meat as offerings of nearness (Qurbani) to God on just the four Days of Sacrifice (Udhiyah) this past Hajj season.

And each year, we see an increase in the people paying their Zakat in Ramadan, particularly it’s last blessed ten days, seeking to multiply their reward countless times.

We convey thousands of charitable sacrificial offerings of cattle for newborns (‘Aqeeqah) to the hungry of the world throughout the year and accept and distribute to the poor the donations of valid redemptionpayments from fasting Ramadan (Fidyah) for the excused, as well as the atonement payments (Kaffarah) as expiations for missed days of fasting from those who violated their Ramadan fasts without valid exemption.

Please give whatever you can to your neighbors near and far in distress and privation. Donate Now

Ramadan Giving

We enable donors to celebrate and give thanks during the month of Ramadan by facilitating food distribution to families in need.

  • Fidyah: The option to pay Fidyah exists for those Muslims who cannot fast during Ramadan.

  • Kaffarah: Kaffarah is offered when one intentionally violates the fast without a valid excuse.


Udhiyah/Qurbani Giving

During the days of Eid ul-Adha, Muslims can follow the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), peace be upon him, to provide fresh meat to impoverished families around the world. Donors can sponsor shares of cows or sheep to fulfill this great service and celebratory gift to needy families in any of the countries where we work.

Our scholars have characterized the practice of Udhiyah as either a confirmed practice of the Prophet (which nearly carries the weight of an obligation) or as an outright obligation (wajib). The first opinion is that of the three schools of Sacred Law established by Malik, Al-Shaf’i, and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. The latter opinion is from Abu Hanifah.

So neglect of the Udhiyah when one is able to do it is in the least case a reprehensible (makruh) act and possibly an outright violation of a compulsory religious injunction. Obviously we should provide for sacrifice if at all possible.

Zakat Foundation of America considers three criteria when choosing where to perform Udhiyah/Qurban:

  1. The poorest countries in regions known to house large indigent populations. For example, the slums in Bangladesh and New Delhi, drought-stricken Mali and Somalia are among the poorest areas in the world.

  2. Regions that have been beset by violent conflicts and access to food is limited, such as Syria, Palestine, and Myanmar/Burma.

  3. Countries like Sudan that, despite having areas of severe poverty, do not receive as much attention as they should. Udhiyah grants these deserving people meat in their diet.

Zakat Foundation of America buys animals in the countries where they are sacrificed. We do this in order to provide fresh meat, instead of frozen or canned, to the people on the first three days of Eid. The price of livestock varies from country to country, and we match our Qurbani prices to the actual cost of buying livestock. The price of an animal in New Zealand, for instance, is one-third of the price in Jordan or Egypt. But the Zakat Foundation of America buys livestock in Jordan in order to provide fresh meat to needy people. Natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, drought, or man-made disasters such as wars affect the prices of animals.

In countries where the Zakat Foundation of America has regional offices, like Bangladesh, Ghana, Jordan, and others, animals are purchased before Eid ul-Adha to ensure the best prices and the first pick of sheep, lambs, and cows. The animals are fed and treated with gentle, humane husbandry.

In other countries, the Zakat Foundation of America partner organizations purchases the animals on our behalf. Under the supervision of a Zakat Foundation of America representative, the animals are kept in healthy, humane conditions in preparation for sacrifice.

The animals chosen and distributed are of the best quality available, in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), to give in charity from the best of one’s belongings and to give to others what you would wish for yourself. Zakat Foundation of America supports the local economy of the countries by buying livestock and feed from local farmers. This ensures a fair return for the farmers as well as better and familiar quality meat for recipients. Even in regions like Lebanon (for Palestinian refugees), Zakat Foundation of America offers the local sheep and lamb, known to be fatty and have a better taste than the imported New Zealand sheep and lamb.

Zakat Foundation distributes to over 40 countries, stretching far and wide within them and allocating to hundreds of communities. We serve countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and other areas of need. These are the same populations that Zakat Foundation also serves through other initiatives, such as Ramadan food aid, orphan sponsorships, and emergency relief.

Zakat Foundation identifies people living in poor and needy communities, such as refugee camps, displaced people, and poverty-stricken neighborhoods to name a few.

Absolutely. Donors have around 40 choices of countries. The countries are listed on our website; however, we encourage giving to the neediest. People can donate through the website, a donation envelope received in the mail or picked up at one of the masjids to which Zakat Foundation disseminates, or via phone call to Zakat Foundation headquarters (1.888.925.2887).

This varies from community to community, and the number of shares ordered to be sacrificed in that country. Each person receives around two to four pounds of meat.

Although canned food comes at a lower price, the Zakat Foundation holds onto the traditions and the spirit of Eid-ul-Adha to serve fresh meat. We neither conduct nor encourage the distribution of canned meat.

Most of the countries we serve are reached either through our offices overseas or through local partners with whom Zakat Foundation has been working for a long time. We select partners who offer solid experience with Udhiyah/Qurbani to ensure everything is in line with Islamic practices and reaches the people in greatest need.

Yes, there are a few restrictions. For example, India does not allow the slaughter of cows due to Hindu beliefs and traditions.

We recommend people donate as soon as possible to ensure the lowest possible prices when ordering the animals.

We order the animals far in advance to avoid rises in prices that happen during the Udhiyah/Qurbani season in Muslim countries. Zakat Foundation also purchases its animals from a wholesale distributor and in bulk to ensure the best and lowest prices for donors.

Zakat Foundation requests the slaughtering to take place in accordance with the local times of the countries after Eid prayer. We encourage most of the slaughtering to be done the first day of Eid but allows it to be done until the third day to make the job easier.

According to the majority of the scholars, one has to perform his or her own Udhiya before he/she makes the intention to give Udhiya on behalf of a loved one who had passed away.

Payment Methods Accepted

Your donations are tax exempt under the section 170 of the 501(c)(3) section of the IRS code. Zakat Foundation of America Tax EIN: 36-4476244. For more information on tax exempt status please refer to our IRS Code letter. For more information on tax exempt status please refer to this letter.