With global conflict and humanitarian crises continuing to rise, the need for charities to provide quality, consistent humanitarian aid has also grown.
Among the charities that are able to provide this aid is a special class of charities: Muslim charity organizations. They carry out the disbursal of traditional Islamic aid in addition to regular humanitarian aid.
But what makes Muslim charity organizations special? And how does regularly contributing to them bring benefit to our communities?
Muslim charity organizations center their work on applying the values and charity practices of the Islamic faith, most notably the regular disbursal of zakat and sadaqah.
Zakat is an obligatory 2.5% annual rate of charity on a Muslim’s wealth alms, intended for the poor and distressed and given once yearly, while sadaqah denotes voluntary offerings from Muslims. Those voluntary offerings take many forms and are not mandated to occur regularly.
Through both the regular zakat and ongoing acts of sadaqah, which can include things like building water wells, sponsoring an orphan or donating to emergency relief efforts, Muslims seek to become closer to God through serving their fellow human beings, and Muslim charities are key vehicles for them to do so.
Muslim charities encourage both regular and seasonal giving and provide aid to diverse populations around the world, serving both Muslim and non-Muslim populations in regions like Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Balkans. Indeed, the yearly Islamic seasons of Ramadan and Qurbani see huge spikes in Muslim charitable giving and provide an added boost to what is already a constant stream of charity.
In fact, according to a recent study conducted in 2020, Muslims living in the U.S. donated an estimated $4.3 billion dollars to philanthropic causes that year, much of which was distributed to the poor by Muslim charity organizations. With Muslims being so highly motivated to contribute to charitable causes regularly, that motivation carries directly into initiatives that benefit our local and global communities.
When Muslims invest into their communities through charity, they become directly concerned with their growth and progress and help their communities gain access to quality education, health care supplies, disaster relief and more. This leads to the development of strong local communities that add to the stability and balance of wider society as a whole and have effects that can span across the globe.
It is crucial that we continue to support Muslim charity organizations in their mission to bring the spirit of selfless giving to our communities and unite people across identities in the process.
There are several ways to support Muslim charities, the most crucial of which is donating to major seasonal and emergency initiatives to ensure those in need get the help they deserve, fast.
In addition to donating, you can volunteer in their local initiatives, spread awareness of Muslim charities through social media and word of mouth, and even work to create new partnerships between Muslim charity organizations and other global or local humanitarian organizations.
Give your charity with us and find out how you can help the needy via: www.zakat.org
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In 2021, 94¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need. 3¢ went to administrative costs & 3¢ went to fundraising costs.