Hawzah News Agency-Elders of the Muslim community have proposed direct zakat for the needy and those who are in need of higher education. The Young Reformers Forum, along with Reformers Front of India, have started the “Direct Zakat Movement” in the Old City. They are holding sessions in masjids and community halls in the small colonies of the city.
With Ramzan only 15 days away, senior family members are being counselled to directly help people rather than donating money to educational and charitable institutions.
The need was felt as in the last few years it was found that institutions were getting huge sums, ranging from Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 crore, and instances of misappropriation of money had become common.
Mr Ehsan al Hamumi, a senior member of the group said, “We are trying to tell people to identify those who are in need and help them directly. They can pay their school or college fees or buy books, clothes or other teaching material and hand those over to them. The direct connect is important as it gives surety that the money has been properly utilised. Otherwise, within a few months, we hear instances of misuse of money. This has confused many donors who approach us and ask for guidance as to where they must make their Ramzan offerings.”
The first priority is to give to those who are in need, they can either be neighbors or relatives. Mr Ilyas Shamshi, of Reformers Front of India said,
“Zakat is a private affair and hence the donors do not need to advertise where they have given their money. The need for directly helping out people was felt as despite magnanimous donations, there are still a large number of people in need. Hence this money must be donated to those within your circles who fit the description of ‘needy’.”
Ahead of Ramzan, call to avoid splurging
Several counselling sessions have been held over the last fortnight in the Old City, Abids, Trimulgherry, Balanagar, Moula Ali and Alwal, requesting people not to waste time shopping during the holy month of Ramzan. With new fashion accessories and clothes arriving only after the 10th of Ramzan, most people wait for the last 10 days to finish their shopping.
Mr Ather Moin, a senior member of the community said, “Ramzan is not a month for shopping. But due to the consumerist attitude of people, it has now become a shopping event for Id-ul-Fitr. This is a completely wrong message going down to the younger generation of Muslims who have to refrain from these indulgences.”
The last 10 days of Ramzan are very important as the 10 nights are only for prayers and many stay awake all night praying. Ms Naseema Begum, who is also passing on this message to various women’s groups in the city, says, “It is very painful to find most people wasting their time in bazaars. The holy month demands of one to refrain, but instead people become indulgent. It’s a Herculean task to create awareness but we are trying to get maximum people to change their mindset.”
Advisories have also been sent to families on WhatsApp groups and social media to shop in the last 15 days of Shabaan and spend the whole month till Id only in prayers.