By Yasmina Francke – SANZAF CEO
Ramadan is the month of mercy, forgiveness, reflection, and compassion. The care and concern for those in need are unmatched during this month. No other month sees as much kindness and generosity from amongst our Muslim communities.
To ensure that these generous efforts are well-placed and that it makes a meaningful impact, it is important to look to the available mechanisms to achieve the pleasure of the Almighty and at the same time, provide the economic enablers to the indigent and impoverished. One such tool is the divine model of Zakah.
As the 3rd pillar of Islam, Zakah has the power to restore dignity and address social and economic inequality. Zakah allows for a more equitable distribution of wealth and leads to an increase in consumption, greater circulation of money, more investment in financial self-sufficiency and ultimately economic growth, which benefits all in the society.
With economic disparity in South Africa, being as vast as it is, we constantly need to impress the power of Zakah to address poverty. Zakah can be an effective mechanism to reduce social challenges, build capacity and achieve sustainable development. To leverage this powerful tool requires a deep understanding of the fiqh and maqasid of Zakah. Equally important is the necessary knowledge that will allow for the correct application of Zakah rules in determining and calculating the Zakah obligation.
Whilst Ramadan may not be the Zakah payer’s period for discharging of his/her Zakah, it is very common for many to pay Zakah to benefit from the increased rewards for good deeds done during this month. It therefore becomes imperative that a Zakah payer who choose to pay of Zakah during Ramadan, does a proper reconciliation at the rightful anniversary date of their Zakah obligation.
SANZAF, as the oldest and longest standing Zakah management organisation in South Africa, is committed to highlight the importance and the benefits of Zakah. The organisation provides guidance and assistance to Zakah payers to ensure that their Zakah obligation is fulfilled correctly.
Throughout the year and amplified during the month of Ramadan, SANZAF’s efforts in respect of Zakah advocacy and education, extends from Zakah seminars to Zakah Q&A radio shows, online assistance as well as personalised Zakah consultation.
SANZAF believes that Zakah is powerful in restoring human dignity and is very effective as a fiscal tool for wealth creation. For the Zakah payer, the Almighty promises to provide more and for the Zakah recipient, it is a means of creating a financially secure future. In this way, the ultimate objective of the Islamic economic principle of social and economic justice is achieved.
For more information on how to calculate your Zakah contact a SANZAF office near you or visit our website on www.sanzaf.org.za