Zakat foundation is one of the Five Pillars of Islam referring to the obligation of the Muslim that he has to donate a certain proportion of wealth for social causes. Zamat is mandatory for the Muslims, who have fulfill the criteria of Nisab (Standards for the obligation of Zakat) i.e. yearly earning that are over and above what is required to provide the essential needs of a person or family, which is based on income and the value of possession. The common minimum amount for those who qualify is 2.5% or 1/40 of the total savings and health of the Muslim who has to pay Zakat.
Zakat Foundation of India, established in 1997 by some prominent residents of New Delhi, collects Zakat and utilizes the same for the projects aimed at the comprehensive development of the Indian Muslims in terms of the Civil Service Exam Training, Community Monitory, Disaster Relief, ‘Happy Home & Fatima Care’ Orphanage, Haj Fund of India, Medical Services, Scholarship, Monetary Assistance, Training and Employment amongst others.
Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood, an Alig and the brother of the celebrated legal luminary, is the founder of Zakat Foundation. Dr Mahmood has worked on the Sachar Committee appointed by the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 9th March, 2005 to study the social economical and educational status of India’s minority Community so he has the understanding the real problems of the Muslims of India in the fields of education, business and others. He has founded Interfaith Coalition Peace and God’s Grace Foundation, whose programs have been featured on CNN and National Public Radio of America as well.
In September 2009, ZFI filed a ‘Right to Information’ application to question why the Government had rejected the Sachar Committee recommendations to ensure proper governance of Wakf properties. The foundation and the founder deserve our compliment and support.