Al-Ihya Madressah & Foundation
The objective of this policy is to ensure the responsible management of zakat funds and guide the organization. This document does not cover who should pay zakat and how or when zakat should be paid. The policy on zakat-ul-fitr and fidya please continue to the end of this document.
Zakat is an obligatory element of Islam, and requires that Muslims who have certain amounts or types of wealth under specific conditions give a portion of those possessions to specific categories of individuals. For the purpose of this document, zakat refers only to money/kind donations given to Al-Ihya by zakat-eligible individuals who entrust us to redistribute their zakat to the poor and needy.
Sadaqa refers to charity given to Al-Ihya for distribution in a discretionary manner and may be used by the organization for feeding the homeless, covering operating costs, running programs and the like.
Sadaqa-tul-Fitr a nominal sum equivalent to the value of one meal, that is paid by every capable Muslim in Ramadan. It bares the same conditions as zakat, with the additional restrictions that it must be dispersed in the month of Ramadan before the beginning of Eid. Al-Ihya uses Sadaqa-tul-fitr to provide additional food to its regular hampers receptions with an emphasis on in-demand and long-lasting items like meat, vegetables and other staples. Particularly for the celebration of Eid.
Fidya which is payment made to expiate fasts, is treated the same manner as sadaqa-tul-fitr; it is directed towards Ramadan feeding programs dedicated to those who keep fast and also with additional food suppliers during the month of Ramadan.
How does Al-Ihya understand zakat?
The cornerstones of the zakat policy are allowing zakat recipients to have dignity and choice, asking for consent and addressing systemic issues.
Al-Ihya sees zakat as the wealth of the poor and endeavors to give recipients maximum autonomy while ensuring proper oversight and compliance. Zakat is a sacred trust not to be used for administration or people who fall outside the eight categories mentioned while our primary objectives are but not limited to the poor (al-fuqarâ’) and needy (al-masâkîn) as part categories in the Quran. The priority of zakat is the community from which it comes, (Edmonton).
What will Al-Ihya use zakat for?
Al-Ihya will ask zakat eligible recipients for authorization to direct their zakat toward short-term relief, food hampers or other services.
How will Al-Ihya determine zakat eligibility?
During the intake process, Al-Ihya will ask questions to ascertain the financial situation and needs of the applicant – this would include, but not be limited to:
The amount of wealth they have once all debts and landholdings (other than current place of residence) are considered. This will be substantiated by documentation. (Potential) Access to government support. Severity of need. Prior use of service.
Based on this information, Al-Ihya would determine zakat eligibility and prioritize applicants based on need.
Being zakat eligible does not guarantee one will receive zakat assitance – In the event of limited funds, higher needs cases will receive priority. The rationale for prioritizing clients is due to the limited amount of zakat available and desire to serve those in the greatest need.
How will Al-Ihya obtain consent from the zakat recipients?
Following the intake and verification process, we will inform the client that some of our services are funded through the collection of zakat. In order to mitigate the stigma of being eligible for zakat, we will define what makes someone eligible for zakat while emphasizing that zakat is a God given right. We will then discuss the services Al-Ihya can provide and ask the client to authorize Al-Ihya to use zakat funds to provide them with these services (to be documented with a signed consent form). Al-Ihya would need to specify each service and the length of time the applicant is to receive this service. Clients are re-evaluated on a 6 month basis.
The process, if a applicant makes a application:
The applicant will go to our welfare office that operates two times a week.
Fill out a recommend application form (this form will amongst other request personal information , financial information about the applicant, spouses if married, children details etc) with supporting documents attached.
Depending on the type of assistance require application would be sorted, or referred to relevant partners.
A case office will invite the applicant for an interview within 3 working days of the application.
After the interview a case work will make an un-announced home visit to the registered residential address.
The complete file will be presented to the Welfare committee at its weekly meeting.
Based on the finding presented the case worker a determination will be made.
The type of assistance and it recommendation is recorded in the file of the applicant.
The file will now be hand over to welfare department.
Al-Ihya will issue assistance with services offered, tracks the value of the service and will recorded all type of assistant issued.
Why not give money directly to those who are zakat eligible?
Al-Ihya does not provide direct financial assistance for the following reasons:
it could jeopardize the organizations charitable status,
it could impact the recipient’s ability to receive government benefits,
to mitigate fraud/abuse.
Cash assistants would only be provide for – ID application, Transport for work or when the committee believes it’s the only way of assistant required.
How does Al-Ihya decide how much zakat to give out?
Al-Ihya will determine the amount of zakat available at the end of Ramadan each year. It will use this sum to determine an annual budget for zakat disbursement.
Based on the amount of available zakat, Al-Ihya` programs will be able to determine how much beneficiary support they can offer to individuals.
If a applicant is unable to receive assist in the current year, they will have to wait until the following year to reapply (unless there are exceptional circumstances). This is due to the limited amount of zakat funds and desire to reach more people.
Can Al-Ihya help direct zakat to an individual?
No. Al-Ihya cannot direct zakat to a specific pre-determined individual due to internal compliance. Donor may however choose to direct zakat towards programs with our work.
Non-Muslims & Zakat
Non-Muslims who approach Al-Ihya are offered identical services, but they are assisted for through sadaqa (general charity) funds, not zakat- only when such funds available.
Because the primary collection vehicle for sadaqa-tul-fitr is Ramadan; Al-Ihya asks for to pledge to the anticipated sadaqa-tul-fitr collections in advance of Ramadan, and then spends based on the amount of
anticipated collection during the month of Ramadan. If Al-Ihya collects more funds than estimated, Al-Ihya will work to ensure proper dispensation of the funds to the poor as quickly as possible, where needed cash distribution will be given ensuring that the distribution is done within the cycle of the month Ramadan.
Because the primary collection vehicle Fidya is Ramadan; Al-Ihya asks for to pledge to the anticipated fidya collections in throughout Ramadan, and then spends based on the amount of anticipated of collection during the month of Ramadan. Fidya is treated the same manner as sadaqa-tul-fitr; it is directed towards Ramadan feeding programs dedicated to those who keep fast and also with additional food suppliers during the month of Ramadan.