By Haroon Balogun
Zakata & Sadaqat Foundation has doled out over N102million worth of items to Muslims across the South West with some non-Muslims going away with N50,000 cash each to become self-reliant and improve their various businesses.
Elizabeth Chukwu and Gladys Amuta (non-Muslims) were among 0ver 700 Muslims who benefited from this gesture in Lagos state alone while another 20,800 Muslims benefited from other parts of the country.
Gifts itmes raging from Deep Freezers, Grinding Machines, Motocycles, Keke Marwa, Lap tops, to cash gifts were doled out to empower needy Muslims and improve the businesses of other qualified Muslisms and non-Muslims.
Zakat is a form of alms-giving to the poor and needy treated as a religious tax and/or religious obligation in Islam, which is the third pillar of Islam.
Speaking at the occasion, the Executive Director of the foundation, Prince Sulayman Olagunju urged beneficiaries to make good use of the gifts and become zakat givers.
“As usual this year disbursement started with immediate attention given to health issues that cannot be delayed. We have supported surgeries, kidney treatment, hearing problems, eyes problems and a whole lot of other illnesses. The total sum of N16,713,372:00 was spent to take care of the medical needs of various applicants. Thereafter, the sum of N7,350,000:00 was disbursed to 20 finalists of our youth empowerment scheme tagged Business Plan Competition.
Prince Olagunju disclosed that the total sum of N20,724,405:00 was distributed in Abuja, Edo, Kwara, Ogun, Osun and Oyo states. He added that the sum of N68,771, 218:00 was being disbursed to the different beneficiaries in Lagos State. Of this figure, Olagunju stated the empowerment and medical support got the larger shares of this year zakat.
Olagunju explained that the foundation did more in the area of economic empowerment and medical support and have been able to engage many unemployed youth by providing them with tools and cash to setup their own petty businesses as well as restoring hope to those who have various illnesses.
“At the same time, we have helped put shelter on the heads of many people and relieved many of their debt burdens. We have provided three major communities with boreholes water and equally supported a general Hospital with Generator to power its theater for operations.
The chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Mununi Alao also appealed to the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the items and cash allocated to them, concentrate on their investments with a view of turning them to givers of Zakat in no distant time. “Do not see these gesture as a manna from heaven, but amana (trust) that must be utilised wisely to turn around your economic life.”
The former Executive Director of the foundation, Sheikh Shuaib Abdullah also praised the Zakat team for the wonderful work done within a short period, adding that the foundation has been making Muslims to internalised the aspect of Zakat in the scripture and to better humanity. Sheikh Abdullah who painted a picture of crude culture of some Muslims on issues of zakaat and offerings advised them to step up their level of taqwa (fear of Allah) and show compassion to fellow human beings.