Our Story So Far
The National Zakat Foundation (NZF) has
been active since last Ramadan. Over the past year, we have distributed over
£100,000 to the poor, needy and those in debt. The level of need in the
community is largely ignored as most of us do not encounter it in our
comfortable daily lives.
The cases we deal with are slowly revealing
the reality, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many
individuals out there who desperately need our support, but who are not aware
of our services. We have been receiving requests of varying nature. Nationwide
we are over 2 million Muslims, but we have neglected the growing convert
NZF have dealt with many converts who,
after coming into Islam, had everything stripped away from them, from family to
the roof over their head. Due to their newly found conviction, many have been
made homeless, starving and sleeping on park benches. In a high number of cases
we have helped individuals with money, accommodation and increased their
employability, so that they can start fresh again.
A lot of individuals have also turned to us
because of mounting debt. Many fall into financial mismanagement, for whatever
reasons, and end up on the brink of losing everything they have worked for. We
have eased their circumstances by paying off their debts or, in some cases,
offering them interest-free loans. Some of the most heart-wrenching cases are
when sisters turn to us after being victims of domestic violence. Sisters being
abused and kicked out of their house, sometimes with their children and with no
money to buy a single meal.
Alhamdulilah we have been able to offer our
assistance to the sisters. The list of cases is endless and we know that we are
still not reaching out to those who need it most.
One brother called Abdul who was homeless
in the park with his wife, a recent convert to Islam, was beaten up by another
Muslim trying to rob them of their only remaining possession. Abdul tried
defending what he had left, but was left with a severely damaged eye. He went
to the hospital where another brother saw him and enquired about his situation.
The brother then informed us what had happened.
After giving them the support they needed,
Abdul’s wife told us “I have never seen such compassion and love in any
community. Islam has shown me its beauty within such a short period of time. I
know now, that this was the will of Allah that my husband ends up in hospital
by defending our possessions, so that we can receive your support. I love
Islam!” The Zakat Distribution Manager, Ahmed Uddin, along with his team has
taken on numerous cases. He mentioned that, after supporting every individual,
the heartfelt dua they give to NZF and the doners is what makes this work so
Ahmed said “when they raise their hands in
dua and thank you with so much gratitude and tears of joy, the feeling is so
overwhelming that it makes me vow not to rest and to keep on reaching out to
those that most need our support. We are all responsible for each member of this
society. NZF and its supporters have only just started on this pioneering work
in the UK”. We live in structured but complex societies that fulfil the many
needs and aspirations of men and women in their daily lives, and provide
avenues for both individual and collective pursuits. Without realising it, when
we seek to earn a living, we are also helping others fulfil their needs.
A 10th century Arab poet, al-Mutanabbi
commented on this: “Men, though separate, need one another. Without knowing,
each serves the other”. In a fully functioning society where there is pristine
order we would not have the individuals that turn to NZF for support.
The backbone of NZF is you the supporters,
without your ongoing conviction and hard work in the cause, there will be no
NZF leaving a void for those that are desperately in need.