Give without fear: Mazen Asbahi on giving at Ramadan
altmuslim has a wonderful guest post by Mazen Asbahi in honor of Ramadan, “Give without fear (but give wisely).”
[T]he economic downturn along with rising unemployment and lower consumer spending means charitable contributions are down, and many American Muslim nonprofits are cutting staff and scaling back on important programs. This Ramadan, you simply cannot shy away – even if you may feel constricted financially. The need is simply too great.
But give wisely. Many donors, particularly those immigrants from Muslim majority countries, feel strongly that their zakat should go to the poor of their countries of origin – especially when those countries are suffering from man-made or natural disasters. However, donating to causes overseas can be very complicated…
Mazen then goes on to offer a few tips for making charitable contributions, including some more explanation of zakat, the religious obligation to make offerings to charity:
Understand the wide variety of permitted types of charitable activities that may be funded by your zakat. While zakat is often focused on the poor, zakat may be paid to fund organizations and activities that engage in education, economic development, health care, civic engagement and community relations, just to name a few.
(Mazen’s post is also featured at Nonprofit Law Blog.)