In 26 days of Ramadan 2017

You’ve finished your Taraweeh prayers and are enjoying a quiet moment at home. You hear the door bell ring. You wonder who it could be at this time of the night.


It’s Saadia, the lovely woman from down the street. “She must be here to give us some food, she’s always so nice.”, you think to yourself. You feel bad you haven’t found the time to visit her & her husband this Ramadan.
You open the door to greet her and what you see takes you by surprise. Saadia is in tears. Her husband had a sudden heart attack this morning and had passed away. But she’s not here to tell you about her husband. “His funeral costs $7,000” she says. “I am here to collect my Zakat from you. This is my right, as your neighbour, so can you please give me your Zakat?”, she pleads. And Saadia is correct. Your Zakat is her right, right here in Australia.


Ahlam, in Brisbane also needs urgent assistance. She has two daughters, 14 and 12. A victim of severe domestic violence and death threats from her partner, she had to borrow money from her friends to look after herself and her kids. Being forced to flee her husband to protect her family & now living at a safe house, she turns to you, a Muslim in the local community for assistance- to find a safe place for her to live with her girls & get her life back in order. Your Zakat is her right, right here in Australia.


Yusuf falls down for what seems like the 100th time today as he tries to get on his scooter. His wife assists him to get back up with difficulty. Yusuf is a young revert in his early thirties in Adelaide. Yusuf is disabled. They had just got back from the hospital where he had been admitted due to a serious fall just yesterday. Yusuf needs a recliner chair that will help him move around in a standing position more securely. Having applied for various grants, they have all been rejected leaving Yusuf mainly bed ridden. His only means of movement is a battery scooter but he has severely injured himself falling multiple times while getting in and out of the scooter. Yusuf needs assistance to buy the recliner chair so he can ease the burden on his wife and improve their quality of life together. Your Zakat is his right, right here in Australia. 
Saadia, Ahlam & Yusuf are just 3 of 160 people that have reached out to us during this Ramadan for assistance. 160 people in just 26 days, right here in Australia.
Imams from all four madhabs & majority of the scholars (if not all) are of the clear opinion that if there is a local need in the community, then they take priority to receive Zakat owed by the local community or in other words, your Zakat.


Find out more about the opinions on local Zakat here.


Your Zakat is their right. Don’t withhold it from them.



Click here to pay your Zakat locally today

Read More

Tackling the seemingly impossible – Saadia’s story

Saadia’s husband had a sudden fatal heart attack recently and passed away at the young age of 44. Leaving her with 6 children and no income. She had no money for her husband’s funeral, had a home loan to pay and 6 children to look after Allahu Akbar.

Taking into account her centrelink benefits, and casual income earned by her oldest daughter who is in uni and works casually, they were still short of approximately $500 per month.

Where was she going to get the money for her husband’s funeral?

To add to that, she was also undergoing treatment for depression to the the death of her 4 year old son in a car accident.

So what did we do to help?

Firstly we assisted with settling the expenses incurred for her husband’s funeral Alhamdulillah. Next we have had professional financial planners work with her to provide advice on the best course of action given her large family & her home loan situation. The fact that it is a riba based loan, but at the same time with a large family would it be the wisest decision to sell?

Our focus at the moment is to get her finances in control so her children can get back to their lives and then insha Allah we will work with her on how she can set her & family up to be self sustainable insha Allah.

This is how your Zakat is being used at a time of need by our sister right here in Australia. To help a single mother, who suddenly lost her husband, leaving her in depression, with 6 kids, medical issues and a loan to pay off. May Allah give our sister strength and through your Zakat, make it a means to empower her. Ameen.

Read More

Breaking the cycle – Aabir’s story

Aabir was coming out of prison in a few days. He has been in prison for nearly 2 years this time and his family had had enough.

Aabir belonged to a pious family, who are part of the local Muslim community and Qadr Allah he was influenced by the wrong type of friends to get into drugs and other bad habits. Soon he was indulging in a life of crime, was in an out of prison and his life was beginning to fall apart. This was not the first time he was in prison for drugs, but it was the longest and his family decided they had to take matters into their own hands.

Decided he had to be moved from his immediate community to effectively get out of his habits, the family & the community made a decision to send him to a different state to be looked after by his family & friends there for a at least 1 year. This now meant they had to organise a place for him to stay, set up a safe place and most importantly the funds for him to sustain himself so money is not an issue. This is key as if Aabir feels there is a lack of money, he would very easily slip back into his life of drugs. But these were funds that the family did not have.

When we came to know about this case, we had to examine it carefully. This was a young Muslim brother with a very strong & supportive family who showed promising signs of recovering from his bad habits and becoming a strong Muslim. While Aabir is in prison, we have been assisting the family in organising an accommodation for Aabir, helping them with the funds needed to organise for Aabir to leave his home city for a short period to break the cycle.

The family is now ready to receive Aabir when he comes out of prison in a couple of weeks insha Allah. We pray that Allah guides Aabir, grants patience to his family and blesses them all with His Mercy. Ameen.

This is what Zakat is all about. Not just alleviating poverty, but utilising Zakat to make people stronger Muslims, one step at a time, so we as a community can become stronger insha Allah. This is how, through your support, we are one step closer to establishing a strong, pious, self-sufficient & sustainable local community.

Read More

A life of ups & downs – Susan’s story

Susan had a difficult life. A single mother of three near-adult daughters, including one who has a disability, Susan was constantly under stress day & night. At 43 years old she started developing arthritis which began to slow her down even further.

Did that stop Susan from living life? No.

In fact, Susan found the meaning in her life in Islam. She became Muslim and then went on to do a lot for the Muslim community. She was an active member of various teams who were assisting Syrian refugees when they came to Australia. After a whole year of being Muslim and facing many difficult encounters, unfortunately Susan started retreating from the community. With the difficulties of looking after her daughters, her own arthritis & age, her ties to Islam started to loosen. With no close Muslim friends, and her daughters in the house not being Muslim she was really struggling with her Imaan.

Why did Susan come to NZF?

Susan has been planning to have a surgery to treat her arthritis for a few months now. However being the sole carer for her daughters and the high costs of caring for a disabled child, Susan hasn’t been able to save enough money to cover all expenses for her surgery. However, when Susan met us, our conversation revolved more around strengthening her Imaan, which she was really concerned about and how she could become a strong Muslim. Her intentions for financial assistance were sincere, she had reduced all her expenses to a bare minimum and was clearly doing her utmost best given her circumstances. She passed all our assessments and we had the full intention to assist Susan not only financially but to become a stronger Muslim, insha Allah!

How is NZF helping Susan?

Susan will be having her surgery in a few months insha Allah and we have committed to assist her long term, month on month, to cover any living costs that she is unable to cover.

The important thing to understand here is not the financial assistance, but rather, how through your Zakat, we can hope to strengthen a sisters weak Imaan, right here in Australia. And this is the real purpose of Zakat, to strengthen our community in becoming a more pious one.

Alhamdulillah, through your support, we are one step closer to establishing a strong, pious, self-sufficient & sustainable local community.

Read More

An Imam, stranded and wanting to go back home

An Imam, married and a father of 4, Ahmed only had one dream – to provide a better life for his kids.

Ahmed was prepared to do whatever it takes to be able to give his family a safe, stable life with a promising future. Leaving his job as an Imam in his home country, he moved to Australia this year and started doing cleaning jobs to earn some money. He also started working in restaurants. However, due to a breach in visa condition the government cancelled his work rights all of a sudden. He also lost his last job with the owner still owing him money.

He found a small room that a shop owner was happy to let him stay in without rent. He has approached a small mosque here in Sydney for a job as an Imam however due to his visa status, they are unwilling to hire him. He now has no income with his latest visa application being rejected.

Ahmed is ashamed he is now in a new country, with no working rights & no income and entirely dependent on Zakat & the generosity of the Muslim community. Tired of begging people for a job, Ahmed now only wants to take his family back home and perhaps try to get a valid visa and return again.

We helped Ahmed & his family with food vouchers. We paid for air tickets for the entire family and assisted them in getting back home. May Allah make it easy for Ahmed and his family, and insha Allah he will be back under better conditions bi ithnillah.

This is how your Zakat is helping those in need, in Australia.

Read More

Black and blue

What would you do if the one you trust and love the most, turns his back on you?

Farhana* had been married for a few years when she sadly began to realise that the love she once shared with her husband had turned into sessions of curses followed by beatings from him. Her once protective and loving husband now beat her up on a daily basis, blaming her on little things that irritated him.

“They (your wives) are your garment, and you are a garment for them” (2:187)

Her nightmare became worse day by day. She began to be threatened by him quite frequently, with daily beatings not being uncommon. Living on the outskirts of New South Wales and only being able to speak in Arabic, the insecurity and loneliness often made her feel suicidal. She knew that she could end the marriage by filing for a divorce, but then again, what will she do next? She hardly knew anyone in her immediate community! She thought it would be uncommon for Muslim couples to go through a divorce and the fear of the local Muslim community not understanding her was something that was preventing her from taking any action.

Will the community believe her or her husband?

Better and stronger

Farhana* came to NZF around mid-January through her friend’s referral, when the abuse turned really bad. She needed temporary accommodation away from her previous home for her protection, and some basic needs to help her back on her feet. She got a divorce late January and is currently fending for herself in terms of trying to earn some money to make ends meet. Being a single woman, foreign to a country she once had high hopes in, she was falling into depression before she met the NZF team.

NZF organised for a secure temporary home for her. A caseworker was assigned Farhana to care for her until she was mentally better to look after herself. She received counselling, food vouchers and support to participate in self-building seminars to build up her confidence.

Alhamdulillah, she is now a stronger and more positive woman. After everything she went through, we can safely say that Farhana is a survivor. We pray that with her past behind her, this is now a new chapter in Farhana’s life, made possible through your help!

Local Zakat for Local Needs. Keep an eye out in your community for more people in need such as Farhana and refer them to us!

*Names and identities have been altered to protect privacy.

Read More

Have you got your Islamic Will yet?

“It is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequeath, to not let two nights pass without including it in his Will.”
-Sahih Al-Bukhari

Wasiyyah – Islamic Wills Made Easy

We are proud to announce our collaboration with Wasiyyah, a professional service established to make the process of writing a Will that is in accordance with Islamic guidelines and the Australian legal system as simple as possible.

Wasiyyah is 100% not-for-profit and all proceeds go towards da’wah initiatives including projects run by the National Zakat Foundation.

Use the discount code NZFAU when purchasing your Will from their website (www.wasiyyah.com.au) to get $25 OFF your Islamic Will & support National Zakat Foundation’s projects.

Get your Islamic Will in just 4 simple steps:

  1. Visit http://www.wasiyyah.com.au/my-account
  2. Register an account
  3. Purchase the Will from the account page & don’t forget to include the below discount code when purchasing to get a $25 discount!

    NZFAU

  4. Answer a few simple questions & leave the rest to the team at Wasiyyah to put your Will together.

Why delay? Get your Islamic Will today! Click here to get started now.

If you have any questions, please contact the team at Wasiyyah through below details

  • Email: info@wasiyyah.com.au
  • Phone: (03) 9548 5583
  • Read More

    What is a Zakat anniversary?

    A Zakat anniversary is just like any other anniversary in the sense that it is a fixed date in the calendar to mark a significant date or milestone. More specifically, a Zakat anniversary is marked in the Islamic calendar as opposed to the Gregorian calendar.

    What difference does that make?

    If your Zakat anniversary is on the 1st Ramadan for example, this year that would have meant your Zakat anniversary was on 6th June 2016. Last year it would have meant your Zakat anniversary date was on 18th June 2015. So if you had stuck to the Gregorian calendar, you would have missed your actual Zakat anniversary by 12 days. If you are married and your spouse normally expects you to mark your wedding anniversary, imagine how they would feel if you remembered not just one day later but almost two weeks later?!

    Zakat is much more significant than an anniversary; it is an obligation and pillar of Islam, so knowing when your Zakat anniversary falls is essential. Being late with Zakat means being late with an act of worship and being late in giving the poor their due. On the day of your Zakat anniversary, the portion of wealth which you owe in alms no longer belongs to you, even if you are still in possession of it. To hold onto it intentionally without a valid reason therefore is not permitted in Islam. The wealth we have after all, is simply that which Allah Almighty has entrusted us with as a test and opportunity to reap His rewards.

    So, how do you know when your Zakat anniversary is?

    Every believer will have their own Zakat anniversary. To work out your date, it is exactly one lunar year after the date when your Zakatable wealth first reached or exceeded the value of the Nisab. If you cannot remember the date your wealth first reached that level, then the date should be estimated. If this is not possible, then a specific Islamic date should be selected arbitrarily and adhered to annually going forward. Paying Zakat in the month of Ramadan is not necessary and every believer will have a different Zakat anniversary or due date, although giving charity in this month guarantees greater rewards if you cannot remember or estimate when you first met the Nisab .

    Read More

    The History of Zakat

    Zakat before the advent of Islam

    The history of Zakat is the same as that of Salat (prayer). It is evident from the Qur’an that like Salat, the act of Zakat has always existed in the law of the previous prophets.

    All the followers of the religion of Ibrahim (Upon whom be peace) were fully aware of the concept of Zakat. For this very reason Surah Al-Ma’arij (70:25) describes it as “A specified right.” Because of Zakat and charity being a pre-existing Sunnah, the Prophet (peace be upon him), continued this act of worship with necessary reforms.

    The Qur’an gives examples in several verses telling us how Zakat was imposed on the previous Prophets.

    For example:
    Zakat of Prophet Isma’il (Upon whom be peace): “Also mention in the Book (the story of) Isma’il: He was (strictly) true to what he promised, and he was an apostle (and) a prophet. He used to enjoin on his people Salat and Zakat, and he was most acceptable in the sight of his Lord.”
 [Surah Mariam 19:54-55]

    Zakat of the Jews: “And (remember) when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none save Allah (only) and be good to parents and to kindred and to orphans and the needy and speak kindly to mankind; and establish Salaah and pay Zakat.” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:83]

    Zakat to the progeny of Prophet Ishaaq (Upon whom be peace): and Prophet Yaqub (Upon whom be peace): “And We sent them inspiration to do good deeds and to be diligent in the Salat and pay Zakat.” [Surah Al-Anbiyaa 21:73]

    Zakat of Prophet Isa (Upon whom be peace): “He said: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and has appointed me a Prophet. And has made me blessed wheresoever I may be and has enjoined upon me Salat and Zakat so long as I remain alive.” [Surah Maryam 19:30-31]

    Zakat in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

    When we go back to the way Zakat was at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), in essence we are studying Zakat from its source – from its beginnings.
    In Makkah, the verses on Zakat generally pertained to voluntary payments, and it was left to the individuals faith and own conscience to decide how much to give and whom to give it to.

    Surah Al-Ma’arij (70:24-25) advises: “And in whose wealth there is a right acknowledged. For the beggar and the destitute.”

    After migration to Madina, around eighteen months after the arrival of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Madina, Zakat became a Fard, or an obligation on Muslims. Madina verses gave clear directives, ordering the payment of Zakat and since that time the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to send out Zakat workers to collect and distribute the due Zakat.

    The Qur’an does not give the definition of Zakatable wealth, except in a few cases, only the general principles are given without the details, e.g:

    1) Gold and Silver: “And there are those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah. Announce unto them a most grievous penalty.” (Surah Al-Taubah 9:34)

    2) Crops and Fruits: “Eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered.” (Surah al-An’am
    6:141)

    3) Earnings of Trade: “O ye who believe, give of the good things which ye have earned.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:267)

    4) Wealth from beneath the earth: “And of that which we have produced for you from the earth.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:267)


    Furthermore, the Qur’an mentions Zakat in general and the word amwal (i.e. property or wealth or earning) is used as in the verse, “Out of their wealth take
    Sadaqah thereby purifying and sanctifying them.” (Surah Al-Taubah 9:103) and, “In their wealth and properties is the right of the poor, the beggar and he who is in deprivation.” (Surah Al-Dhariyat 51:19)

    It is the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that gives us, by example and by directives, details of the general Qur’anic command and converts the theoretical axioms of the Qur’an into a living reality. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is the one who knows most about what Allah ordained and as such the Sunnah gives us detailed specifications of the kinds of Zakatable wealth, the minimum exempt of each of them and the applicable rates. The Sunnah also gives the details of the categories of people that should receive Zakat.


    Read More

    Are you Zakat eligible?

    People often ask us how we determine who is Zakat eligible when it comes to the “Poor” and “Needy” Zakat recipient categories. At NZF, we take case assessment with utmost seriousness, completely aware of the fact that this is Zakat money that you have entrusted us with & it is a responsibility and trust put on us by Allah to ensure it is distributed to the needy.

    It is important that applicants understand the scope of Zakat, and why sometimes it is not easy for us to provide Zakat even though our team genuinely does want to assist the case.

    When an applicant applies for financial assistance, we perform a comprehensive assessment of their financial situation to determine whether or not they are Zakat eligible.

    If it is an emergency, immediate relief funds and/or accommodation is organised to help the applicant sometimes as quick as within 1 hour.

    To assess an applicants financial situation, the team will request the below documents, among other things, to assess their Zakat eligibility:

    • Current bank statement for the last 3 months
    • All income statements, including any Centrelink payments
    • All bills & expenses
    • Debt proofs
    • ID
    • Medicare
    • Without the provision of all documents, we are unable to assess the applicants case.

    Following this, the team will assess whether the applicant falls into the category of “Poor” or “Needy” based on the financial situation of the applicant in relation to the local community here in Australia. Typically, any assistance required in relation to shelter, medication or food will be immediately provided.

    One of our primary objectives is long term sustainability.

    For example, if the applicants’ expenses are above the average expenses for someone in a similar circumstance here in Australia, we will first work with the applicant to re-organise their finances as often we have found by simply planning better, the applicant can fund their needs themselves. We have networks through which we can organise professional financial planning services if needed. This is a key principle for us to ensure that we are giving Zakat to only those who are truly eligible.

    Let’s look at a few case studies to put the above into practice:

    Case Study 1

    Background:

    • Family of 4
    • Husband is the primary income earner
    • Family lives an average life. They have 2 cars & foxtel.

    Situation: Husband meets with an accident and they now don’t have an income. They need to pay the school fees for their kids and further, one of their cars needs to be fixed.

    Applicant: The sister applies to NZF for funds for School fees & repairs for the car.

    Assessment: The husband is handicapped and is unlikely to return to work in the near future. Based on this, the NZF case worker assesses the need for a second car. Further she finds that by cancelling the Foxtel subscription they will save another $100 a month which can be put towards food & groceries.

    Conclusion: The NZF, assists with financial planning and helps them sell their car to get the required funds. No Zakat was required.

    Case Study 2

    Background:

    • Family of 4
    • Husband is the primary income earner
    • Family lives an average life, with one car and sufficient income for rent & food.

    Situation: Husband meets with an accident and they now don’t have an income. They need to pay the school fees for their kids and further, one of their cars needs to be fixed.

    Applicant: The sister applies to NZF for funds for School fees & repairs for the car.

    Assessment: The husband is injured and is currently not earning with no source of income. The wife needs a car to drop the kids at school and to do all the family shopping. They are already currently living in a 1 bedroom apartment, with minimal expenses.

    Conclusion: Zakat eligible. NZF provides funds for school fees & to fix their car. NZF also provides grocery vouchers for their food and asks the sister to get in touch once in a month if the husband is still unable to work to identify a long term sustainability plan.

    Case Study 3

    Background:

    • Family of 5
    • Husband is the primary income earner
    • Family lives a fairly comfortable life. They have 2 cars, rent a 3 bedroom house, Foxtel, etc.

    Situation: Husband meets with an accident and they now don’t have an income. The wife starts looking for work while in the mean time lives of their savings. After a few months she realizes they will need to downsize their house and sell some of the unnecessary items and reduce their expenses. She sells one car, moves into a cheaper 2 bedroom house and cancels their Foxtel connection. She has been looking for a job for the last 3 months. However, she still does not have enough funds for the school fees for the 3 kids due this month.

    Applicant: The sister applies to NZF for funds for School fees for the children,

    Assessment: Even though the family lived a fairly high standard of living previously, it is clear the family have done their best to reduce their expenses and change their lifestyle in a short period of time. Based on her current financial status, if NZF assists with school fees, the family would have enough funds for their day to day living for atleast 2 more months during which NZF can aid the sister with trying to get a job.

    Conclusion: Zakat eligible. NZF provides funds for school fees. NZF also supports the sister to undergo some training to equip her with skills that will aid her in getting a job to support her family.

    We do our best

    End of the day, we do our best to fulfil this Pillar of Islam and distribute Zakat as instructed by our Creator. This is a simplified view of what our case assessment process may involve and we hope that it allows you to understand that sometimes it is not black & white and it may take our team a few days to assess your case and provide you with the appropriate assistance.

    Read More