THE Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) has distributed the sum of N4,394,611 among 53 poor and needy Nigerians in Oyo state for the year 2022.

During the distribution ceremony, the 10th of its kind by the foundation in the state, which was held last weekend at the Bodija Housing Estate Islamic Center, Old Bodija, Ibadan, N3.250.611, cash was distributed to some of the debt relief beneficiaries, health and educational support and economic empowerment, while the others received motorcycles, sewing machines, freezers and other tools worth N1,144,000.

Dignitaries at the event, chaired by Professor Surajudeen Bankole of the Economics Department of the University of Ibadan, included the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdul Ganiy Abubakri Agbotomokekere, who was represented by Sheikh Ismail Yusuf (Baba ni Ita Maya) , and Ogbomoso’s chief imam, Sheikh Teliat Ayilara, who preached to the public about the meaning of zakat.

The foundation’s state coordinator, Dr. Nofiu Musa, noted that the total amount distributed during the ceremony was a fraction of the N10 million raised by the foundation this year.

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The remainder of the money, more than N5 million, he said, had been used for interventions in various fields, including education, health, nutrition, Ramadan projects, infrastructure development and support for widows and orphans.

According to Dr. Musa, the ZSF is also drilling boreholes and bringing free medical services to the doorsteps of rural residents in the state.

He reiterated the foundation’s commitment to helping the haves touch the lives of the have-nots in society.

The executive director of the foundation, Prince Sulayman Olagunju, described zakat as a means of eradicating poverty and anchoring peace and security in society.

However, he lamented that the number of Muslims who pay zakat in the country is very small as many do not fully understand the concept of zakat.

Olagunju clarified that “zakat is not optional because it is a pillar of Islam like solat that cannot be played with.”

He recalled that there were two “golden times” in the history of Islam when zakat was effectively administered to eradicate poverty among the ummah and ensure peace and security for the people.

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“Unfortunately, that is not the situation today. People who are supposed to pay zakat don’t pay zakat, which is only two and a half percent of your wealth. For example, Zakat on N100 million is only N2.5 million.

“If all Muslims do the necessary in the area of ​​Zakat, I am sure that there will be a radical change in our situation,” Olagunju added.

Also, in a lecture on zakat as a panacea for insecurity and social vices, the foundation’s board official in the state, Malam Qasim Durojaye, expressed sadness that this particular pillar of Islam has been grossly neglected by Muslims.

He stated that if the institution of zakat were used by Nigerian Muslims as designed by Allah, it would have facilitated seamless redistribution of wealth, prevented the escalation of crimes such as theft and banditry, and ensured the safety of lives and property in the country. would have improved.

According to Durojaye, for 1443/1444 AH, the nisab (the minimum amount a Muslim must have before being eligible to pay 2.5 percent zakat of it) is N1,545,192. He said that the zakat due on that amount is N38,629.

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He said it was therefore unfathomable that a large number of Muslims who conveniently paid the 2022 Hajj price which was about N2.5 million and even others who sponsored more than one person for the pilgrimage refused to pay zakat from their wealth as ordered by Allah.

He said that in the interest of humanity and the well-being of the ummah, there must be a departure from the situation where many wealthy Muslims pay no zakat at all and others, misconception, pay too little religious tax for charity.

Durojaye urged those who have benefited from the zakat distribution this year to see it as an opportunity to turn around their economic and financial fortunes.

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