Joy as Zakat foundation distributes empowerment items, cash to indigent muslims in Abia
By Steve Oko
The plights of indigent Muslim faithful in Abia State have been alleviated as an Islamic group, Zakat & Zadaqat Foundation distributed cash and empowerment items valued at N2.5 to them.
No fewer than 47 persons benefited from the gesture which has become an annual ritual of the Foundation.
Distributing the items in Umuahia, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Prince Sulayman Olugunju, said the gesture which is one of the pillars of the Islamic faith was aimed at improving the living standard and economic wellbeing of poor Muslims.
He explained that every wealthy Muslim worth at least N1.18 million has a religious obligation to pay two and half per cent of his / her income as Zakat for distribution to the poor to better their lots.
According to him, those who faithfully pay their Zakat get richer as the funds is used to uplift the downtrodden.
He encouraged rich Muslim faithful to be diligent in payment of their Zakat to help alleviate the sufferings of the poor.
Giving more insight on how the beneficiaries were selected, the Executive Secretary said applications were received and processed in Lagos, and approvals granted based on priority.
He however, said that one should not receive Zakat aid more than once in a lifetime except for educational purposes or on health grounds.
The Executive Secretary who said Islam did not encourage begging , added that the gesture was also aimed at taking beggars of the street by empowering them for self sufficiency.
In his remarks, the Foundation’s Director of Operations, Alhaji Maaruf Ahmed, appealed to those who applied but did not benefit in this’s year’s exercise to be patient as it could be their turn next year.
He urged the beneficiaries to be fervent in their prayers for Muslim faithful who pay their Zakat so there could be enough fund for distribution.
Speaking earlier, Abia State Coordinator of the foundation, Alhaji Sulieman Ukandu, noted that the gesture which was in collaboration with the Supreme Islamic Council of Nigeria was aimed at empowering the poor for self reliance.
He explained that the aid was in various categories such as human empowerment/ vocational training, agriculture, education, health and self upkeep.
The former Council boss who said the gesture was an avenue to improve human capacity index, charged beneficiaries to use the tools to also add value to other lives.
” If you are empowered help to empower others by putting you tool to good use”, he said, while urging those who had made themselves perpetual beneficiaries to give way for others to also benefit.
Adding his voice, the Sariki of Hausa/ Fulani community in Abia State, Alhaji Eze Yaro Danladi, thanked the foundation for the gesture which he said would tremendously improve the living standard of the beneficiaries.
Items distributed during the annual event included sewing machines, grinding machine and cash ranging from N25,000 to N65,000 per a beneficiary.
A public addressing system was also donated Obuzingwa Central Mosque.
Later in an interview, some of the 47 beneficiaries told Wawa News Global that they were over joyed for their inclusion among the successful applicants.
Mrs Hauwa Yahaya from Yobe State who got a sewing machine said she would use it to fend for her family while Alhaji Usma Njoku, an Okigwe-based butcher, said the fund would be injected into his business.
Similarly, Salatu Abubakar, who also received sewing machine said she would use the machine to support the husband in the family up-keep.
They, therefore prayed for Allah’s continued blessing on the Foundation and all contributors to the fund.
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