Hyderabad, June 21: Have you ever observed the lifestyle of adminitrators or heads of firms involved in collection of Zakat and donations?
A few individuals, who were already billionaires, started collecting and distributing Zakat a few years ago, with the sole motto of giving service to the poor Muslims. But there are many who fit well in the rags to the riches story. However, it is not necessary that everyone who is born rich is honest.
With no known sources of income, they live in palatial houses, maintain multiple luxury cars and most of them have sent their children abroad for higher studies. Believe it or not, they earned this lifestyle primarily due to the Zakat and donations that they received from the pious and rich Muslims. Of course, a few religious leaders might have received gifts from their followers. But a majority of them, who never even delivered a religious speech in their lifetime, are maintaining a lifestyle which does not match their known sources of income.
Most of the people have taken advantage of Kaffaf, the percentage of Zakat that the collectors can keep for himself. In most of the institutions, the Kaffaf is about 40 per cent of the actual Zakat amount. They get a similar cut in all the donations that they collect for the Madarsas, other institutions or activities. While this 40 per cent cut could not be questioned if it is permitted by Islam, a few of them have even misappropriated or swindled a major share of remaining 60 per cent of Zakat and donations amounts.
The head of a highly reputed institution purchased several properties in his and his family members name from the Zakat and donations. When informally asked about these transanctions, he said his entire family was dedicated to the institution that they are running and they would sell the properties if the institution needed some finance at any stage.
One of the administrators of an institution had recently invested and lost a huge amount in stock market. Initially, it was believed that he lost his personal money. But further enquiries revealed that the money belonged to the institution and a major component was of Zakat.
Contrary to this misuse, there are several individuals who are honestly distributing the Zakat and donations among real beneficiaries. Infact, many of them have made several sacrifices for the cause of poor students. They sold their own properties and assets to run the institutions for poor students.
Will it not be fair if we ask those collecting and distributing Zakat to declare their personal assets? Of course, they should be adequately paid for the services that they are rendering for the community. By keeping a perfect check on the utilisation of Zakat and donation amounts, it can be ensured that the real beneficiaries get the real benefit.
(TO BE CONTINUED….INN Live has not named any organisation/individual in its story. We do not wish to harm the practice of mass collection of Zakat as it has been benefitting thousands of poor Muslims, specially the students. However, our intention is to weed out the fake organisations/individuals and bring awareness among Zakat payers that their money should reach the real beneficiaries)