The Zakat Committee
Since the inception of ICLI, the Zakat Committee has played an integral role in collecting donations from the community and distributing them to the needy. Our mission is to enrich the lives of the less fortunate and strengthen community efforts in outreach programs.
What is Zakat?
The Prophet said, “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing the prayers, paying the Zakat, making the pilgrimage to the House (Hajj), and fasting in Ramadan.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore, held by human beings in trust. Zakat is the obligatory act of giving charity in Islam. The word Zakat means “purification” and “growth”. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.
More specifically, this means for Muslims who maintained a minimum amount of money (nisab) for an entire year, are obligated to donate 2.5% of their surplus wealth (net of debts and other obligations). This practice is typically done before the month of Muharram (first month of the Islamic New Year) or in Ramadan, when all good deeds are multiplied.
Who is eligible?
The Qur’an classifies who is eligible for Zakat funds:
“Zakat is for the poor, and the needy and those who are employed to administer and collect it, and the new converts, and for those who are in bondage, and in debt and service of the cause of Allah and for wayfarers, a duty ordained by Allah, and Allah is the All-Knowing, the Wise.” (Surah Al-Tauba: 60)
Role of the Zakat Committee.
Over the years the Zakat Committee, led by Brother Ghulam M Din, has worked diligently to ensure that the needy and other deserving groups have received the proper support from the ICLI community. The committee consists of a board members and volunteers, which meets on the last Tuesday of every month to decide on how to allocate Zakat funds to the appropriate applicants, groups and organizations. The distributions are conducted according to Islamic principles while abiding by federal, state and local regulations for nonprofit organizations. The Zakat Committee selects the priorities according to the circumstances and needs of the community, nation and the Muslim Ummah at large.