If you thought this blog would soon become something like Bridget Jones Diaries…then…you were wrong! 😀 Tou khair, I am fine now, Alhamdulillah.
So, this is not a post that I was planning to write. Instead I wanted to continue with the ‘Iqra’ wali discussion but I just had to say this after the zakaat thing was brought up during that discussion.
I know we should be talking about zakaat near ramadan cuz thats wen a lot of people give away their zakaat but then there are others like me who would just give away zakaat wenever possible. In addition to that, ramadan is too far away. Ill forget talking about it by then 😛
People usually give away zakaat in terms of cash. Many people just hand in the money to some NGO/NPO and with this they think their task has been completed. Just wanted to share my own experience here which might help you people in making better decisions in finding the right person/proceudre to give away zakaat.
I have worked for nearly 6 months voluntarily at two different NGOs (one of them run by a popular singer, both of them claiming to improve the standard of education for the lesser priviliged). Now, with what I have seen, I do not think it is actually a very good idea to just hand in the money to them and then completely forget about it. Why? Well, lemme tell you something which I have seen being done. There’s a school in Shehdadpur where the students/teachers have no access to water (forget about clean water, there’s no water at all). The website of that particular NGO was asking for donations to be able to overcome this problem. Money did flow in (a lot through credit card transactions, something i need to talk about later in the post). Sadly, the school in Shedadpur still has no access to water because the money that was generated was instead used to get a new air-conditioning system in the CEO’s office, a new mineral water dispenser and also a coffee machine. The CEO also ordered an HRM system to be made by one of the leading software houses, something which I offered to make for free! With this I am not saying that you should not give your donations to these NGOs, I am just trying to say that you need to be sure where that money would be used. You could perhaps sponsor a child at SOS (ensuring that you do go to SOS yourself every now and then and meet the child personally), buy an ambulance for Sahara Trust or make a science lab for The Citizen’s Foundation but please just dont consider your job done simply by giving away the money! Further, if you think that is way too much for you, then you could perhaps help a relative, again by buying something yourself rather than just handing in money.
Now, coming back to paying your zakaat through credit card just by a click of a button. Im sorry to say but the use of credit card itself is prohibited in Islam. You are paying your zakaat, which is one of the basic five pillars of Islam and you are also paying interest on that transaction, for which the Prophet (SAW) is known to have said that taking/giving interest is like waging a war against Him and Allah (SWT). May Allah (SWT) keep us away from this laanat as much possible although it seems quite unlikely in today’s age…a topic which I would definitely like to talk about later in one of my posts.
EDIT: Please read this to view the continuation of the discussion that started in the comment section of this post