9 Things to Consider Before You Give Charity

  1. This first and most important point is to make sure the charity is Shariah Compliant. Let us not be naïve and think everything that has the words “Islam” or “Islamic” before it, is according to Qur’an and Hadith. A lot of charities do activities which are violating the laws of Allah, you do not need to be a Mufti to know this. For example, mixed events, music in their videos, qawwali is becoming common, fashion shows and makeup tutorials… the list goes on. Every sane Muslim knows these things are totally wrong in the name of Islam.
  2. Make sure the charity is under the supervision of at least one Alim or a group of qualified scholars. We see charities opening on every street corner, many of these brothers and sisters do not have knowledge of the basics of Islam. They are collecting our Zakah and Sadaqah, how can we guarantee it will be distributed correctly and accurately?
  3. Give to needy charities and not the GREEDY ones! You should be giving your money to the neediest places and the neediest charities. Some charities accumulate 40-50 million pounds a year, others are very close. Check their annual reports or search on the Charity Commission Website. Do not follow each other like sheep, we must be wise and sharp, give to the right place.
  4. Ask your charity if they take admin costs for Zakah and Sadaqah, some charities take astronomical amounts! Although it is permissible to take from Sadaqah, one must ask a local Mufti if it is permissible to take admin costs from Zakah: https://islamqa.org/hanafi/qibla-hanafi/37024
  5. Ask your charity how quickly they distribute Zakah. As mentioned in point 3, some charities get millions every year. A lot of this money is hoarded in their bank accounts as they are unable to spend this money instantly. Which could mean your charity still has last year’s Zakah gathered up! Do you really want to give them this year’s Zakah? Some charities have a 30-day policy i.e. they distribute your Zakah within 30 days. I personally think this is an excellent idea.
  6. Don’t be ashamed to ask how much they pay their employees, their PR managers and the CEO. We hear about charities taking ridiculous wages due to help from Gift Aid etc. Unfortunately, the concept of kindness and consideration is disappearing from some charitable people. Sadly, charities, like most Islamic organisations are becoming a huge business.
  7. “You donate for the sake of Allah!” I am sure you have all heard this one before? Some defensive charity workers reply with the above statement when questioned about their practises and money management. The statement is incompetent and uneducated. Just because we donate for Allah does NOT mean in any way, shape or form we cannot question people. It is our God-given right, we are living in 21st Century Britain!
  8. Now we come on to charities collecting door-to-door. Most of us, unfortunately, donate blindly, we do not ask for a receipt, nor a charity reg number. Some of these people are not even Muslim, they just grow a beard and wear a hat or hijab for women! We must follow protocol, ask for a certificate where it applies. We need to get rid of our ignorance and stop saying, “We donate for Allah and it is all in his hands” Definitely, you donate for Allah, but does that mean you donate to thieves and crooks because of your sheer naivety. Learn to ask a few questions, for their website (give it a quick google search on the doorstep), their head office location, which countries they work in etc.
  9. The intention is important for Zakah. For Sadaqah/Lillah most of us give Ma Sha Allah, very generously. But we do not make an intention, for esale thawab, for shifa, safety from calamities, multiple intentions can be made In Sha Allah. Allah accept from one and all. Ameen.

Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)

1 Ramadhan


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