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Islamic charity to Haiti helps…mosques

February 19, 2010

Zakat is paid by Muslims for Muslims.  Sahih Bukhari says that sadaqa or zakat is “to be taken from the rich amongst them and given to the poor amongst them” (5.59.634).  Non-Muslims are ineligible to receive the zakat.

The only possible exception is that zakat may be used to attract new converts to Islam, or “those whose hearts are to be won over” to Islam (Koran 9:60).

The prohibition is why relief from Muslim nations to Haiti has been meager compared to European, North American, and Japanese donations.

A news release from the U.S. State Department bears that out.  Mosques and Islamic charities are giving money to Haiti, but it is going to Haiti’s Muslim leadership, mostly in Cap-Haitien (the where the largest Haitian Muslim population is located) for distribution at mosques.  Here’s an excerpt from the State Department piece:

Abu Bakr Xavier, founder of the Haitian American Islamic Community Inc., met Imam Haneef on his recent relief trip to Haiti and is trying to send supplies to Cap-Haitien and to the rest of the country. On temporary leave from his job to help with Haitian humanitarian relief, the Muslim American of Haitian descent said a lack of centralized government is felt everywhere.

“If Port-au-Prince is in shambles, areas like those around Cap-Haitien take a back seat in terms of attention and services,” Xavier told America.gov after returning from a five-day relief tour of Haiti.

Xavier said supplies and doctors from Cap-Haitien have traveled to Port-au-Prince while many Haitians have fled north from the city, returning to their areas of origin. The lack of medical supplies and doctors, coupled with the sudden influx of people, is placing stress on smaller cities like Cap-Haitien. 

After flying to Cap-Haitien and visiting Bilal Mosque, Xavier traveled to Port-au-Prince with his medical supplies — bandages, antiseptics, gloves and surgical masks — to deliver them to local aid group A.I.M.E.R. Haiti for distribution.

Mosques in Haiti are also playing a vital role in distributing humanitarian relief. Locals are flocking to Muslim houses of worship for food and medical aid supplied by organizations like Islamic Relief USA.

Read the whole article here.  I’m sure the recipients appreciate the aid.  That’s what the imams are counting on.  But is the zakat to Haiti like ordinary secular disaster relief?  No, in this instance, it’s for Muslims and for those whose hearts may be won to Islam.

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8 comments

  1. Related to this matter of Islamic aid, there is a an article from Global Policy Forum that I want you to read. It’s about precisely the aid and the image Islamic world has of Western NGO’s and UN official organizations.


    • Good link! It’s quite telling that the OIC had a goal to “provide resources necessary to eradicate polio from all OIC member states by 2005″ (emphasis mine).

      Their goal wasn’t to eradicate polio from the planet–just from member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.


  2. Assalam Alaikum,
    please i will like to know if you are willing to render help to our small town in Nigeria Kwara state..kids are not able to feed this ramadan season and its really a pain in the neck….pls get back to me for more info


  3. Assalam Alaikum,
    please i will like to know if you are willing to render help to our small town in Nigeria Kano state..kids are not able to feed this ramadan season and its really a pain in the neck….pls get back to me for more info


  4. For all your shipping needs for Cap-Haitian visit http://www.wesendfast.com. We are here to deliver your cargo.


  5. […] has become an incubator of terrorist growth including the Yucutan, Cuba, Venezuela, Guyana, Haiti, Trinidad, and […]


  6. Please don’t let them infiltrate them self into our culture we don’t need them


  7. […] the prohibition also explains why the contribution from Muslim countries to the Haiti 2010 earthquake relief effort — since Haiti has almost no […]



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