New Delhi: Speakers from 14 countries emphasised on the utilization of technology and innovative methods of collecting and distributing Zakat funds from those who can afford to those who deserve it.
Participating in a Global Online Zakat Conference organised by AMP (Association of Muslim Professionals) they shared their insights into the effective management and proper utilisation of Zakat.
Renowned educationist and intellectual of Muslim community Dr. Zafar Mahmood, who heads the Zakat India Foundation while speaking in the inaugural session said that “Implementing not just the micro but also the macro schemes for the community through Zakat”.
He spoke that we should not limit ourselves to min threshold of 2.5% Zakat but should give more to community empowerment. He coined the slogan of TRAIL-33 through which oneself should give 33% of all its resources including time, talent, money and resources for the Community.
An eminent promoter of Islamic banking in India and General Secretary of ICIF, Mr. Abdur Raqeeb in an inaugural keynote session highlighted some key points of the process of zakat collection and management from the time of Prophet Mohammed until now and into the future. He stressed on establishing a society where no one remains a zakat taker and everyone from the community becomes a zakat giver and to achieve this goal, the community today should organize and manage the process of collecting and distributing zakat effectively by utilizing various means of technology available to its use.
Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), U-Connect, IndiaZakat.com & UMMAH1.com have partnered to make this global event happen were close to 1,000 people have registered and participated actively in the event and benefited from a lot of takeaways from the session.
Program started with Quran recitation by Syed Furqan Br Mukhtar (Co-founder, U-Connect Network) gave a welcome speech followed up by Aamir Edresy (President, AMP) where he spoke on objectives of organizing the conference. Zaeem Mirza (Founder, Ummah1.com), who gave a brief introduction on Indiazakat.com. Mr. Farook Siddiqui hosted the inaugural session.
The special Panel discussion was organised on “The most common challenges with zakat management today and the solutions for the same”. where very passionate panel members discussed and shared their views on the current day scenarios, the process of building and utilizing “Baithul maal” concepts and for grassroots level participation from the various organizations and individuals to build trust in these institutions that work towards zakat collection and distribution. The invited panelists and zakat experts for this panel discussion were Muhammed Farhan (President – MESCO, India), Maulana Ghayas Ahmed Rashadi (President – Safa Baitul Maal, India), SM Hidayatullah (Organizer of Tamil Nadu Jamaath Baitul Maal, India), and Dr. Sami As – Soulaimani (Global CEO – Fineopolis Consulting, UAE). This Panel Discussion was moderated by Miss. Sufia Qureshi (AMP Member).
The next session of the day had a very larger engagement topic that dealt with aligning the utilisation of zakat fund with the Sustainable development goals of the United Nations to use their 17 sustainable goals approach for the betterment of humanity. The invited panelist and zakat experts for this session were Dr. El Nur who is the Deputy Secretary-General of the World Zakat Forum from Bosnia, Dr. Atef Elshabrawy – Economic Development Advisor to the World Bank in Egypt and Dr. Mohammed Obaidullah the Lead Research Economist from Islamic Development Bank in K.S.A participated as panelists and provided a lot of insights into how the Muslim community can benefit from using the pre-existing infrastructure of the United Nations development program instead of shying away from it.
Mufti Muhammed Al Hasan, who is the Mufti at Al-Jamia Al-Islamia Darul Uloom Waqf, Deoband gave a wonderful talk on using idle interest money for social welfare purposes as per Islamic guidelines. This session was very helpful to people who have idle interest money but fear using it. As we know using the money earned through the means of interest is haram. Mufti Sahab enlightened the audience on the Islamic way of using their idle interest money to benefit the poor people of our ummah, instead of throwing it away.
Usman Abdullah Malik, an award-winning lecturer and Islamic finance advisor based from the United Kingdom, graced the last session with his thought-provoking talk on the topic of “Future Leaders of Zakat”.
Usman Malik mainly addressed how we should train and prepare ourselves to be out at the service of the needy and attain Allah’s pleasure. He also highlighted that we should constantly learn about zakat, share the knowledge around to enable more zakat givers, give a lot of Zakat, lead zakat movements, do groundwork instead of slacking or sitting behind, empower the needy, and many more to create more zakat into the Islamic economy.
The second day of the conference began with a special statement by Sheikh Dr. Sajid Omar of the Islamic Council of Europe in which he discussed in detail the issues of Zakat in the light of the Qur’an and Hadith and also answered the questions of the participants.
Experts from different countries of the world participated in the second panel discussion and explained in the light of their experiences on how the better system of Zakat is run in these countries. The session was attended by Ismail David from Australia, Irfan Syauqi Beik from Indonesia, Emad Al-Fazli from the Netherlands, Ms. Feroz Mohammad from South Africa and others. This mission was directed by Prof. Khalil Ahmed.
Shahid Amanullah from USA, Omar Munshi from Malaysia, Fateh Ali from Singapore and Dr. Ayesha Maneza from Malaysia participated in the session on how technology and modern methods can be used for better management of Zakat in today’s world. Addressed. The session was moderated by Mukhtar Jahangir from UAE.
In the last session of the program, Maulana Muhammad Forough Al-Qadri (Secretary General, World Islamic Mission) addressed the participants in his insightful and thought-provoking style. He specifically mentioned that Islam wants a fair distribution of wealth. And it wants to bridge the gap between rich and poor. Zakat is the best way to do this. Poverty can be eradicated from the Muslim society if we all collectively manage Zakat properly and collectively. He also said that full attention should be paid to the Ulema (scholars) and students of madrassas in their zakat system so that this section would not be deprived of any of our development.
The last address in the conference was delivered by Aamir Edrisy, President of the Association of Muslim Professionals. He summarized the entire conference in detail and outlined the future plans of India Zakat.com. He said that this platform can be used from family level and neighbourhood level to national level. He appealed to the people to help the poor and especially the students around them through this platform.
An innovation showcase was also the part of the Conference where 2 startups were brought in to showcase their product/idea which was closely aligned with the concept of zakat and its management using technology. Areeb Siddiqui from UK, who presented an app Kestril that helps people manage their daily finances while also helps them calculate their Zakat contributions with a few taps and the ease and comfort of using the app.
Mr. Imran from Kenya who presented a blockchain model implementation idea of collecting zakat and tying up with masjids in each region, location, and area to empower them to distribute the collection of zakats as these institutions are the closest to those who require financial support. The model presented by Imran has not just a wonderful technology aspect to its implementation but also ensures there are transparency, security, and zero cost to those who donate or benefit from the zakat fund as their operational expenses are covered through subscriptions from the masjid and other marketing activities.
The innovation showcase ended with the announcement of Essay competition winners, where four winners were chosen from a large database of submissions in various categories of English and Urdu language essays both in text and video formats.