By Nofisat Marindoti
A charitable organisation, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, has distributed the proceed of Zakat (poor dues) worth N6.5 million in forms of cash and materials to 229 beneficiaries in the State of Osun.
Materials distributed to the indigents on Saturday at the Multipurpose Hall of Western Sun International Hotel, Ede, included sewing machines, deep freezers, generators, clippers, among others.
The foundation also made cash donations to the aged who were selected from Ede, Osogbo and their suburbs.
Speaking at the event, the Director of the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, Alhaji Sulaiman Olagunju said the resources were sourced from Zakat (poor dues) collected from few rich Muslims in the state.
Olagunju noted that the purpose of Zakat in Islam is to eradicate poverty among the poor members of the society, saying many have so far benefited from the programme.
“170 elders both males and females from Osogbo and Ede axis received varying amount, just as the youths also benefited from the empowerment exercise across the state.
“Zakat is a directive from Allah to assist the poor and the needy in order to establish a balanced society. When the rich show love to the poor by giving the poor-due from their wealth, the rich will feel secure and the poor will have rest of mind. They will eschew envy and reciprocate the good gesture by showing love to the rich in return. This is a veritable means of setting up a just, peaceful and egalitarian society that ensures equity and fairness.”
Olagunju explained that early response of the Zakat payers helped the foundation to distribute the materials early of Ramadan, stating that any Muslim who has N1,183,030 or farm that worth the amount is entitled to pay Zakat.
“Zakat is the 4th pillar of Islam which is a compulsory due that every wealthy Muslim must pay as soon as his or her money reaches Nisab (measure). It’s been observed that many wealthy Muslims wrongly equate and misunderstood Sadaqat (voluntary donation or charity) for Zakat but these are two distinct institutions in Islam.
“Zakat is meant for the poor and the needy. When collected from the wealthy Muslims, it must be centrally administered to get to the expected beneficiaries in the society.”
The Osun State Administrative Officer, Mallam Moshood Olaoye, said the Zakat distribution was part of a week long humanitarian programmes which had earlier featured an Iftar (breaking of fast) for the Ilesa Prison Inmates on Thursday.
“Today’s event will be followed by presentation of valuable materials to FOMWAN Orphanage Home in Osogbo tomorrow (Monday), before another Iftar which will be conducted for the Ile-Ife Prison inmates on Tuesday.”
Olaoye thereby called on well-meaning Nigerians to donate generously to the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation especially in this month of Ramadan to enhance its capacity to further alleviate poverty, empower the masses and bring succour to the poor.