Muslims make up the majority of today’s 15.1 million refugees. UNHCR has consulted with Muslim scholars concerning using Zakat as a source of aid. Several specialists in Islamic law confirmed that Zakat is a viable source provided that it meets certain conditions.
UNHCR is the official body for looking after the world’s 15.1 million refugees. There is a chronic need for additional funding. Since Muslims are a significant portion of the world’s refugees, it makes sense to look to the Muslim community as a potential source of funding. In 2008, it was estimated that Muslims donate between $20 billion and $200 billion annually, including voluntary sadaqat and obligatory zakat. In contrast to voluntary sadaqat, there are several conditions related to collecting and distributing obligatory zakat. UNHCR sought advice through Tabah Foundation of Abu Dhabi, UAE.
After consulting with several of today’s leading Islamic legal scholars and institutes, Tabah concluded that UNHCR can collect and distribute zakat provided that they fulfill the basic requirements of one of the legal schools.
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