It was excitement galore when Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF), distributed cash, empowerment equipment worth N142,398,905 to 1,516 beneficiaries. Some of the equipment distributed, included tricycles, motorcycles, refrigerators, brail books, typewriters, pepper grinding machines, hair dressing/barbing equipment and power generating sets.
ZSF Executive Director, Prince Sulayman Olagunju, said: “We were deeply touched to see the numbers of Nigerians who were wallowing in abject poverty, which has been one of the propel- ling forces driving us to step up zakat collections on yearly basis despite the economic situation of our country.”
Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, represented by the state Chairperson of College of Nigeria Pathologists (CNP), Prof Fatimah AbdulKareem, said: “Zakat gives rise to relative equality among mankind. It fosters feeling of love, and harmony as well as cohesion within the society. In the present day Nigeria, wealth circulates among a few while the majority languishes in poverty.
“The few wealthy ones, unfortunately, don’t feel secured living amongst the majority who are poor, hungry and angry; thus the wealthy spends so much on security when all it takes is to give out 2.5 per cent as zakat.”
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr Abdullateef Abdulhakeem, said: “Anyone who possesses wealth must realise that he/she is a distributor on behalf of the giver – Allah. There is so much wealth within the community but because we have failed to activate our sense of generosity, so many people are suffering today.
Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Oluwatoyin Abou-Nollah, advised Muslims to prioritise investments in areas capable of reducing poverty among Muslims: “Zakaat is about enriching poor people so that they can get to the level that is sustainable and against this background, we have a lot of challenges in Nigeria to make us surmount the economic challenge.”
Immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Bello Rahmon, said:
“This is one of the few events to showcase the beauty of Islam. It is an aspect of our religion that must be put to use. The level of unemployment is high. You find hundreds and thousands of graduates walking around with nothing to do. This results to poor health and Zakat is one of the ways to get this resolved.”
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ZSF Board of Directors Chairman, Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf, said: “Poverty can be eradicated in Nigeria. We are prepared to work towards the eradication.
Poverty is not our own portion as Muslims, so we are not just focused on alleviating but eradicating it.”
Jaiz Charity Foundation Executive Director, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, said: “Allah gave us the institution of Zakaat for specific purpose but some of us are ungrateful elements. Some Muslims are capable of paying but they
won’t pay. Muslims should not be rich and poor at the same time.
We must make it a habit to pay zakat. It is a potent tool for poverty alleviation.”