By Mumini Abdulkareem
No fewer than 24 Kwarans (male and female) in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, on Saturday benefitted from the fourth edition of Zakat distribution by the Zakat and Sadaqah Foundation (Z & S).
The sum of N1.5m was distributed to the beneficiaries in three categories of education, empowerment and health.
According to the Kwara State Coordinator of Z&S, Ustaz Muhammadu Mukhtar Muhammadu Thani, the essence is to eradicate poverty in the society in line with the injunction of Allah (SWT) who established Zakat to be the backbone of Islam, adding that the beneficiaries should make judicious use of the fund.
He said, “There is nothing we do in Islam today without money and if there is no source, it would be difficult. It is because of its economic importance that Allah made it (Zakat) the third pillar of Islam.
“The whole issue are divided into three categories; education, empowerment and health. For education, people were assisted up to the tune of N100,000, grinding and sewing machines, motorcycle, generator among others for the empowerment and we also pay health bills of beneficiaries and attended to other medical expenses.”
Muhammadu Thani listed some of the challenges being encountered in the collection of Zakat in Kwara to include declaration of property by those that are ‘Zakatable’, beneficiaries feeling shy to come forward and diversion of proceed into other purpose by recipients.
He described shyness as a huge mistake “because Zakat is a right from Allah” adding that the foundation has been able to checkmate the recipients through monitoring.
In his remarks, the former Grand Kadi of Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal, Justice Olohutoyin Muhammed called for legislation to back Zakat in the state.
Represented by a retired civil servant, Alhaji Shuaib Salaudeen, the former Grand Kadi said there is no legislation that backed the collection of Zakat from the government, adding that scholars should properly educate the citizens for proper understanding of the concept of Zakat.