THE Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation has distributed the sum of N1.7 million in cash and equipment to 36 beneficiaries in Oyo State for the year 2016.
At the distribution ceremony, the fourth of its kind, held in Ibadan, last weekend, the guest lecturer, Imam Ibrahim Bello of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile-Ife, urged Muslims to drop the notion that paying zakat would decrease their wealth.
According to him, “actually, the converse is the truth; it would increase their wealth, and cleanse it of any impurities that could earn them the wrath of Allah,” he said.
Bello, whose lecture was presented by Ustaz Muhammadu Saheed Muhammadu Safi, said: “Payment of zakat is incumbent on all Muslims that are able to do so. And the Shar’ia stipulates the amount of zakat to be paid, the kind of money or other belongings to pay it from, the time to pay it and the classes of people that are entitled to its collection. I admonish every one of us to familiarise ourselves with the stipulation”.
He urged Muslims to obey the instruction of Allah and embrace the institution of zakat as demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad for a prosperous Muslim community.
The Executive Director of the Foundation, Prince Sulayman Olagunju, urged the beneficiaries to make the most of the funds and equipment in the hope of becoming charitable themselves in no distant time.
Prince Olagunju lamented the ignorance of many Muslims in this part of the world about the institution of zakat and called on leaders and scholars to do more in stimulating the consciousness of the faithful as regards “this neglected” pillar of Islam.
He described the N1.7 million disbursed this year as meagre and, therefore, challenged the zakat administrators of the Foundation in the state to redouble their efforts and collect substantial fund in order to achieve the desired effect ahead of next distribution ceremony.
The state coordinator of the Foundation, Dr Abd Nafiu Musa, described the process of zakat collection as one that requires wisdom, patience and ability to rise above frustrations from the administrators.