This Ramadan, like every we do every year, we must think about the less fortunate. It is important to understand that “charity” and “nonprofit organization” are not the same thing. Charity and Zakat are not the same things either. Two-thirds of all so-called “charity” in the United States does not benefit the poor.
Zakat is often our laziest act of worship. We have several automated “bots” giving charity for us to catch the night of Laylatul Qadr. It’s almost like we are encouraged to not think about it. Fasting, prayer, Hajj, and for the relatively few of us who do it, Islamic Estate Planning, we have to think about those things a lot!
Many Muslim leaders work for or run nonprofits. Zakat has become more permissive over time to allow for funding of their ever-expanding missions. It is less about the poor and more about the affluent giving money to each other.
One of my most popular articles this Ramadan is from last year, “This article could be Zakat Eligible.” It attempts to address the problem with some humor, though it is a serious issue I hope we all think about as we use our money for acts of worship to benefit the poor.
I have another article on Islamic Charitable Planning you should also consider as you create a charitable giving plan for your family.
To schedule a 15-minute, no-obligation Zoom consultation on Islamic Estate Planning, click here.