Zakat is one of the 5 pillars of Islam along with the other forms of Worship, like Salah (prayer) and Sawm (fasting). Its fundamental importance lies in the fact that it fosters the quality of sacrifice and social equity. It is a mandatory charity that Muslims are obliged to pay if their wealth rises above a threshold limit after deducting all their living expenses and liabilities.
Although most such people dispense the necessary Zakat amount, it is unorganised to a great extent. Such unorganised disbursement isn’t a sustainable solution to remove the backwardness of the poor in the Community. Hence Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), a non-profit organisation undertook the initiative of Collective System of Zakat since 2013 and utilised it for the benefit of the Community through Education & Livelihood Assistance.
AMP had been contemplating to launch a crowd-funding platform since long, however, the Covid pandemic and the resultant lockdown accelerated the process and thus in April 2020 they launched India’s 1st Zakat-based Crowdfunding platform, IndiaZakat.com, which brings Zakat Seekers & Zakat Givers together.
Aamir Edresy, President – AMP and Chief Architect of IndiaZakat.com, added that “The aim of this project was to make the entire process of Zakat giving and receiving convenient and absolutely transparent. It gives a Donor the choice of deciding in which kind of Cause and location of the Seeker, to donate his Zakat. IndiaZakat.com mobilizes the collection of Zakat and other Muslim Charities (Sadaqah, Fitra etc.) in a collaborative manner and channelize these funds for supporting Education, providing Medical & Livelihood Assistance and helping in Disaster Relief efforts.”
Iftikhar Bidkar, Head Operations at IndiaZakat.com said that “The initiative received a tremendous response and in the last 3 years of existence it has already raised ₹ 15+ Crores towards 5,000+ Causes raised on the platform. A stupendous number of 32,000+ Individuals & Families have been positively impacted through more than 50,000+ Donations.”
The biggest reasons for the success of the platform is that It is 100% Transparent and 100% Free. The donor & the seeker get Live Updates on donations received on real-time basis. There is no fees or commission taken by the platform from either the Donors or the Seekers so the beneficiary gets 100% Disbursement of the funds. This is because AMP manages all the administrative, operational and IT management costs through the voluntary funds collected by its members annually to run the organization.
The entire operations of the platform are managed with the small backend team of AMP along with the strong team of Volunteers who help in Cause raising and verification. There is a 3-level verification process, wherein besides the KYC and Cause-supporting documents, authentication is done from the local Masjids for the applicant, ensuring that there are no fraudulent Causes. The 200+ network of AMP Chapters ensures this process is carried out effectively and physical verifications are also done for many cases.
The platform is guided by its Advisory Board, which has some very eminent Islamic Scholars, Finance & Legal experts who provide guidance on Policy as well as at Operational levels.
More details can be read at: www.indiazakat.com
Athar Shahab, one of the regular donors on IndiaZakat.com, expressed immense happiness and said “IndiaZakat.com gives freedom to me as a donor since it doesn’t keep you bound to Ramzan, when these donations are usually given. There is immense transparency as you know in which Cause your donation is going. Also, IndiaZakat is not charging any service fees so you have the satisfaction of seeing your entire contribution go to the beneficiary.”
Donors wanting to donate their Zakat, Sadaqah or other charities can do so in the Cause of their choice & location at: https://IndiaZakat.com/Causes IndiaZakat.com’s team consists of Advisory Board, Zakat Council, Legal, Technical, Operations & Marketing Team Members who look after the day-to-day operations. Besides, there are many volunteers of who have contributed enormously to the success of this portal