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Managing charity efficiently

Paying just fitrana and putting it to professional application for collective good can create jobs every year and eliminate beggary
12:00 AM Apr 09, 2024 IST | Muhamad Maroof Shah
managing charity efficiently

Did you, as fitrana obligation, secretly send some petty amount to some relative or neighbor and think you have done the requisite thing? Did you care to impart skill to any beggar or direct him/her to your local bait al mal or any trust that could have helped? Do you know even half of your neighbours that may be needing your assistance through charity? To whom did you give the obligatory charity (zakat) and why?


Was it for food or medicine or giving some means of sustenance for life? Are you worried about any future exigency? Are you worried about helping anyone you know or how to give him/ her job? If these are cases, you need to know ZIST that seeks your support to support your needy kith and ken, handhold them and make them givers in due course.


Anyone who wants to help anyone, by giving Sadaqa or Zakat - should consider ZIST. Your donated amount transfers back to your recommended beneficiary. Even jobs requiring some seed capital can be sponsored for your kith and ken.


If unable to work, he or she can be tied up with productive unit holder. Don't lose the opportunity of building a life in Ramadhan. Your small contribution can help a big way anyone you know needs help. Any farmer you can help get a cow or sheep unit (up to 10 sheep) just by pooling your sadaqah al fitr/ zakat amount with ZIST.


What is ZIST?


  • An initiative for professional collection, multiplication and spending of obligatory and voluntary charities.
  • Kashmir’s first online, centralized and accessible zakat and sadaqah trust with an endeavour to help your recommended/ intended beneficiary/eligible recipient and transform from dependent to self-sustaining mode i.e. from consumptive to productive mode of charity.
  • An attempt to institutionalize the concept of philanthropy with new avenues, novel possibilities of social and economic growth.

ZIST strives to:


  • Empower both givers and recipients: ZIST will go beyond simply distributing donations. We intend to provide resources and training, fostering self-sufficiency and long-term impact.
  • Ensure transparency and accountability: We intend to offer a clear and trackable donation process.
  • Focus on sustainable solutions: ZIST plans to invest in projects that create lasting change, such as supporting farmers and promoting education.



Problems in Current Zakat Management are that, generally speaking, people here:

  • Don’t give zakat professionally. Not even 0.01% of Rs 15000 crore zakat dues available for the specified categories.
  • Give individually or secretly and not professionally to credible institutions. Zakat is not the sadaqah that is advised to be paid secretly.
  • Partly give it. Very few give zakat on investments in land or real estate or non-delinquent loan or voluntarily subscribed additional amount of GPF?
  • Don’t calculate it professionally the way we meticulously calculate income tax and file ITRs. Fail to identify proper recipient.
  • Fail to make recipient giver.
  • Give too little to those who need more.
  • Don’t monitor or handhold whom they give.
  • Don’t care to track impact.
  • Give for consumption only and not to productive units for jobs of recipients.
  • Hardly give any zakat for some categories such as heavily indebted.
  • Don’t generally focus on multiplying zakat resources to help more beneficiaries.
  • Economists/finance experts are not involved in productive zakat management.
  • No power to the donor to recommend beneficiary.
  • Hoard wealth that incurs zakat but don’t invest.
  • Don’t give some part in anticipation or on monthly basis and wait for Ramadhan. One can do final calculations on Ramadhan if one became sahib-i nisab on last Ramadhan and not forget the poor during rest of 11 months.
  • Hardly any zakat spent on accommodation/food for travelers, free healthcare .
  • Not even 0.01 percent of few hundred crores of zakat al-fitr amount due from J & K is available for those who direly need as whatever little is collected is siphoned off in consumptive channels leaving little if anything for growth and sustainability or enriching the poor/needy or social security for which this could be designed.
  • Similarly there is huge human resource available for free or on nominal cost for number of infaq based projects that fail to realize due to unavailability of coordinating agencies. Similarly very few write wills on any part of one third of property for any community cause.

Keeping all these points in view ZIST, a trust, was created to professionalize zakat, sadaqah and infaq management for more productive channels to create avenues for jobs and promote culture of cooperation.

It is donor mediated:  Donors are given choice to recommend beneficiaries who are tied to farmers whose profits support them and as such whole zakat money is used for productive instead of consumptive purpose. Evidence of transformation of lives is shared with donors and impact of their contributions tracked. ZIST has noted several problems in zakat calculations:

No proper calculation done 

  • How many times in life have we meticulously calculated zakat?
  • Do we have record of filing zakat returns on the pattern of income tax returns?
  • Do we get zakat calculations vetted by a qualified scholar?
  • Do we know when we became Sahib i Nisab?

Forgetting/Ignoring  to pay or calculate zakat on

  • Credit extended to someone and reclaimable
  • Investments in land
  • GPF – additional voluntarily subscribed or our contributed amount in NPS and whole amount when reclaimed
  • What is owed to us and expected to return in due course
  • Each and every item for trade in our shops
  • Harvest of fruits, crops, vegetables, honey
  • Livestock or on savings from them reaching nisab limit

Not identifying recipients properly

What professional survey has been done to identify recipients? Which professional zakat management board has distributed zakat as per  letter and spirit of Islam that requires lifting recipient out of zakat dependent status?

Similarly fitrana we pay to feed for a day or week and not enrich the poor which can happen through choosing one or two recipients in a mohalla and providing them in a way that they get basis for enrichment for life. There is a beggar needing rehabilitation in five or more villages and it can be done in one Ramadan only.

There are cases of suicide due to debt and unpaid interest or principal amount. Zakat can help here as can qard hasan. Who cares? Name a local charity that routinely helps such cases?

If there is any appeal for help by anyone, name and shame local baitul mal or mosque committee and 160 houses around the person as they have failed to identify and help the one needing their attention. How many trusts are there who could have been helped if anyone in locality had guided them. Even the State has various interventions for such cases that people don’t know about and fail to take help from.

Name and shame every person who doesn’t bother about who his neighbours are, how local charity functions and why his or her zakat doesn’t help to pull people out of begging or recipient status year after year.