Globalizing Islamic Philanthropy with Fintech – II

The idea of Islamic fintech has been gaining traction not only among the Islamic finance professionals, but also among the researchers and the academia. The Third Annual Islamic Finance Conference held in Makassar, Indonesia this week chose fintech as its theme, where scholars unanimously agreed that harnessing fintech will have a positive impact on the…

Globalizing Islamic Philanthropy with Fintech – I

Islamic philanthropy has customarily lacked a global character. Traditional Islamic scholarship discourages inter-country or inter-regional flow of zakat funds. From a Shariah point of view, the following well-known hadith forms the basis of such priority: ‏ “‏ ادْعُهُمْ إِلَى شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، وَأَنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، فَإِنْ هُمْ أَطَاعُوا لِذَلِكَ فَأَعْلِمْهُمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدِ…

Zakat Research: Some Empirical Findings

There is a growing body of theoretical and empirical research in the field of Islamic social finance in general and zakat in particular. In these blogs I seek to highlight some useful findings from such research. Below, three research papers in the field of zakat have been reviewed and their major findings highlighted. Norazlina Abd….

World Zakat Forum 2017

World Zakat Forum 2017: Strengthening the Role of Zakat as a Global Instrument to Eradicate Poverty The 5th International Conference of Zakat, which focuses on strengthening the role of zakat as a global instrument to eradicate poverty, was held in Jakarta on 15th-16th March 2017. This conference hosted by the World Zakat Forum in collaboration with…

Launch of Sadaqa Initiative

Today the World Zakat Forum at Jakarta is coming to a close. On this occasion I have an important announcement to make. Today we are launching the Sadaqa Initiative at http://www.sadaqa.in. It involves setting up a Sadaqa Academy that will offer certification programs for zakat, waqf and other Islamic social finance professionals. The certified amil…

Zakat Payment to Non-Muslims: Revisiting the Issues

In an earlier post (Should zakat be used for humanitarian finance?) I discussed whether zakat payment is exclusively meant for Muslims, noting the divergence of views among scholars on this issue. There is, of course, nothing whatsoever, in Islamic law against payment of other forms of (non-zakat) charitable contributions to non-Muslims. The Malaysian state of Perlis…

A Crowd-Funding Platform for Managing Zakat and Sadaqa

In a few earlier posts I sought to build a case in favor of creating a centralized pool/ platform (Should Zakat be Centralized in India?) for managing zakat and sadaqa (including sadaqa jariya or waqf) funds in India. I argued and pleaded for a few volunteer-IT professionals to come together and build the platform as a pilot project…

A Model Orphanage in Kazakhstan

Ensuring a life of dignity for orphans is a very special act of piety, benevolence and kindness in Islam as in all religions. The holy Quran says: “Treat not the orphan with harshness” (Quran 93:9) Creating a sense of responsibility towards orphans, the Quran says: “They ask you, (O Muhammad), what they shall spend. Say:…

Developing a Governance Framework for Islamic Social Finance Institutions

February 12, 2015 An Islamic social finance institution is essentially a non-profit or charity organization that seeks to operationalize the concepts of waqf, zakah, sadaqah and qard hasan. It has unique assets and liabilities, income and expenditure. By definition, an Islamic non-profit rules out return-seeking share capital. It creates assets through (i) waqf of “permanent”…