Tag Archives: CAIR

Paid Your Zakat Yet?

If the answer is no, now is the time to do so!

First, what is “zakat”?

Zakat (or Zakah) is an Arabic word now used universally to mean “obligatory charity“. As prescribed to Muslims with means, it’s obligatory to make an annual contribution of 2.5% against all assets one holds for a minimum of one year towards charitable use.

A good example might be one has, after expenses, a $1,000 in the bank, gold or silver worth $5,000 and a car worth $10,000. Their total assets are at $16,000 and they’d pay a minimum of $400 against that.

Have you feared to present before your consultation charities? Then when you do not and Allah has forgiven you, then [at least] establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.

The Holy Quran, 58:13

Check out this Zakat Calculator by Islamic Relief USA

With fasting, we purify our bodies, minds, spirits as well as our material things. To do so, we sacrifice a bit of everything to bring forward our renewed selves. Fasting from food to bring in good energy. Fasting from day to day worrisome thoughts to bring in happier thoughts (think meditation). Fasting from earthly things to remind ourselves of the bigger picture through worship and Quran reading. To fully complete the month of Ramadan, one must give their zakat before Eid ElFitr (Festival of Breaking Fast), hence the term “Zakat ElFitr” (Zakat of Breaking Fast).

Remember, zakat is also giving your time and reminding others to do their part as well. Many get caught up with work, family gatherings and Eid shopping that a kind reminder is always appreciated. I know I appreciated the one I received yesterday and I hope this post as those I’ve written for the last several years serves as your kind reminder to fulfill your zakat.

Who qualifies to receive zakat?

The idea of zakat is to support those in need. That can be in the form of food, shelter, legal services or any other means to help them live a decent life. What do you have that others may have less of? If you were in a bad situation, what would you need to get out of it. It’s hard to put ourselves in another’s shoes sometimes but one of the main ideas of Ramadan is just that. Living with little food, little energy, but lots of dedication to get through it.

With that said, there are so many organizations, both locally and internationally, out there in need of our zakat to continue the amazing work they do not just in Ramadan but year round. I recommend checking on those that have been highly rated by Charity Navigator, many of which four star rated.

I personally would suggest the following organizations:

  • Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) for their amazing efforts to provide medical aid to children across the Middle East. They are currently supporting refugee children in dire need from Palestine, Yemen and Syria.
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for their dedication to helping local communities at large with legal services, training and support. They are currently supporting those in need through the disastrous border immigration response and the xenophobic Muslim Ban currently in effect.
  • Islamic Relief USA for their excellent disaster relief responses, meal plans across the globe and orphan sponsorship programs. You can select one or multiple programs you want your zakat to go towards.
  • Project Feed SF for feeding neighbors in need right here in San Francisco for over 10 years now. This and other amazing campaigns worthy of your zakat are listed under Launch Good.

Insha’Allah this information is helpful to you all. May God accept our fasts, our prayers and our zakat… ameen.

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A Public Letter to the State of Oklahoma

Dear State of Oklahoma,

Let me start off my sending you my congratulations on electing Mary Fallin, your first female governor who believed she’s more experienced then her opponent because she had children. Good luck with that one!

Now, as a Muslim American, I find it extremely laughable (as well as offensive) that you had a proposition in your ballot to prevent judges from using Islamic Law as well as not recognizing other international laws. I’m no law expert but if I remember correctly, the entire United States never has resorted to enforcing Islamic Law (aka Sharia). Even many “Muslim” countries don’t base their legal system on Islamic Law. What the United States has done however is giving everyone the freedom to practice their religion freely… you know, the First Amendment, freedom of speech, religion, press, etc. So, I’m a bit confused as to what your whole basis of this proposition was from the beginning.

I personally think that you are just that ignorant and arrogant about Muslims to have such a proposition in your ballot. Do you even know how many Muslim Americans you have living in your state? No…? I figured so I’ll tell you. You have about 25,000 Muslim Americans living in your state. FYI, you have a population of over 3 MILLION. Again, that’s 25,000 out of 3,450,654.

Now let’s put everything in perspective here… because you’re ignorant and arrogant about the Muslims in your state, you have now messed up how you’ll handle international business contracts, honoring marriages/divorces that happened out of the country and not recognizing international human rights agreements. That last one bothers me but then again you wouldn’t care… you just want to make sure those “mozlems” don’t make you follow that damned Sharia law in your state, right? Right.

I’m just glad as a “mozlem” that CAIR had something to say about it. Good luck with that one!

Not Yours,

Ms. Hala

UPDATE: CAIR did something about it! As of this week, a federal judge has blocked the ban against Islamic Law due to it being unconstitutional. Read more from the Huffington Post and Yahoo! News. Oklahoma, good luck with that one!