Zakat Frequently Asked Questions

An FAQ on zakat giving

With the ongoing crisis exacerbating hunger and thirst, especially as Ramadan approaches, your contribution can provide crucial relief. Anera, with its long-standing presence and experience in Gaza, is distributing food parcels and managing community kitchens to ensure families have access to nutritious meals, particularly during Ramadan. Your donation can provide a hot meal to displaced families in Gaza, serving as their only source of sustenance to start and break their fasts. Your generosity is instrumental in supporting Anera's relief efforts and offering hope for a better future for Palestinians in Gaza.

Zakat, the third pillar of Islam, is a donation that Muslims regard as a mandatory act within their faith. Followers of Islam who have at least a minimum amount of wealth are required to give 2.5% of their liquid assets away to charity each year. Muslims are also encouraged to give sadaqah, or voluntary contributions, on top of the mandatory zakat contributions.

The aid should be given to the poor, travelers in need (such as refugees), and other specifically designated groups of people. Although it is difficult to find reliable figures on the size of zakat giving, there is no doubt that it is a major source of global charitable giving.

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Zakat should be given to specific categories of recipients, as outlined in Islamic teachings. These categories include the poor, needy, debtors, and those working to distribute zakat.

Specified zakat contributions made to Anera will be restricted to food assistance and medical aid programs. This means that Anera will use your zakat to acquire and distribute food packages, medical supplies, hygiene kits and other essentials for families who would otherwise go without.

Anera helps the most vulnerable populations in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. While the majority of our work centers around meeting the needs of refugee populations in Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan, Anera also partners with local community organizations to elevate those who have fallen below the poverty line.

Although Anera does not have any religious or political affiliations, our humanitarian aid programs can fulfill faith-based charitable giving requirements. We work on the ground in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, helping refugees and vulnerable communities find emergency relief and resources. We only use zakat donations for direct assistance providing food packages, necessary medicines, hygiene kits, medical supplies and other essentials to those who need them, so you can be confident that your donation fulfills the criteria for Zakat al-Fitr.

If you are unsure, please contact Anera or consult with Islamic scholars to confirm that our projects align with zakat guidelines. Anera may provide information on how your donation can be directed specifically for zakat-eligible purposes.

If donating online, please donate here. If donating via check, through the phone, or another way, please be sure to include a verbal or written designation “for zakat.”

Many charitable organizations, including Anera, provide donation receipts. Ensure that you request a receipt specifying that your donation is Zakat, as this may be required for record-keeping and accountability.

While there is a preference for giving zakat locally to support the immediate community, it is permissible to distribute zakat internationally, especially if there are urgent humanitarian needs in other places, like Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan.