The Zakat and Sadaqat Fund of The Companion, an association of Muslim men in business and the professions) on Sunday, 25th July 27, 2021, empowered several individuals and groups with its Zakat proceeds.
At the ceremony held at the Old Secretariat Mosque, Oba Akinjobi Way, opposite Police College, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, cheques and empowerment equipment were distributed to no fewer than 97 beneficiaries.
Chapters of the association in Kwara, Osun, Oyo, Cross River States and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja had earlier made similar disbursement to about 100 beneficiaries and with the Lagos program, the total sum expended was N30 million.
Top among the beneficiary organizations were Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Academy for Islamic Propagation (ACADIP), Nobleheart Children Foundation and United for Kids.
National President of The Companion, Alhaji Thabit Sonaike, in his address of welcome noted that Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam, yet, it is the most neglected by many Muslims.
He said the negligence is out of ignorance for some, while for others, it is out of carelessness. Alhaji Sonaike added that “On the other hand, there are also many needy Muslims in various categories such as widows, orphans, the sick, poor, indigent, etc who also genuinely need assistance to cope with the vicissitudes of life, especially at a time when Nigeria is touted as the poverty capital of the world and Muslims are arguably the greatest victims of the poverty index.
“The need to, therefore, channel support to our Muslim brothers and sisters in line with the Shari’ah, prompted The Companion to create this platform. We are aware that a few other Muslim organisations are engaged in the collection and distribution of Zakat, but the truth is that, given our population and spread, we really need more of such organisations to genuinely reach out to both the givers and the takers.
“We also need the expertise which is lacking in most Muslim organisations. At The Companion, we are committed to poverty alleviation among Muslims and Zakat as ordained by Allah, is a veritable instrument to achieve this goal as it provides both spiritual and material benefits for everybody involved.”
The Chairman of the occasion and CEO, Jaiz Zakat and Waqf Foundation, Dr Abdullah Shuaib, in his opening speech urged the beneficiaries to sincerely utilise the proceeds they were given.
He stressed that “According to the Prophet, the believers are like a body. When one part is in pain, the other parts feel it. The Companion has seen and shared our pains and decided to ameliorate the situation through this Zakat fund distribution ceremony.
“The money and materials you get should be well utilised and not sold. No matter how little, you should be sincere with it, as it is enough to ameliorate your situation and after a while, which is our prayer and owing to what we have seen, you will become a payer of Zakat to other less privileged in the society.”
Chairman, The Companion Zakat Fund Committee Imam Nojeem Jimoh explaining the process of picking the beneficiaries said “The screening process begins with announcement of Zakat distribution through a public announcement, which we do on yearly basis. A Google form was designed and available on the public space and people are free to fill. That is the first step. Then we conducted interviews with the applicants to be sure they are telling us the truth.”
He added that “Across the nation, we have 197 but here in Lagos today, we have 97 individuals, 15 additional individuals in the business category receiving 500,000 naira and 4 charitable organisations.”