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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the National Zakat Foundation?

The National Zakat Foundation (NZF) gives grants to UK Muslims in poverty for basic essentials like food, clothing, shelter, job training, legal help and debt relief.

This support lets people get on the path to being financially independent, and it allows them to feel confident about their future.

NZF also invests in leading institutions and emerging leaders, such as our future imams, scholars and community activists.

Through this investment, we make real and lasting change by supporting and developing institutions who provide us with guidance for the challenges we face at home, at work and in wider society.

Since our establishment in 2011, we have distributed over £10 million of Zakat to support over 10,000 people in the UK, and we’ve invested in 30 emerging leaders and 6 vital UK projects and institutions.

What is Zakat?

Zakat is a core obligation that requires Muslims to make an annual payment of 2.5% of their qualifying wealth for poverty alleviation, economic empowerment and community development.

The purpose of Zakat is to enable devotion to God to flourish individually and collectively.

Read more on What is Zakat?

Why do we need another charity organisation?

NZF is the only institution that takes a strategic and research-based approach to distributing Zakat.

Our research shows that in order for Zakat distribution to be effective, it must be unified, local, and balanced.

  • Unified: We pool Zakat collection to enable coordinated and measured distribution.
  • Focused: We distribute Zakat in the UK to focus on serving the society and culture we know best.
  • Balanced: We distribute Zakat across the eight categories mentioned in the Qur’an (9:60) in the UK to serve the society we know best and for which we are most responsible.

Our Research department is responsible for forming our Zakat policies, ensuring they’re Islamically sound and relevant to our context and society.

Spearheaded by our in-house Zakat specialist, Mufti Faraz Adam, this department consults with local and global Zakat organisations, scholars, researchers and practitioners who make sure NZF’s Zakat distribution in the UK is effective and legally valid.

Why do we need to distribute Zakat in the UK when we have an established welfare system?

50% of Muslim households in the UK are in poverty, compared to 18% of the general population.

Under the welfare system, application procedures for benefits are time-consuming and applicants often encounter long delays before they’re offered any support. That means it’s common for people to live without basic essentials like food and clothes.

Through our Economic Empowerment Programme, we award financial grants wherever we feel able to improve somebody’s long-term situation.

This support is used to meet the costs of basic essentials and to fund empowerment activities that help people in hardship reduce their expenses or increase their income so that one day, they’ll become Zakat payers themselves.

Since 2011, we’ve distributed £10 million to help over 10,000 people in the UK.

In 2018 alone, we distributed £3.4 million of Zakat and supported over 2,500 people. Our Economic Empowerment Programme accounted for 82% of our work.

Why do we need to invest in Muslim leadership in the UK?

Almost half of British people think Islam is incompatible with the British way of life.

Muslims who are growing up in an increasingly secular Britain are drifting away from Islam and, although they identify as Muslims culturally, they’re less committed to the essence of Islam.

National organisations and advocacy groups that represent Muslims and Muslim organisations are underfunded and therefore have less credibility and influence.

All of this mean there’s a great need to invest in better public perception of Islam and Muslims, as well as religious scholarship and literacy, and effective representation.

At NZF, we tackle this through our Leadership Investment Programme, which invests in leading institutions and emerging Muslim leaders that are working for Islam to flourish in the UK. These leaders and organisations aim to improve one or more of the following:

  • Public perception towards Islam and Muslims in the UK
  • Religious scholarship and religious literacy in the UK
  • The representation of Muslims in the UK

Last year, we invested in 30 emerging leaders and 6 vital UK projects and institutions, which accounted for 18% of our work in 2018.

What type of assistance does the National Zakat Foundation (NZF) give for individuals in poverty?

Through our Economic Empowerment Programme, we award financial grants wherever we feel able to improve somebody’s long-term situation.

This support is used for meeting the costs of basic essentials or funding empowerment activities that help people in hardship reduce their expenses or increase their income.

This includes providing:

  • Food vouchers
  • Emergency accommodation
  • Rent deposits
  • Baby items such as nappies and milk
  • Personal items e.g. clothing and toiletries
  • Essential travel
  • Basic furniture
  • Job training
  • Legal costs
  • Debt relief

Meet the Team

Introducing the people behind the National Zakat Foundation.

How Can You Help?

Find out how your donations help us make a real difference to someone in need. Read our case studies here.