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Co-Funded Scholarships with the Aziz Foundation

Overview? 
 
The National Zakat Foundation and the Aziz Foundation have teamed up to provide scholarships for Muslims in the UK pursuing postgraduate studies.  We recognise the role of academics, professionals and practitioners in the advancement of the Muslim community and wider society. The Aziz Foundation/NZF co-funded scholarships are an affirmation of our collective commitment to building people who have the talent and drive to better not only themselves, but the community around them as well.  
 
Who we are  
 
Aziz Foundation
 
The Aziz Foundation is a family charitable foundation established in 2015. We are an independent grant-making body, that focuses on?identifying and addressing the challenges faced by British disadvantaged communities. We are driven to help develop new leadership from within these communities, and enabling them to participate positively in wider society. Our key objectives are pursued through three major work streams: Community Empowerment, Leadership Development, and Public Engagement. Our guiding philosophy and key principle of operation is to make strategic interventions to catalyse and energise change and development, and do to this in partnership and collaboration with others.  
 
National Zakat Foundation 
 
NZF is now in its 6th year of providing Zakat services to the Muslim community in the UK. We aim to provide Zakat recipients with holistic support services, addressing not only their essential needs, but also empowering recipients to maintain their own financial security, personal well-being and connection to God through services including counselling, advice, mediation and educational courses.?To date, we have received over 6000 applications for support, established 4 supported housing projects and distributed almost £6m to those eligible for support within the community. Our direct interactions with those in need have strongly positioned us to better understand the many challenges facing the Muslim community.  
Zakat Funding 
 
The AF/NZF scholarships are funded utilising Zakat contributions collected in the UK. NZF’s policy regarding the distribution of Zakat is that it is distributed in a way that is acceptable according to the standards of traditional Islamic scholarship. The responsible distribution of Zakat means that NZF stipulates specific conditions in our assessment of each application to ensure that the limited zakat funds available are used to give maximum benefit to the Muslim community by spreading the funds as much as possible. ?You can read our Zakat policy here:  
 
Zakat Eligibility? 
 
Zakat is paid to or on behalf of an individual. This means that we are required to assess each individual applicant’s Zakat eligibility before providing support to awardees to pay for tuition fees to the relevant university and to provide an appropriate stipend. ? 

A person is considered to be Zakat eligible if their net financial worth (their Zakatable assets minus their debts, arrears and liabilities) is below the Nisab threshold, which is currently approximately £260. In practice, this mean that the panel will consider an applicant’s assets, debts, regular income and outgoings, as well as short to medium term financial commitments to assess Zakat eligibility. As such, in the process of assessing an application, scholarship candidates will be requested to provide financial information to help the panel determine eligibility and also the level of support required by the individual. ? 
 
Monthly Stipends? 
 
The co-funded scholarships provide tuition fees as well as a regular stipend for the duration of the scholarship. The panel will consider the awardee’s monthly financial requirements for the duration of the scholarship in order to calculate the stipend amount to be paid.? 
 
Zakat Assessment Form 
All shortlisted scholars must complete the NZF Zakat Assessment form which is at?http://apply.nzf.org.uk/. The Zakat Assessment form is designed to gather necessary information for NZF caseworkers to assess the applicant’s Zakat eligibility. ? 
 
How to fill the form  
 
Shortlisted scholars are not required to complete all sections of the online form. For the initial questions in the ‘About this application’ page, candidates should write ‘AF/NZF PhD Scholarship’ or ‘Goldsmiths Masters Scholarship’ as appropriate, in the following fields:
1) Please briefly explain the background and current situation? 
2) Describe how you would like NZF to help? 
 
Also, candidates are not required to complete questions relating to spouses, therefore candidates should answer ‘No’ to the question ‘Do you have a partner?’. ? 
 
It is however important that candidates provide information and evidence related to their finances, including 3 months most recent bank statements. ? 
 
For any support to complete the form, please contact Asif Bhayat asif.bhayat@nzf.org.uk.? 
 
For further information on how Zakat eligibility is assessed, please contact the National Zakat Foundation on?admin@nzf.org.uk.


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