Giving FAQs

 

Here are the most Frequently Asked Questions we’re asked about giving through National Zakat Foundation.

You can select one of the following categories to help you find the answer you’re looking for.

About Zakat and other types of donation

Zakat Calculation

I’m thinking about giving

I’ve given already

How do you distribute my Zakat?

How do you use other kinds of donations?

If your question isn’t covered here, please drop us an email at giversupport@nzf.org.uk and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

About Zakat and other types of donation

What is Zakat?
  • Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims with a certain amount of wealth must give some (2.5%) of that wealth to help other Muslims in need.  
  • Zakat is viewed as a right of those who should receive it, and a necessary act to cleanse the wealth of those able to give it.  
What is Zakat ul Fitr? How much is it?
  • Every Muslim who has food in excess of their needs must give Zakat ul Fitr before Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of the month of RamadanParents/guardians may pay on behalf of their children/dependents. The quantity is described by the Prophet (SAW) as one saa’ of food – equal to four scoops when one puts their hands together.  
  • The equivalent amount of money is £5.  
What is Fidyah? How much is it?
  • Fidyah is paid when a person is unable to fast and will not be able to make it up (e.g due to long term illness) 
  • The amount is £5 for each missed fast: this can provide one person with meal. 
What is Kaffarah? How much is it?
  • Kaffarah is paid when a person misses or breaks their fast without reason. If you can’t fast continuously for 60 daysyou must pay kaffarah for each missed/broken fast.  
  • The amount is £300 for each missed/broken fastthis can provide 60 people with a meal at a rate of £5 per person. 
Is my duty to pay Zakat fulfilled the moment I have given it, or only when it is received by the individual in need?
  • Your Zakat obligation is fulfilled once NZF has received it.  
  • This is because NZF UK is set up to represent recipients and act in the interests of the recipients through an agency agreement signed by applicants. When NZF receives your Zakat payment, NZF are taking receipt on behalf of the applicant.  

Zakat Calculation

What has happened to my login account?

When we redeveloped our website early last year, we had to suspend the account feature temporarily. This means you can’t access your calculation and donation history yourself at the moment. 

We plan to relaunch a new account system for our Zakat givers later this year.

In the meantime, we have created a new calculation save feature which emails a copy of your calculation to you and provides a link for your to continue where you left off. You can try it out here: https://nzf.org.uk/zakat-calculator/ Just click on the ‘Save’ button at any time during your calculation.

I’m thinking about giving

What is the National Zakat Foundation (NZF)?
  • NZF enables individual Muslims in the UK to give Zakat to individual Muslims who need support here in the UK: unlocking the potential of those held back by their financial circumstances and helping to get their lives back on track.  
  • NZF does this through running an online ecosystem with a national reach.  
  • NZF supports donors with calculation of their Zakat; enables donors to choose the fund they wish to give to and whether they wish to use any of their Zakat to contribute towards the cost of getting it to the individuals in need; accepts and vets applications and distributes Zakat through cash grants to those eligible; and tracks the donation.  
  • You can get more information NZF, the team and how we work on our website here: https://nzf.org.uk/about-nzf/
How do I know I can trust you with my Zakat?
  • We’re committed and consistent: NZF has many years of experience in getting your Zakat to individual Muslims in need across the UK.   We helped over 13,000 people in need in 2020. We’ve helped nearly 30,000 people in need since 2011. See Your Impact for more details. 
  • We’re transparent: Our processes and criteria are publicly available, have a look at our funds here. We provide regular, clear updates on how and where we are giving out Zakat overall through Zakat Live. We now give you a personalised update about who your Zakat has been able to help (with no names given of course!). Learn more about ZakaTracker here.
  • Other givers are convinced: Over 7,500 givers in the UK trust us with their Zakat. In 2020, Islamic Relief have been so satisfied with the way we distributed £150,000 of their givers’ Zakat that they gave us a further £200,000 Zakat to distribute. See more information our work with Islamic Relief here.
  • Scholars endorse us: Our approach to distributing Zakat is certified as sound by the UK Islamic Shariah Council and Markaz al-Iftaʾ wa’l-Qadaʾ, the Centre for Religious Rulings & Mediation. Mufti Faraz Adam from NZF Worldwide and Mufti Amjad from Markaz al-Iftaʾ wa’l-Qada check and advise on our distribution regularly. See our certifications here.
  • We’ve been awarded a 4-star rating by external evaluator Charity Clarity. The evaluator has rated all Charities evaluated by them on average as 3-star, and Muslim charities they deem to be comparable also 3-star.
  • The external auditor approves of the way we do things: Every year the auditor has given us a clearly positive (“unqualified”) audit opinion about our financesOur auditor – top charity auditor Sayer Vincent – describes our governance as ‘strong’. Here’s a link to our Annual Report
Is your Zakat service verified by scholars or scholarly institutions?
  • Since NZF began, NZF has rigorously ensured our faith is at the heart of all we do. We’ve worked with in-house and independent Islamic scholars, experts, and practitioners to define our Zakat policies, which are both rooted in our faith and relevant to our time and place. We’re confident our policies meet the most conservative view of how Zakat should be used. 
  • Our approach is certified as sound by the UK Islamic Shariah Council and Markaz al-Iftaʾ wa’l-Qadaʾ, the Centre for Religious Rulings & Mediation.   
How can I donate to NZF?

There are many options to help you give to NZF.

Give online via our website. This is the easiest way to support those in need in the UK. We accept all major credit and debit cards including AMEX.

Give by Direct Debit. Pay your Zakat in advance throughout the year by giving either the 1st or 15th of every month by Direct Debit on our website.

Give by Bank Transfer.

Account name: National Zakat Foundation (NZF)
Bank: Lloyds Bank
Account Number: 39663968
Sort code: 30-84-12

IBAN: GB64 LOYD 3084 1239 6639 68
Swift code: LOYDGB21744

If you are giving by Bank transfer, please also fill in the Giving Form.

Give by cheque. Send a cheque made payable to National Zakat Foundation to National Zakat Foundation, Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX. Download and complete our Giving Form and send it together with the cheque. We can then confirm receipt of your giving.

Give by Payroll Giving Give As You Earn (GAYE Scheme) – If you’re an employee, payroll giving allows you to give to NZF via your pay. Payroll giving allows you to choose how much you want to give and the charities you want to support. The giving comes out of your gross pay meaning the tax you would have paid on your giving also goes to NZF. The scheme is easy to opt in and out of, giving you full control over your giving. Contact your employer to set up payroll giving . Employers are sometimes willing to match your giving which will allow your giving to go further. If they do not have a suitable scheme in place, they can set one up free of charge, by contacting an approved Payroll Giving Agency, like Charities Aid Foundation or Charities Trust. If you need any help, please email us at giversupport@nzf.org.uk

Give by phone – During Ramadan, you can call our 24-hour telephone line (03333 125 125) with your credit card details. For further details, check the website in Ramadan.

 

Are donations I make online by credit/debit card and Direct Debit Safe?
  • Yes, your details are safe. When donating online you’ll be connected to a secure server, which is indicated by the padlock symbol in the address bar.
  • We use the latest payment encryption technologies including SCA and PSD2.
Are donations I make online to NZF by Direct Debit safe?
  • Yes, your details are safe.  
  • The bank Direct Debit Guarantee will guarantee a refund to anyone who has an unauthorised amount debited from their account.   
Can I give my Zakat to help people in my local area?
  • You can choose how your Zakat is split across our three funds (Hardship Relief, Housing & Work, Education).
  • We can show you how many people we have been able to help in your area, thanks to the Zakat you and other donors have given.
  • We’re making improvements to the way we get your Zakat to those in need all the time. Right now, we’re not able to offer you the choice to give to a specific geographical area. We hope we can make this possible at some point in the future.
Can I give just some of my Zakat through NZF?
  • You can choose how much of your Zakat you give to people in need through NZF. Even if you give just a small part of your overall Zakat through NZF, you’ll know it’s making a difference for Muslims where you live. 
  • If you choose to pay your Zakat through NZF, you can choose how much goes to each of our three distribution funds: hardship relief, housing & work, and education. 
Can I give to NZF in any other way apart from with Zakat?
  • You can make a one-off or regular donation of Sadaqah (voluntary donation). Every £1 of Sadaqah can raise over £5 of Zakat, helping NZF to help even more Muslims in need.  
  • You can give your Riba (interest). 
  • You can give Fidyah/Kaffarah 
  • In Ramadan, you can give Zakat-ul-Fitr. 
  • You can spread the word about what NZF does to friends, family, and other people you know, either in person or on social media. 
Do I need to add Gift Aid to my donation?
  • If you can add Gift Aid your donation, it increases the value of your donation by 25% at no extra cost to you. £1 becomes worth £1.25. If you are a UK taxpayer, choose to ‘Gift Aid’ your donation (by checking the box online or ticking the box on a donation form) so your donation will go even further. 
  • Gift Aid can be added to your donation if you are donating your own money. Gift Aid can’t be added to your donation if you are paying donations you collected from others, even if everyone was a UK taxpayer. Gift Aid can’t be added to your donation if the donation is a company donation.   
  • For NZF to claim the tax you have paid on your donations, you must have paid income or capital gains tax (in the UK) equal to the tax that will be claimed by all the charities that you donate to (currently 25p for every £1 you give) in the same tax year. By ticking the box, you agree that you are eligible to claim Gift Aid as explained above and that we can treat this donation, any donations made in the last 4 years and future donations as Gift Aid and that you understand that if you pay less Income Tax and / or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in that tax year it is your responsibility to pay any difference. 

I’ve given already

Can I have a statement of donations I’ve made to NZF?

If you’d like a statement of your donations to NZF, just drop us an email at giversupport@nzf.org.uk with your full name and email address and we’ll send over a PDF statement for your records.  

What has happened to my login account?

When we redeveloped our website early last year, we had to suspend the account feature temporarily. This means you can’t access your calculation and donation history yourself at the moment. 

We plan to relaunch a new account system for our Zakat givers later this year. 

In the meantime, we have created a new calculation save feature which emails a copy of your calculation to you and provides a link for your to continue where you left off. You can try it out here: https://nzf.org.uk/zakat-calculator/ Just click on the ‘Save’ button at any time during your calculation.

I paid online but I have not received a receipt for my payment?

It can take up to an hour for your receipt to arrive in your email inbox. Sometimes the email does end up in the junk/spam mail folder, so please check it did not end up there. 

Please email giversupport@nzf.org.uk with your full name, date of donation, amount and type of donation for a PDF copy of your donation receipt.

Can I change my Zakat allocation preferences once I have donated?

Yes, but only within 7 days. After 7 days we would have already allocated your donation to those in need based on your previous preferences. We can’t change it after this stage.  

I made a business donation; how do I get a business receipt?

Please send an email with your company name and address to giversupport@nzf.org.uk a PDF receipt will be emailed to you. 

I make a regular donation by Direct Debit. Can I change the amount I give?

Yes, you can do this by emailing giversupport@nzf.org.uk. Please include your name, address and reference number if you have this. Let us know the new amount you would like to give and when you want this new arrangement to start. We will send you an email to confirm the change.  

You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society but please also notify us at giversupport@nzf.org.uk 

I’ve changed my mind about Gift Aid – what do I do?

Please email giversupport@nzf.org.uk with your full name and address. Let us know if you are no longer eligible, wish to cancel this declaration, change your name or home address or if you no longer pay enough tax on your income and / or capital gains.  

How do I cancel my Direct Debit donation?

Get in touch with your bank or building society. It would be helpful if you could let us know at giversupport@nzf.org.uk 

How do you distribute my Zakat?

Why do you use 10% of my Zakat to fund the cost of getting it to recipients?
  • We give your Zakat directly to people in need who apply for Zakat.   
  • On your behalf, we check the person who applies for your Zakat is eligible for Zakat, we make sure the support we give them is what they need, and we pay any process costs (for example, costs of vouchers for those who don’t have bank accounts).  
  • If you want to choose the option “make my Zakat 100%” and give a 10% add-on of sadaqah to cover thcosts of this service, we’ll make sure 100% of your Zakat goes to people in need. Or if you prefer, we’ll use 10% of your Zakat to cover the costs of this service. 
  • Your Zakat is 100% valid whichever option you choose.   
  • As it says in the Qur’an (9:60): Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. 
  • Scholars have developed NZF’s Zakat Distribution Policy. This policy has been certified as sound by UK’s Islamic Shari’a Council and by Mufti Amjad Mohammed of Markaz al-Iftaʾ wa’l-Qada. You can find more information and the certificates here: https://nzf.org.uk/about-nzf/policies/ 
How can I get 100% of my Zakat to the individual recipient?
  • If you want 100% of your Zakat to get individuals in need, we can make this happen. Choose the option “make my Zakat 100%” and then give an add-on of Sadaqah equal to 10% of your Zakat. The 10% add-on covers the people and process costs of getting your Zakat to the recipient. We’ll make sure 100% of your Zakat is received by individuals in need.  
  • If you don’t choose this option, we’ll make sure 90% of your Zakat is received by people in need. The other 10% will be used to cover the people and process costs of getting your Zakat to the recipient. 
  • Note your Zakat is 100% valid whichever option you choose.   
When will my Zakat be given to people in need?

We make sure your Zakat goes out to Muslims in need in the UK within 11.5 months (a lunar year).  

And we’ll update you when that happens.  

People in need apply for Zakat throughout the year. So even though most of our donors like to give Zakat in Ramadan, we need to be able to give out Zakat funds to people in need throughout the year.   

This means that it might take a few months for your Zakat to be given out to people in need.  

Why do people in the UK need Zakat? Why do you only give to people in the UK?
  • There is a genuine need to give Zakat in the UK. Many Muslims in the UK live in poverty. 50% of Muslim households are in poverty, compared to 18% of the general population. And many scholars, leaders and community champions struggle to do their work for the Muslim community due to lack of training and investment.  
  • We help people who give Zakat (who are almost all) in the UK to get their Zakat directly to people in need in the UK. We have more of a responsibility to those who are closest to us; we also know and understand the details of their situation better than we can know and understand the situation of those who are further away; and we are in a better position to know how to help those who are closer to us. We are running a positive ecosystem, helping us all towards a thriving, closer community 
Do you help people who are on benefits? Aren’t benefits enough?

We do help people on benefits. Sometimes, benefits are not enough for individuals and families who have been affected by a recent change in their living situation. 

Why do you give financial support only to Muslims?
  • Zakat is a specific type of charitable giving. It is obligatory giving by Muslims. There are guidelines on how Zakat can be given out.  
  • While voluntary giving can be given out more widely, the scholarly consensus is that Zakat should be given to Muslims in need.  
  • There’s also a practical need to support Muslims in the UK, as many issues around poverty and social welfare disproportionately affect the Muslim community.  
Why do you use Zakat to also help those seeking education and training, not only those in great hardship?
  • We use most of the Zakat we receive to support people who are in financial need. 
    However, a key aim of Zakat is to uplift the Muslim community and bring about positive, lasting change in Muslim society. So, one of the eight groups eligible to receive Zakat are those striving for the cause of Islam. 
  • In the UK, many people see Islam as incompatible with mainstream society and, at the same time, many Muslims are finding it hard to hold onto their faith. There’s a clear need to train and invest in Muslim religious leaders and other community champions who can help the Muslim community. 
  • Every individual giving their Zakat through NZF can choose how much of their Zakat will go to help people in hardship, people in need of housing or work support, and community leaders/champions applying for financial help with education and training.  
Do you fund organisations as well as individuals?
  • We no longer use Zakat income to fund institutions. Our focus is on helping individual Muslims in need. This makes practical sense and fits better with what our supporters have told us about their priorities.  
  • You are of course free to support organisations directly.
How do you make sure those who apply genuinely need my Zakat?
  • Wunderstand how important it is to make sure Zakat givers can trust that their Zakat is being given out to those who genuinely need it and in a way which is religiously sound.  
  • We meticulously ensure that only applicants who should be receiving it are given ZakatWe take a proportionate approach, weighing up the cost and time of checks with the value of the financial support. 
  • For applicants to all fundswe check their identity. We insist applicants provide proof of their identity. We check their documentation is genuine.   
  • For applicants to all funds, we check their financial situation. We insist applicants provide bank statements. Again, we check they are genuine.  
  • If there is any doubt as to whether a person qualifies for Zakat based on the information they’ve given us, our experienced Grants Officers will ask the applicant more questions before making a decision.  
  • For applicants to the Education fundwhere the value of financial support we give is higher, we make extra checks. We ask for references and check that the individual is aligned with the values of the organisation and does not pose a risk to the interests of the Muslim community.  
  • We also work with independent scholarly panels to make sure our Zakat policies are religiously sound and effective. 
How can you be sure that the applicant discloses all the necessary information? Do you check whether they have other bank accounts or other adults in their household?
  • As part of the application process, applicants have to provide 3 months of bank statements for all their accounts.  
  • We check bank statements provided for information which may indicate that the applicant has other accounts. These checks include: 
  • We check to see if any stated income (like benefits) are present in the bank statement provided. If they are not, we request bank statements for the account which is receiving the income.  
  • We check for any bank transfers made from the account to another account in the applicant’s name. This can indicate a savings account which has not been declared. 
  • Walso request financial information about a person’s spouse so we can assess the situation of the family. Children above 18 are not included in the grant provided, however they can apply separately if they need help. 
How do you ensure the safeguarding of applicants for Zakat?
  • All staff have read and understood our Safeguarding policy. All staff have signed to that effect.  
  • All communication between NZF staff and applicants is by text, email, or phone. We record and log all text, email and phone interaction with applicants.  
  • If staff become aware of an issue, a staff member reports it to the Director of Operations who makes sure all relevant facts are identified and documented, takes agreed action in consultation with relevant people, and reports the incident to the Board. The Safeguarding Trustee is involved if/when needed.  
  • We have a complaints policy for applicants which is available on the website https://nzf.org.uk/applicants-complaints-policy/, which we follow. 
What kinds of things does my Zakat help recipients with?

Your Zakat helps Muslims in need in the UK by giving them food, clothing, a roof over their heads, skills for work, and education to build knowledge and skills in our emerging religious leaders and other community champions.  

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 
  • debt relief 
  • Post-graduate education courses 
  • training 
Is the money donated given in cash to the eligible recipients?

For recipients applying to the Hardship fund, Zakat is distributed to eligible recipients directly. For most recipients, we deposit in in their verified bank account. For applicants that don’t have bank accounts, we give vouchers. 

For recipients applying to other funds, we give it directly wherever appropriate, or in kind (for example, furniture), or to the landlord (for rent), or to the relevant third party (e.g. for course fees). 

What can I do if I know a Muslim in need?

If you know someone who needs to receive Zakat, let them know they can apply online for support https://nzf.org.uk/apply-for-zakat/. You can help them apply if they need help.

How do you use other kinds of donations?

How do you use Sadaqah?

We use donations of Sadaqah (voluntary giving) to help us raise more funds. Each £1 of Sadaqah can raise over £5 of Zakat, making the impact of those donations even greater.

We don’t use Zakat to raise funds.

How do you use Zakat-ul-Fitr?

We make sure your 100% of your Zakat-ul-Fitr goes directly to people in need who apply to the Hardship Fund for support and who we assess as eligible for help. As long as we get your contribution in time, we distribute it to people in need during Ramadan and before Eid.

How do you use Riba?
  • We use Riba to help towards core costs of the organisation, which in addition to Sadaqa funds enable us to stay sustainable. We have scholarly support for this policy.
  • We do not give Riba to people in need of support – they receive Zakat.
  • We keep track of each income type meticulously. We use different bank accounts, to keep the income to be used for grant support separate from other income.
How much do you spend on admin?

In 2019 (the latest audited figures), of every £1 NZF spent, 90p went on supporting people in need. 5p went on raising funds to invest in the future. 5p went on support and governance to make sure the charity is run well.

Why aren’t all staff salaries funded out of Gift Aid?
  • We use Gift Aid from donors that ask us to claim back Gift Aid to help run the organisation. We use Gift Aid to pay for the salaries of staff that support the organisation, including Marketing and Finance. We use Gift Aid to pay for regular costs such as IT and professional services such as audit fees. We also use Gift Aid towards maintaining and developing the technology to provide a great service to applicants and donors. We review our costs and make every effort to keep all our costs to a minimum.
  • Many donors are not able to ask us to claim back Gift Aid on their donation.
  • We do not receive enough Gift Aid right now to cover the salaries of those staff whose job it is to get your Zakat to those who need it.

Helping you bring Zakat
to life where you live.

 

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