An anonymous donor has reportedly doled out N7.5 million to 60 indigent persons in Ibadan on Monday in observance of Zakat, the third of the five pillars of Islam.
According to the Islamic doctrine, Zakat is believed to be mandatory for a Muslim who has at least one million units of his or her local currency as savings in a year to give 2.5 per cent of it to the needy.
In Nigeria where the naira is the legal tender, for instance, a Muslim that has N1 million as savings in a year, is expected to give out N25,000 of the money as Zakat.
The same rate goes for every million the Muslim has as savings. Beneficiaries do not necessarily have to be of Islamic faith.
Those who benefitted from the anonymous donor on Monday got between N100,000 and N200,000 each, based on their individual needs.
Coordinator of the programme, Ismail Saka, said beneficiaries were the infirm, indigent students, orphans and other less-privileged in the community.
Saka explained that the donor handed the money to him in trust for distribution to the needy and was not expecting any form of appreciation from anyone, but from God, whose instruction he obeyed.
He said the payment of Zakat was mandatory for wealthy Muslims to remove 2.5 per cent of their wealth yearly to assist the poor in order to purify their wealth.
He charged Muslims and other people in the society to always have the intention of doing good.
Saka also urged the beneficiaries of the Zakat not to regard themselves as inferior to others, but to be proud beneficiaries.
He charged them to make judicious use of the money so that they too could be givers of Zakat in future.
In a brief lecture delivered at the ceremony, Kamaldeen Bello, president of an Islamic organisation, Tadhamunul Muslimeen, Oyo State, said Zakat was meant to assist the needy.
He said it was also designed by God to reduce poverty in societies.
Bello said Almighty God would definitely reward and multiply the resources of those who obeyed His commandments.
He enjoined givers of Zakat not to ever think that Zakat payment would reduce their wealth.
“Zakat payment purifies wealth and I call on wealthy Muslims to pay their Zakat regularly in order to purify their wealth and get more rewards from God,’’ he said.
He, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to fear God and make use of the money judiciously.
In his remarks, chairman of the occasion, Dr Dawood Alaga, also called on wealthy Muslims and other well-meaning persons to always assist the less-privileged as a way of eradicating poverty.
He urged the wealthy to always remember that their wealth was not of their making, smartness or diligence, but of divine provision by God.
Speaking on behalf of others, one of the beneficiaries (name withheld), prayed for the donor and pledged that the recipients would use the money judiciously.