Learn more about the significance of giving Zakat,
who is eligible to receive it and how to calculate your total Zakat.
This year, many refugee families will be observing the holy month of Ramadan in extreme poverty and away from their homes. Your support can help them cover their immediate needs and restore hope for a better future. Whether through Zakat or Sadaqah, it only takes a few seconds to share the blessings this Ramadan.
The majority of the world’s 26 million refugees fall under at least four of the eight Zakat categories mentioned in Qur’an 9:60. Through its Zakat initiative, the UN Refugee Agency has created an efficient, compliant and trusted option to support vulnerable families while helping people fulfill their giving obligations.
All of UNHCR’s Zakat donations are strictly channeled through cash and in-kind assistance programs delivered to the most vulnerable refugees and internally displaced families, including those in hard-to-reach areas like Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Mauritania, Nigeria and Bangladesh.
Zakat is mandatory for all Muslim adults who reach the Nisab threshold and can be given anytime during the year. You can use USA for UNHCR’s calculator to determine how much Zakat you need to give based on currency and assets like gold, silver, cash or stocks.
UNHCR's Refugee Zakat Fund is compliant and backed by five fatwas from leading scholars and institutions, which mention three essential points:
The majority of today’s refugees and IDPs (approximately 60%) fall under four of the eight Zakat categories:
- The Poor (Al Foqara’)
- The Needy (Al Masakeen)
- The Debtors (Al Gharimin)
- The Stranded Travellers or Wayfarers (Abna’ Al Sabeel)
All of Zakat funds are given to the most vulnerable families. Any operational costs associated with the distribution of Zakat donations are covered by other sources.
UNHCR is on the ground aiding refugees families, but resources are stretched too thin. Your Zakat gift can offer hope for a safe future.
Sadaqah is an act of solidarity to protect and support the most vulnerable families so they can meet their most basic needs. Sadaqah Jariyah refers to specific projects - such as the provision of shelter, access to clean water, medical care, nutritious food and counseling – that deliver sustainable support to those in need. Sadaqah can also be given on behalf of loved ones that have passed away.
How your Zakat can help refugees
This is how refugees celebrate Ramadan
Zakat is mandatory giving required of Muslims who are financially able. Donations are calculated as a proportion of an individual’s wealth from specific sources - including livestock, savings, trade goods, crops and minerals - and given to eligible recipients in need.
Zakat is is an integral part of the Muslim faith and one of the five pillars of Islam - along with prayer (salat), fasting (sawn), pilgrimage (hajj) and the profession of faith (shahada).
According to the Qur’an there are eight categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakat: "Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them [Zakat], those whose hearts are to be reconciled, captives, debtors, in the cause of Allah, and wayfarers...“ The majority of the world’s 26 million refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) fall under at least four of these categories: the poor, the needy, the debtors and the wayfarers.
Zakat funds have the potential to transform the lives of refugees and other displaced people around the world. In 2020, the Refugee Zakat Fund for Refugees expanded its reach to assist refugee and displaced families in Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Bangladesh, Mauritania and Nigeria. Zakat was also distributed in other countries such as Pakistan, India, Iraq and Turkey.
The Refugee Zakat Fund for Refugees is an effective and trusted option to help the most vulnerable refugees – including women-led households and their children - while helping people fulfill their Zakat obligations and ensure all of their donations go to people in need.
All Zakat donations are distributed through cash assistance and gift-in-kind programs. Cash assistance remains one of the most effective ways to help refugee or displaced families to secure their basic needs and live in dignity while ensuring that there are no overhead costs associated with the distribution of Zakat donations. UNHCR uses ATMs, IRIS scan, mobile wallets and other technologies to ensure cash is distributed among eligible recipients.