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Frequently Asked Questions 

Learn more about USA for UNHCR’s Islamic Philanthropy giving. 

What is Ramadan?

The month of Ramadan is one of the most sacred and blessed times for Muslims around the world. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and historically, the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. During this month, observant Muslims fast (abstaining from eating or drinking from dawn to sunset), share gratitude to God, and observe commitment to those less fortunate through charitable giving known as zakat and sadaqah. 

How can I help refugees this Ramadan?

Every year during Ramadan, USA for UNHCR asks for your support and generosity to help refugees and internally displaced people in need. By contributing to the Refugee Zakat Fund and Sadaqah Fund, you can provide cash assistance, core relief items, life-saving health care and emergency shelter assistance to millions of brothers and sisters who need it. This Ramadan, we encourage you to share the blessings of the Holy month to refugees around the world.

I’m not Muslim – can I still give to USA for UNHCR?

Yes! We recognize that our supporters come from all walks of life and offer a variety of ways to give and engage for refugees. Anyone is welcome to give to our many programs, including zakat giving. Additionally, we recognize that many faiths share similar values to zakat and may choose to support through this program.  

What is the 100% zakat distribution policy?

USA for UNHCR is committed to maximizing the power of your zakat. 100 percent of zakat given through the Refugee Zakat Fund is distributed to zakat-eligible refugees and displaced people, meaning that your zakat goes directly to those in need. All indirect support costs are waived for the Refugee Zakat Fund. 

How can I calculate my zakat?

USA for UNHCR has made calculating your zakat easy through our zakat calculator. To determine your contribution, enter your assets and liabilities into our calculator, which will provide the zakat calculation based on current Nisab values. 

What is Nisab?

Nisab is the minimum amount of wealth that a Muslim must possess for one lunar year before they are obligated to give zakat. It is a threshold, referring to the minimum wealth and possessions a Muslim must own before being obligated to pay zakat. 

Measures of Nisab are traditionally done in gold and silver, and therefore must be made equivalent to today’s monetary value. 

How will my support make a difference?

UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund meets the humanitarian needs of zakat-eligible refugees and displaced people. Your support ensures that refugees have access to their basic needs and are empowered to focus on their futures. UNHCR has a 100 percent zakat distribution policy, meaning that 100 percent of your zakat goes directly to refugees.  

What zakat categories do refugees fall under?

Refugees fall under four categories of zakat-eligibility: The Poor (al Fuqara’ ), The Stranded Travellers (Abna’ al Sabeel), The Debtors (al Gharemeen), and The Wayfarers  (Al Masakeen).

Why give zakat through USA for UNHCR?

USA for UNHCR supports the work of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in over 135 countries. As the leading humanitarian organization for the protection of refugees, UNHCR has over 70 years of experience in reaching vulnerable populations with effective aid. UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund is trusted, compliant and effective. UNHCR maintains a detailed database of refugees and can quickly identify vulnerable and qualified Zakat cases. When disaster strikes, UNHCR can quickly transfer and disburse funds to zakat-eligible individuals. UNHCR has a rigorous monitoring and evaluation process to ensure that your zakat makes the most significant impact.  

Learn more about the Refugee Zakat Fund in the  Islamic Philanthropy Annual Report. 

How can I fulfill my other charitable obligations?

In addition to the Refugee Zakat Fund, USA for UNHCR has a rigorous Islamic Philanthropy program to support refugees around the world. You can also fulfill your sadaqah and zakat al-Fitr through USA for UNHCR. Please visit our Islamic Philanthropy page to learn more. 

Please visit our Islamic Philanthropy page to learn more.

Can my organization partner with USA for UNHCR?

If you are interested in becoming a faith-based philanthropy partner, please contact Huda Alawa at

Learn more about USA for UNHCR's Islamic Philanthropy work today.

Ready to make a difference for refugees?

Zakat Donations

One hundred percent of your zakat goes directly to vulnerable families during their times of hardship, supporting their immediate needs and reminding them that you care. 

Sadaqah Donations

Your sadaqah is transformative for a community in need of our collective support, ensuring that families can meet their needs with dignity.