Safe giving this Ramadan
The Muslim Charities Forum estimated that British Muslims donated a staggering £130 million during Ramadan last year. When figures are this high, you can be sure of two things. One, there will be a lasting and significant positive impact for beneficiaries. Two, it will attract the attention of criminals looking for a way to take advantage of the generosity of donors.
By taking sensible precautions, you can ensure that your precious Zakat does not end up in the wrong hands this Ramadan.
Check your Charity: Before giving, check the charity registration number on the charity register.
- If donating through an online fundraising platform, check it is registered with the Fundraising Regulator.
- Never share your bank details over the phone or online, even if the person you are dealing with claims to be from a charity.
- Never transfer money to people you met online or who cold called you, even if they claim to be from a charity.
- Never click on links you are not sure of – particularly shortened hyperlinks which can take you to hidden web addresses.
These tips are all designed to keep you safe online, which is where most donations will be made this year. However, if current restrictions are lifted, you may find yourself face-to-face with collectors. If this is the case:
- Always be more cautious of people collecting for general charitable causes, such as ‘for sick children’. Make sure they are from a registered charity; they are wearing a proper ID badge and that their collection tin is sealed and undamaged.
- Always ask the collector for more information if in doubt. If they are genuine, they will be more than happy to answer questions and explain more about the work of the charity.
- Always check if a collector has authority to collect – if they are raising money in a public place, they will need a permit or license. Collections in Mosques should be authorised by the trustees of the charity.
- Never feel under pressure to donate immediately.
Zakat – or the donation of money to those in need – is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a compulsory act of worship that requires Muslims of sound mind and means at a certain threshold (Nisab) to donate a proportion of it to help others.
If you’re unsure if you qualify to give Zakat, or what level of Zakat to pay, check out our online Zakat Calculator.