Al Rayan Bank announces charity partners for 2015

07 July 2015

Al Rayan Bank, formerly Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), has announced its two official charity partners for 2015. The Bank has named Human Appeal as its Overseas Charity Partner and the National Zakat Foundation (NZF) as its Zakat* Education Partner.

Human Appeal is a British international development and relief charity based in Manchester. The charity has a presence in 25 countries, spanning Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Human Appeal has been delivering humanitarian assistance for 24 years, and, in addition to providing aid in times of crisis, the charity’s sustainable development projects promote self-sufficient and empowered communities in some of the world’s poorest nations.

The National Zakat Foundation (NZF) launched in 2011, and since then has collected over £2.4 million of Zakat – a payment for charitable causes that Muslims are obliged to make every year if their wealth exceeds a certain threshold. It has used the money to support 2,280 individuals and families in need in the UK, and launch four supported housing projects. The charity's beneficiaries include the homeless, refugees, asylum seekers, ex-offenders, single parents and victims of domestic abuse.

Sultan Choudhury, CEO, Al Rayan Bank, said: “We are privileged to be working with Human Appeal and the National Zakat Foundation – two outstanding British charities. Charitable donations and Zakat payments enable Muslims to physically and spiritually purify their wealth which exceeds what they need to provide the essentials to themselves and their families. By working with charitable organisations such as Human Appeal and NZF, we believe that we can not only foster a greater understanding of Zakat but also deliver real and immediate help to those less fortunate than ourselves – both at home and abroad.”

This is the first year that Al Rayan Bank has partnered with Human Appeal, one of the UK’s fastest growing charities and the Bank is supporting the charity by giving it a platform to communicate with its customers through mailings, branches and online. Othman Moqbel, CEO of Human Appeal, said, “We are delighted that Al Rayan Bank has chosen Human Appeal as its official Overseas Charity Partner for the year. Human Appeal is about more than just words, the work we do saves lives. From providing clean water sanitation systems to responding to humanitarian disasters, this partnership will enable us to help even more people around the world.”

This is the fourth year that Al Rayan Bank has partnered with NZF, and together they will continue to promote a greater understanding of Zakat amongst British Muslims, building upon existing knowledge by providing online and in-branch Zakat education resources for the Bank’s customers. As part of the agreement Al Rayan Bank will communicate Zakat educational messages to its customers through a range of online and offline channels.

Zakat shares a common purpose with the principles of Islamic finance, which is to provide an ethical and socially responsible financial system for the Muslim community. Islamic finance achieves this with partnership-based financial principles which operate without interest (Riba) and speculation. Zakat achieves this by empowering communities through the redistribution of wealth.

Iqbal Nasim, Chief Executive of the National Zakat Foundation said, “NZF is proud to be working with Al Rayan Bank again this year. By doing so we are able to raise awareness of our efforts to help those who are eligible to receive Zakat within the UK Muslim community. In addition, with a focus on education and calculation support, the aim is to encourage Zakat payers to understand this important pillar of Islam better and calculate their Zakat accurately.”

As a result of the partnership, Al Rayan Bank customers have access to a number of resources, including a Zakat payment service which enables customers, and non-customers, to make a donation to any charity with an Al Rayan Bank account, through any Al Rayan Bank branch or over the telephone.

*Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam which mandates upon all Muslims to annually pay a fixed portion of their wealth, above a minimum threshold, to those in need. The purpose of Zakat is to purify the wealth held by individuals to attain socio-economic justice.

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