Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered on Wednesday the formation of a ‘Zakat’ charity fund, Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website reported.
Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, and requires financially-capable Muslims to give 2.5 percent of their annual income to the poor and needy, on a yearly basis.
Although required by Islam, El-Sisi’s presidential decree doesn’t oblige Egyptian Muslims to pay the Zakat to the new fund.
The fund will be under the direct supervision of Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam and will be a separate legal entity which is also administratively and financially independent.
Egyptians used to give their Zakat money directly to Al-Azhar.
The fund will also receive Sadaqah money, which according to sharia law, is a kind of voluntarily charity unlike Zakat. Donations, subventions and alms can also be received by the new fund.
The fund will be managed by a board of trustees, comprised of Egyptian public figures in the fields of Islamic sharia as well as finance, economy, business management and law.
The presidential decree ordering the formation of the fund states that the directors of the fund should be no less than 15 people and no more than 25, this includes the head of the fund.
The decree mandates that the Zakat money, received by the fund, will be distributed as stipulated by sharia to the poor, the needy, the Zakat collectors themselves, and those in debts, among others.
Source: Ahram Online