Judging by the flow of cars coming and going to the Red Crescent in Fujairah this last week it appears that the approach of Ramadan has signaled the time for generous giving.
With zakat (زكاة) or giving to charity being one of the five obligatory pillars of Islam, the Red Crescent is an obvious recipient with its international work, especially this year, among earthquake victims in China and those who continue to be ravaged by war and famine in the Sudan.
According to one statement, “It is an obligation on Muslims to pay 2.5% of the wealth which they have had for a full lunar year, 2.5% of goods used for trade, and 5% or 10% of certain type of harvests depending on irrigation. Exempt from Zakat are a person's house and personal transportation.”
With the word 'zakah' deriving from the verb meaning to purify or cleanse, the act of giving is a central part of the preparation process for the holy month of Ramadan.
Dr Geoff Pound
Image: The Red Crescent headquarters in Fujairah’s suburb of Faseel.