The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II has described Zakat as a veritable tool to fight poverty in the society.
Emir Sanusi made this remarks during the distribution of zakat by Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation at the Emir’s Palace in Kano.
The Renaissance reports that no fewer than 100 women benefitted from the gesture.
Some of the items distributed include sowing and grinding machines, deep freezers and cash.
If zakat is properly coordinated, the revered traditional ruler said, it has the potency to reducing poverty in the country.
He recalled that during the regime of Second Caliph, Umar bn Khattab and fifth Caliph Umar ibn AbdulAziz, no one was poor enough in their communities to receive Zakat because the one distributed in the previous year has made them to be self-reliant.
The money, he said, were sent to other countries.
“The same feat can be repeated during our own time if the rich people are paying their Zakat as at when due and are paying the exact amount and these funds were administered by competent and God-fearing people, it has the power to eliminate poverty.
“We have a model that has been practicalised,” he said.
Emir Sanusi emphasised that “Islam is a practical religion”.
He hailed the Jazi Bank for establishing the foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and social work.
He thanked the foundation for bringing the distribution to Kano and given consideration to the women.
Emir Sanusi urged the beneficiaries to make good use of items distributed to them.
This, he said, will ensure they make a good impact in the metropolis.
“The number of people that would be dependable will be reduced to the barest minimum level so that we can a peaceful society that will aid development,” he said.
Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation Director/Chief Executive Officer Imam Abdullahi Shuaib said the foundation made the distribution for women only to tackle poverty at the grass root.
“The focus of the intervention is basically for the economic empowerment of these women. Some of them are widows, some are married and some of them are singles. The total worth of the Zakat we gave out is N5 million and this amount covers items such as 41 sowing machines, 50 grinding machines and eight deep freezers. Cash was given to other women basically for their economic empowerment,” he said.
According to him, men have benefitted in previous editions and would be considered for further disbursement.
Shuaib said: “After conducting our need assessment, we discover that the number of people that required supports is majorly women and very few numbers of men.
“On the second thought, these women are equally people that need maximum support.
“Without any prejudice to the men because we believe the men also need support but the women need more support than the men.
“What we have done was to raise the standard of living of the women and ensure that the women themselves take the lead in terms of raising the awareness of economic empowerment or entrepreneurship skill development to be able to bring something on the table.”
The foundation chief advised them to judicious use of the items and the fund they have been given.
“They should not squander them, they should sell the items; they should not equally use the items as a collateral to collect money somewhere such that if they are unable to pay, they will forgo the items but rather they should see the item like a ladder which they need to climb to a greater height.
“They can equally attain economic freedom and self-sustainability.
“That is the only way through which we can feel the impact of the Zakat that is being given out and that is also the way through which we can show that zakat is having a positive impact in our society as well as on individuals.”
Director of Islamic Civilisation at the Bayero University, Kano, Dr Bashiru Aliyu Umar, said that by supporting women, the Foundation was indirectly supporting.
“Women are the ones taking care of the children and the problem that we have in the area of malnutrition, health problems and the lack of education, the moment you empower our women, you get the solutions to this problems,” Umar said.
The society, he said, should emulate Jaiz’s gesture making use of their Zakat for empowerment not just by distributing some handouts to the people but making it in a way that will serve as empowerment.
He enjoined the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of Zakat institution.
“They got the items to make them create a sustainable source of income for themselves and take care of their children.
“They will move out of the level of poverty to richness and wealth,” he said.
He commended the foundation for the intervention, urging them to monitor the beneficiaries to achieve the desired objectives.