The National Zakat Foundation held its Annual National Summit on Saturday 3 December 2016 at Rydges Bankstown in Bass Hill, Sydney.
The event was attended by a large contingent of NZF volunteers, both males and females from all over Australia as well partners and local community leaders. The overseas keynote speaker was Mr Iqbal Nasim, Chief Executive of National Zakat Foundation, UK.
Starting in 2013, the National Zakat Foundation was a ground breaking initiative to collect Zakat from Australian Muslims and to utilize the funds to provide a lifeline for deserving recipients within Australia.
A volunteer based, registered charity, NZF provides an end-to-end service with respect to Zakat and in doing so aims to contribute to the development of a pious, confident, selfless and self-sufficient community in Australia.
NZF Australia was inspired by well-established sister organisations like NZF UK, NZF Canada and NZF South Africa and has developed links of cooperation and coordination with them.
NZF has six operating offices nationally, two in Sydney, in Liverpool and Lakemba, one in Coburg, Melbourne, one in Bentley, Perth as well as the 2 newly established ones in Brisbane and Adelaide.
The proceedings of the well organised Summit was started off by the M
C, Mr Farooq Syed, the Melbourne based NZF Marketing Manager by welcoming all volunteers and guests and briefly introducing NZF.
Sheikh Abu Bakr Zoud from Al Sunnah Foundation talked on NZF – A daee’s perspective while Sheikh Abu Adnan explained Zakat being pillar of Islam in order to attain Taqwa (consciousness of Allah).
The keynote speaker Mr Iqbal Naseem with his outstanding wealth of knowledge and experience talked on the aims and objectives of Zakat and its implementation in our contemporary society.
“Zakat is a right for the needy and equally important is the purification of wealth by the rich by giving Zakat and administration of the Zakat should have this concern for both groups in order to implement this pillar of Islam in the society”, Mr Naseem said.
He gave a unique analogy of Zakat being filth of the wealthy, that must be given away to stay financially healthy. Just like a cow in the field where it needs to excrete in order to avoid constipation whereby the farmer spreads this waste product in the form of fertiliser in order for plants to grow. This fertilizer is Zakat, plants are the needy, cow is the rich while administrators of Zakat play the role of the farmer.
The CEO of NZF, Mr Abu Muneer Ismail Davids during his address highlighted the achievements of NZF Australia so far and described its future perspectives.
“Alhamdulillah, it has been nearly three and a half years since we started NZF here and by the Mercy of Allah during this period we have grown from 148 cases and $69,800 in Zakat distributed in 2013 to almost 3,000 cases and $2.2 million in Zakat distributed by October 2016”, he said.
Mr Davids further added that NZF was looking in future to work with other partners like TAFE, local councils and interfaith groups on innovative projects like affordable housing, helping domestic violence victims and needs of asylum seekers and refugees.
The audience were also addressed by Mr David Barrow of Sydney Alliance, Soofia Abbas, NZF Caseworker and Amal Hilmi, a local community member.
Zakat payment through NZF is 100% tax deductible and their promise is 100% Zakat distribution for local needs in Australia.