As Eid-ul-Fitr returns this year, we are reminded how blessed we are to have made it through to experience this Ramadan while being able to help our brothers, sisters and children through challenges most of us are sheltered from.

As Ramadan passes each year, we see how many Muslims are empowered by the Zakat we receive and distribute to help those who are severely afflicted by what we wouldn’t imagine someone in Australia to experience. SubhanAllah – although we’ve all struggled and experienced hardships in different levels during the pandemic, there were many people right here in Australia who needed more active support from our community through Zakat.

Since Ramadan last year, we’ve served nearly 3000 Muslims who were suffering in silence through a plethora of challenging situations including financial hardship, domestic violence, homelessness, and more. We saw a rise in the number of Muslim international students and workers who would find themselves unemployed, unable to sustain themselves and/or get back home while not having any government benefits or community support.

Domestic violence was also another issue that plagued our community at a severe level as stressful family situations would turn into abuse during lockdown. However, we were blessed with a supportive community through our team, donors and partners who collectively helped us distribute Zakat of nearly two million dollars since last year to provide immediate and ongoing assistance to these clients.

To provide further long-term solutions and support for our Australian Muslim community, we continued to expand our Community Programs to include services for End-of-Life support, Support Networks for Muslims with severe illness, disability and more. As part of our Community Programs, we went a step further and established two new Zikkies Thrift Stores, in Campbelltown (NSW) and Coburg (VIC), alongside our first store in Liverpool (NSW) to assist our local communities by providing them quality goods at affordable prices.

We’ve also successfully conducted several initiatives such as the Real Talk series and Zakat Tour Masterclasses which provided NZF the opportunity to reach out to the Australian Muslim Community and engage in honest conversations on the Pillar of Zakat and the local need for it.

The Real Talk series has launched more than 30 episodes since last April in partnership with experts, local advocates, community leaders and people of knowledge on topics addressing real problems that our community face. Additionally, we’ve conducted nearly 20 Masterclasses at local community centres and mosques to provide everyone the opportunity to learn about Zakat in detail so they can fulfil this act of worship correctly.

Alhamdulillah, overall, the journey to this Eid has been one filled with blessings, both seen and unseen, which we hope that you have been able to partake from and share with those around you. If you would like to be one of the people who can help those in need here in Australia or simply learn more about our work, please visit us at www.nzf.org.au. Eid Mubarak, dear readers!