The Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, in association with Meethaq Islamic Banking, launched a national campaign aimed at encouraging citizens and residents in fulfilling the Islamic obligation of Zakati.
His Eminence Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamed al Khalili, Grand Mufti of the Sultanate, launched the Zakati National Campaign in the presence Sulaiman al Harthy, Group General Manager, Meethaq Islamic Banking, at the Jurisprudence Symposium on Tuesday (9 April 2013).
Sulaiman Al Harthy said: “Meethaq is proud to join hands with the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs to launch the Zakati National Campaign. As the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman, Meethaq is committed to providing a fulfilling banking experience. The Zakati National Campaign will be promoted by Meethaq, facilitating convenient processes to fulfill Zakati obligations, thereby adding value to the Islamic banking experience.”
The initiative comes as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs with Meethaq Islamic Banking.
The Ministry will operate a bank account with Meethaq, which will facilitate the collection and distribution of Zakati funds by utilising all possible mechanisms and channels, including the Meethaq branch network, ATMs, internet banking, phone banking and Awqaf shares. Meethaq will organise various campaigns to encourage citizens and residents to fulfill Zakati obligations and also promote Awqaf shares on behalf of the Ministry.
Meethaq will be involved in asset restructuring and related managerial responsibilities for the Ministry. The MoU also includes an annual prize known as Meethaq Prize for Islamic Banking Studies, aimed at encouraging research studies on economy and Islamic banking.
The Islamic obligation of Zakati is one of the five pillars of Islam, and is expected to be paid by all practising Muslims who have the financial means (Nisab). In addition to their Zakati obligations, Muslims are encouraged to make voluntary contributions (Sadaqat) as an act of piety through which one expresses concern for the well-being of fellow Muslims, as well as preserving social harmony between the wealthy and the poor.
Zakati is a way to redistribute wealth, thus increasing the flow of cash in the economy with a particular focus on the poor and dispossessed Muslims.