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Zakat policy and FAQs

Give in a Shariah-compliant way

Save the Children's Zakat policy

This Zakat policy sets out how Save the Children seeks to fulfil the Shariah requirements of receiving and administering Zakat payments on behalf of Muslims.*

Use of Zakat payments

Zakat payments made to Save the Children are allocated to a segregated general Zakat fund held by Save the Children. The Zakat funds are used to support Zakat-eligible projects in the Muslim-majority countries in which we operate.

A maximum of 12.5% of Zakat payments is allocated towards the administrative and support costs of Save the Children.

Administration of Zakat payments

Save the Children will administer payments of Zakat as follows: 

  • Zakat payments by givers who select the Zakat option on Save the Children’s payment platforms are marked and identified.
  • Zakat payments are paid into dedicated, interest free bank accounts, where the funds will be held until being sent to the relevant countries for implementation of Zakat-eligible projects.
  • Zakat payments are utilised within one lunar year in accordance with Shariah rules.
  • Where we can uplift the amount given through recognised tax schemes (for example Gift Aid in the UK) we will treat any uplift as an unrestricted donation which may be used to support our Zakat-compliant project work, without any deduction from the amount of any Zakat given to Save the Children. 

Compliance

Save the Children uses the following procedures to ensure that we comply with this Zakat policy:

  • Save the Children trains and supports its staff on the practical application of the principles of Zakat to ensure compliance with all the Shariah requirements. 
  • Specially trained staff at Save the Children work on project delivery and its effect on recipient communities in-country.
  • Our policies and procedures will be subject to an independent annual review by a Zakat specialist and an Islamic scholar to ensure that the Zakat fund is operated in accordance with the principles of Shariah.

Reporting

Transparency in respect of our compliance with Zakat principles is of foremost importance to Save the Children. Our reporting process in relation to Zakat will focus on several key areas: 

  • We will demonstrate how our programme activities have been selected and remain in line with beneficiary and activity guidelines for Zakat compliance.
  • We will account for and report on compliance with our policy to restrict administrative costs to a maximum of 12.5% of any Zakat given through our annual reporting process.
  • We will provide further comprehensive evaluation including the provision of visual reporting to the extent possible.
  • We will report on the matters above in our annual financial report and by setting out the work we undertake on our website. 

Fatwa

The Fatwa is an Islamic opinion and declaration. Save the Children has received a Fatwa from Shaykh Haytham Tamim that this Zakat policy and its planned practices in relation to Zakat are Shariah compliant.

See the full Fatwa certificate.

 

*Save the Children will act as a Wakeel deputy to the Zakat givers, to deliver their Zakat to the ultimate Zakat beneficiaries.

  

Zakat FAQs: your questions answered

Zakat refers to the Arabic word for "growth and purity". Zakat is the third pillar of Islam, requiring Muslims to give a certain percentage of their qualifying wealth (2.5% for the lunar year calendar and 2.5775% for the solar year calendar) each year in aid of Zakat-eligible communities who need it for specified causes. A giver of Zakat is, from an Islamic point of view, growing their wealth and purifying their character from miserliness. 

Sadaqah is used to describe any voluntary act of charity and kindness towards another being. One example amongst others being monetary charity that can be performed in any amount, at any time of the year.

We have developed a Zakat policy to allow our potential donors to feel confident that donations to Save the Children’s Zakat Fund will be used to support our vital work in a number of predominantly Muslim and Muslim-majority countries and communities, in accordance with the principles of Shariah.

All beneficiaries of Zakat-funded activities will be those in the greatest need, the most marginalised or vulnerable people, in accordance with our organisational values and our humanitarian principles of independence, impartially, neutrality and humanity.

Your donations will be used for Zakat causes to support Muslims, and will be used within one lunar year of giving the Zakat. Where there are concerns that it may not be spent within one lunar year, we will consult with our Shariah scholar for their guidance.

We will not use any more than 12.5% (one eighth) of your Zakat for administrative costs to support our work.

All Zakat payments will be paid into separate non-interest bearing bank accounts held by Save the Children.

The general structure and policy around the holding of Zakat funds at Save the Children is approved by our Islamic scholar and forms part of the fatwa provided and shown in our Zakat policy. 

We have undertaken a comprehensive research process to understand the principles of Shariah that apply to the collecting, administration and distribution of Zakat.

This was followed by a consultation process with an Islamic scholar and potential Muslim donors, alongside partners and recipients in regions where our projects are delivered.

Rigorous governance processes have been established to ensure Zakat payers are comfortable their Zakat payment is being used in a Shariah compliant manner. 

As a result, we are confident that all payments to the Zakat fund will be compliant with the Zakat giver’s religious obligations.

We work with a range of other organisations around the world in partnership to deliver development projects and humanitarian assistance. By seeking Zakat from Muslims, our intention is not to displace smaller or more-specialised organisations who are already working in this area, but does provide Zakat givers and Sadaqah donors who want to help and who want to provide their donation to an organisation working with children the opportunity to do so.

Your Zakat and Sadaqah will allow us to continue to pursue working with organisations that support our ability to localise the delivery of our goals.

We have received a Fatwa from Shaykh Haytham Tamim that Save the Children’s Zakat policy and planned practices are Shariah compliant. 

More information on Shaykh Haytham’s work, experience and background:

Shaykh Haytham Tamim, Shariah Scholar, is the founder and director of Shariah Solutions Limited, a consultancy firm in Islamic finance. His expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought and different Islamic denominations through highly advanced classical and religious texts.

He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise, he holds some of the highest Ijazat (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings) from the late Professor Wahba Al-Zuhayli, Professor Mustafa Azami, Mufti Taqi Usmani, Shaykh Nizam Yaqoubi and many others. 

He has served as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut. 

Shaykh Haytham Tamim is an experienced scholar and adviser for Islamic Finance and Shariah-compliant wealth structuring. He has a track record assisting institutions to launch Islamic compliant products to serve the Muslim consumers of Europe and the Middle East along with advising funds, families and individuals on Shariah related issues including: 

  • extensive experience with financial products, product structuring and compliance and advisory roles on Shariah boards and presenting at financial forums; and
  • a breadth of experience in advising international organisations ranging from investment firms, to legal and accountancy firms and their clients on Shariah-based planning including succession planning in various jurisdictions. 

He has experience advising on Shariah-compliant succession planning and wealth structures in a number of jurisdictions with law firms including Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner BCLP (2010 -2020) Collas Crill (Guernsey), Clyde and Co (London), Simmons & Simmons (UAE and Qatar), Norton Rose Fulbright (London), PWC (London), Taylor Wessing (London), KPMG (London) and Howard Kennedy LLP (London). 

Shaykh Haytham Tamim was selected as one of the hundred most influential Muslims in the UK in 2019 by Emerald Network. He has held or currently holds the following positions on the Shariah supervisory boards of banks, funds and Zakat Foundations:

  • The Chairman of the Advisory committee of experts (ACE) of Lotus Bank Nigeria (April 2021 – present)
  • Shariah board member for Inovalis Islamic REIT Funds (2016-to date) 
  • Executive member of the Shariah Supervisory Board (SSB), Gate House Bank, UK (2007- 2011) 
  • Shariah Board member for Gulf Finance House, UK (2009) 
  • Shariah Supervisory Board member, Europe Arab Bank (2009-2011) 
  • Founder of the Utrujj Foundation, an educational foundation

If you have any questions about Save the Children and Zakat you can get in touch with us at supportercare@savethechildren.org.uk or by calling +44 (0)20 7012 6400 from 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday.