World Zakat Fund To Be Established; Expected At $10 Billion In Ten years

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Islam Online has reported on the formation of a new Zakat (Islamic charity) fund expected to grow to $10 billion in ten years. According to the report:

The World Zakat Fund (WZF) being set up by The BMB Group is an attempt to collect and distribute Zakat in an organized manner making use of modern management techniques.This is an initiative of the Malaysian government which has set up an International Zakat Organization (IZO),? said Humayon Dar, CEO of BMB Islamic, a London-based Shariah advisory and structuring firm. The World Zakat Fund initiative follows a resolution from Malaysia to set up an organization for alleviating poverty with Zakat,? he told Arab News. He said the fund would eventually be under the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference). ?We have been given a mandate by the Malaysian government to set up the WZF, raise money for it and manage it,? he said…Dar said 35 percent of the fund raised would be used for immediate consumption, emergency and relief and would be partly managed and disbursed by IZO. The remaining 65 percent would be managed by BMB. The target size of the fund for the first year is $750 million, which is expected to grow to $10 billion in 10 years.

The report goes on to say that the WZF will deviate from the usual practice of disbursing all of the Zakat money collected in a given year:

The distinguishing feature of WZF is that it manages Zakat, for the first time, in a sustainable way ensuring growth and continuity,? the CEO said. A part of the Zakat is used for its beneficiaries while the rest is invested for their future benefit. ?According to conservative views, Zakat money collected in one year should be disbursed immediately. Our view is that Zakat money should be used in a sustainable way.? He said leading Shariah scholars had endorsed WZF?s investment strategy. ?We don?t want to deviate entirely from the classical view. We have decided to allocate 35 percent of money collected for projects that are ready for immediate consumption and relief. He said the Zakat money would be invested in profitable ventures. About 20 percent of available funds would be invested in liquid assets and Shariah-compliant global equities while the rest would be set aside for Shariah-compliant microfinance and micro-private equity. ?Most Shariah scholars we have talked to feel comfortable with our plan.? Dar said the WZF would also accept funds other than Zakat. ?We?ll be very happy to receive money from the solidarity fund of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) or any other funds.? He said the WZF would focus on OIC countries and he believes that poor African countries should get the lion?s share.

Several of the Shari’ah scholars on the BMB Supervisory board have ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood:

  • Ali Al Qaradagh (Al Taqwa Bank Shariah board, member European Council for Fatwa and Research)
  • Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah (Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in Kuwait, former shareholder Al-Taqwa Bank, Shariah board Dow Jones Islamic Funds, Shariah board Bosna Bank, Bosnia)
  • Mohd Daud Bakar (International Islamic University Malaysia, Shariah board Dow Jones Islamic Fund,  Shariah Adviser Amaar Property Finance )

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