Eid al-Fitr is at the doormat, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the beginning of the joyful days of Eid.
Besides the Eid prayer, oriental cookies, and family visits–common rituals that distinguish these blessed days–Muslims are obligated to give zakat (charitable donations) to the poor. In this light, Al-Masry Al-Youm hit the streets to find out: Where do you donate your Zakat Eid al-Fitr?
Soliman Awad, marketing agency employee: “There is no certain amount of money or food specified for Zakat Eid al-Fitr. Consequently, I always pay whatever I can afford to the charitable organizations of mosques, where I am sure that my zakat will be given to those who deserve it. On the other hand, the government must control the enormous number of beggars in the streets and find a solution for sanitation workers who are spread everywhere asking for money, especially during these days of the year. Awareness must be raised on to whom and where people should pay their zakat.”
Gowda Abdel-Satar, kiosk owner: “I know that zakat is compulsory for every Muslim, but within the current deteriorated financial circumstances, I cannot afford Zakat Eid al-Fitr. I only save the annual zakat (2.5 percent of one’s wealth) throughout the year in order to be able to pay at the end of it. My income barely covers my family's basic needs due to the continued rise in prices.”
Sayyed Abdel-Rahman, accountant: “I give my zakat to trusted charitable organizations such as Resala and Dar al-Orman. They are more aware of those who are really in need of this money than I am. Besides, they have several means of turning the zakat into productive small enterprises through which the poor can generate some profit to secure their livelihood.”
Salma Mohamed, housewife: “I don’t know if Zakat Eid al-Fitr is mandatory for the head of the family only or for the woman as well? Either way, I always pay it to the needy, whom I know well. I give it to my domestic worker, babysitter, and the security guard at our house in order to ease the burden of their needs.”
Fawzy Moustafa, toy shop owner: “I give Zakat Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan every year. I set aside a certain amount of my income to pay it to the needy. I believe that it is the poor’s right and makes God bless my work and family. We should share our joy and happiness with the poor during these holy days.”