The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, on Monday, revealed that more than MVR 6.6 million was collected as annual Zakat al-Fitr payments.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, a total of 156,740 individuals paid Zakat online via Bank of Maldives (BML), Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB), Ooredoo and Dhiraagu.
Following the closure of government offices as part of lockdown measures implemented in the capital city of Male’ in response to the local COVID-19 outbreak, the ministry accepted ‘Zakat’ through its online portal.
The total figure of MVR 6,649,697 received as Fitr Zakt payments amounts to a distribution rate of MVR 3,800 per head and represents a considerable increase compared to the past three years.
The Islamic Ministry collected a total of MVR 5.6 million in Zakat al-Fitr payments in 2019. During 2017 and 2018, MVR 4,452,975 and MVR 4,487,804 were collected respectively.
In 2019, MVR 5,000 was distributed to individuals below the poverty line living in Male’. Per head, distributions reached MVR 1,300 in 2018 and MVR 1,250 in 2017.
A total of MVR 8,764 people are registered as living below the nation’s poverty line, with 1,717 residing in the capital. These individuals are unemployed or earning equal to or less than MVR 74 (approximately USD 4.8) per day.
The ministry stated that payments were transferred to the bank accounts of 1,697 individuals below the poverty line while the remaining 76 received their payments in cash.
Furthermore, MVR 201,097 was handed over to ‘Fiyavathi’ orphanage in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale, state orphanage ‘Kudakudhinge Hiyaa’ in suburb Vilimale’ and the Special Needs home in Guraidhoo, Kaafu Atoll.
Zakat al-Fitr refers to a charity taken for those in need, collected a few days before fasting in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ends. For people of means, it is a mandatory donation in the Maldives, as with most Islamic nations.
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