By Joseph Nana Yaw Cobbina
Despite the turbulent economic hardship, the Greater Accra Regional Branch of the Ghana Muslim Mission has launched its Zakat Fund to assist the poor and needy in society and espectially the muslim communities in ghana.
The fund which is expected to raise a minimum of GH?100,000 by the end of this year will also receive contributions in kind from Muslims in the region as long as the value of the goods are equal to the cash amount.
Zakat, which is the third of the five pillars in Islam, is compulsory for Muslims, provided they possess the minimum amount of wealth that one must have before paying.
The Chairman of the Ghana Muslim Mission, Sheikh Amin Bonsu, said the concept of donating a fraction of one?s wealth to the poor was a highly honourable act that came with valuable lessons.
?First and foremost, it teaches Muslims self-discipline, allowing givers to free themselves from the love of possessions and greed?.
?The concept of Zakat is to assist the poor and those who are suffering in order to end their suffering by getting them back on their feet?, he said.
Zakat, which is the compulsory giving of a fixed proportion of one’s wealth to charity is regarded as a type of worship and ?self-purification, Sheikh Bonsu said.
He stressed that the Zakat was not the same as the charitable gifts given out of kindness or generosity but to the systematic giving of 2.5 per cent of one’s wealth each year to benefit the poor.
Other regional branches of the Ghana Muslim Mission are expected to also launch their Zakat fund in due course.