Why Are Muslims Afraid Of Giving to A Muslim Charity?

Do you think twice before donating to a Muslim charity?

Do you think twice before donating to a Muslim charity?

Living in non-Muslim countries, it can be difficult to find a good, reputable Muslim charity to give to.

Some non-Muslim countries don’t have their own branches of the largest Muslim charity organizations, and others might have the branch but not offer the type of program a person wanted to support.

When organizations claim they send aid to Palestine, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan, donors need to know those claims are substantiated. Some of these organizations are so small that, even if they are doing good work, it’s difficult to get verification. 

Donating to a Muslim charity from a non-Muslim country can even lead to banking disputes over legitimacy and “de-risking.” As such, Zakat Foundation of America’s Executive Director, Halil Demir, wrote a book to debunk misconceptions — 9 Myths About Muslim Charities

Muslim charities faced intense scrutiny after the tragic attacks on 9/11. Zakat Foundation of America was no exception.

In Demir’s words:

“The Islamophobia was so strong — emotions ran so high against the Muslim community — that whenever we tried to do good work, some people and organizations tried to portray us as bad guys.” 

As a result, some Muslims and Christians alike opt to give to Catholic charities, feeling they are “more secure” or “less risky” because of Islamophobic stigmas that Muslim charities seem unable to escape.

It all comes down to accountability and transparency. Zakat Foundation of America, which operates in more than 40 countries, prioritizes both. Moreover, GreatNonprofits, the Better Business Bureau and Charity Navigator have ranked it as a top-tier humanitarian nonprofit organization for the past decade. Zakat Foundation of America has held BBB accreditation for more than a decade, and Charity Navigator has awarded Zakat Foundation of America its highest rating — four out of four stars.

In 2021, 94¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need; 3¢ went to administrative costs and 3¢ went to fundraising costs. For donations to the emergency relief and orphan sponsorship funds specifically, every cent went directly to the programs — none of it to administrative costs, fundraising costs or anything else. 

As a Muslim charity, Zakat Foundation of America considers it an amana (trust, responsibility) to process donations legitimately and use them as they were intended. Money designated to support Palestine goes to Palestine. Money pledged toward a water well goes toward that well. 

Zakat Foundation of America has been a leading expert on zakat and a key resource for Muslims around the world since 2001. The nonprofit helps Muslims carry out their zakat duties easily, working with scholars to ensure it is all done correctly. 

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