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Saudi Arabia Facilitates Zakat al-Fitr Performance with Digital Services

Saudi Arabia Facilitates Zakat al-Fitr Performance with Digital Services

Saturday, 30 April, 2022 - 06:15
Saudi volunteers distribute Iftar meals, for people to break their fasts, during the holy month of Ramadan, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 3, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

The end of Ramadan is approaching, and people are rushing to perform Zakat al-Fitr -a duty incumbent on every Muslim- that will be distributed on the less fortunate as a form of social solidarity promoted by Islam. It’s also considered a form of purification, charity, and a way to express gratitude for the blessings we have.

Zakat al-Fitr should be paid after the sunset of the last day of Ramadan and before the Eid prayer, or two to three days before Eid al-Fitr. If paid after this period, it would be considered a regular charity. The Zakat amount is the equivalent of about 3 kilograms of a common type of food such as wheat, barley, and rice.

In Saudi Arabia, Zakat Al-Fitr is worth 25 SR ($6.67) per person; people can buy it from different selling points in small and large stores, or from street vendors who work more during Ramadan to facilitate people’s performance of their duty. Several government e-platforms have also been launched to enable people to pay Zakat online. The National Platform for Charitable Work, known as Ehsan, announced it has started receiving Zakat, so it can distribute the collected donations on time in accordance with the directives of the responsible religious committee.

Launched in 2021 in cooperation with the concerned authorities across the kingdom, the Zakat al-Fitr digital service successfully enabled people to perform Zakat in few minutes, and therefore, it has been activated for the second year in a row.

People willing to pay Zakat can visit the Ehsan official website or app, select the governorate in which they want to donate Zakat, and determine the number of people on behalf of whom they want to perform it.

Users hailed the services and platform as easy to use, trustworthy, and accurate in delivering Zakat.

One user said the digital services provided by Ehsan, including Zakat al-Fitr, facilitated the donation and distribution of Zakat, and enhanced the safety of the process, which made people ensure their contributions will go to eligible people under the surveillance of the government.

The user noted that performing Zakat al-Fitr needed much efforts in the past, as people were required to go to markets, buy Zakat, and then distribute it, but now, the process can be accomplished in two minutes.

The Ehsan platform is designed to enhance the values of humanitarian work in the community through the cooperation of different government bodies, empower the non-profit sector and expand its impact, boost the role of social responsibility in the private sector, and improve trust and credibility of charity works.

It also helps the different non-profit organizations grow their financial resources, facilitates the donation process for those willing to make a charitable contribution in coordination with other platforms, and offers people one official source to learn more about the charity and donation options in the kingdom.

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