Two-day first Zakat Fair concludes

With the theme “Making a Difference with Zakat”, a two-day long Zakat Fair 2013 a first ever in Bangladesh concluded adopting a ten-point declaration regarding right calculation, collection and distribution of Zakat at the National Shooting Federation Auditorium (Shooting Club), Gulshan, Dhaka at Friday and Saturday. Former Chief Election Commissioner Justice Muhammad Abdur Rouf inaugurated the Fair and former advisor of Caretaker Govt. Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury was present in the concluding ceremony.
The policymakers are requested to consider Zakat as an important source of resource mobilisation in the public budgetary system and implement for social safety programs. Also, an urge to take steps for income tax rebate of the Zakat payers was made in the declaration.
Two seminars were held in the fair. Former Minister Lt. Genral (Rtd.) Nooruddin Khan, Managing Director of Exim bank Dr. Mohammad Haidar Ali Miah, Dr. Manowar Hossain, Salahuddin Kashem Khan MD AK Khan Group, contemporary Islamic Scholar Mufti Kazi Mohammad Ibrahim, Dr. Manzur-e-Elahi, Dr. Mohammad Saifullah, Dr. Abdul Mukit, Dr. Abdullah Jahangir, Nurul Fazal Bulbul and Convener of the Zakat Fair Organising Committee and CEO of the Center for Zakat Management Dr. Mohammad Ayub Miah spoke in these programs.
The speakers said that Zakat has been considered a unique and remarkable institution and major pillar of Islam. Zakat is neither just a form of charity, almsgiving or tax, nor is it simply an expression of kindness, but rather it is all of these combined and much more. Zakat could a very effective vehicle for social safety net and reducing inequality and poverty, they said. The policy makers and planners should consider to including Zakat as an important source of national revenue, they suggested in their speeches.
The speakers opined that one estimate has shown if collected by the Government Tk. 16 thousand cores could be mobilised from Zakat every year and suggested that Government should offer tax rebate to the Zakat payers.
They observed that the Fair would be marked as a milestone for the whole national in general and for those who are working with the zakat-based programme for poverty alleviation and human development in particular.
The Centre for Zakat Management, Muslim Aid, EXIM Bank, Islamic Relief Bangladesh and Society for Social and Technological Support (SSTS) Kuwait jointly organised the Fair. Thousands of interested people visited the stalls, attended the lecture sessions and heard their queries answered from by experts.
The organisers informed that the objective of the fair were: (1) to motivate people to give their zakat in an organised manner for achieving greater results; (2) to clarify various issues on Zakat calculation and Fiqh of Zakat; and (3) to share experience of various organisations working with utilising Zakat for poverty alleviation.
Two open discussion meetings took place at the fair venue on different aspects of Zakat and Ramadan, and the noted Islamic scholars addressed the audience. Shariah experts were available there for calculating zakat and solving questions of the Zakat payers. Besides, calligraphic art works of famous artists were displayed. In addition to the stalls of the host organisations there were other stalls of Islamic books, women garments including hijab, gift items and food courts.
The participating organisations included the Institute of Hazrat Muhammad (SWS), the Mercy Mission, Bangladesh Institute of Islamic Thought and the Online Islamic University.
– Press release

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