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Regional News of Wednesday, 6 October 2004

Source: GNA

Muslims attends seminar on Zakat

Tamale, Oct 6, GNA- Muslims have been urged to pay their Zakat (tithe), regularly to raise money for community development and also cater for the poor and marginalized.

"Zakat" is one of the seven pillars of Islam.

Mr. Ibrahim Afa-Zie, the Director of the Dawah Academy, a Muslim non-governmental organization, was speaking in Tamale on Tuesday, at a two-day seminar organised by the organization to sensitise Muslims on the need to pay the tithe.

The Seminar was on the theme: " The Role of Islam in Poverty Reduction and Wealth Creation- the Zakat factor".

Mr. Afa-Zie, said payment of Zakat was well organised in the Islamic countries and had immensely helped to alleviate the suffering of the poor and the provision of social amenities to the communities.

Usman Nuhu Sharubutu, the National Chief Imam, in a speech read on his behalf, said Zakat was an obligation for every responsibly Muslim. Hajia Fati Seidu, acting National General Manager of the Islamic Education Unit, impressed on Muslims on the need for them to change the perception that Islam was the religion of the poor.

She observed that it was worrying to see that the majority of beggars on the streets and around the Mosques throughout the country were Muslims.

Hajia Seidu said the only way to address the problem was for Muslims to take the education of their children, especially that of the girl-child seriously.

She also called on Muslim women to disabuse their minds of the notion that leadership positions were the preserve of men and strive to excel in whatever endeavor they find themselves.

Hajia Seidu urged Muslims to remain united and avoid fragmentation, saying, "Whatever sect of Islam you belong to does not matter because you should remember that we all belong to the same religion and have one Prophet".