575 Needy Muslim Families Get Help At Ramadan Event

Close to 600 families received cash and vouchers worth over S$200,000 at the Muslim Converts’ Association of Singapore’s Ramadan Zakat Disbursement ceremony yesterday. The 575 recipients included the low-income, the elderly and those with chronic diseases.

For the first time in the association’s annual drive, which began more than 20 years ago, beneficiaries also received sponsored items from corporate donors, such as Zac Butchery and Al-Wadi Restaurant, as well as actor Suhaimi Yusof. The items included turkey ham, dates and tea.

The guest of honour, Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament (Marsiling-Yew Tee) Halimah Yacob, said the institution of zakat was “well-organised and strong” in Singapore. Zakat is the obligatory act of almsgiving and is one of Islam’s pillars.

“People are brought together through the sharing of wealth, while at the same time performing their Islamic duty,” she said.

“Today’s event reminds us of the strong spirit of charity and unity among Singaporean Muslims. This innate sense to help one another is not only nurtured in Islam; it has always been part of the values upon which the Singaporean community builds itself.”

The recipients, 103 of whom are converts to Islam and 472 of whom were born into the religion, each received S$255 from the zakat and NTUC FairPrice vouchers of S$110 from fidyah, which are religious donations made when a fast is broken.

They said the money will come in handy for groceries and medical expenses. “This zakat can help me a lot. I can buy (household items and use it) for my children’s school fees and maybe new clothes for Hari Raya,” said Mdm Peng Hui Mei @ Nur Ain Peng Abdullah, 43, whose three children are aged nine to 21. The patient service associate at a public hospital said it was her first time receiving zakat.

Father-of-five Jeyaseelan @ Abdul Ghani, 47, said his wife has been on kidney dialysis for almost 12 years and that doctors have said her heart is failing. His three elder children in polytechnic help by working part-time, and the Uber driver said he was also grateful for the support of staff at the Muslim Converts’ Association of Singapore, or Darul Arqam Singapore, who inform him of avenues of financial assistance.

Mdm Halimah, who has been suggested as a potential candidate for the Presidential Election in September, shook hands and mingled with the recipients, but did not speak to reporters. She has so far kept mum on the coming election, which is reserved for the Malay community, and on the likelihood of her candidacy.


Source: http://www.todayonline.com

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