Abu Dhabi: One hundred people who embraced Islam in the UAE are to benefit from aid, which amounts to Dh1 million, which the Zakat Fund will be distributing as part of an annual effort in which the fund takes part.

The recipients comprise people from various nationalities, and range in age from around 22 to 32, a spokesman told Gulf News.

These individuals come forward to the fund with their cases, which are then assessed, and a decision is made to grant them aid, he explained.

Islam converts to receive aid from government. Malak Harb reports


Audio supplied by Radio 2

"The majority of the recipients out of the 100 individuals are of Filipino and Indian background. We plan to have at least 200 people involved in this plan for the year 2010," he said.

"We mainly provide monetary support. Other forms of aid, such as religious support, are provided mainly by Awqaf (General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments) and other institutions," he added.

Abdullah Aqeeda Al Muhairi, Secretary General of Zakat Fund, explained that new converts to Islam were among the eight categories of people who deserve to receive zakat (almsgiving), as mentioned in Verse 60 of Al Tawbah Sura in the Quran.

Encourage and support

"It is our duty as Muslims to encourage and support those who embrace Islam to help show them the right way of life and to encourage them to learn more about their religion and how to behave like real Muslims," he added.

According to the Zayed House for Islamic Culture (ZHIC), an organisation meant to provide support for new Muslims, there have been a number of converts recorded since the beginning of Ramadan.

"We had around 24 new Muslims in Al Ain during this Ramadan. We hope to have more during the remainder of this month," a spokesman for the ZHIC, Al Ain branch, explained.