Ahmad Al Haddad, Grand Mufti of Dubai. Image Credit:

Dubai: The Grand Mufti of Dubai has declared that Zakat can be paid towards purchasing meals or providing food parcels to disadvantaged communities through the newly-launched ’10 million meals’ campaign.

Dr Ahmed Al Haddad who is also director of the Fatwa Department at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai, said: “Zakat can be paid to those affected by the current conditions due to coronavirus pandemic in the form of food or meals as it fulfils one of the Sharia principles to help the needy.”

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Quran states that for every sane, adult Muslim who owns wealth over a certain amount, he or she must pay 2.5 per cent of that wealth as Zakat every year to help the poor. Most Muslims pay Zakat during Ramadan.

Grand Mufti Al Haddad urged people across the UAE to support the ’10 million meals’ campaign that will reach families and labourers affected by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. “Vulnerable communities are in critical need for food to maintain their health during their stay at home in this unprecedented crisis,” said Al Haddad.

Zakat in Ramadan

He noted that providing food as a form of Zakat during the holy month of Ramadan is particularly important this year as it ensures food security for those in need and provides meals that they need most at these difficult times.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai launched the ’10 million meals’ campaign, the nation’s biggest food distribution drive, on Sunday to provide food support for those affected by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The campaign will be led by his wife Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of UAE Food Bank.

Ensured delivery of food

Al Haddad urged donors to support the ’10 million meals’ campaign as it provides an ensured delivery of food to the homes of beneficiaries, creating an element of confidence. “As part of this campaign, meals will reach only those in dire need for food after losing their income during these exceptional circumstances.”

He added that supporting the Ramadan campaign counts as providing food for those fasting, as it gives the same deeds or rewards of the person fasting. “Providing meals this year fulfils the Zakat, feeds those fasting and helps the needy,” Al Haddad said.

Therefore, he added, every person whose finances permit must help the needy or those affected by the global crisis this year.

He praised the launch of the campaign that reflects the great sense of responsibility to support those in need. With human solidarity, cohesion and initiative to do good, Al Haddad prays the country overcomes the crisis as soon as possible.

He urged people across the UAE to dedicate the holy month of Ramadan to praying and practicing good deeds and compassion.

10 million meals

The ’10 million meals’ campaign brings together entities, companies, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, as well as the general public to make financial or in-kind donations. Companies and individuals can purchase a number of meals online or donate packaged and canned food supplies or provide logistical services to facilitate food distribution to disadvantaged families and individuals from different nationalities living across the UAE.

The UAE Food Bank, Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, and UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia UAE) will carry out the ’10 million meals’ campaign in collaboration with ministries, federal and local entities and humanitarian and charitable organisations in the UAE.

Standing in solidarity

Launched by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in collaboration with the Social Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19, the ’10 million meals’ campaign aims to provide food support for families and individuals affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The campaign aims to strengthen the sense of community and social cohesion in the UAE through encouraging people to come together and provide food support to disadvantaged families and individuals at a time where many are left facing unemployment and major income reductions. It promotes the values of compassion and benevolence, key aspects of the holy month of Ramadan.

Four ways to donate

Interested donors can purchase a preferred number of meals online at www.10millionmeals.ae to be distributed to disadvantaged individuals and families.

Companies and individuals can also donate through SMS (Etisalat and Du) to numbers listed on the website.

Donors can also make a transfer to ’10 million meals’ campaign bank account at Dubai Islamic Bank with IBAN no.: AE430240001580857000001.

For in-kind contributions, donors have the chance to provide packaged or canned food supplies or arrange food parcels for distribution through directly contacting the campaign’s organising team on the toll-free number 8004006.