Feeding those in need is our Islamic tradition
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ told us, “He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while his neighbor goes hungry.”
Sharing nutritious food with those who are in need is one of the most fundamental components of Islam—and of Islamic Relief.
So thank you for celebrating the true spirit of this past Ramadan by giving food.
What’s Inside an IRUSA Ramadan Food Package?
In Ramadan, each food package holds food that is important to the local diet and is designed to expand easy access to vital nutrients for families. Packages differ from country to country, but many include filling staples like rice, wheat, lentils or oil, and often also sugar, canned fish or meat, and dates. To learn more about packages for specific countries, connect with us via 1-855-447-1001 or at email@example.com.
Why are Food Packages so Important?
Depending upon the size of the family served, a package helps extend the amount of food they have anywhere from a few days to two weeks—that means more food for more time, Alhamdulillah.
Donations also help the local economy because the food in each package is purchased locally. Islamic Relief USA’s exclusive Ramadan food program is designed to complement longer-term relief and development projects that provide sustainable ways to improve living conditions—it’s a major part of IRUSA’s campaign to end hunger.
Our Ramadan Action Guide is available year-round for download (see below), so you can learn more about how you can work with us for a better world, free of hunger.
IRUSA donors served hundreds of thousands of people across 35 countries in Ramadan 2018, masha’Allah. Some 2.5 million pounds of nutritious food were distributed around the world—including 5,000 food packages right here at home, along with grants for food pantries. And in Ramadan 2019, through your support IRUSA delivered food packages to hundreds of thousands in need. Thank you!
PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the country price categories listed, you can choose to give a general food box to help those most in need. Islamic Relief is committed to providing the Ramadan food package in the region or country category you select. In the event your donation arrives late or is delayed due to other, unforeseen circumstances, Islamic Relief reserves the right to allocate your food package donation to a different region or country.
In Ramadan 2019, IRUSA donors like you provided over 26,000 food packages to families across these regions:
Asia: $30 packages
Europe: $40 packages
Africa: $50 packages
America: $60 packages
The United States
MidEast: $70 packages
*Your donation covers the cost of two packages in these particular countries.
The life-changing power of zakat
More than just a percentage of our income, Zakat is a core pillar of our faith. Giving it helps us grow closer to Allah (SWT).
The Holy Qur’an instructs, “Establish prayer and give zakat, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves—you will find it with Allah. Surely Allah sees what you do” (2:110).
And when you give your zakat through Islamic Relief USA, it has the potential to impact lives for years and years to come.
Why? Many of our programs are life-changing for those we help—and we always make sure they qualify under Islamic principles.
That’s why year after year, so many donors choose Islamic Relief USA as the #1 place to donate their zakat. Our zakat collection and distribution reaches those who are most in need, and adheres by Islamic guidelines.
In the United States, zakat funds are distributed through partner mosques (masajid) and organizations. These partners know the local residents and confirm their eligibility.
Globally, our zakat funds support numerous projects, all in accordance with Islamic principles, such as:
- Emergency food and water
- Safe shelter for refugees
- Job training
- and much more!
Join thousands who choose to give their zakat to IRUSA—a choice that positively changes lives.
Allah (SWT) tells us in the Holy Qur’an (9:60) that there are eight categories of people who qualify to be beneficiaries of zakat:
- The poor
- The needy
- The collectors of zakat (Islamic Relief USA is an example)
- Those whose hearts are to be encouraged
- Those burdened with debt
- In the cause of Allah (SWT)
Zakat is payable at 2.5% of the wealth one possesses above the nisab. Nisab, which is equal to 3 ounces of gold, is the minimum amount of wealth one must have before they are liable to pay zakat. *The nisab amount listed is based on the latest available report for April 2, 2019 (note: This number may change daily depending on fluctuations in the gold exchange rate). Zakat is liable on gold, silver, cash, savings, investments, rent income, business merchandise and profits, shares, securities and bonds. Zakat is not paid on wealth used for debt repayment of living expenses such as clothing, food, housing, transportation, education, etc. Also, an important note: Please consider adding 2% when using Visa and Mastercard to your total zakat donation—this will compensate for any transaction fees deducted from your donation by the credit card companies, and will ensure that your intended zakat amount is paid in full.
Most scholars agree that since the poor and needy are the most important people who receive zakat, it is acceptable to give your entire zakat allotment to individuals in those groups.
No matter who you send your zakat to, there’s one thing in common: those who receive it are truly grateful. It’s more than a percentage, and more than a check—it’s a link between hearts.
IRUSA follows the practice agreed upon by most scholars, which states that collectors of zakat are one of the eight groups that are eligible to receive zakat. As such, IRUSA is eligible to use up to 12.5% of donations made to zakat-specific funds for core work, including administrative and operational functions.
While many prefer to give zakat al-mal during Ramadan, the option to give is always open during any time. However, when it comes to zakat al-fitr, it should be given before Eid prayer.
Well, insha’Allah we have answers for you here. Please remember that there are many rulings and differences of opinion regarding zakat. The answers we feature—derived through the consultation of a council of imams who follow the Fiqh Council of North America—are meant to provide a basic understanding of zakat. It is advised that you consult with your local imam or scholar for more detailed inquiries. Check out these zakat FAQs. And make sure to give your zakat al-fitr before you go to Eid prayer!
“The one who cares for an orphan and myself will be in Paradise like this,” and he held his two fingers together.
This is how the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) emphasized how special and important it is to care for an orphan (as narrated authentically in Al-Bukhari).
Nearly 2,000 orphans have lost their IRUSA sponsorships and wait for sponsors like you to continue sponsoring them—a support that positively changes their lives forever. There is an especially urgent need for sponsorships in:
Please consider committing to sponsor an orphan in one of these places.
Are you the sponsor an orphan is waiting for?
Ramadan reminds us more than ever to care for the orphan children in our communities. IRUSA donors are currently supporting tens of thousands of children in nearly two dozen countries around the world.
Now is the time to join the thousands of dedicated, caring humanitarians who are providing direct support to an orphan and his or her family for at least a full year. This support can include food, clothing, healthcare, education, and more.
Support through IRUSA allows orphans to stay with a loving guardian (often a widowed mother) by helping the guardian pay for the child’s needs…and in many cases, it funds life-saving education for the child.
One example is our successful orphan family support program in Bangladesh. There, IRUSA donors are supporting orphans’ families each month, while providing education and helping the guardian start a business. This way, she no longer will need to rely on anyone else for support: she’ll be able to care for her children herself. The goal is self-reliance and independence. What an incredible gift!
Of course, every country is different, and, sometimes, orphans’ programs are customized to meet particular conditions. To learn specific details, please connect with us at 1-855-447-1001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can provide so much to an orphan all for such a relatively small amount of money, and insha’Allah be among those the prophet considers close to him! The value of these efforts is immense, masha’Allah.
Are you the sponsor a child is praying for? Answer the call now and show them they are loved and not forgotten!
YOU CAN SUPPORT AN ORPHAN AND THEIR FAMILY IN COUNTRIES LIKE:
* Orphans may be refugees in neighboring countries depending on need. Please note that Islamic Relief USA reserves the right to allocate your donation where it is needed most if your preferred request cannot be met.
*Please note: Islamic Relief USA reserves the right to allocate your donation where it is needed most if your preferred request cannot be met.
FIDYA / KAFFARA
Make up broken fasts & provide for those in need
In some circumstances, a Muslim is not able to fulfill his or her religious obligation to fast during the month of Ramadan, or may want to recompense for an intentionally broken oath.
Fidya and kaffara are two solutions built into the religion of Islam that can help a Muslim compensate for not fasting or breaking other obligations—paying of fidya or kaffara also benefits members of the community who live in impoverished conditions.
The following answers are meant to provide a basic understanding of fidya and kaffara, and were derived through the consultation of imams who follow the Fiqh Council of North America. It is advised that you consult with your local imam or scholar for more detailed or localized inquiries.
“Fidya” is a donation type within the Islamic tradition paid by individuals who cannot fulfill the obligation of fasting due to illness or old age. Fidya payments are meant to feed a miskeen (person in need) for each of the fasting days missed.
The estimated cost, on guidance from the Fiqh Council of North America, is $10 for each day missed or $300 for all of Ramadan.
In addition, if the donor is from a low-income family, he or she should then care for the family’s needs first before considering giving a separate fidya donation.
“Kaffara,” within the Islamic tradition, provides individuals who deliberately miss or break a day of fast during the month of Ramadan without a valid reason an opportunity to recompense for it. According to Islamic guidelines, if a person misses a day of fasting unnecessarily, he or she should either fast for 60 consecutive days or feed 60 masakeen (underprivileged people) per day. The estimated cost is $10 per person for 60 people, which equals $600 a day for each missed or broken-fast day.
Beyond Ramadan, kaffara may also be given to recompense for broken oaths or promises. In these cases, 10 masakeen (underprivileged people) should be fed for each occurrence. The estimated cost is $10 per person for 10 people, which equals $100 per broken promise. If the donor is from a low-income family, and cannot afford the payment, it is recommended that he or she should fast for three days, and make sure to “protect your oath,” meaning he or she should stay true to his or her word going forward.
2019 RAMADAN REPORT
Summary of Programmatic Information
The Islamic Relief USA family has been working to relieve the suffering of our sisters and brothers in humanity. During the month of Ramadan, this work increases, and the increased generosity of our donors fuels our efforts.
From zakat to fidya and kaffara, your work in Ramadan results in blessings to many families here at home and around the world. This report gives a glimpse into how.
2019 Ramadan Action Guide
Working for a world free of hunger
Islamic Relief USA works with other organizations and coalitions, such as the Alliance to End Hunger, to build the public and political will to end hunger. We do so by supporting programs that encourage and assist with food and nutrition.
There are many ways you can do your own part to help with food and security. Learn more in this complimentary guide.
IRUSA RAMADAN IN PHOTOS
Ramadan is a blessed month of reflection, prayer, and fasting for Muslims. During the month, observers gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the suffering of impoverished and hungry people around the world. Ramadan also serves to remind Muslims of the importance of charity, and their obligation to be charitable during the month and all throughout the year. We look forward to great things to come this Ramadan insha’Allah.