Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah (swt) covers you with blessing, for He sends down mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers… In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves.The Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), as narrated by Tabarani

IRUSA donors served people in 30 countries in Ramadan 2016.
Calculate and fulfill the Islamic pillar of alms-giving for those in need.
Care for an orphan’s well-being by giving support or sponsorship.
Make up for missed fasts through a donation for those in need.


working together

to end hunger

IRUSA Ramadan Action Guide cover What’s inside? Each food packages 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.

Why are food packages important? Depending upon the size of the family served, a package can help extend the amount of food they have anywhere from a few days to two weeks — that means more food for more time, alhamdulilah. Plus, your donations help stir local economy as well because the food in each package is purchased locally. This 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 (FYI: here’s how you can vote to end hunger.) 

Download the 2016 Ramadan Action Guide at any time of year to learn more about working together to end hunger. IRUSA donors served hundreds of thousands of people across 30 countries this Ramadan, masha’Allah. See photos from some of these distributions in the gallery below, and read “Ramadan: 30 Faces, 30 Places.”

PLEASE NOTE: Ramadan 2016 food package giving is now closed.


a pillar

and a promise

Beyond being a percentage of our income, zakat is a pillar of our faith.

In the Holy Qur’an (2:110), we read, “And 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.”

And it’s a promise that we must fulfill to help those in need. When you give your zakat through Islamic Relief USA, it’s potential grows by multiples.
Emergency food • Shelter for refugees • Job training • Medication and much more—all in accordance with Islamic principles.

Islamic Relief collects and distributes zakat to those who are most in need, in accordance with Islamic guidelines. Giving your zakat through IRUSA means you can help provide emergency food, shelter for refugees, job training, medication and so much more.

According to the Holy Qur’an (9:60), 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 who hearts are to be won over
  • Captives
  • Debtors
  • A mediator or someone who pays from personal monies to fix or mediate problems among the people
  • In the cause of Allah (swt)
  • Travelers

Most scholars agree that the poor and needy are the most important categories of people to receive zakat. Given that, it is acceptable to give your entire zakat allotment to individuals who are in those groups.

No matter who you send your zakat to, there’s one thing in common: The people who receive it are truly grateful. It’s more than a percentage, and more than a check—it’s a link between hearts.

While many prefer to give zakat al-Mal during Ramadan, the option to give is always open. However, when it comes to zakat al-fitr, it should be given before Eid prayer.

Case Studies

Zakat Calculator

Assets and Liabilities
Value in U.S. Dollars
Cash at Home
Balance Held in Bank Accounts
Resale Value of Shares
Merchandise & Profits
Gold & Silver (at current value)
Property Held as Investment
Other Income
Total of Assets Liable for Zakat
Deduct Debts
Deduct Expenses
Zakat-Eligible Total
Ensure that Zakat-Eligible Total Exceeds Nisab
Your Zakat (0.025 x Zakat-Eligible Total)

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 June 27, 2016 (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, and 2.5% when using American Express 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.

Questions about zakat?

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! 


“I and the person who looks after an orphan will be in paradise together like this”

his forefinger and middle finger together.

That’s how Al-Bukhari describes the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) declaration, and that demonstrates for us all the importance of caring for orphans.

Ramadan reminds us to care for the orphan children in our communities. IRUSA donors are currently sponsoring more than 16,000 children in nearly two dozen countries around the world; can you open your heart to sponsor an orphan this season?

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 can include food, clothing, health care, education or more. Sponsorships through IRUSA allow orphans to stay with a loving guardian by helping the guardian pay for the child’s needs. Of course, every country is different, and, sometimes, sponsorship programs are customized to meet particular conditions. To learn specific details, please connect with us at 1-855-447-1001 or donorcare@irusa.org.

IRUSA’s Orphan Support means your donation will help orphans however is needed most in a country of your choice or anywhere around the world. And donations toward Orphan Support are flexible—you can offer support whenever you’re ready, and as often as you like.

The value of these efforts is immense, masha’Allah! And, with our global affiliate Islamic Relief Worldwide, the total number currently sponsored is 50,000 masha’Allah!

Full annual sponsorship costs between $43 and $65 a month—just about $1.50 to $2 a day, less than the price of a cup of coffee you’d have for suhoor or after iftar. You can provide so much to an orphan all for $2 a day or less, and insha’Allah be among those the prophet considers close to him!

$43 a month | $516 a year







South Africa

Sri Lanka


$49 a month | $588 a year








$65 a month | $780 a year






*Please note: Orphans originally from these countries may currently be living as refugees in neighboring countries depending on need. Also, in the case of Palestine, there may be a delay in assignment due to the popularity of the program. 


make up missed fasts

and 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 a broken oath. Fidya and kaffara are two solutions offered 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 a council 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 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, and are equivalent to the price of one meal each for two people or two meals for one person. The estimated cost, on guidance from the Fiqh Council of North America, is $10 for each day missed or $300 for all of Ramadan. That price is based on the average cost of a basic meal throughout the country. Of course, if, on average, you spend more per meal, it is permissible to adjust the price accordingly. 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” is also a donation type within the Islamic tradition that provides individuals who deliberately miss or break a day of fast during the month of Ramadan without a valid reason. 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 amount paid should be about the average you would pay for a meal. 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.


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 are honored to have shared our Ramadan 2016 with you, and look forward to great things still to come insha’Allah!

Share this: