Edo State Gov, Obaseki

A Muslim foundation, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF), on Sunday, empowered no fewer than 71 indigent people in Benin.

The Foundation Executive Director, Mr Suleiman Olagunju, said the aim was to discourage begging among the faithful.

The Chief Imam of Benin while presenting the gifts, including cash, admonished Muslims faithful, to always fulfil the Islamic injunction which encourages almsgiving, known as Zakat.

He commended the foundation and its patron for assisting the needy, eradicating poverty and discouraging begging through empowerment programmes.

Olagunju said the foundation was established 18 years ago to alleviate poverty among Muslim faithful through Zakat

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He said the major constraint the foundation faces is the non-payment of Zakat by some Muslims, adding that it is obligatory for all Muslims to pay.

According to him, “Islam emphasized that those who have money can set aside the certain percentage for the needy.

“The aim of this is to collect from the rich and render help to the poor. We want to empower the less privileged in the society to remove beggars from the streets. Islam has nothing to do with begging.”

One of the beneficiaries, a blind 200 level student of Mass Communication from the University of Benin, Suleiman Abdulkarim, who was presented with a laptop, thanked the foundation for the gesture.

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“I have been looking forward to a day like this. I am visually impaired. I can’t write exams without a laptop. I used to borrow a laptop from my friend. I am very grateful,” he said.