Morocco: Managing the Zakat

Known for being a right of the poor, Zakat is a compulsory donation that has to be given by any Muslim from whatever income was earned during the year. This sum which corresponds to 2.5 % of the Muslim’s assets must be worth at least 85g of gold. From a religious point of view many consider it as a personal matter between themselves and God. However, there are a number of Muslim countries that created the Zakat fund which will allow the government to give a bigger budget to social welfare. Just a few months ago, before the Moroccan elections Abdelilah Benkirane and the Party of Justice and Development mentioned in their manifesto the necessity to incorporate Zakat in the state’s line of action if elected. Therefore, once brought to power, the party has been working diligently towards the creation of a nation Zakat fund. This task is being taken care of by the Islamic affairs Ministry. According to Najb Boulif, Minister Delegate of General Affairs and Governance, they are “working a management model” so that “the government will examine, implementing mechanisms”.
Due to the difficult actual economic situation benefactors in Morocco are donating money to organizations that are independent. That is why some believe that the government will have a better way of managing this great amount of money. According to them, allowing it to be invested into projects that will really bring change. On the other hand, there are those who believe that Moroccan citizens have already sizable taxes to pay. So adding a new compulsory Zakat tax might make their already difficult economical situation worst. That is why these people believe that the 38% tax that is taken from all Moroccan citizens should be considered as Zakat.

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