Record number of Muslims apply for Zakat

The National Zakat Foundation has said it has received the highest number of applications for support in a single day as the need for Zakat amongst British Muslims rises sharply amid the coronavirus crisis.

NZF said on April 10 it had the busiest day in its history, with 166 people reaching out for help.

The organisation said that more people are falling into poverty, while those already struggling to make ends meet are being hit hardest by the crisis.

“Experts will continue to try and predict the long-term impact of this public health crisis on the economy, but right here, right now, we’re already seeing the effect it’s having on the most vulnerable in our community,” NZF said.

“Many Muslims in need across the country have been applying to NZF for support. Our grants team has been working hard on behalf of our Zakat payers. With Allah’s help, we’re managing to meet this need and help many struggling Muslims buy food, groceries and other basic essentials.”

Yesterday the government’s independent economics forecaster warned that Britain’s economy could shrink by 35% this spring and unemployment could soar by more than 2 million due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Office for Budget Responsibility said that gross domestic product (GDP) could plunge by more than a third in the second quarter of the year and by 13% for 2020 as a whole.

It said joblessness could hit 10% by the end of June and government borrowing this year would increase at the fastest pace since the Second World War.

Such an increase in people losing their jobs would return the country to levels last recorded in the early 1990s recession, when Britain crashed out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

With business activity and social life effectively brought to a standstill in most of the developed world, the International Monetary Fund also warned on Tuesday of an economic slump unparalleled since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

In its half-yearly forecasts, the IMF said the “Great Lockdown” could cause global GDP to contract by around 3% this year. The Washington-based fund had forecast growth of 3.3% this year as recently as three months ago.

Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s economic counsellor, said the size of the hit to the global economy, uncertainty about the how long the shock would last, and the need to discourage economic activity to contain the virus had to led to a crisis “like no other.”

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