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Kazakhstan launches a new Islamic finance vehicle

30 may 2011, 17:10
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Vesti.kz stock photo
Vesti.kz stock photo
Kazakhstan has launched a new Islamic finance vehicle – Zakyat Fund to collect zakyat tax and redistribute the money among the poor, the Committee for Development of the Financial Center of Almaty under the National Bank informs.

According to Britannica, Arabic zakāt , an obligatory tax required of Muslims, one of the five Pillars of Islam. The zakat is levied on five categories of property—food grains; fruit; camels, cattle, sheep, and goats; gold and silver; and movable goods—and is payable each year after one year’s possession. The tax levy required by religious law varies with the category. Recipients of the zakat include the poor and needy, the collectors themselves, and “those whose hearts it is necessary to conciliate”—e.g., discordant tribesmen, debtors, pilgrims.

The Kazakhstan’s Fund will be accumulating voluntary donations.

The Fund is based on waqf principles. The medieval Christian church set up and administered trusts for benevolent purposes. The Islāmic world developed an equivalent to the foundation, entitled the waqf, as early as the 7th century ad. Merchants in 17th- and 18th-century western Europe founded similar organizations for worthy causes, according to Britannica.

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