Monday, September 6, 2010

Ramadan and Remembering Pakistan: Part V--Not sure what to do with your zakat?

An aerial view shows a flooded mosque in a village in Sujawal, about 150 km (93 mi) from Karachi in Pakistan's Sindh province, August 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro)

Zakat is the obligatory charitable tax that Muslims must donate annually to the less fortunate. There are codified and somewhat complex rules for exact calculations but roughly it is 2.5% of the individual's net income (after expenses). Often it is collected by mosques, or in Muslim majority countries may be collected by a government ministry. It may be collected by a workplace and donated collectively. It may be distributed by an individual as the person sees fit..

Sadaqa is voluntary charity, in whatever form, towards others less fortunate, or in need. This includes, money, goods, even a smile of kindness. Prayers are always welcome, too. The needs are current and pressing.

A Pakistani girl carrying her belongings on her head wades through flood waters in Punjab province's Basira on September 4, 2010. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

More sociobiology?

An internally displaced Pakistani man (center, in cap) fights with a policeman (right, white shirt) as they wait for relief goods in Larkana on September 3, 2010. Flood victims say they have received little government help, and most assistance has come to them from private charities. The International Committee of the Red Cross warned Thursday that survivors' anger was beginning to hamper those aid efforts. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Flood victims who had received no aid for three days run after a truck to reach for food donated by a group calling themselves Muslim brothers in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

A Pakistani girl reacts after she loses her juice packs, during a scramble for relief goods at a camp for people displaced by floods in the village of Chowk Ghulam Ali Wala, Punjab province, Pakistan on Friday Sept. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

More queuing:

Flood victims queue for aid provided by Sitara Chemical Industries Ltd in Sanawan, Punjab province Pakistan, on September 5, 2010. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Internally displaced Pakistani women queue for relief goods in Larkana on September 3, 2010. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Displaced flood survivors receive relief at a roadside in Nowshera, Pakistan on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

Internally displaced Pakistani women wait for relief goods in Larkana on September 3, 2010. Relief efforts in flood-ravaged Pakistan are being stretched by the "unprecedented scale" of the disaster, while funding has almost stalled, the UN said on September 2. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Hmmm, sociobiology, or opportunism?

Trucks transporting relief goods are blocked on the road by Pakistani farmers demanding that the government irrigate their lands in Shikarpur on September 3, 2010. Fresh floods in southern Pakistan are snaring at least a million people displaced by earlier flooding, adding to the huge problems faced by the underfunded relief effort, UN aid agencies warned. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

A flood victim left without receiving aid for three days climbs a truck to reach for food handouts donated by a group calling themselves Muslim brothers in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

Malnutrition, or dehydration? both? your differential diagnosis? does it matter much which?

A severely malnourished baby is taken to the hospital by her brother in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

An image to help recover from that one:

Pakistan army soldiers in a boat search for flood survivors in Khairpur Nathan Shah on September 5, 2010. (ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)

And more positive relief images:

A US rescue helicopter carrying Pakistani flood affected victims flies above Kallam, a town of Swat Valley, on September 2, 2010. (A. MAJEED/AFP/Getty Images)

A Turkish doctor gives treatment to a Pakistani woman displaced by floods at a makeshift field medical camp in Thatta district on September 2, 2010. (RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)

I have deliberately left out the more tragic pictures, especially of children, but they are viewable at the source of the pictures here, Pakistan in Need.

Okay, one, and not the worst, by far.

Amira, 2, a flood victim suffering from skin and stomach problems, cries at a hospital in Sukkur, in Pakistan's Sindh province September 1, 2010. Victims of Pakistan's floods queued at hospitals where scant resources were available to treat a rising number of patients. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

If you still haven't donated your zakat elsewhere, or if you could contribute your sadaqa or charity to Pakistan relief efforts through the IRCC, UNESCO, Save the Children, CARE, OXFAM, or other reliable charity please do. Huffington Post has an inclusive list of how to do so, here. Another way is to text "SWAT" to 50555 from your mobile phone to give $10 to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Flood victims struggle for clean water from a tanker truck in Thatta in southern Sindh province on August 30, 2010. Pakistani troops and workers were on a "war footing" over the weekend battling to save the southern city of Thatta after most of the 300,000 population fled the advancing waters. (ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)

What are the risks to Pakistan if appropriate aid is not provided?
What are the risks in the region, and internationally?
What part does opportunism play in any crisis?
Any other thoughts, comments, impressions, experiences?

Related Posts:
Ramadan and Remembering Pakistan: Life in the time of the cholera?
Ramadan and Remembering Pakistan: Parts II, III, and IV: The Floods and Sociobiology; The Response; Katrina 5 Years On


Wafa' said...

Thanks a lot for the pictures and the reminding of our duty towards our fellow human beings in Pakistan.

You are amazing :)

Susanne said...

These pictures are so touching. I looked at them yesterday and just sat here wishing I could pick up that little girl who lost her juice and give her everything she needs so she could smile again.

Chiara said...

Wafa--thank you. You are too kind!

Susanne--Isn't it heartbreaking! The normal childhood trauma over juice boxes magnified to life threatening proportions! You are very kind hearted! :)

Thanks to both of you for your comments!


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