The Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II has described Zakat as a veritable tool to fight poverty in the society.
Emir Sanusi made this known during the Zakat distribution ceremony organised by Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation at the Emir's Palace in Kano.
No fewer than 100 women benefited from the gesture.
Some of the items distributed include sowing and grinding machines, deep freezers and cash.
If Zakat is properly coordinated, it is capable of reducing poverty in the country, the revered traditional ruler said.
He recalled that during the regime of Second Caliph, Umar bn Khattab and fifth Caliph Umar bn AbdulAziz , no one was poor enough in their communities to receive Zakat because the one distributed in the previous year made them to be self-reliant.
The money, he said, were sent to other countries.
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"The same feat can be repeated during our own time if the rich people are paying their Zakat as at when due and are paying the exact amount and these funds were administered by competent and God-fearing people, it has the power to eliminate poverty. We have a model that has been practicalised ," he said.
He hailed the Jazi Bank for establishing the foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and social work.
Islam, Emir Sanusi said, is a practical religion, thanking the foundation for bringing the distribution to Kano and given consideration to the women.
Emir Sanusi urged the beneficiaries to make good use of items distributed to them.
This, he said, will make make good impact in the metropolis.
"The number of people that would be dependable will be reduced to the barest minimum level so that we can have a peaceful society that will aid development," he said.
Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation Director/Chief Executive Officer Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, said the foundation made the distribution for women only to tackle poverty at the grass root.
"The focus of the intervention is basically for the economic empowerment of these women. Some of them are widows, some are married and some of them are singles. The total worth of the Zakat we gave out was N5 million and this amount covered items such as 41 sowing machines, 50 grinding machines and eight deep freezers. Cash were given to other women basically for their economy empowerment," he said.
According to him, men have benefited in previous editions and would be considered for further disbursement.
Shuaib said: "After conducting our need assessment, we discover that the number of people that required supports are majorly women and very few number of men. On the second thought, these women are equally people that need maximum support. Without any prejudice to the men because we believe the men also need support but the women need more support than the men. What we have done was to raise the standard of living of the women and ensure that the women themselves take the lead in terms of raising the awareness of economic empowerment or entrepreneurship skill development to be able to improve their economic well-being."
The foundation chief advised them to judicious use of the items and the fund they have been given.
"They should not squander them, they should sell the items; they should not equally use the items as a collateral to collect money somewhere such that if they are unable to pay, they will forgo the items but rather they should see the item as a ladder which they need to climb to a greater height. They can equally attain economic freedom and self-sustainability.
"That is the only way through which we can feel the impact of the Zakat that is being given out and that is also the way through which we can show that zakat is having a positive impact in our society as well as on individuals."
Director of Islamic Civilisation in Bayero University Dr Bashiru Aliyu Umar once you support women, you've support the society "because they are the ones who are taking care of the children and the problem that we have of malnutrition and health problems and also the lack of education, the moment you empower our women, you get the solutions to this problems."
The society, Dr Umar said, should emulate Jaiz's gesture making use of their Zakat for empowerment not just by distributing some handouts to the people but making it in a way that will serve as empowerment.
He enjoined the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of Zakat institution.
"They got the items to make them create a sustainable source of income for themselves and take care of their children. They will move out of the level of poverty to richness and wealth," he said.
He commended the foundation for the intervention, urging them to monitor the beneficiaries to achieve the desired objectives.