ZAKAT: ITS PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES FOR POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN MOMBASA COUNTY
KHAMISI, KHAMISI MOHAMED
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Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. It entails the deduction of a portion of one’s accumulated wealth for the purpose of compulsory charity to the designated recipients mainly the poor and the needy members of the society. Zakat is obligatory for Muslims who posses wealth that is above the Nisaab. The main objective of Zakat is to relieve the economic burden and suffering of the poor and the needy. Poverty remains to be one of the main pressing socio-economic problems in Kenya. The government has initiated a number of poverty alleviation strategies such as Youth and women Development funds which to a large extent have not been successful, however, Zakat has not been considered as one of these strategies. Nonetheless, there is a general absence of data on Zakat organization and its potential in poverty alleviation in Kenya. To fill this gap in knowledge, this study investigated the prospects of Zakat in alleviating poverty in Mombasa County. The level of its compliance, the manner of its collection and distribution as well as its impact on the welfare of Muslims in Mombasa County was explored in this study. Challenges encountered in the organization of Zakat were also investigated and recommendations on efficient ways of administering Zakat are suggested. This is a qualitative research that describes the manner of collection and distribution of Zakat in and its potential in Poverty alleviation in Mombasa County. The instruments for data collection comprised of questionnaires, oral interviews and focus group discussions. The respondents were Muslims who pay or receive Zakat, organizations dealing with Zakat collection and distribution as well as Imams. A total of 240 questionnaires were distributed, 51 oral interviews and 4 focus group discussions were conducted. The data collected was analyzed and presented to form the basis of this dissertation.