Since the Australian Government announced its huge package of financial support for businesses and workers in Australia, it would be understandable if a person thought that there will be no need for Zakat to help local Muslims in the coming months, and that all the financial worries people had about the impact of coronavirus are being dealt with.
Sadly, our experience tells us that it’s not going to be quite that simple. However, this is not a time to panic. We’re all in this together and Zakat has the power to help our community through these difficult times.
Here are just some of the reasons we believe Zakat will be an essential safety net for Muslims in the weeks and months ahead:
Existing povertyThe Muslim community is already more affected by the types of issues which makes it worse during a crisis like this: poverty, unemployment and no job security. Every month NZF Australia gets applications from Muslims struggling to make ends meet, and when a crisis happens these people will feel the situation more.
The welfare system is already under strainOur experienced grants team knows all too well the challenges people face trying to access benefits. Now, with many more people trying to get support, this will only add to their difficulties. Reports suggest as many as 300,000 people were trying to apply for benefits online at a single point last week along with waiting times on the phone and in person at Centrelink. The help the Government is giving is very much needed and welcome, but people who are desperate need help now.
Uncertainty for renters, self-employed and zero-hours contractorsThere’s still uncertainty for many about exactly what they’re entitled to from the Government during this time. Private renters, self-employed people and those in unstable contract work are especially worried about how they’re going to make ends meet while this lockdown continues. Despite the Government helping self employed people, they won’t get any money until June and many people who work for themselves are still not covered by this support.
Help might take some time to comeAs we said previously, there’s no doubt that the support being offered by the Government is useful and will help many get through these hard times. But many of the Muslim brothers and sisters we deal with every day need support urgently just to cover the basic costs of living. We know from experience how just a little bit of support in the meantime can make the world of difference.
Zakat is a ready-made solution designed for situations like thisThanks to Zakat given locally through National Zakat Foundation, Muslims who are financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can get the help they need quickly and effectively. NZF is ready to support people who qualify for Zakat now.
Again, while the situation is clearly very uncertain, please be assured that help is at hand. Our community is strongest when we work together, and Zakat is the best example of this.
If you’re a Muslim, struggling to get by during these trying times, please do apply for help. Zakat was made for moments like this and there’s no shame in reaching out for help from your brothers and sisters.
Looking for help?
If you think you meet the criteria for receiving Zakat support, please reach out to us and we'll do our best to serve you.