Subject: Too much marketing?

But would it not be worth it?
Assalamualaikum

"Too much marketing from NZF"

That was a comment we received from a couple of people this week and it made us think; and before proceeding, I'd like to warn you in advance this is a slightly longer email but we would appreciate it if you read through till the end :)

Taking a step back - two unrelated instances this week:

1. A brother reached out to me at the Melbourne Madinah the other day and pulled out the 10 step Zakat check list we sent recently and we had a discussion around Nisab & missed Zakat.

2. Another brother I know from the local swimming pool had a chat with me about what we're doing and the discussed evolved into the difference between Zakat & general Sadaqah and the wisdom behind Allah not limiting Zakat to just the "poor & needy" but rather define 6 other categories for Zakat.

In general, we've been receiving a lot of positive feedback on the increasing awareness of what is thought to be a "boring" topic. But then we receive the odd comment that says we are marketing "too much".

So should NZF stop "marketing"

A bigger question - what exactly ARE we marketing?

Just to be clear, our objective has never been about raising funds. It hasn't been about the $ amount of Zakat we receive. Rather, the focus has been on reaching as many people as possible to educate them on fulfilling their Zakat obligations correctly.

Why? 

Because we sincerely believe that by establishing the benefits of Zakat as instructed by Allah SWT & the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), it is one of the keys to gaining Allah's Mercy, Pleasure & Barakah in our community.

A step back - Zakat as an institution consists of Payment and Distribution. 

If you've noticed, our focus in our "marketing" has been on payment and ensuring everyone learns, calculates & pays their Zakat correctly. 
And Subhan Allah the number of people who have approached us this year with questions about their Zakat has been amazing. 

Hence why we've invested our efforts in workshops, producing guides, an online calculator, check lists and more. It's not to raise money but to educate the Muslims to take action on this Pillar of Islam.

Does that mean we're not interested in the money? 

Of course we are, but only so we can establish the other half of Zakat i.e. the Distribution; and are able to help the local needy. 

Not because NZF in anyway make any money from your Zakat. As we have said many times, we distribute 100% of your Zakat. If we raise $1 million, then we are obliged to distribute the entire $1 million by next Ramadan. 

In fact, the more Zakat we receive, the more responsibility we have and that actually worries us, but subhan Allah, isn't that what we want to busy ourselves with? With directly establishing a Pillar of Islam in our local community? Alhamdulillah for this opportunity.

In our local community?

And as we have discussed earlier, there is consensus among the imams of the four madhabs and many scholars that, generally speaking, the local needy must be given priority for the Zakat collected locally. This is why NZF exists and this is why our focus is Local Zakat. More information on the madhabs here.

The point of my email?

Should we stop "marketing" because we've done enough? How much is too much? What if with our next email, 3 people get annoyed because they've paid their Zakat already, but we reach one extra person who realises the significance of this obligation, takes his Zakat seriously, calculates it for all his missed years & pays it this Ramadan. 

Perhaps it is the act of this one person, during these blessed nights, that causes Allah to descend His Mercy on our entire community?

So, would that not be worth it?

Doing what we do helps any charity that people support with their Zakat, so collectively we uplift our local community,

We need your support to help increase the piety of our community to earn the pleasure of Allah. This is our vision and we believe this is how we can develop into a strong, self-sustainable community.

So please bear with us even if you feel our messages our repetitive. If you are fulfilling your Zakat obligations then that is brilliant. 

Perhaps make a dua when you see our messages that Allah guides our entire Ummah to establish the Pillar of Zakat in a manner that attains His Pleasure. 

There might be such a thing as "too much marketing" but we can never make "too much dua" in these last 10 nights.

Please do keep the NZF team in your dua :)

Wasalam
Farooq Syed
National Zakat Foundation Australia

P.S. Apologies for the long email once again. Will keep any future ones short insha Allah! :)
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