Azzad clients to donate more than $4 million in charity this Ramadan

FALLS CHURCH, Va., June 21, 2016 — Azzad Asset Management, a socially responsible, faith-based investment firm, announced today that its Muslim clients are expected to donate a record amount of money this year in order to fulfill their religious obligation of giving in charity a certain percentage of their wealth.

The company calculates that its clients will give approximately $3.5 million in mandatory charitable giving, or zakah, and an additional $550,000 in purification dues, bringing the total to more than $4 million. Azzad reports the amounts to clients in an annual statement issued during the month of Ramadan. Many Muslims choose to pay their Zakah during Ramadan–a month of fasting, worship, and giving–which began this year on June 6.

“Azzad Asset Management is dedicated to helping American Muslims practice this important pillar of their faith,” said Azzad President and CEO Bashar Qasem, CSAA. “And in today’s challenging climate, it is all the more important to facilitate the good that observant Muslims contribute to their communities. As the financial services industry’s sole provider of tailored zakah calculations for clients, we are pleased to be a part of such a meaningful and socially conscious activity.”

Clients are responsible for donating the calculated amounts to the charity or charities of their choice.

The Azzad announcement comes amid reports that charitable giving in the United States stands at record levels. According to Giving USA’s annual philanthropy report released in mid-June, religiously motivated giving accounted for the largest percentage of charitable donations in the U.S.

The third pillar of Islam, zakah (sometimes spelled “zakat”) is universally recognized among the faithful as an obligation–usually stated as 2.5%–that every Muslim must pay on assets above a minimum threshold if they have been held for a full lunar year.

Islam mandates that zakah be assessed on accumulated wealth in order to encourage the free flow of capital and avoid a concentration of resources among the very few. Zakah is not a tax on income, but on wealth and savings in order to help those in need. Muslims are also strongly encouraged to give charity voluntarily according to their means in addition to the obligatory zakah.

Azzad follows best practices and guidelines issued by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). AAOIFI is a consortium of Muslim scholars who convene to issue guidelines on halal investing and other financial matters. AAOIFI Standard Number 21, which outlines the principles of Islamic investing and includes specific guidance on zakah and purification, is considered the authority for Islamic financial services firms.

About Azzad Asset Management
Since 1997, Azzad Asset Management has provided investment services designed to help clients enjoy optimum performance without compromising their values. Azzad is a member of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. The firm is a registered investment advisor based in Falls Church, Virginia.

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Contact: Azzad Investment Communications Director Joshua Brockwell, 703-207-7005, ext. 109, joshua@azzad.net; Azzad Marketing Associate Amina Rubin, 703-207-7005, ext. 120, amina@azzad.net

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