News day / Delivering the Friday Kut’bah (sermon) at the weekly Juma congregational prayer, Sulaimaini reminded worshippers that the payment of Zakat is a compulsory obligation on all Muslims as it is the second pillar of Islam.

Sulaimani pointed out that Zakat is not charity, but it is tax which is due to the poor and the needy, as well as the less fortunate. He explained that after someone has paid all their expenses, two and a half percent of their wealth is due and owing to the poor.

“It is not charity; it is not about feeling sorry for people. The poor and the needy have an entitlement to that and you are duty bound to pay it and don’t ever feel in your mind that you are doing them any good – but you are doing yourself a good,” Sulaimani said. Pontificating on the wealth among local Muslims, many of whom enjoy a high standard of living, Sulaimani compared the lifestyle of those who have, with those who have less or have nothing at all.

“You open the refrigerator and you do not know which packet of juice to drink. You go to the grocery and you buy so much, then to realise that the trolley is packed with expired food items.

So you throw them away and you buy more,” Sulaimani said. But then, your neighbours in Haiti, are suffering and are impoverished by natural disasters. People ought not to pass judgement, the Muslim cleric said, adding that the poor and needy, as well as the those afflicted with pain and suffering, are really a test for the rest of mankind.

Allah, Sulaimani added, has created everything “measure for measure”. Sulaimani said that San Fernando Mayor Kazim Hosein must be singled out for praise for the charity drive he launched for Haiti. He also showered praises on Inshan Ishmael and his Baraqa Foundation, for assisting Mayor Hosein.

Sulaimani, who holds a Masters Degree in Islamic theology, called on Muslims to contribute more to the Haiti effort by way of their Zakat, reiterating that no Muslim can claim to be a follower of the Islamic faith, if he does not like for his brother, what he likes for himself.


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