A total of $1.63 million was given out to more than 3,600 needy families as part of an annual year-end grant, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said yesterday.
This year's disbursement, given out last Thursday, coincides with the celebrations which mark the birth of Prophet Muhammad. The amount comes from zakat, an annual tithe given by Muslims to the needy.
"This is to support year-end expenses and beginning-of-year needs for families with school-going children," said a Muis spokesman, adding that the grant supplements the monthly financial assistance given out to zakat beneficiaries by Muis.
Of the $1.63 million, $60,600 went towards school shoes, socks and bags for 1,212 primary and secondary schoolchildren as part of a back-to-school pack.
Six families received the pack yesterday evening at an event at Jamiyah Ar-Rabitah Mosque in Tiong Bahru. Among the recipients was Mr Imran Rahmat, who is unemployed and has three school-going children.
"The grant helps with my children's expenses. I'm not able to work because of health problems," said the 44-year-old who has a slipped disc and diabetes, among other ailments.
Another $261,970 from the grant was disbursed as part of a study grant for 1,537 families with children aged 18 and below.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim and Mufti Mohamed Fatris Bakaram attended the event. During his talk, Dr Fatris stressed that Muslims here should follow the example of Prophet Muhammad in being compassionate to the wider community.
As part of its humanitarian efforts, Muis, through the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation, will also collect funds for those affected by last Wednesday's earthquake in Aceh, as well as victims of violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state.
Donation boxes will be placed at all 70 mosques. Donations can also be made online or at the Singapore Islamic Hub in Braddell Road.