More families to benefit from Muis' zakat assistance scheme

Madam Aminah Delima Rais and her children - (from left) Mohd Syahmirul Danish, 10; Mohd Syahqirin Daniel, 12; and Nur Syahirah Putri Dania, eight - will be able to repaint their flat ahead of Friday's Hari Raya, thanks to a cash donation and hampers
Madam Aminah Delima Rais and her children - (from left) Mohd Syahmirul Danish, 10; Mohd Syahqirin Daniel, 12; and Nur Syahirah Putri Dania, eight - will be able to repaint their flat ahead of Friday's Hari Raya, thanks to a cash donation and hampers from Muis yesterday.PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

After her first husband died 14 years ago, and her second walked out on the family recently, Madam Aminah Delima Rais was left to bring up eight children, aged six to 18, alone.

She became a Grab driver in 2016, working overnight shifts to put her kids through school and food on the table. When she was diagnosed with liver enlargement early this year, the worry threatened to overwhelm her.

"They depend on me. When anything happens to me, my first thought is, what about the children?" said Madam Aminah, 46.

But she can rest a little easier as she will get more help through the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's (Muis) monthly Zakat Financial Assistance.

Madam Aminah will receive $650 monthly from next month, an increase from the amount she used to get, as she is now the family's breadwinner.

Some 4,700 families will receive monthly zakat assistance from September. Of these, 700 are either new recipients or who, like Madam Aminah, will receive more. The new recipients will benefit from a revision in the eligibility criteria raising the qualifying per capita income for each household from $350 to $400.

  • 4,700

    Number of families who will receive monthly zakat assistance from September.

Muis said it can give out more because of a 10 per cent increase in zakat donations this year. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, and these donations are obligatory contributions by Muslims to the needy.

Madam Aminah's family was also one of 4,300 who received Ramadan bonuses from Muis' Ramadan Disbursement of $2.3 million this year. Some $56,000 was also used to buy Hari Raya Puasa hampers for beneficiaries.

Madam Aminah received a cash bonus of $1,000 and two gift hampers. She and the children plan to celebrate this week's Hari Raya with their neighbours in Toa Payoh.

"I'm happy that at least now I can address some of my children's wants," she said, "like having the house painted for Hari Raya."

The deputy chief executives of Muis, Dr Albakri Ahmad and Mr Esa Masood, presented the hampers to Madam Aminah yesterday.

Mr Esa Masood said: "It is thanks to the generosity of the Muslim community that the beneficiaries are able to get the assistance they need."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2018, with the headline 'More families to benefit from Muis' zakat assistance scheme'. Print Edition | Subscribe