A recently published report by the Muslim think tank Ayaan Institute reveals that British Muslims are among the most generous charitable groups in the UK. The report also found that Muslim giving in the UK easily exceeded a billion pounds a year (£1bn) in 2020, with this amount set to rise to £4.39bn by 2051.
In producing the report, the founding director of Ayaan Institute, Jahangir Mohammed also commented on how generous Muslim communities are.
“The information in this report shows just how seriously Muslim communities take their religious obligations to help the poor and needy around the world. It is in the divinely ordained rituals and obligations of Islam that we find the greatest expressions of Ummah solidarity,” Jahangir said.
Growth of Charities in the UK
Since 1960, the number of charities in the UK has grown rapidly from just two to 1026 in 2020. However, a lot of this growth has happened only in the last 20 years, largely due to the many tragic and unforeseen circumstances in many parts of the Muslim world in the last two decades.
The report also goes on to comment on the many hardships and difficulties Muslim charities faced over the many years. Whilst rapid growth occurred over the last two decades, the report mentions that this growth occurred during a period when Muslim charities and their work were subject to greater scrutiny by security services and regulatory agencies around the world.
The report also adds, “we can estimate with some certainty that Muslim giving in the UK would easily exceed a billion pounds a year (£1bn) in 2020. Therefore, in terms of income, employment, and skills development of volunteers, the Muslim charity sector makes a significant contribution to the UK economy and civil society.”
Diversity and Ethnic Composition
The UK is made up of a range of diverse ethnicities when it comes to Muslims. From Bangladeshis to Syrians and Somalians to Indians, Muslims in the UK have never been more diverse. This naturally means that charitable donations are given to a large number of diverse countries, which according to the report, truly reflects the ethnic composition of the UK Muslim population and key conflict zones. The report adds that there were 809 projects carried out in Pakistan, 529 in Bangladesh, 186 in India, 291 in Arab countries, 138 for Palestinians, and 65 in Somalia.
What Needs To Change
Despite the many successes and superb stats showing that British Muslims are among the most generous religious groups in the UK, work remains outstanding in some areas.
According to the report, it is obvious that Muslim charities could be carrying out a more diverse range of projects to meet needs. From providing protective clothing to artificial limbs, the report also found that work remains outstanding when it comes to the many needs of women that are not being fulfilled.
The report also reviewed and analysed the objectives and activities of charities, and found that only a few ever do any research to be more proactive. For that reason, the report suggests that charities attempt to do much more in advocacy to assist in tackling barriers that exacerbate poverty and dependence, such as racism, Islamophobia, and laws that prevent settlement.
Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
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