#Zakat Fund #paid JD200k to #free 386 indebted #women in 2017’

The Zakat Fund paid JD200,000 to release 386 women who were imprisoned after failing to paying back their loans in 2017. The release came as part of the fund's programme “Sahm Al Gharimat”, funds allocated for indebted women, which aims to release women who cannot pay for their freedom, the fund’s director general, Abed Smeirat, told a newspaper in Jordan.
According to Islamic law, or Sharia, Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, a tax that requires paying 2.5 % of what a Muslim owns in cash money, gold, silver, cattle, farms and rentable assets, in alms. People who are burdened with debt that has been obtained for reasonable purposes are one of the eight categories of groups entitled to receive Zakat money, which is, in principle, managed by the state and is the only type of tax Muslim citizens are required to pay.
The fund's board of directors, chaired by Awqaf Minister Wael Arabiyat, has allocated JD500,000 for the programme during 2017-2018. The fund has set a number of rules to regulate the process of selecting the beneficiaries. "The top priority is to pay the debts of women who are detained for financial issues and have no criminal records," Smeirat said, adding that the payment’s upper limit is JD1,500 for each beneficiary and for one time.
The Zakat Fund does not deal with individual cases but rather carries out its own studies on a group of cases prior to selection, the official explained, underscoring the fund’s cooperation with the Public Security Department in this regard.
The fund’s women initiative has not been the only one of its kind launched in Jordan. Last year, dozens of Jordanian women who were in prison for failing to repay debts were released during the fasting month of Ramadan following a fund raising campaign by a police radio.