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General FAQs

At Help Yateem, we work hard to ensure that every penny is spent in the most effective way possible because we are accountable to our donors, to people in need all around the world, and most importantly, we are accountable to Allah (SWT). Check out our most recent financial reports. (please see the zakat section below for specific information pertaining to zakat donations.)

For Every £1 donation, 0.92p goes towards the project and 0.08p goes towards the administration fee

A significant amount of our work is done by generous and hard-working volunteers who donate their time to stretch your dollars even farther. That’s the power of partnership!

Help Yateem currently provides aid in more than 5 countries, Kenya, Yeman, Somalia, Gambia and the United Kingdom. 

To implement the work, Help Yateem family has field offices based in each country. 

We are accountable to Allah, to our donors and to all those we have the honour to serve. In line with our Islamic values of ihsan (excellence) and amanah (custodianship), we are committed to ensuring your donations are used in the most efficient way and we provide the best possible service to those we serve.

We believe in transparency and accountability. That’s why we’re clear that we have admin and fundraising costs and that they are necessary expenditure for a global charity committed to the highest international humanitarian standards. Information on our admin costs and financial accounts are published every year in our Annual Report and Financial Statements which are independently audited, lodged with the Charity Commission and published on our website.

That does not mean we are perfect. We are constantly seeking opportunities to cut costs without cutting corners, to work more efficiently and to reduce waste. We train all our staff to adhere to our Islamic, ethical and humanitarian standards and continue to explore ways to improve our practices and reduce expenditure. 

Yes, you can set up a monthly Direct Debit. This is the most efficient way to support Help Yateem as it reduces the cost of administration. Regular monthly commitments allow us to plan ahead and ensure we have a reliable source of income to provide aid.

It really helps us if you can Gift Aid your sponsorship or donation – it increases the value of your donation by 25%. If you are a UK taxpayer, selecting to ‘Gift Aid’ your donation (either by checking the box online or ticking the box on a paper donation form) will make it worth more to us at no extra cost to you.

In order for Help Yateem to reclaim the tax you have paid on your donations, you must have paid income or capital gains tax (in the UK) equal to the tax that will be claimed by all the charities that you donate to (currently 25p for every £1 you give) in the same tax year.

The tax reclaimed will be used to help fund the administration costs of the charity so that more of your actual donation can go directly to those in need.

Gift Aid can be added to your donation if you are donating your own money. We regret that Gift Aid cannot be reclaimed if you are paying donations that you collected from others, even if everyone was a UK taxpayer. Neither can it be reclaimed on donations made by companies. Other taxes such as VAT and council tax do not qualify. Gift Aid cannot be claimed on payments for any ticketed events.

Please notify us if you are no longer eligible, wish to cancel this declaration, change your name or home address or if you no longer pay sufficient tax on your income and/or capital gains.

By ticking the box you agree that you are eligible to claim Gift Aid as explained above and that we can treat this donation, any donations made in the last 4 years, and future donations as Gift Aid, and that you understand that if you pay less income tax and/or capital gains tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in that tax year, it is your responsibility to pay any difference.

If you have any queries regarding your donation, please call Help Yateem UK on +44 20 3004 9013, or email us on: info@helpyateem.org

FAQ related to orphan sponsorship

Help Yateem defines an orphan as: “A child below 18 years of age, without both parents or father, or whose father has abandoned them for a minimum of four years, of any gender, religion or race.

For every £1.00 donated, 92p of your donation goes directly to the sponsorship program. The remaining sum is used admin cost. We pride ourselves on transparency and we ensure that your money goes towards the project you intended – we know that we are accountable to you, our beneficiaries and ultimately Allah (SWT). Every year, Help Yateem prepares financial accounts, which are audited by independent accountants. 

The programme aims to meet the needs of each orphan by providing basic necessities to improve their health and nutrition and additionally support them through their education and social development. The money is used for education, school meal, transportation, school accessories, and medical check. 

We encourage a minimum sponsorship period of one year, however you can sponsor a child for as long as you wish, up to the age of 18. Sometimes, the sponsorship continues after the child reaches 18, for example for medical or educational reasons. If there is a need for the sponsorship to continue, we will notify you. 

When you start your sponsorship, we will send you a photograph of your child with a range of basic biographical information. If you are paying by direct debit, this is usually around four to six weeks after the direct debit has been processed. If you have made payment for the whole year via cheque/credit or debit card/postal order, then you should receive this within two to three weeks. We aim to send you a report on your sponsored orphan every year.

Yes, we can facilitate for you speak to the child. In some cases, the child or guardian may refuse, in such cases we may request for you to send an email or letter to us and will forward to the child or guardian.

On certain occasions, supervised visits may be possible following prior arrangements with the local Help Yateem office and with the agreement of the child. Please note that visits cannot be made directly to the orphan’s home in line with the Child Protection Policy, so the meeting will be held at our offices. Furthermore, any UK-based individual requesting a visit will have to be Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) approved. You would be responsible for your own travel arrangements at your own expense and risk and for providing evidence of a DBS check.

Sponsorship may be cancelled in the following situations:

The orphan supersedes the eligible age range and/or gets married;

Their mother remarries and her new husband is able to provide for the family;

The family has a significant increase in income;

The child is absent for more than three months and is not able to be traced;

If the orphan sadly passes away. In the case of death, sponsorship may be transferred to a sibling if they are of sponsorship age.

We request that you give us a minimum of three months notice prior to cancellation in order to allow enough time for us to find another donor. 

We are certain you will agree that we need to ensure your orphan continues to receive support to minimise disruption to their life. However, if you are unable to do this due to exceptional circumstances, the orphan will be supported by Help Yateem for a further three months until another sponsor is found.

We select the orphans through means testing, with each office using a scoring system for families based on the following factors:

Income: Priority is given to those with the lowest income, which includes any monies coming in (e.g. salaries, pension or other sponsorship money). Each field office sets its own maximum family income level, below which an application for sponsorship is granted.

Size of family and ages of children: Priority is given to larger families with younger children.

Housing conditions: Priority is given to those living in the poorest conditions.

Health: Priority is given to children with the poorest health status.

In each family, one child in every two can be sponsored, providing of course that sponsors can be found. This can be modified by the field office upon approval of the Child Welfare Department if there is a particular need for more children within a family to be supported.

We select the orphans through means testing, with each office using a scoring system for families based on the following factors:

Income: Priority is given to those with the lowest income, which includes any monies coming in (e.g. salaries, pension or other sponsorship money). Each field office sets its own maximum family income level, below which an application for sponsorship is granted.

If you have any queries regarding your sponsorship, please call Help Yateem UK on +44 20 3004 9013, or email us on: info@helpyateem.org

FAQs related to Zakat

Zakat is obligatory on someone who is:

1. A free man or woman.

2. Muslim: Zakat is a religious obligation upon Muslims, like the five daily prayers.

3. Sane: The person on whom zakat becomes obligatory must be of sound mind according to Imam Abu Hanifa. Imam Malik holds that an insane person is still liable for zakat.

4. An adult: Children do not have to pay zakat, even if they own enough wealth to make zakat obligatory. However, both Imam Shafi’i and Imam Malik say that the guardians of the children should pay the zakat on their behalf.

5. In complete ownership and control of their wealth: The person must own and be in possession of the wealth, and also be free to spend or dispose of the wealth in any manner they like. If a person has made a loan of their wealth then they are not in a position to spend it until it is repaid.

6. In possession of wealth above the nisab threshold: The person should possess wealth above a defined amount required to satisfy the essential needs of themselves and their dependents (nisab).

7. Free from debt: Someone in debt may deduct their debts from their assets. If what remains is still above the nisab threshold, zakat is due, otherwise not.

8. In possession of the wealth for one complete lunar (Hijrah) year: If one owns zakatable wealth for a lunar year, zakat will become obligatory, provided the total amount of wealth exceeds the nisab at the beginning of the year and the end, irrespective of any fluctuations in the months between.

Yes, zakat can be paid in advance before the year has ended, but you should make sure you have wealth equal to or above the nisab.

To be eligible to receive zakat, the recipient must be a poor Muslim. A poor person is someone whose property in excess of his basic requirements does not reach the value of the nisab threshold.

The recipient must not belong to your immediate family: your spouse, children, parents and grandparents cannot receive your zakat. Other relatives however, can receive your zakat.

The recipient must not be a Hashimi, a descendant of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Before the Eid al-Fitr prayer at the end of Ramadan, every adult Muslim who possesses food in excess of their needs must pay zakat al-fitr for themselves. The head of household can also pay on behalf of their dependants such as children, servants and elderly relatives.

The head of the household is responsible for paying zakat al-fitr for all dependants Zakat al-fitr can be paid during Ramadan, before Eid al-Fitr prayers at the latest, so that the poor can enjoy the day of Eid.

The minimum amount due is the equivalent of about 2 kg of wheat flour, rice or other staple foodstuff, for each member of the household, including children and dependants – even if they do not live in the same house. A safe estimate is approximately £5/US$7 per head.

Recipients of zakat al-Fitr are the poor and those in need, who are entitled to receive general zakat. Islamic Relief acts as your charitable agent, using your zakat al-fitr to buy and distribute food on your behalf.

For a donation to qualify as zakat, there must be a clear intention present, either when you separate the zakat money from the rest of your wealth, or when you make the zakat payment.

Not according to the Hanafi school. A child is not liable to pay zakat, even if they possess wealth above the nisab threshold. The first zakat payment will become due twelve lunar months after the child reaches the age of puberty, if they possess wealth above the nisab.

According to Imam Shafi’ and Imam Malik, however, a child who possesses wealth above the nisab value is liable for zakat, the same as an adult.

To be liable for zakat, one’s wealth must be more than a threshold figure, termed the ‘nisab’. To determine the nisab there are two measures, either gold or silver.

Gold: The nisab by the gold standard is 3 ounces of gold (87.48 grammes) or its cash equivalent. This is approximately $3,560 on 16 April 2019, but will vary with the market value of gold.

Silver: The nisab by the silver standard is 21 ounces of silver (612.36 grammes) or its equivalent in cash. This is approximately $324 on 16 April 2019.

The nisab calculated with the silver standard is significantly lower than its gold counterpart. This is because the value of silver has plummeted since the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

There are arguments for using either nisab value – many scholars say that it is better to use the silver nisab since it will increase the amount of charity distributed, others say that the gold nisab is closer to the nisab in use at the time of the blessed Prophet (peace be upon him).

However, if your assets consist entirely of gold, you must use the gold nisab, and similarly, if they consist entirely of silver then the silver nisab must be used.

Gold and silver: Any gold or silver you possess is zakatable, including jewellery according to the Hanafi school, because these two metals have intrinsic monetary value.

Other precious metals and stones are not zakatable unless they were acquired for the purpose of trade.

Cash or its equivalent: Cash at home, in bank accounts, savings, money lent to others, saving certificates, bonds, shares, investment certificates and so on, are all taken into account when calculating zakat.

Stock purchased for trade: Any goods you have bought with the intention of selling are included in your zakatable wealth.

Except for gold and silver, no zakat is payable on your personal belongings such as a house, car or any goods which were not purchased to trade.

If a person possesses wealth exceeding the nisab threshold, but has to pay rent, purchase food, clothing, etc., for themselves and their dependants, then these costs may be deducted from one’s wealth.

If, after deducting these costs, the remaining amount is less than the nisab then no zakat is payable.

The zakat year begins on the date you were first in possession of wealth above the nisab.

This will be your seed date, whenever it comes around you will have to calculate zakat, irrespective of any fluctuations in the amount of wealth in your possession.

The only situation in which your seed date will change is if you were to become totally bankrupt and lose all your assets and belongings. In this situation, your new seed date will begin when you are once again in possession of wealth above the nisab.

If you are not sure of your seed date, then estimate it to the best of your ability.

As long as you are in possession of wealth above the nisab threshold at the beginning and end of the zakat year, then zakat will be due, even if your wealth dipped below the nisab for some or most of the year.

You pay zakat when the zakat year has elapsed, irrespective of when particular portions of your wealth came into your possession. Even if the cash came into your possession a day before the zakat year had elapsed, you would have to pay zakat on it the following day.

Yes, zakat is payable on money saved for hajj, provided it is kept for one lunar year, and your total wealth meets the nisab threshold.

There are two ways in which a pension can be funded:

1) Payments are deducted from a salary before it comes into the possession of the contributor.

2) The contributor makes payments from money that has already come into their possession.

If the payments are deducted from the salary at source, so that the money never comes into the possession of the contributor, no zakat is due on the payments, nor is it due on the amount that accumulates in the pension or provident fund.

Zakat will only become payable when money from the fund is paid out and received by the contributor.

If the pension payments are made after the money has come into the possession of the contributor, then zakat is payable on the money that accumulates in the fund.

Shares are of two types: those purchased by a speculator who trades in shares, and those bought for investment.

If you are a speculator and have bought shares specifically for the purpose of selling them and making a profit, then the entire market value of the shares is subject to zakat since it is considered as stock in trade.

If, however, you have bought shares as an investment and to receive dividends, then calculate the percentage of zakatable assets the company has, then pay zakat on that percentage of the value of your shares. To do this you would need to look at the yearly accounts of the company, and work out what percentage of its assets are stock, raw materials, cash, gold or other zakatable items. Buildings, machinery, vehicles and so on that are essential for the business are not zakatable.

The basic principle is that debts are deducted from wealth, and if the remainder is still over the nisab threshold, zakat is payable, otherwise not.

However, if a person has a large debt that is being paid off in instalments, such as a mortgage or a large credit card debt, then one should only deduct the payment that is currently due from one’s assets.

Yes. You can either pay zakat for every year that passes until you receive the loan back, or you can wait until you receive the loan and then pay the accumulated zakat in one go.

If the loan is insecure and you are unsure if the borrower will be able to pay you back, it is better to delay the zakat payment until you receive it, at which point the zakat accumulated over the years will be payable. If you never receive the money back, no zakat is payable.

If you have any queries regarding zakat, please call Help Yateem UK on +44 20 3004 9013, or email us on: info@helpyateem.org

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