Compared with other faiths, Muslims are Britain’s most generous givers, a new research by a leading British charity website has found.
Conducted by ICM, a London-based polling agency, the survey showed the U.K.’s estimated 280,000 Muslims report giving more money annually to charity than Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Jews.
“Our data shows many of Britain’s Muslim communities are at the forefront of digital giving, driving an increase in zakat donations,” said Zarine Kharas, JustGiving’s CEO.
The survey, conducted on behalf of JustGiving, an online giving platform, also found a 70 percent rise in giving over the past two years from among Muslims to the charity-giving site.
According to the poll of 4,000 carried out in 2012, British Muslims gave $307,046 in donations to a variety of causes through JustGiving, compared to $144,311 in 2010.
“Muslims who donated to charity last year gave an average of almost £371 each, with Jewish givers averaging just over £270 per person”, reported The Times newspaper.
“When they donated last year, atheists averaged £116.”
These findings follow a recent Pew Research Center poll of more than 38,000 Muslims in 39 countries that found that 77 percent said they donated regularly to charities.
“The supposedly conservative Muslim community is very much getting on board with new and improved ways to fundraise,” said Khara. “To keep up with their congregations, imams should think beyond the collection plate when it comes to fundraising, as today people want the ability to respond immediately to need in a world which is increasingly cashless.”
Nearly one in ten of Jewish givers donated more than £1,000. Among Muslim givers, most donated between £300 and £500.
At almost £371 each, Muslims topped the poll of religious groups that give to charity.
The ICM poll found that Jewish donors gave an average of £270 per person.
Roman Catholics averaged just over £178, Christians just under £178 and Protestants £202.
JustGiving said a growing number of Muslims were making their charitable donations online.
The True Spirit of Islam
JustGiving said the donations went to various Islamic-oriented charities, including Muslim Aid, Islamic Relief and the Zakat Trust, but many donations also went to the likes of Cancer Research, Macmillan and the British Heart Foundation.
Muslims also donate to individual mosques and earmark sums of money to non-Islamic causes. In 2010, Muslims in Manchester donated $79,831 to develop a United Reformed Church building in a rundown part of the city.
“It highlights the true spirit and reality of Islam in Britain, in caring not just for the community but also humanity at large and supporting national causes,” Farooq Murad, secretary general of MCB (the Muslim Council of Britain), said.
Zakat is the Muslim practice of donating to charity to help the poor. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, being the compulsory giving of a proportion of one’s wealth to charity.
And donations typically rise during Ramadan when giving fulfills a religious obligation.
Source: MCB, Religion News Service