The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust (SKMT) and Meezan Bank, Pakistan’s leading Islamic Bank, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday, 25th February, 2021, under which Meezan Bank will develop a Shariah Compliance Framework for SKMT for the collection, utilisation and management of Zakat funds. The MoU was signed in Karachi by Dr Muhammed Aasim Yusuf, Acting CEO of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust (SKMT), and Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, Founding President & CEO of Meezan Bank.
Payment of Zakat is a religious obligation for Muslims, and it is critical that it should be paid and utilised in accordance with rules defined in Shariah. This makes it important for any organization that receives Zakat from donors to make sure that its Zakat distribution mechanism is in accordance with The Shariah.
The Zakat distribution framework will be implemented at SKMT under the supervision of Mufti Omais Alam, an independent qualified Shariah scholar with expertise in Islamic Finance and Zakat. Implementation of the framework at SKMT will provide added comfort to individuals and organisations who give their Zakat to SKMT.
On this important occasion, Dr Aasim Yusuf said, “As Ramzan approaches, I would like to urge people to support SKMT’s mission of providing equitable access to quality treatment to all patients. At SKMT, we treat Zakat as a sacred trust, and have always taken all possible steps to ensure that the utilisation of Zakat complies with Islamic injunctions, including utilisation for Zakat eligible patients. We hope that our supporters will continue to donate generously with renewed confidence, enabling us to offer world class treatment to thousands of deserving cancer patients at our hospitals in Lahore and Peshawar, where we continue to treat more than 75% of our patients free of charge, as well as at our third, and Pakistan’s largest, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, currently under construction in Karachi, which is expected to open to patients at the end of 2023.”
Mr. Irfan Siddiqui also appreciated SKMT’s initiative of implementation of Shariah Compliance Framework and said, “implementation of the Shariah Compliance Framework by SKMT is a step in the right direction and will provide added comfort to donors who wish to ensure that their religious obligations are properly discharged. Meezan Bank has always supported SKMT in promoting its cause and will continue to do so in the future as well.”