Zakat al-Maal

As we go through the holy month of Ramadan, striving to strengthen our Iman and our deeds, we continue to reflect on the blessings of Allah in our life. Ramadan is the perfect time to reflect on those fellow brothers and sisters around the world that are not as fortunate as us and are struggling at this moment in life. Allah has made Zakat obligatory on us for exactly this purpose, and to purify our wealth.

Take this great opportunity! There is no better time to give Zakat Al-Maal than the month of Ramadan.

UMR is currently working on several projects around the world where your Zakat money can help the poor and destitute, those that have been forced to leave their homes.

Eid Gifts for Orphans

Eid is a day of celebration and happiness for Muslims throughout the world. However, for many children, this happiness is tarnished by poverty, depriving them the luxury of new clothes even on this festive day.

This year, why not donate an Eid gift and make this wonderful celebration really special for a vulnerable child? Our Eid gifts only cost $25 and will put a smile on the face of a little orphan.

Back to School

What Would Your Children Do


Whether it be due to poverty, war, or displacement, thousands of children in Jordan, Kenya, & Lebanon are unable to attend to school. What most people don’t realize is that when children are deprived of education, oftentimes they are forced into child labor or child marriage. The UN says 180,000 refugee children living in Lebanon are forgoing an education to work long hours for as little as $2/day.

Many children in the refugee camps lack even the most basic school supplies. Parents, having limited funds, are faced with a predicament- putting food on the table or supplying pencils to write with. Hunger, almost always, takes precedence.

UMR’s annual Back to School Campaign aims to reduce the chances that children are left out of schools.

How You Can Help

When the opportunity of education is taken away, usually the chance of a successful future disappears along with it. It is time that we start recognizing education as a right, not a privilege.

With your generous donations, UMR provides children in Jordan, Kenya, & Lebanon with a backpack filled with school supplies such as pencils, crayons, rulers, and erasers.

Give a child a chance to hope, learn, and dream. One backpack can bring a child closer to achieving their goals, regardless of where life has taken them.

Don’t let another child get left behind.

Bangladesh Water Wells

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with more than 1000 people per square kilometer.1

Three quarters of the population live in rural areas, where running water and sanitary latrines are often considered luxury items. As Bangladesh experiences one of the fastest urbanization rates in Asia, most of the 7 million people living in urban slums – the population of which is rapidly increasing – have no access to safe water sanitary latrines, proper waste disposal systems and adequate sewer drainage.2

Lack of access to water supply infrastructure such as tube wells and piping are a major issue for the rural poor and urban slum dwellers who often resort to using unprotected surface water for drinking and cooking.3

Further, according to the World Bank’s Agglomeration Index, an alternative measure of urban concentration, Bangladesh has considerable hidden urbanization4 that is not captured on official definitions and statistics. An undercounted rural-but-urbanizing dense population as such poses significant risk of epidemic outbreaks with poor WASH coverage and community awareness.

UMR’s funded project has delivered 112 deep tube wells, semi-deep tube wells, and shallow tube wells to 4,304 rural and urbanizing beneficiaries, and conducted beneficiary sensitization trainings on water safety, benefits of safe water, personal/environmental hygiene and maintenance of wells.

Below are most common examples of beneficiary feedback, indicative of general living conditions of the recipient population:

1. Traveling long distance for water, and spread of water-borne disease:

[S.J.] (Aged 52) is marginal farmer. His family consist of 6 members: “We collected safe water from far distance. He said, “We could not install tube well due to lack of money. Most of the people of this area have been suffering from water borne diseases for a long time. People of this area are very poor. […] After field survey Muslim Aid installed a new shallow tube-well. Now we are getting safe water for drinking and domestic uses.” 5

2. Use of unprotected unimproved surface water, and spread of water-borne disease:

[A.S.] (aged 38) is a Rickshaw Puller. His family consist of 7 members. He said “We could not install tube well due to lack of money. We used pond water. Most of the people of this area have been suffering from water borne diseases for a long time. We were collecting water from far distance. People of this area are very poor. After field visit Muslim Aid installed a new shallow tube-well. Now we are getting pure water for drinking and domestic uses.” 6

3. Water available only at neighboring village, and spread of water-borne disease:

[M. A. H.] (age-55) is a poor mer. He said, “We had no tube well before this tube well installed. People of this area are very poor. We were collecting drinking water from neighbouring village. Most of the people of this area have been suffering from water borne diseases for a long time. We could not install tube well due to shortage of fund. After field survey Muslim Aid installed a new shallow tube-well, so, we are very happy. Now we are getting fresh water for drinking and domestic uses.” 7

1 UNICEF (2012) Bangladesh SHEWA-B Factsheet.
2 UNICEF (2012) Bangladesh SHEWA-B Factsheet.
3 UNICEF (2012) Bangladesh SHEWA-B Factsheet.
4 World Bank (2015) Bangladesh Country Brief.
5 Recorded by Muhammad Kotha Wala 7846 – July 2015. Address of the beneficiary: Upazila: Bagharpara, District: Jessore.
6 Recorded by Hadia Hamuri 7296 – July 2015. Address of the beneficiary: Upazila: Bagharpara, District: Jessore.
7 Recorded by Abul Azad 9029 – July 2015. Address of the beneficiary: Upazila: Jessore Sadar, District: Jessore.

Kenya Water Wells

UMR constructed a new water well for the residents of Garissa, Kenya, largely populated by Somali refugees. On February 20th, men, women, and children gathered to admire the new addition to their town.

Indiana University Courses

UMR is providing 100 scholarships to students interested in becoming certified in philanthropic fundraising. These courses are being offered in coordination with the Indiana University School of Philanthropy and CMP.

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy increases the understanding of philanthropy and improves its practice worldwide through critical inquiry, interdisciplinary research, teaching, training, and civic engagement.  Their vision and goal is to make philanthropic studies recognized as an integrated field of study that develops positive and lasting change in the world.

“We were provided with the essential tools, encouragement, and valuable input to strengthen my efforts in making Yaqeen Institute self-sustaining… by the end I was able to put together a plan that has proved to be fruitful” – Huthaifa Shqeirat, Director of Development at the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research said after attending a course taught by the Center for Muslim Philanthropy (@CMP) at @IndianaUniversity.

If you are interested in remaining updated on future classes, sign up here! This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

ESL Classes for Refugees and Immigrants

Newly arrived immigrant and refugee families need assistance to help them resettle in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. Our program provides assistance on several levels including: training in English language, resume building, job searching and interviewing.

Wehdat Disability Center

The Wehdat Disability Center, serves approximately 55 Palestinian refugee youth with disabilities in the Wehdat Refugee Camp in Amman, Jordan. The mission of the Center is to foster independence and self-reliance for people with minor to moderate disabilities. Services provided for Al-Hajah’s clients include academic and vocational support to allow for economic integration into their host country of Jordan and workshops on development of social and life skills to increase self-sufficiency.

Applicants to the program undergo a rigorous process that includes an interview, home visit, and physical assessment. Based on assessment results, clients are presented with a work plan and curriculum tailored to their individual needs through wraparound service in: non-formal education, skills building workshops on self-sufficiency and self-care, physiotherapy, nursing. Meals, and transportation from the client’s home to site of service are also included. UMR will focus on vocational training, skills building workshops, and non-formal education.

Vocational workshops include: handcrafts, weaving, cleaning, and carpentry

Life skills workshops include: hygiene, setting a routine, cooking, and ironing

Psychosocial Support (PSS)

UMR seeks to provide a wraparound program for children and their families who are affected by conflict. Our Psycho-Social Support (PSS) and Child-Friendly Space initiatives give refugee women and children coping mechanisms to mitigate trauma while increasing critical thinking skills among children, especially younger ones, violence reduction among peers, and greater connectivity and comfort with their host community at large.

UMR PSS team has adopted “We Love Reading”- an informal education curriculum designed for children who have experienced education disruption due to conflict. Refugees who do attend regular schooling are often victims of bullying which increases social isolation and can exacerbate mental trauma. “We Love Reading” is designed to teach young children literacy skills, introduce critical thinking through play therapy, and cultivate an early thirst for education that can carry forward when formal schooling options become available.

This is an ongoing program. Since its inception in 2016, 104 teenagers 13-18 years old, have attended the PSS activities designed to help them positively express their emotions, cultivate positive parent-child relations, find productive hobbies, and reduction of physical and emotional aggression towards themselves and others.

694 children between 5 and 12 years old attended PSS activities and been engaged in play therapy designed to help them express their feelings and build their self-esteem. They also discover appropriate behaviors when interfacing with parents, siblings, teachers, and elderly people to rebuild communal connections often lost to refugees.

Syrian Refugee Medical Missions (Jordan)

Working with our field office in Jordan we have sent a number of medical shipments to assist Syrian refugees. As well as sending medicine to tackle chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, we supply essential medical supplies including syringes, aluminum canes, crutches, hip arthroscopy kits, oxygen masks and surgical packs.

In coordination with our partners, UMR also conducts cataract surgeries in Jordan. Each mission involves highly qualified and experienced doctors from the US who worked with their counterparts at Shami Eye Center, Amman and conduct surgeries.

The Save Syria Medical Mission, implemented in conjunction with IMANA, is an ongoing project that brings volunteer doctors to provide low-cost primary and acute care to refugees of all nationalities that reside in Jordan.

Services are provided in the Zarqa and Mafraq governates of Jordan. In 2018, UMR and IMANA provided health consultancies and primary health services to 6,500 patients primarily from Syrian and Palestinian refugee backgrounds.