British Muslims top generosity charts with Ramadan donations

© Navesh Chitrakar
British Muslims are the most generous charity-givers, according to the UK’s Charity Commission, which says Muslims gave about £100 million to charities over the month of Ramadan alone.

The news confirms Muslims’ reputation as being the most generous religious group when it comes to charitable donations. The Charity Commission's Nick Donaldson described the £100 million as being the equivalent of £38 in donations per second, and spoke of “numerous people giving single donations of up to £30,000.”

The Muslim Charities Forum, which consists of 14 UK charities, raised £45 million over Ramadan. The UK Muslim charity sector consists of about 2,500 charities in total.

According to a report by the National Philanthropy Council, Muslim charities raise £542 million each year. A 2013 ICM and Just Giving report found British Muslims give more than twice as much to charity than the average Briton.

According the Charity Commission, one Muslim charity estimated the proceeds of its donations gathered last Ramadan helped an estimated 1 million people.

From soup kitchens in the UK to helping those affected by Somaliland’s drought, the donations were used to do good around the world.

“The charities’ projects were as interesting as they were diverse,” Donaldson said. “One was supporting people to start honey-bee farms in Palestine and Pakistan, another distributing hygiene kits and food in Haiti, another teaching hairdressers and beauticians how to sterilize their equipment to prevent the spread of hepatitis.”

Donaldson described one example where one charity delivered 22,000 chocolate cakes for Iftar, the meal which breaks the daily fast during Ramadan. People gave £10 per cake to raise money for humanitarian aid in Syria and the cakes were delivered by fasting Muslims.

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron praised the Muslim population for its generosity two years ago. “Here in Britain, Muslims are our biggest donors - they give more to charity than any other faith group,” he said.

The commission’s praise of the community comes as Muslims in the UK face increasing discrimination and racial abuse.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast, pray, carry out charitable acts and donate.

Charitable giving is one of the five pillars of Islam. 'Zakat' requires Muslims to donate 2.5 percent of their yearly income to charity, while 'Sadaqah' is an additional voluntary act of giving.