Admin board for every mosque to manage donations
Al Azhar mosque in Cairo, 10 March 2010/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO: An administrative board will be formed for each mosque in Egypt to collect and oversee donations, a source at the Endowment Ministry told Youm7 Thursday.

A board will consist of three to five members, including the imam of the mosque and a local, to prevent any form of manipulation, the source said.

The donations will be used in charity projects and to pay salaries of staff at mosques, the source added.

Egyptian mosques, about 124,000 in total, are all under the jurisdiction of the Endowment Ministry. The Administrative boards will require more than 500,000 personnel, according to the source.

Charity, zakat in Arabic, is the third pillar of the Islamic faith; Muslims are obliged to donate 2.5 percent of any form of their yearly wealth to it. Some Muslims choose to leave their yearly zakat in donations boxes at mosques, as well as other charity they pay through the year.

The ministry has halted donations at most mosques for a year to prevent collecting money to fund the Muslim Brotherhood, which informally controlled many mosques in the country.

It has applied strict regulations over donations at mosques that continued to accept donations since the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, as charity funds that are not in the ministry’s records were rampant.

A total of 10 million EGP ($1.2 million) have been collected from donation boxes of mosques across Egypt in 2015, Endowment Minister Mokhtar Gomaa told earlier in December.

The amount registers a 200-percent increase from 2014, according to Gomaa, despite the fewer mosques accepting charity, indicating that the cash did not reach the ministry due to corruption or were collected by other entities.

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