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Eid Al Adha and the Mental Capacity Act

Eid Al Adha (today) follows the holiest day in the Muslim calendar and marks the end of Hajj (pilgrimage). On the occasion of Eid Al Adha, practising Muslims donate food to the poor and share with their neighbours and family.

Last year, Edge provided some consultancy and guidance on Islamic charitable payments and the Mental Capacity Act to a charity and a television station. On the occasion of Eid Al Adha (today) we are sharing this guidance more widely. This was written primarily for those already familiar with Islamic or Shariah law and covers not only the sacrifice (Qurbani) but also other charitable payments mandated on (capacitated*) adult muslims.

This guidance will be particularly useful for Deputies and Attorneys that are responsible for managing the finances of practising muslims in line with Section 4(6) of the Mental Capacity Act, which requires the decision maker to consider 'the beliefs and values' that would be likely to influence a person's decision if they had capacity in addition to 'past and present wishes' (as reasonably ascertainable) . The guidance covers the following key charitable payments in Islam. Please note the below are very basic summaries and there are various exceptions and nuances.

1. Zakat 2.5% of a person's accumulated wealth to be donated to the poor each lunar year- often paid during the month of Ramadan

2. Fitrana Payments made to the poor on the occasion of Eid al Fitr (at the end of Ramadan)

3. Fidyah Payments for meals to the poor in lieu of fasting (because the donor is unable to fast ie due to ill health, frailty or incapacity*)

4. Qurbani: Sacrifice of an animal. The meat is distributed to feed the poor and also to be shared with neighbours and family. This feast is celebrated on Eid Al Adha

5. Sadaqah Voluntary charitable payments. The other payments listed are all compulsory on capacitated* adult muslims.

For more information on these terms see National Zakat Foundation UK which includes a free Zakat calculator and tracker. There are numerous other UK based charities that collect and distribute the above payments including Al Khair Foundation, Human Appeal, Islamic Relief and Muslim Hands.

Edge also provides training on Faith and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The course covers examples of Court of Protection case law and case studies covering a number of faith based practices. This course can be provided to any faith leaders or inter faith groups (at our discounted charity rate) to assist them when supporting their congregations on issues of mental capacity. Email for a sample programme and more information.

Finally, Eid Mubarak to all those celebrating!

*there are different islamic schools of thought or 'madhabs' in Sunni Islam on whether these payments are to be paid on behalf of those lacking mental capacity.

* Click HERE to view and book Edge's online events and conferences **


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