One of the cornerstones of the Islamic faith, Zakat, is crucial for encouraging giving and helping the underprivileged. In Pakistan, several nonprofit organizations have taken the lead in helping those needing eye care. The Pakistan Ophthalmological Society, the Sindh Eye Bank, the Pakistan Blind Welfare Association, and the Eye Bank Association of Pakistan are some of these organizations. These charity organizations in Pakistan depend on Zakat to continue offering vital services to those in need. Zakat’s contributions support the establishment of eye banks, eye care professional education and training programs, eye donation awareness campaigns, and rehabilitation and vocational training programs for the blind and visually impaired. Zakat can significantly impact eye care services in Pakistan, as demonstrated by the transformative work of organizations such as The Layton Rehmatullah Benevolent Trust (LRBT).

The ease of donating Zakat online is revolutionizing generosity, transcending national boundaries, and promoting a global giving culture. Zakat is a timeless pillar that helps us navigate the complexity of today’s world. It bridges the gap between wealth and welfare and promotes an equitable and compassionate society.

The Concept of Zakat

The concept of Zakat is a fundamental aspect of Islam and requires Muslims to give away a portion of their wealth to those who are less fortunate. This custom, which promotes equality and social justice, has its roots in Islamic teachings. The least amount for those who qualify is 2.5% or 1/40 of a Muslim’s savings and wealth. Zakat is determined by income and the value of possessions.

Zakat is a complex idea; the Arabic word for it signifies both “purification” and “growth.” By providing for the impoverished and in need, stabilizing the economy, and guaranteeing that everyone benefits from wealth, Zakat contributes to the purification of wealth. One of the Five Pillars of Islam, Zakat, is the main duty of all Muslims who satisfy the required financial requirements.

Zakat is an annual tax that can be donated to several charity organizations in Pakistan, such as the underprivileged, the needy, needy travelers, debtors, and organizations that defend the Muslim community. Zakat must be spent within a lunar year of its distribution and cannot be used for overhead or administrative expenses. Zakat is an important component of the work of many charitable organizations, including those in Pakistan that provide eye care services. It is a potent tool for encouraging a culture of giving and helping those in need. We can appreciate the revolutionary effect that Zakat has on society and the lives of millions of people who profit from its kind donations if we have a clear understanding of the concept.

Pakistan’s Prevalence of Vision Impairment

A sizable portion of the population in Pakistan is blind or visually impaired. WHO estimates that 2.4 million Pakistanis suffer from moderate to severe visual impairment and that 1.2 million people are blind. In Pakistan, the percentage of adults over 50 who are blind or visually impaired has dropped dramatically from 7% to approximately 2%, based on a federal Ministry of Health survey. According to the findings of the “Third National Survey of Blindness,” which was carried out in the United States between 2019 and 2021, 9,028,073 people have visual impairments ranging from minor impairments to permanent blindness. Four hundred eighty-four thousand twenty-seven are blind, a decrease from 1.5 million in 2004 when the survey was last carried out. It was discovered that the prevalence of blindness was higher in females (2.07%) than in males (1.98%) 2.

According to the survey, untreated cataracts account for 49% of cases of blindness; in contrast, glaucoma, corneal opacity, uncorrected aphakia, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy account for 51% of cases. Refractive error was the main cause of eye impairment (11.9%) 2. This startling figure emphasizes how urgently eye care services are needed and how important Zakat is in addressing this problem.

 

 

The Pakistan Blind Welfare Association (PBWA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1978 to help Pakistan’s visually impaired citizens by offering eye care services, vocational training, and rehabilitation. The nonprofit Sindh Eye Bank was founded in 1982 to advance corneal transplantation, eye donation, and eye care services in Pakistan’s Sindh province 1. Apart from these establishments, multiple other noteworthy philanthropic groups in Pakistan have rendered substantial contributions to diverse areas such as healthcare and education. The Citizens Foundation (TCF), Edhi Foundation, Transparent Hands Trust, and Chhipa Welfare Association are a few of these organizations.

Pakistan’s high rate of blindness and vision impairment has been a major cause for concern. WHO estimates that 2.4 million Pakistanis suffer from moderate to severe visual impairment and that 1.2 million people are blind. On the other hand, the nation’s rate of blindness and visual impairment has been declining. According to a survey conducted in Pakistan between 2019 and 2021, the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment among individuals 50 and older has significantly decreased from 7% to approximately 2%.

These charitable organizations are essential in helping Pakistan meet its pressing need for eye care services, as is the backing of programs like Zakat. The country’s vision-impaired population is living better lives thanks largely to the transformative power of these organizations and the support they receive from Zakat donations.

Zakat’s Function in Aiding Eye Care Organisations

In Pakistan, Zakat is a crucial funding source for eye care charities in Pakistan, allowing them to continue offering these vital services to the underprivileged. Zakat supports organizations that provide eye care in several ways, including

1. Financing of eye care services:
Refractive error correction, cataract surgeries, and other necessary treatments are partly made possible by zakat donations.
2. Encouragement of eye donation:
To treat corneal blindness and facilitate corneal transplantation, zakat donations aid in promoting eye donation. Zakat donations are crucial for the establishment and upkeep of eye banks, which are necessary to preserve and distribute corneas intended for transplantation.
3. Education and training:
Zakat contributions support educational and training initiatives for optometrists, ophthalmologists, and other eye care specialists.
4. Vocational training and rehabilitation:
Zakat donations enable visually impaired people to participate in independent and productive lives by helping to pay for these programs.

One of the Five Pillars of Islam, Zakat is a divine command extending beyond the confines of material possessions. Beyond being required, Zakat is a moral compass that points believers toward a compassionate and socially conscious mindset. The ease of donating Zakat online is revolutionizing generosity by surpassing national boundaries and promoting a global giving culture.

Achievements and Their Influence

Numerous triumphs demonstrate the revolutionary potential of Zakat in aiding Pakistani organizations in providing eye care. For example, because of Zakat donations, the Sindh Eye Bank has conducted over 100,000 cataract surgeries and given out over 10,000 corneas for transplantation. Similarly, over 10,000 visually impaired people have received vocational training and rehabilitation from the Pakistan Blind Welfare Association, allowing them to lead independent and productive lives.

Thanks to Zakat donations, another organization that has made revolutionary advancements in Pakistani eye care is LRBT. In fulfilling its commitment to help the less fortunate with basic eye care, LRBT has been obedient, and Zakat’s contributions—including those made online—have greatly aided in funding the organization’s drives.

One of the Five Pillars of Islam, Zakat is a divine command extending beyond the confines of material possessions. Beyond being required, Zakat is a moral compass that points believers toward a compassionate and socially conscious lifestyle. The ease of contributing to Zakat online is revolutionizing generosity by surpassing national boundaries and promoting a global giving culture. Zakat is a timeless pillar that helps us navigate the complexity of today’s world by bridging the gap between wealth and welfare and promoting an equitable and compassionate society.

Possibilities and Difficulties

Even though Zakat has had a big impact on Pakistani eye care charities, there are still a few issues. Among the most urgent issues are the following:

1. Inadequate infrastructure:
Many Pakistani eye care centers need more equipment to offer top-notch services.
2. Professionals needing more training:
Pakistan is experiencing a scarcity of qualified optometrists, ophthalmologists, and other eye care specialists.
3. Restricted access to eye care services:
Many people in Pakistan’s rural areas need access to eye care.
4. Low awareness:
A large number of Pakistanis are ignorant of the advantages of corneal transplantation and the significance of eye donation.

These difficulties also offer chances for development and enhancement. Pakistani eye care charities in Pakistan can increase their impact and reach by tackling these issues. In Pakistan, Zakat is a crucial funding source for eye care charities, allowing them to continue offering these vital services to the underprivileged. We can increase the impact and reach of eye care charities by tackling their problems, ultimately benefiting millions of people with vision impairment. With sustained efforts to encourage Zakat donations and increase public awareness of the value of eye care services, we can build a more just and equitable society.