'When you give, God will reward you'

This longtime UAE resident and oil executive donates both to charities through zakat and to his extended family.

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi - May 05 - 2010 : Ahmad Tamim, General Manager Al Masaood Oil Industry Supplies & Serv. Co., pose for a portrait at his office.  ( Jaime Puebla / The National )
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For Ahmad Tamim, family plays an important role in the zakat tradition. While most of his charitable giving is to the UAE Red Crescent, he also takes the opportunity to help relations of his who are in need. "Some members of my family need money for school and medicine," says Mr Tamim, 60, who is originally from Lebanon but has lived in the UAE for 39 years. He currently works as the general manager of Al Masaood Oil Industry Supply and Services in Abu Dhabi. "I consider this giving as part of my zakat."

Every year, Mr Tamim fulfils one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith by giving away 2.5 per cent of his wealth. Although the time of the year to give is not specified under any religious code, he chooses to help people during Ramadan, when many of the poor are disproportionately impacted by the month-long fasting. His donations to the Red Crescent go to a wide variety of charities. Recent projects announced by the organisation include building hospitals in Pakistan and providing disaster relief in Gaza and Haiti.

Mr Tamim began supporting his sister's family after his brother-in-law became unable to work, and he has also helped put a nephew through university. "When you give, God will reward you more than 70 times what you have offered," he says."I believe that is 100 per cent true."