Zakat is increasingly getting traction as a tool to fight poverty around the world. Major world bodies like UNICEF and UNHCR are taking a deep interest in Zakat as a solution to their problems. While poverty alleviation is among the objectives of the Islam, it is also the most prominent development goal in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework.

Managing zakat for alleviation of poverty, however, involves many challenges. A sustained flow of zakat funds demands high degrees of integrity, transparency and professionalism in the management of funds. The need for enhancing professionalism in Zakat management is being felt as never before.

IBF Net is a leading education provider that was awarded the Global Excellence Award by International Islamic Finance Forum (IIFF) in 2007. It is renowned for developing the first ever certification programs in Islamic banking, insurance and investment. IBF Net through its think tank, the International Institute of Islamic Business and Finance (IIIBF), which is led by industry experts has created a state-of-the-art certification to open the doors to learning the art and science of Zakat Management in a very accessible manner.

According to Mohammed Alim, CEO of IBF Net, the organization has brought in the best of the minds in the field to design this online course, which is perhaps the first of its kind in the world. Its International Advisory Board comprises known experts from the academia and the industry. The contents have been thoroughly reviewed and endorsed by the Shariah team of National Zakat Foundation, UK and the program is approved by the Finance Accreditation Agency of Malaysia. The course covers a wide range of topics and equips the student with the knowledge to mobilize, allocate, manage and distribute Zakat funds. The program is being offered in two languages – English and Bahasa Indonesia. A Turkish version of the program is expected to be launched next month.

As per Mohammad Zahid, an alumni of the maiden Zakat Management certification, “This certification is tailor made for anyone venturing into the field of Islamic social finance. It equipped me with the practical knowledge to mobilize, allocate, manage, and distribute Zakat funds which I could immediately implement in my professional life.”

For those interested in Fintech and new emerging technologies in the Halal industry, IBF Net is the place to be. Mohammed Imad, Director, Contents and Communications at IBF Net is upbeat about this Zakat program, which is a part of what he calls the Triple-IBF suite of qualifications for the development and humanitarian professionals in OIC member countries. The other programs that form part of the suite include certifications in Waqf Management, Islamic Microfinance and Islamic Business and Financial Technologies. A foundational program in Islamic Financial Services covers the building blocks for the intermediate level programs. “Come Autumn, we should be ready with two ambitious certifications in “Blockchains for Islamic Development” and “Artificial Intelligence for Islamic Finance”, he says.

For more details about the course, visit: www.iiibf.com/product/certified-zakat- professional

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IBF Net stands for the Islamic Business and Finance Network. IBF Net is the maiden onlinecommunity in the field created in 1999. The network is owned by IBF Net (L) Limited – a Labuan International Company now with its registered office in the Federal Territory of Labuan and corporate office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was founded by Dr Mohammed Obaidullah, a known Islamic social finance expert.

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