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One Peso Sadka Ogop Ginawa Ko Foundation galvanizing Muslims to religiously practice zakat

ISLAM has five basic pillars: shahada, salat, zakat, sawm and hajj. This article will focus on the third pillar and one organization in the Philippines, particularly its founding chairman Atty. Nasrollah Bacarat Conding, has been touring the country inspiring fellow Muslims to strictly adhere to zakat in the hope of helping themselves economically.

“The principle is this: if there are ten million Filipino Muslims and each one of us contributes even at least one peso a day, we can already raise P300 million a month and we can already be economically viable ourselves,” Conding, also the OIC regional director of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) 3, said.

Conding’s roots in propagating zakat comes twofold: his own career as a tax collector and religion.

Giving Zakat is obligatory for all eligible Muslims and is based on the current nisab values. These can vary year to year. To simplify the rules around paying zakat, use the nisab values for the current year then enter your personal values into the calculator to determine your zakat contribution.

Yet Conding’s calculation is simple: just give one peso. (Of course for more affluent Muslims, they are encouraged to donate more.) Another reference to “one peso” is wahid or One which is one of the 99 names of Allah.

It is in this basic premise that One Peso Sadka Ogop Ginawa Ko Foundation was established in 2016 in Conding’s hometown of Marawi City.

Back then, the Maute siege and the bitter aerial bombardment that followed was still in the horizon. At the time in its meager early days, One Peso Sadka Ogop Ginawa Ko Foundation was already able to rally fellow Muslims to contribute to the foundation and gave back to the community.

The group’s initial charitable target were public schools in Marawi City.

“We were able to hand out 1,250 sacks of 50 kilos rice each and cash relief of P250 for 2,300 persons in schools around Marawi City,” Conding said.

Then the Maute attack came. The Maranao diaspora expanded to other places all over the country. It was at this point that One Peso Sadka Ogop Ginhawa Foundation needed to expand nationwide to cater to displaced Muslims outside Lanao del Sur.

The response from fellow Muslims was overwhelming. The foundation was able to establish a chapter in Cebu with a membership of more than 3,000 individuals.

Conding’s goal is for each chapter to be self-sustaining: a bayt al-mal with its own bank account. “That is my ultimate happiness: to see Muslim communities thriving financially independent. Welfare can only do as much. We need to help ourselves so we can learn not to rely on others,” he beamed.

Oh and did I forget to mention that when Conding went back to his hometown as BIR collector for Marawi City in 2019, he was awarded as helming the fastest growing collection district in Northern Mindanao that year.

The secret? Conding infused religion into his career and encouraged fellow Muslim businessmen in Marawi that paying dues to the government is zakat because the money would go back to the city coffers and help reestablish the economy ruined by the 2017 war.

Today, One Peso Sadka Ogop Ginawa Ko Foundation is creating chapters in the Philippines one day at a time.

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