Approximately a quarter of the world’s population is Muslim, and their faith’s zakat requirements enjoin them to share a portion of their annual income with the less fortunate. Much of this giving traditionally has been done in secret, spontaneously, or without any system. After years of giving to medical charities, victims of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, and other causes, Chicago physician Tariq Cheema decided to form a group to make Muslim giving easier, more strategic, and more open. He also recognized that it is now important for donors to Islamic charities to make certain their gifts will not support advocates of violence.
Cheema and collaborators launched the first World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists in Istanbul in 2008. Wealthy Muslim donors, foundations, companies, and charities gathered to share best practices, create multi-donor pooled funds for battling poverty, and encourage others in their faith to become generous givers to causes that are accountable and effective.
- WCMP website, thewcmp.org
- Chronicle of Philanthropy report on WCMP founding, philanthropy.com/article/New-Group-Meets-to-Promote/163185