The benefits of donating Muslim organization depend heavily on the specific organization the donation goes to. Some organizations have specific aims and goals while others are more generalized in their purpose. Some groups are not specifically aimed at Muslims but do lots of good for the Islamic world, as well parts of the world. Some agencies are more reliable than others and for Muslims, who wish to do the best with their donations as possible, the reliability of an organization is paramount to their decision. However, many organizations do exist that are relatively reliable all across the world, be it the Islamic or Western world, and some truly global organizations reach out across the planet trying to do the best possible.
Of course, this is more than a mere tax deduction. The Qur’an itself calls for the pillar of zakat, the idea that Muslims should share a portion of their wealth with their communities. The Prophet himself mentions the practice of zakat some times in the Qur’an, and some suras make it clear that Muslims are supposed to be generous with their wealth when they can afford to do so. While the Prophet makes exceptions for those who are already impoverished, most Muslims are expected to give back a portion of their worldly success to the communities that raised them up, whether they’re living in Cairo or Chicago.
The purpose of Zakat is both religious and practical. From a spiritual standpoint, zakat is a means by which a Muslim’s worldly wealth is purified and made spiritually healthy in the eyes of God. Much like halal dietary restrictions cleanse food; zakat purifies a Muslim’s worldly goods and makes them more pleasing to God. While unrestrained greed is unhealthy in both spiritual and psychological ways, zakat serves to balance out the natural human flaws of greed and envy by encouraging Muslims to give back to their communities in one form or another, be it the local community or the global community. By sharing their wealth with the community, a Muslim’s property is healthier for their souls, however, large or small it may be. This is attested to numerous times in the Qur’an and centuries of Islamic scholarship and jurisprudence have been written on the subject of zakat and its deeper meanings.
However, while the Prophet calls upon Muslims to be generous with their communities, he left behind very few details. While the Prophet mentions those who should receive zakat, there is some disagreement, even among the most trusted hadiths, about the amount and place of Zakat in Islam. Still, zakat is undeniably a part of the faith and ignoring this element opens every Muslim to sloth and apathy, which in the modern global village is among the greatest problems out there.
Some Muslim organizations focus on local communities. This applies in particular to the Western world, where local mosques and their outreach programs find themselves in a tight financial position. Giving a portion of a zakat donation to a local mosque can do wonders for maintaining a sense of community among Muslims. If a mosque also works inside the larger community with people of other faiths, this can be doubly important as the mosque’s work affects not just Muslims but other individuals in the region as well. On a global level, many Muslim organizations sponsor a broad range of efforts and improving life for Muslims across the world. Vaccination drives are a traditional use of zakat funds, as are allowing Qurbani udhiyah donations to be made not just in the local community, but across the planet.