Professional Muslims have been affected by job losses more than other employees says a national charity.

In just August alone, 2.5% of people in the UK lost their jobs, however, according to the latest Muslim Census, this rate was six times higher within the Muslim community, at a 15%.

For many who lost their jobs and were unable to find new employment, government support through benefits and the furlough scheme has been crucial for survival, with one in four UK workers being placed on the scheme.

However, these benefits for many, did not cover the living costs needed to keep themselves and their families sustained long term.

Mahboob Hussain, Head of Channel Marketing for UK Muslim Charity, National Zakat Foundation, said: “The pandemic has resulted in serious financial difficulty for many Muslims across the UK, and we have seen a notable increase in the need for monetary support and access to the hardship fund over the last 12 months.” 

“Zakat donations have been pivotal for supporting the UK Muslim community and will continue to be as the effects of the pandemic remain.”

According to the Muslim Census, 7% of people within the UK Muslim community now believe they are eligible to claim Zakat as a result of the pandemic. During 2020 it was estimated that 231,000 Muslims were in need of financial support, but this figure is likely to have grown due to the additional lockdown throughout winter.

Mahmood, who applied for the hardship fund from National Zakat Foundation said, “The pandemic has meant that I’m unable to find work right now, and that means we’re relying on benefits, but sadly they don’t cover all our bills and expenses.”

“Claiming Zakat, meant I was able to receive a £750 hardship grant that I could use towards everyday living costs. The relief I felt that day is hard to describe.”

With the vaccination rolling out nationwide, the Confederation of British Industry forecasts that the UK’s economy could recover by 2022[4], yet this prediction isn’t a certainty, and suggests that the job market won’t bounce back quickly, leaving many across the country out of work.

The past year has shown the need for Zakat is greater than ever within the UK, with Muslims up and down the country facing hardship as a result of job losses. 

“Zakat is more than just a charitable donation; it is a lifeline for people in our community and with it, brings so much potential for positive change”, adds Mahboob.

Despite higher job losses for Muslim professionals, the report also revealed that 35% of the community occupy key worker roles, such as those within the health sector, education, transport, and the food industry, which equates to 13% greater than the national average, emphasising the key role the community plays in supporting the UK economy. 

Key workers have been the backbone of the country throughout the past year, keeping the nation running through turbulent times.