This review focuses on Zakat, a particular form of almsgiving within Islam. The value of Zakat is estimated to range from US$ 200 billion to US$ 1 trillion per annum across the world (Stirk, 2015) or around US$ 187 million among countries in the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (Shaikh, 2016). Therefore, interest in mobilising Zakat for poverty alleviation in Muslim majority countries as well as for international development is rising. Zakat is an important source of funding for Muslim humanitarian organisations which operate across the globe. However, de-risking, a term coined in the banking sector to reduce the risk of money laundering and funding of terrorism by blocking international transactions or raising the criteria for processing them, is the most serious challenge faced by Zakat collecting Muslim charities.
What evidence exists on the scale of charitable giving through Zakat (and through other the religious charitable giving)? How has this been used for international development purposes, and what are the key challenges in its use for international development?