Skip to content

The Gaza Crisis, UK Mosques & Muslim Charities

The recent Gaza crisis has affected us all. Thousands of civilians have lost their lives in Gaza. The social media and news coverage of women, children and the vulnerable being killed is heart wrenching. Over 2m of the population of Gaza is deprived of water and fuel and face a dire humanitarian crisis as highlighted by independent UN agencies.

In times like this, many feel obliged to act and campaign – this is not only a natural human response, but also embedded within the faith of many Muslims.

In times like this, many feel obliged to act and campaign – this is not only a natural human response, but also embedded within the faith of many Muslims.

The Muslim international relief charities play a crucial role and provide a valuable service in facilitating this donation to the intended population of Gaza.

Recently I have been contacted by concerned individuals asking various questions relating to donating or raising funds to Gaza. In this blog, I provide some answers to three questions:

Question one: Can my charity raise money for Gaza?

It all depends on the charitable objectives and purpose of your charity. If your charity has an objective to provide relief from poverty and / or to provide relief to disaster-stricken people and it does not restrict to a particular location other than Gaza, then your charity can raise funds for Gaza.

The following consideration are important to note:

1. Due diligence of delivery partner – Hamas proscription

Vast majority of Muslim charities, if not all work through a delivery partner in Gaza. Funds are transferred to these partners to deliver the relief projects. Gaza is governed by Hamas and under UK law it is proscribed as a terrorist organisation. Hence it becomes illegal if any funds of a UK charity end up with Hamas. So, UK charities must satisfy themselves on the following:

  • the delivery partner is not controlled by individuals on the UKs sanction lists.
  • The delivery partner does not use suppliers connected to a sanctioned entity or individual.
  • The delivery partner does not pay rent or taxes to the Hamas regime.

Vast majority of Muslim charities, if not all work through a delivery partner in Gaza.

2. The ability to deliver relief

Charities will also need to check the ability of the partner to deliver the projects in Gaza. This can be checked by obtaining the following: Governing documents, Bank statements, past project reports, organisational charts, policies, project proposals and references.

3. Satisfying the banks

Transferring monies to Palestine generally and Gaza especially is not easy. Banks expect charities to have done their due diligence and will often request evidence to confirm this.

Lack of timely evidence after the bank requests information often results in the UK bank or corresponding bank or banks in Gaza blocking or returning the funds.

4. Disclosing the name of the delivery partner

When preparing the annual financial statements, charities are subject to charity accounting rules called (SORP). These rules require charities to disclose the name of the delivery partner used in that period and the amounts paid to them in that year and in the prior year.

I sometimes find some charities attempting to omit this information in their annual statements giving a false impression to readers of the statements as if the charity directly delivers projects in Gaza.

Overheads paid to separate entities that deliver projects on behalf of the UK charity are not disclosed in the UK charity accounts. This is one of the reasons why for transparency purposes the charities are required to disclose the name and total amount paid to the deliver partner in their annual financial statements.

Overheads paid to separate entities that deliver projects on behalf of the UK charity are not disclosed in the UK charity accounts.

Question two: Can my Mosque raise funds for Gaza?

Yes. and this depends on the charitable objectives of the charity that runs this Mosques. Mosque charities often have objectives that are restricted to furthering the religion of Islam by providing a facility to worship – this may not allow fundraising for international relief projects unless a clear link can be made with the act of worship. For example, Mosques may be able to raise Zakat funds and use a delivery partner in Gaza to execute the Zakat funds to the needy.

Mosques can partner with international relief charities and provide them access to their congregation and facilities to directly raise funds for Gaza. Mosques can enter into agreements with these charities to restrict the funds to specific projects and be compensated on any costs incurred in raising these funds.

Question three: Can Mosques carry out political campaigns and activity for Gaza?

Generally, the answer is No. Charity Commission has detailed guidance on this topic. The link to this detailed guidance can be found here.

The general rule is that a charity can carry out campaigns and / or political activities only if it furthers their objectives stated in their governing document. Mosques seldom have human rights objectives in their trust deeds or constitutions. Therefore from Mosque platforms and / or using Mosque resources to lobby local or central government for a foreign policy change in relation to Gaza may not strictly be considered an allowable activity. This does not mean Mosques cannot or should not voice their concerns or carry out activities in responding to this crisis.

Below is a list of activities Mosque can and should carry out:

1) Educating the congregation on the current situation in Gaza through religious sermons and lectures.


2) Making statements that link back to faith, sanctity of life, religious harmony and coexistence with other faiths.


3) Providing facilities and access to congregations to activists for education, petitions, protests all for awareness purposes.


4) Providing young people safe spaces to discuss the issues with a faith lens and in the context of the society Mosques operate in.


5) Inviting local politicians to address the congregations on their positions.


6) Trustees or employees in their personal capacity and personal time campaigning and carrying out politically activities. In conducting these activities, the trustees and staff must ensure the associated charity / Mosque is not brought into disrepute.


7) Engaging with local councils, police, and central government to ensure safety of congregation and Mosque facilities and compliance to laws.


8) International relief / aid charities can make statements and lobby government on humanitarian grounds. Mosques can provide logistics and congregation support to these charities.



Nasir Rafiq BA, FCA is the Managing Partner of Dua Governance Chartered Accountants, an ICAEW firm specialising in charity financial governance and accounts.

Nasir works and deals with a large portfolio of Muslim charities and Mosques in UK advising them on accounts and governance issues.

Nasir is the former Finance & Corporate Services Director of Islamic Relief Worldwide and holds many senior positions within the Muslim community.


End –

Recommended Posts

1 Comment

  1. This article brings a good package of advice for mosques and local humanitarian aid charities which are involved in fundraising for the Palestinian civilians affected by the bombardment of Gaza. This should be circulated by email to all Chairpersons of charities who are listed as Directors and Secretaries in the CC register.

    There are different mandates and areas of focus of non profit organisations. This blog is for mosques and institutions that raise funds to help in emergency relief.

    The other charitable institutions are focused on awareness of human rights and observance of international humanitarian law. They don’t raise funds for delivery of aid to emergency situations. They engage with parliamentarians and human rights groups and government to influence policy and improve community relations. Mosques should know these different roles and must follow the rules that apply to fundraising and distribution.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *