For Nura Maznavi, paying bail is an act of faith.
Attorney Nura Maznavi, head of the University of Chicago Law School’s pro bono program, helped organize Believers Bail Out, a community-led project which has raised more than $100,000 to pay bail for Muslims held pretrial.Manya Brachear Pashman, “A Muslim Charity Joins the Campaign against Mass Incarceration,” Chicago Tribune, June 17, 2018.
Maznavi sees the program as a way to give zakat, a religious obligation of charity and one of the five pillars of Muslim faith.Aysha Khan, “As US Cities Re-Examine Bail, Muslims Launch a Fund at Ramadan to Pay It,” Religion News Service, May 16, 2018. “[U]ntil now, bail relief wasn’t even something that crossed my mind as a way to give my zakat,” Maznavi said.Aysha Khan, “As US Cities Re-Examine Bail, Muslims Launch a Fund at Ramadan to Pay It,” Religion News Service, May 16, 2018. Citing “the Quran’s direction to use alms to help the poor and free slaves and captives from bondage,” organizers raised funds over Ramadan 2018 and hope to extend the work into coming years.Believers Bail Out, “About Us,”