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At the United Nations Conference in Stockholm in the early 1970s, the idea of sustainable development was mooted. It became a global phenomenon in the year 2000 when the United Nations (UN) declared the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with over one hundred and eighty-nine member states and about twenty-three international organizations. With the expiry date of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came in vogue. The SDGs as a global project could only be attained through joint efforts of all sectors of human life, religion being one. In human history, religion plays significant developmental roles, hence a strong factor in attaining developmental goals. Islam in particular could not be left out in any developmental project, as it is not only a religion and but also a way of life. Indeed, the maqasid ash-shari’ah are meant for all-round development and protection of human life – religion (Din), life (Hayat), procreation (Nasl), Property (Māl) and Intellect (cAql). This study is designed to specifically relate the institution of zakat in Islam to attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with particular reference to Nigeria as a country. Historical, descriptive and exegetical methods are adopted for this purpose. The paper therefore concludes that zakat can be a veritable tool for achieving the SDGs if properly harnessed, monitored and utilized for the purpose it is meant.
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