Localization of the zakat management
Recently, there have been many problems regarding zakat management and these problems had been addressed several times by several parties. The Muslim society is still not satisfied with zakat management especially in term of the zakat distribution. A possible solution to counter the problem of the zakat management is by localization of the zakat management. Generally, zakat disbursement function lies under the responsibility of the State Islamic Religious Council (SIRC) in most of the states in Malaysia included Singapore. Zakat is recognized as a self-help measure adopted with full religious backing to support those poor and destitute who are unable to help themselves so as to alleviate misery and poverty from Muslim society (Chapra, 1992). In addition, the state could also exercise zakat as a vital instrument to fulfill the basic needs in an Islamic economy as well as an instrument of fiscal policy (Chapra, 2000). The distribution of zakat historically began at the era of the prophet (pbuh). During that time, the collection and distribution of zakat was, in principle localized which means that what was collected in an area was also distributed in the same area and none of it was carried to the central government. There are no reports that any surplus funds existed in any area nor that any zakat funds were transferred from one area to another during the life of the Prophet (Khaf, 1999; p. 17). This situation proved that it is an undisputed fact that zakat was collected and distributed by the Islamic state especially in its early period. The localization of zakat has been applied successfully and distributed efficiently during the prophet’s life. The good governance of zakat institution will enhance the effectiveness of zakat collection and zakat distribution. Could it be possible to implement localization of zakat management in this modern era where ICT and technology is fully operated in all...
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