The Role of Zakat in Achieving Economic Empowerment, Environmental Sustainability, and Social Re-Engineering as Promoted in the 12th Malaysia Plan

The Role of Zakat in Achieving Economic Empowerment, Environmental Sustainability, and Social Re-Engineering as Promoted in the 12th Malaysia Plan

Nur Farhah Mahadi (Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia), Nor Razinah Mohd. Zain (Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia) and Anwar Hasan Abdullah Othman (Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6811-8.ch003
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Abstract

This study seeks to gain a deeper understanding on the role of zakᾱt in achieving economic empowerment, environmental sustainability, and social re-engineering as promoted in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12 MP) which aligned with Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV2030) as well as United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to provide support to fulfil the Maqᾱṣid al-Sharῑ῾ah. This study uses the library study method. Among the reading materials that have been referred include those materials related to the role of zakᾱt, the government five-year development plan, namely 12th Malaysia Plan from 2021 - 2025, the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV2030), SDGs, and Maqᾱṣid al-Sharῑ῾ah. Qualitative approach is used in this study to collect information, documents, and data accordingly with regard to the topic discussed. By understanding the importance of zakᾱt in achieving economic empowerment, environmental sustainability, and social re-engineering, we can further enhance the distribution and utilisation of these zakᾱt funds to ensure its positive impact in socio-economic. Eventually, this may also motivate the State Islamic Religious Council (SIRC) to promote the importance of fair and equitable distribution of zakᾱt to aṣnᾱf. The study will provide significant socio-economic impacts as the results will enable new initiatives by industries to develop better management of zakᾱt funds to finally achieve the economic empowerment, environmental sustainability, and social reengineering in the society as promoted in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12 MP) which aligned with Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV2030) as well as United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to provide support to fulfil the Maqᾱṣid al-Sharῑ῾ah.
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Introduction

An Overview of Zakᾱt

History shows that many prophets before Prophet Muhammad (SAW) were also commanded by Allah (SWT) to obey the principles of zakᾱt. Zakᾱt were gradually introduced into society during the time of the Holy Prophet (SAW). Wiliasih et al., (2011) explained that in the Al-Qur’an, zakᾱt is called 58 times i.e. 32 times merely zakᾱt while 26 times is aligned with ṣolᾱt. Initially, zakᾱt was made to be an optional practice whereby the ṣaḥᾱbah (RA) were told that they could voluntarily pay zakᾱt to please Allah (SWT). In Makkah the verses on zakᾱt were in the general form of voluntary payments and it was left to the faith and the brotherly feelings of individuals to decide what and how much to give in zakᾱt. Allah (SWT) said: وَٱلَّذِينَ فِىٓ أَمْوَٰلِهِمْ حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ. لِّلسَّآئِلِ وَٱلْمَحْرُومِ “And in whose wealth there is a right acknowledged. For the beggar and the destitute.” (Surah al-Ma῾ᾱrij: 24-25)

Zakᾱt was established as mandatory to Muslims when the conditions stipulated are met. It was only in the second year of Hijrah, some eighteen months after the arrival of the Prophet (PBUH) to Madῑnah that Zakᾱt became a farḍ or an obligation on Muslims as stated in the holy Qur’ᾱn and ḥadῑth. Allah (SWT) ordained:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْفِقُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ وَمِمَّا أَخْرَجْنَا لَكُمْ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ ۖ وَلَا تَيَمَّمُوا الْخَبِيثَ مِنْهُ تُنْفِقُونَ وَلَسْتُمْ بِآخِذِيهِ إِلَّا أَنْ تُغْمِضُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ

“0 you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein. And know that Allah is Rich (Free of all wants), and Worthy of all praise” (Baqarah, 2:267)

Madinan verses gave clear directives, ordering the payment of zakᾱt and since that time the Prophet (PBUH) used to send out zakᾱt workers to collect and distribute the due zakᾱt. During the time of the Prophet Muḥammad (ﷺ), zakᾱt was collected and distributed by the state, hence state individuals would collect zakᾱt during the time that it was due and would then distribute it amongst those eight aṣnᾱf after fulfilling specific conditions outlined by Sharῑ῾ah. Thus, al-Qarḍᾱwi, (2000) concluded that zakᾱt in Sharῑ῾ah refers to:

تطلق على الحصة المقدرة من المال التى فرضها الله للمستحقين

“the determined share of wealth prescribed by Allah to be distributed among deserving categories”.

The obligation of zakᾱt shall not only be understood as merely the mechanism of transferring wealth from the rich to the poor (aṣnᾱf/ qualified beneficiaries/ recipients/ mustaḥiq/ targeted group) but function as an effective economic mechanism that has implications in the form of increasing social welfare and promoting economic development of the community which eventually mitigates economic deprivation.

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