Recently, many Muslims complained about the fate of asnaf zakat, especially the poor and the poorest who are said to have no proper attention. Is this allegation true and what is the role of zakat in educating this group?
There is no denying that the poor and the poorest is including as the most important group, are destined to Allah SWT to receive the distribution of zakat property. "Indeed the almsgiving is for the poor and needy," (At-Taubah: 60).
Ulama Fikah (fuqaha) concludes that poor and poorest asnaf should be given priority in the distribution of money or zakat property. Therefore, if there is an allegation that the poor and poorest are neglected, it should be thoroughly investigated.
This is because ignoring the poor and the poorest means ignoring Allah's command and demands. Even fuqaha states that if you want to transfer zakat money out of the area or state, then the main condition must be ascertained in advance that the poor and poorest in the original place have been adequately assisted.
If there is still a need, then it is prohibited to be channeled to people who are outside the area from which zakat property is acquired.
His argument, when the Prophet Muhammad SAW sent Sayidina Muadz bin Jabal r.a. to Yemen, the Prophet told him: "(Later in Yemen) you take away their wealth (the wealthy as zakat) and you divide it back to the poor among them (the inhabitants of Yemen)," - Muttafaqun 'Alaih
In addition, based on the practice of zakat distribution in Selangor, statistics show that the poor and poorest asnaf groups are the most frequent groups of zakat distribution each year besides the fisabilillah.
For example, in 2013, poor and poorest groups received a total compensation of RM177.6 million from the total distribution of zakat amounting to RM463.5 million (38.3 percent).
Among the measures taken by Selangor’s Zakat in the effort to educate the poor and the poorest are to ask them to attend religious classes or to take appropriate courses.
Concentration is also given to the second generation of asnaf who are their children by providing a more comprehensive education plan. Alhamdulillah, so far has seen its effect.
However, the efforts of Selangor’s Zakat and any zakat centers will only produce results if the asnaf themselves are willing to change their destiny.
This is in line with the word of Allah SWT which reminds us: "Indeed, Allah will not change the fate of any of them, until they themselves try to change what is in themselves." (Ar-Ra'du: 11).
In fact, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once reprimanded his companion, by ordering him to search for logs and selling them for the sake of sustenance and thereby, preventing himself from begging.
Meanwhile, the community can also help zakat centers in educating the asnaf with becoming as the eyes, ears and links to always report to improve the identity of the asnaf. This is because the local community is closer to the community.
For example, mosque committee members (AJKs) can create special counseling classes to asnaf, and monitor their presence. This is because it is not appropriate if the asnaf came only to meet the AJK of the mosque, especially the nazir or the surau chairman simply to obtain self-examination as a kariah member.
The empowerment of poor and poorest asnaf is self-reliant. This is because, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asserted that he was not too concerned with the poverty of property but he was more concerned with poverty of soul.
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd
Date of Input: 28/09/2018 | Updated: 06/10/2018 | nuruliman
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