Islamic Economics expert says Zakat plays important role reducing impact of Covid-19

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Asc. Prof. Dr. Zakaria Bahari during a public lecture on May 20, 2020 through Zoom Application. (Photo: Febrian Tito)

UNAIR NEWS – The Department of Sharia Economics, Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) in collaboration with Islamic Development Management Studies (ISDEV) University of Science Malaysia (USM) conducted a public lecture online through Zoom Application. It was held on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

The public lecture entitled The Role of Zakat as a Covid-19 Pandemic Solution was filled by a guest lecturer from USM ISDEV, Asc. Prof. Dr. Zakaria Bahari.

The impact of Covid-19 pandemic is huge, including affecting the economic sector, including foreign investment and tourism. On the occasion, Prof. Zakaria explained that zakat could be a support reducing impact of Covid-19 as stipulated in Al-Qur’an Surah At-Taubah verse 60.

“There are eight benefactors of zakat that have been mentioned in the Qur’an, so the role of zakat to help reduce the burden of covid-19, especially Muslims, is only in favor of certain groups such as the poor,” explained Prof. Zakaria.

Prof. Zakaria also explained that the income from zakat, especially in Malaysia reached nearly three billion ringgit in 2017 and continues to increase every year. The contribution rate of zakat income in Malaysia is very helpful, because zakat itself will support people who need help.

“We also know that the role of zakat is as a distribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, and zakat also as an equitable distribution of income which can support consumption, because people who get the zakat money will use the money and spend it,” continued the USM lecturer.

The distribution of zakat in Malaysia is divided into two forms, direct assistance for the eight asnaf and the second form by offering assistance to people who had never received zakat but now has no income due to being affected by covid-19.

“Moreover, zakat also provides monthly assistance to families and individuals, medical supply equipment, staple food, assistance to mosques to help small traders in Malaysia and it reaches eight million ringgit,” he concluded.

In Indonesia, data showed that the income of zakat in 2017 reached 3.7 trillion rupiah and is still growing today. According to him, the distribution of zakat in Indonesia is evenly distributed for eight asnaf. The biggest is the distribution for the poor and sabilillah which reaches 2.6 trillion rupiah.

“The distribution of zakat in Indonesia during the Covid-19 pandemic is for disinfectants, education, medical check-ups, distribution of hand sanitizers, masks, healthy toilets, to the cleanliness of mosque carpets,” he added.

From the data, Prof. Zakaria mentioned that zakat is very helpful to people who obey protocols from the government who cannot work, as well as poor people in need. It is also beneficial for those infected with Covid-19 through help of health equipment and supplies.

In the end of the lecture, Prof. Zakaria added that zakat is a short-term Islamic economic instrument. There are also other long-term Islamic economic instruments, namely waqf. The potential of waqf to assist the handling of Covid-19 is also very great, such as the waqf land used for the construction of an emergency hospital for Covid-19 . (*)

Author: Febrian Tito Zakaria Muchtar

Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh

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