The role of zakat and social spending in reducing poverty

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Illustration of zakat. (Source:

Poverty, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is someone who is categorized as a poor person if he has an expenditure of under US $2 per day. According to the Hanafi school of thought in Amalia (2010), the poor are people who have permanent jobs but cannot meet their daily needs.

Meanwhile, according to the Syafi’i, Hambali and Maliki schools, they mentioned that the poor are people who have adequate property or income in meeting their needs and the needs of others who are dependents but are not entirely fulfilled.

The above instruments are expected to improve the welfare of the Indonesian people. Like the state budget for education which is intended to realize the equality of the community in accessing education services. With equitable access to education services, it is expected to increase productivity which leads to welfare. Like the state budget for education, the state budget for health is also expected to realize equity in community access to health services, so that their health status is better and in terms of productivity, it also improves.

Speaking of welfare, a person should not depend entirely on the state, in this case the government through the state budget. There must be synergy between all parties, such as individuals and the private sector. Apart from the APBN, there are also sources of income that must be considered, considering that in Indonesia the majority of the population is Muslim. For Muslims who are able, of course, they must pay zakat. As contained in the Al-Qur’an surah Al-Baqarah verse 43 below: ” And keep up the prayer and bring the Zakat (i.e., pay the obligatory poor-dues) and bow down with the ones bowing down.'”

There are 2 (two) kinds of zakat mal and zakat fitrah, is in the form of staple food items that are paid before Eid al-Fitr. Zakat mal includes gold, silver, money, commercial property, livestock, fruits and grains, minerals and alian goods.

A study found that there was a negative effect between ZIS funds in BAZNAS Indonesia, education spending and health spending on poverty in Indonesia. Education spending, health increases, poverty will decrease. Likewise, the three together affect poverty reduction in Indonesia. Thus, it has been proven that ZIS funds, education and health spending must be managed optimally so that the state’s goal of reducing poverty is also optimally achieved.

Partially, the following reasons for ZIS funds can reduce poverty:

  1. 1. Able to increase mustahiq income, thereby reducing the poverty rate (Amalia, 2010 and Latifah, 2013)
  2. 2. Even though there is a gap between collection and distribution at LAZ, the distribution is carried out correctly. Therefore, there is an increase in the welfare of the mustahiq (Ismifaroh, 2012).
  3. 3. The trustworthy role of LAZ causes muzakki loyalty, so that not only zakat, infaq, sadaqah which is distributed to those who are entitled to receive it causes a reduction in the poverty rate (Latifah, 2013).

Education is an essential instrument in reducing poverty in the long term. Ryandono (2008) states that knowledge in the long term can get people out of poverty. A good education is needed to support the productivity of a country. With a good education, the industrial world, which requires new technological breakthroughs to be more efficient in its production can be fulfilled.

Not only that, education is considered as a form of long-term investment to improve the welfare of the people of a country. All parties must support this long-term investment. The role of the central government in determining the desired direction of education is vital, especially in regulating the budget.

Apart from the ZIS funds and the budget for education previously described, the health sector budget must also be considered. An increase in better health status can increase work and business productivity for the poor. As Herianingrum (2019) explains, government intervention to improve health is also an important policy tool to reduce poverty. The role of the government in improving and developing the health of its citizens can be started from providing advice, counseling, training to budgeting funds for health through the Ministry of Health.

Author: Sri Herianingrum


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Media komunikasi dan informasi seputar kampus Universitas Airlangga (Unair).

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