Zakat to Poor and Needy

Topics: Poverty, Zakat, Poverty in the United States Pages: 25 (6953 words) Published: May 23, 2012
Effects of Zakat Distribution on Poor and Needy

Fadilah bt Ahmad Zamlus
Siti Salwana bt Abd Mutalep

International Islamic University of Malaysia

Zakat is one of the five basic pillars of Islam and also known as alms giving to Muslim. The word zakat is the noun of the verb zaka, meaning to grow and to increase. Zakat also means to purify one’s wealth to gain Allah’s blessing to make it grow in goodness. Zakat can purify the contributor’s heart from selfishness and greed and at the same time it can purify the heart of the recipients from envy, hatred, and uneasiness.

Zakat need to be distribute to the poor (fuqara’), needy (masakin), zakat collectors (amilin), new revert (muallaf), slave (ar-riqab), debtors (al-gharimin), fighting in the cause of Allah (fi sabilillah),and travelers (ibnu sabil).

This paper will focus on the effect on the distribution of zakat to the poor and needy. It also discusses the current statistic of poor and needy in Malaysia and also concentrate the distribution of zakat to the poor and needy in 3 states in Malaysia (Selangor, Pahang, Johor).

The main objective of zakat distribution in Islam is commonly to free the poor and needy from poverty and to assist them in earning their own income and finally become zakat payer themselves. Zakat can improve their education level, standard of living, productivity, and economy and at the same time it can reduce the gap between rich and poor through the circulation of wealth in the Islamic manner.






- Interpretation and history of zakat

- Purpose of zakat

- Types of zakat

- Rates of zakat

- Zakat distribution


- Definition of poor and needy

- Statistic in Malaysia

- Zakat distribution to poor and needy:



Wilayah Persekutuan



- Economic activities

- Education

- Single Mothers

- Employment




Interpretation and history of zakat

The term zakat has been mentioned 70 times in the Al-Quran together with salah (prayers). For example, in verse 5 of Surah Al- Bayyinah where Allah says “and they have been ordered… to establish regular prayers and to pay zakat.” Both must attach together because ones becomes incomplete without the other. It means paid zakat alone without performing prayer lead to our religion incomplete. Zakat is the third pillar of Islam and it is stated by Ibnu Umar, “ Islam is based on five (principles): To testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His Prophet, to offer regular prayers, to pay zakat, to perform Hajj, and to observe fasting in the month of Ramadhan” (Bukhari). It is an important part of Islam and therefore Muslims must fulfill this divine obligation, as Allah says: "Of their wealth, take alms so you may purify and sanctify them; and pray on their behalf. Verily thy prayers are a source of security for them; and Allah is one who hears and knows.” Surah Al-Taubah: 103.

Zakat as an act of worship is a symbol of Islamic economy justice that ensures equal and trustworthy distribution of wealth. Proper and transparent distribution of zakat will give a direct impact on equitable distribution of wealth to the society. Zakat means growth and increase, growth including psychological and material growth in the soul and wealth of the poor while increase means the increasing the payer’s good deeds and increase in their religious merits and in the blessings of Allah. Zakat meaning is to increase, to grow, to purify and to offer peace (Al-‘Ayni 1972). Mu’jam...

References: Al-Qaradawi, Y. (1973), Fiqh al Zakah, 2nd ed., Mu’assasat al Risalah, Beirut.
Al-Quran, Al-Taubah, verse 60
Economic Planning Unit (2004), Malaysia: 30 Years of Poverty Reduction, Growth and Racial Harmony, Retrieved May, 3, 2012, from
Kementerian Wilayah Persekutuan dan Kesejahteraan Bandar, Media release on ‘Program Kesejahteraan Bandar Labis, Johor’, Retrieved April, 26, 2012 from
Monzer, K
Unit Penyelarasan Pelaksanaan, Jabatan Perdana Menteri (Icu Jpm), media release on ‘e-kasih system’.Retrieved April, 26, 2012 from
Government Transformation Programme The Road Map Jabatan Perdana Menteri. Retrieve May, 5, 2012 from
Principle of Zakat distribution Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia
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