Zakat, Its Role in Developing Socio-Economic for Ummah
(DR. Adhyaksa Dault, SH, M.Si |Minister of Youth and Sport)
One of the basic problem that we, Indonesian, must face is the poverty. As stated by National Planning Board for Development (BAPENAS) in March 2007, there are 37,17 Mill poor citizen in Indonesia. This number are decreased compared to year 2006, which is 39,30 Mill. Though we progress quite well in combating poverty, still we have to hold ready, because the number of poor citizen are fluctuated from 1996 to 2007. Sometimes it decreases, and mostly we record an increase.
This situation now worsen with the price increase for basic commodity while the income tends to freeze. Combating poverty should be taken very seriously for us, Muslim in Indonesia. We cannot sit idle and leave the government alone to solve the problem. We have seen many of good program runs by the government, are facing serious decomposition from the inside government with corruption, collusion and nepotism. That should become our main concern, as a Muslim in combating poverty. We have to protect our faith dearly, as Allah SWT decree to us in Al Maidah verses 2.
One solution that possible to implement is to optimize Zakah fund, a situation that need other condition to fulfill, that is Muslim has to fully aware to fulfill this obligation. The teaching of Islam warns and threat hard sanction for those whose reluctant to pay zakat. In the after life, all the posession that we kept will only become our torment if we are ignorant to this obligation (QS 9:34-35) while in life, their life are surely far from Allah SWT blessing.
The strength of zakah itself are varies in their implementation, depending to the professionalism virtues of the organizer. The government itself has enact the ACT Number 38 year 1999, decree that other than BAZNAS, Government body under Ministry of Religion, private sector are given the opportunity to organize zakah fund as long as they fulfill the requirement. Such requirement for example are the obligatory to use foundation as form of organization and has to pass government supervision to get their operational license. While this ACT are much appreciated, yet we have to take more serious approach to set the standard for managing zakah fund for the organizer.
There are key point that need to be approach craft fully. One, the zakah organizer has to be professional and accountable, this is very important and should come first in order to encourage trust from the community. Second, the optimization from zakah fund should be prioritized for those whose ready to join in business assistance program. Third, creating special commitment with the donator, to manage zakah fund, sufficient enough for creating eternal fund.
Furthermore, zakah organizer need to plan their segment they want to approach carefully. Clear and concise segmentation is crucial. Avoid to reach mass crowd, but select particular group that will have wider and strong effect to the community. Then, zakah organizer, also need to build networking with fellow organizer. This networking is very important as capacity building in the community can goes faster with cross information from every zakah information.
And the last point, zakah organizer should investing greatly for the benefit of children in education and health. Because, if we look in UNICEF Data Release in 206, there are 2,6 Mill baby and children whose suffer from heavy malnutrition cases. We should not let this calamity continue to haunt our daily life.
For all the cause stated above, the campaign to promote zakah as mean in social economic engineering tool should stroke our very first awareness. We need to advocate the Muslim community to fulfill their obligation to pay zakat. As we know, that nowadays, the amount of zakah pay through registered zakah organization are far from its potency, only 800 Bill from 20 Trillion. In the teaching of Islam, zakah is the only mechanism that Allah SWT explain it very clearly in Al Qur’an as a ritual that collaborating the aspect of human relation to Allah and human relation to fellow human. This fact should strengthen our beliefs that zakah is the primary solution to combating poverty and closer the social gap. For that we need to focus on preparing infrastructure, in terms of regulation to technical operation procedure.