The literal meaning of Zakat can be defined as pure, blessing, good, grow and renowned. Zakat is the third pillar from the five fundamental pillars of Islam. With e well functioning Zakat, it enables economic growth and income equality, in other words, economy with equity (Ahmad Muflih,1986).
The government should be accountable in collecting and distributing zakat funds for a few reasons (Yusuf, 2000). There are two important roles of Zakat institutions which are collecting and distributing Zakat funds. But nowadays, the distributing of Zakat has become a big issue. Therefore, this research aims to study the factor that determining the efficiency of distribution of Zakat in Sibu. The findings of this study will explain the method and the effectiveness of distribution of Zakat in Sibu. By doing this study also we will get to recognize the challenges that been encounter by the Zakat institutions in Sarawak in distributing the Zakat fund.
Zakat is the third pillar in Pillars of Islam. It is vital for Malaysia to have a proper zakat management to demonstrate a good image of Islam. The systematic and effective of zakat management will increase the zakat payers confidence in paying their zakat. According to Muhammad Syukri (2002, p. 2), in Malaysia, the zakat collection has been increased averagely from year to year. For 2012, the total Zakat collected from Pusat Pungutan Zakat (PPZ) Selangor is RM451 million, where this amount is exceeding the target set for that year. These total collections have shown and increasing value in Zakat collection for 2011 which is only RM 394.1 million.
However, even though the management of Zakat collection getting better from year to year, but when it comes to Zakat distribution, it is still become a big issue. The difficulty with the distribution methods, zakat distribution to the qualified and unqualified asnaf, the problem with poverty that is still happen even though the zakat distribution has been implemented, some zakat institution having shortage zakat fund while some having surplus, are among the issues that has decreased the performance and achievement of the zakat institution itself (Mohamed Dahan 1998; Abdullah 1999). This show the unjustice in Muslim economics and lead to the bad impression of the ability towards Zakat institutions.
As a result, this situation creates an interest in the researcher to perform study to review the method of distribution of Zakat and its effectiveness, the factor that determining the efficiency of Zakat and the challenges in distributing Zakat. This research is to find a solution for better way in distributing Zakat in smaller community at Sibu.
These research findings can help in improving the efficiency of distribution of Zakat, assist in increase Zakat payers confident toward Zakat institutions by paying their Zakat and help to makes a better strategy for the Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak in increasing their Zakat profesionalisme in Zakat management. This research also significance to a better development of Islamic economy.
Based on the above discussion, the research objective for this study are;
1. To find out the method of distribution of Zakat in Sibu and their effectiveness.
2. To investigate factors determining the efficiency of Zakat distribution in Sibu.
3. To examine the challenges that Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak encounter in distribution of Zakat.
In order to meet the objectives of the research, there are few research questions that are conducted in this research. The following are the research questions of this research:
1. How is Zakat distributed in Sibu?
2. What are the factors that determining the efficiency of Zakat distribution in Sibu?
3. What are the challenges that Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak encounter in distribution of Zakat in Sibu?
This study expected to help, Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak (TBS) for Sibu area to improve their efficiency in distributing Zakat. When the result of this study indicates the challenges that the institutions encounter, the TBS can come out a strategy to improve their effectiveness in distribution of Zakat in Sibu. Through this new strategy proposed, it is hoped that TBS can increase the profesionalisme of Zakat management and also increase the confidence of the zakat payers. This later will contribute to increasing number of zakat funds and indirectly help the capability of asnaf to improve their life.
As conclusion, this study is vital to increase the confidence of people towards our Zakat institutions. By providing an efficiency and a transparent system of Zakat management, this will attract more people to pay Zakat. Since the collection of Zakat is no longer become an issue in managing Zakat, thus, the government play an important role in finding a solution in enhancing and improving Zakat distribution to Asnaf.
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