KUALA LUMPUR – Keeping an eye on the world underprivileged, Malaysia is planning to set up a global zakat fund to help millions of poor people around the globe.
"The Endowment, Zakat and Haj Department (JAWHAR) is in the midst of setting up the World Zakat Organization and is in need of sponsorship from other Muslim countries,” said Jamil Khir Baharom, a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Bernama news agency reported Tuesday, November 22.
"We are also hoping that Islamic banks worldwide will also contribute to the WZO fund," he told reporters after opening the World Universities First Zakat Conference (WU1ZC) on Tuesday.
Eighteen countries had agreed to join the organization so far, he said.
Baharom said it was hoped that the aid and assistance to be offered through the WZO would ease the burden of poor Muslims.
Along with world poor, the fund would also be used to help the people in conflict-stricken countries like Somalia, Palestine and Afghanistan.
Gathering at a three-day WU1ZC conference, Baharom hoped the meeting countries would produce an exemplary working paper that could be emulated and adopted by all quarters in ensuring that the distribution of zakat would reach the target recipients.
He said the department was also developing a data bank on the aid and assistance received by the target recipients.
A total of 64 working papers from 16 institutions of higher learning in Indonesia, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Algeria, Iran, Bangladesh, Belgium and Malaysia will be tabled at the conference, which will end on Thursday.
Zakat, the third pillar of Islam, is obligatory upon every (capable) Muslim.
According to Islamic Shari`ah, a capable Muslim pays 2.5 percent mandatory payment and spend it to help the poor and the needy.
Related Links:Malaysian State Goes Back to Dinar, Dirham
Egypt Brothers Eye Islamic Finance Economy
Islamic Finance Taps Women Scholars
Irish Muslims Want Islamic Finance
Mauritius Taps Into Islamic Banking