Muslim scholars across the country were at a one-day Zakat workshop organized by Muslim Association of Malawi in collaboration with the Bayti Zakat of Kuwait at Iqra Islamic Propagation Centre in Blantyre.
The aim of the workshop was to train the scholars on how to effectively manage the institution of Zakat.
Presenting his paper, one of the renowned scholars on Zakat Ahmad Al-Batini who was the main facilitator of the workshop, reminded the participants about the historical background of Zakat.
He said Zakat was established during the Prophetic period in Madina when he sent a companion Muaz Bin Jabal to Yemen and instructed him a number of principles that he was going to teach to the people of Yemen. Among these principles was the principle of Zakat that it should be taken from the rich for the benefit of the poor among the community.
Apart from this famous prophetic tradition, the facilitator quoted one of the verses which talks about the importance of Zakat.
“Those who behave and do righteousness, establish daily prayers and pay poor will have their reward with their Lord”. (Quran 2 verse 277).
“They were enjoined only to worship God, sincere in their faith in Him alone – and of upright religion – and to establish the Salat and the Zakat. Such is the upright religion, (Quran 98 verse 5)
Ahmad therefore went on to train the scholars on how the above verses could be used to the development of the Muslim economic welfare and indeed that of the nation.
Speaking to Malawi Muslims Official Website, one of the participants, Sheikh Khalid Ibrahim Stambuli said the workshop has been beneficial to him because he has learned the importance of a well-structured organization that follows its vision and mission statement in order to appreciate its goals and objectives.
Another participant Sheikh Mussa Mzumara also said:
“This is the kind of things we have been longing for. The workshop was really an eye opener as we are now able to know how to have an organized structure that can collect, manage and distribute the Zakah effectively. it is now our duty to use this knowledge to ourselves but also to take the message to the public out there. We thank Muslim Association of Malawi for this initiative and I am sure this is not the end.”
‘Zakat’ is an arabic word which is generally translated as ‘poor due’ or ‘religious levy’ but it literally means purification, growth, blessing and appreciation.
Zakat is the community’s share in the produced wealth. More specifically, according to M U Chapra, the renowned Islamic economist, Zakat is the financial duty of a Muslim “to pay out of his / her net worth or agricultural output, if these are higher than the threshold of Zakat (nisab), a specified portion as an indispensable part of his religious duties.”
In Malawi, there are two organisations which are responsible in collecting zakah namely Islamiz Zakaat Fund (IZF) and National Zakaat Fund (NAZAF).