Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


Diversifying the Roles of Haramayn in Islamic Financial System Using Zakatul Fitr for an Effective Poverty Reduction beyond Saudi Arabia

Author(s): Yusuff Jelili Amuda

Zakat in general and Zakatul Fitr in particular have been known as tools for poverty reduction in Islamic financial system. Many Qur’ānic verses and prophetic traditions have explicated on the significance of Zakat. Zakatul Fitr is given prior to the congregational prayer of fasting festival (Eidul Fitr) annually. More specifically, Q87:14-15 according to ‘Ibn ῾Umar was revealed on the paramount importance of Zakatul Fitr. The scholars of four jurisprudential schools of thought have extensively discussed about collection and distribution of Zakatul Fitr. Nonetheless, with 2.5 million Muslims that performed lesser hajj in 2018 and they were all expected to give out Zakatul Fitr of 15 Saudi Riyal per head which is amounting to 37.5 million. More importantly, two days is allocated for the collection of Zakatul Fitr via recognized embassy attached to each country where money could be transferred. However, there is an insufficient academic research examining the diversification of the roles of haramayn on Zakatul Fitr beyond the domain of its collection in order to achieve the motive of which it is collected-helping the poor and the needy Muslims. The primary objective of this paper is to examine the diversification of the roles of Haramayn on Zakatul Fitr as an Islamic financial instrument in addressing poverty reduction among the Muslims. Content analysis of classical and modern literatures is used as methodology of the paper. The results show that with analogical deduction (Qiyas), the distribution of Zakatul Fitr could be diversified beyond the domain of its collection because a prominent companion of the Prophet (S.A.W.) collected Zakat in Yemen and distributed to poor and needy Muslims in Madīnah. If mandatory Zakat is distributed beyond its domain of collection, then Zakatul Fitr by the performers of lesser Hajj can also be distributed to the needy and poor Muslim beyond the domain of Saudi Arabia. In conclusion, it is not arguable to posit the Zakatul fitr like other Islamic financial instruments is meant for providing comfort for the Muslims. It is therefore suggested that the collectors should put necessary mechanisms in place specifically by opening a window or an office in Haram whose primary task is to be in-charge of collection and distribution of Zakatul fitr beyond Saudi Arabia in order to respond to social demands of contemporary Muslims across the world.

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