KUALA LUMPUR, The International Union of Muslim Scholars president Prof Dr Sheikh Ali Muhyiddin Al-Qaradaghi has stressed that a zakat institution should be transparently managed to solve poverty issue among Muslims in a country.

Sheikh Ali Muhyiddin said global zakat collections are estimated to reach US$4 billion annually, which should be sufficient to eradicate poverty within at least 10 years.

‘But with such huge funds, why couldn’t we solve the poverty issue? I can draw two conclusions: zakat collection and distribution are not being done properly,’ he said during his visit to the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) headquarters here today, in conjunction with his eight-day official visit to Malaysia via the invitation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

During the visit, he also shared about the Kafi project being implemented in several African countries to pool zakat funds among various organisations to be distributed to needy Muslims.

He said the project has mechanisms to
help asnaf (eligible to receive tithes) individuals improve their livelihoods and provide funds similar to takaful to protect asnaf individuals in debt.

Sheikh Ali Muhyiddin also expressed his readiness to share the experience of handling the project with MAIWP to enhance the economic empowerment efforts in Malaysia.

‘Through the Kafi project, we cooperate with zakat institutions and other organisations to complement expertise. We will gain from them, and InsyaAllah, they will benefit from us as well,’ he said.

Meanwhile, MAIWP chairman Syed Kamarulzaman Syed Kabeer said in his speech that Sheikh Ali Muhyiddin’s visit provided a boost to MAIWP in strengthening its efforts to promote Islamic education, social welfare and community development in the Federal Territories as well as the whole country.

He said MAIWP values the views, messages and guidance on matters related to zakat collection and distribution, as well as waqf provided by Sheikh Ali Muhyiddin, the expert in Islamic economy and banking.

Ali Muhyiddin also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MAIWP Zakat Collection Centre for the translation, printing and publishing of his writings on zakat and waqf into the Malay language as part of the efforts to enrich knowledge and produce a workforce that is skilled in the field of zakat and waqf.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency