Dr. Shamsiah Abdul Karim
Brief Profile: Dr. Shamsiah Abdul Karim is the Senior Vice President of Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad
EZ- ZAKAT – A RECENT ZAKAH INNOVATION BY BANK MUAMALAT MALAYSIA BERHAD (Bank Muamalat)
Ask any Muslim on the obligation of zakah, and they will possess the knowledge that it is one of the five pillars of Islam. However, the Malaysian Muslims’ broad understanding of zakah from several decades ago does not extend beyond zakah al-fitrah. They believe that their obligation of zakah has been fully met once they have paid their zakah al-fitrah. In reality, apart from zakah al-fitrah, there is also zakah al-mal (zakah from earnings). As pious Muslims, meeting zakah obligations are of utmost importance. Hence, over the years, state zakah authorities have expended huge efforts to educate the public on zakah al-mal. This is further boosted by the creation and advent of Pusat Pungutan Zakat in all states which have helped to propagate public education on zakah. Most importantly, the introduction of zakah on salary and relentless efforts by zakah authorities have resulted in an impressive increase in the collection of zakah. Table 1 below provides the total amount of zakah collected by each state from the year 2014 till the year 2018.
It must be highlighted that the consistent increase in zakah collection from the year 2014 till 2018, as shown above, can be attributed not only to the awareness programme and the increased religiosity among Malaysian Muslims but more importantly, on the ease of payment. With the availability of many payment channels, this has made it easy for the public to calculate and pay their zakah. For example, with the availability of zakah website, e-payment, e-zakah calculation online, mobile zakah, zakah on apps and other information on how to calculate zakah, this has made it easier for the public to perform their obligations. All these facilities are meant to ease and facilitate the muzakki or the zakah payer.