Bandar Seri Begawan - The Islamic Religious Council of Brunei Darussalam, Ministry of Religious Affairs, in a press release issued yesterday evening, has informed the public that an official 'ceremony to distribute documents of Zakat funds to the poor community (asnaf Fakir Miskin) and those who suffer from debt (al-Gharimin)' will be held Wednesday at the Plenary Hall of the International Convention Centre, Berakas.
According to the press release, a total of 4,084 heads of poor and debt-ridden families nationwide will receive the Zakat funds distribution documents. The figure comprises those that have qualified and are listed as Zakat recipients until July 31, this year.
The press release also stated that the Coordination Committee for the Distribution Ceremony is requesting that all the respective recipients to attend the function at the venue before 7am on Wednesday with their invitation cards and their individual passes that have already been distributed to them.
The attendance of every respective recipient is required at the distribution ceremony, the press release emphasised.
The event signals the tangible response to the numerous queries posed by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam about the distribution of funds from the Zakat collections to those in need.
According to previous figures cited, the total collection of Zakat as of 2004 stood at $239,631,073. But five years on, figure must have increased.
The distribution of the Zakat funds comes under the responsibility of the Islamic Religious Council, which directly assesses, manages and distributes the funds. As such, with the staggering amount that was cited way back in 2004, the Islamic Religious Council has a huge role and responsibility to ensure that the Zakat funds are completely, fairly and systematically distributed to every single member who falls within the six categories of the poor, as prescribed by Islam.
Islam advocates that there are six categories that are entitled to receive the Zakat funds, which include the poor community (Fakir Miskin), tithe collectors, Muslim converts (Muallaf), and the redemption of slavery, Fisabilillah, Ibnus Sabil and debt-ridden families (al-Gharimin). (Borneo Bulletin).