Zakat is one of five pillars of Islam, which has direct impacts not only for the relationship between man and Allah Swt as The Creator (hablunminallah) but also for the relationship between man and its society (hablunminannaas).  It is due to the fact that the payment of zakat can be used as the parameter of the obedience of the man to Allah Swt and also can be used to share the wealth from the rich to the poor ones. Nevertheless, the zakat laws (fiqh zakat) which regard to the explanation of what zakatable items are; how much zakat should be paid; and what the zakat requirements are; were not explained briefly in the Al Qur'an. They were only explained in detail in the Hadist. On the other hand, the zakat laws (Fiqh zakat) with regard to the explanation of how zakat should be distributed were explained briefly in the Al Qur'an. It shows that how zakat should be distributed is more important rather than what, how and how much zakat should be collected or paid.


It is possible that the explanation of zakat distribution is more important than the explanation zakat collection since zakat distribution involves the sharing of wealth, which can attract the bad or unfair attitude from greedy man or weak Moslem. Consequently, it must be provided a brief guide to avoid mishandle or misuse of the wealth of zakat.


Realizing the importance of zakat distribution in order to ensure its effectiveness, it is important that the study of how zakat should be distributed should be performed in order to ensure the effective zakat distribution. Therefore, this term paper attempts to analyze what and how the zakat distribution based on in Islamic jurisprudences, which involve Al Quran, As Sunnah and Ijtihad of the Islamic scholars (ullama).  And it also tries to analyze how the zakat distribution performed by Pusat Zakat Selangor (PZS) in order to compare what the actual happened in the practices with the Islamic jurisprudences. This paper proceeds with discussion about zakat distribution based on Islamic jurisprudences, zakat distribution which performs by PZS, our standing and finally we will try to give our conclusion and recommendation.



QS. At Taubah (Surah 9) verse 58-60 explained that Allah Swt. has given His Guidance on to whom zakat should be distributed. Allah Swt also reminds us that the distribution of zakat (wealth) will attract some conflicts or protests, especially from those who want to get the share of zakat although they do not deserve to get it. The reason of the revelation of these verses (asbabul nuzul) is that there were some greedy men in the Rosululloh (pubh) time who desire to get the wealth of zakat although they did not deserve. Since Rosulululloh (pubh) did not give them, they tried to attack Rosululloh (pubh). Consequently, Allah SWT revealed these verses to show the greedy and munafik man characteristics and to explain who really deserve to get the share of zakat (mustahik). The following passages will discussed in detail who the masarif of zakat are, how much they deserve to get the wealth of zakat, how zakat should be distributed and what the limitations of the usage of zakat are.


2.1 Masarif Zakat (Asnaf)

Based on QS. At Taubah verse 60, we can identify eight groups of society (asnaf) to whom zakat should be distributed. They are fakir, miskin, amil, muallaf, fisabilillah, gharim, ibnu sabil, and riqob. There are some opinions with regard to the definition of those asnafs and their interpretation for their applications in this current (contemporary) situation between some Islamic scholars. Below, will be discussed briefly:


2.1.1 Fakir and Miskin

Based on the Al Qur'an, the jumhur ullama and the big-4 Mazhab in Islam, which are Hanbali, Hanafi, Maliki and Syafi'i, agreed that fakir and miskin are the most important groups that must be given the first priority in the distribution of zakat.  Mazhab Hanafi fiqh defined fakir and miskin as they are who have nothing or who have a home and some furniture but not too many or who have money but less than nisab or who have the other capitals but less than nisab or their values are less than 200 dirham. Beside that, mazhab Hanbali, Maliki and Syafi'i fiqh defined fakir and miskin in the separate term. Based on them, fakirs are those who have no wealth or income for their life and their dependants; whereas miskin are those who have wealth and income but their wealth and their income are not sufficient enough for their life and their dependants.


The concept of fakir and miskin above still can be applied in this current situation, since there are a lot of men who can be categorized as fakir or miskin. Nevertheless, there are also few problems with regard to the amount that should be distributed to them. Qordhowi (1973) concluded that basically, there are two basic views in the differences mazhabs fiqh. The first view said that fakir miskin deserve to get a sufficient amount of zakat and there is no determination how much it is. The second view said that fakir and miskin are given zakat in the certain amount which was considered the other asnafs.


The Jumhur Ullama and some mazhabs agreed that the first view is more suitable to the Islamic thought and the objectives of zakat. And it divided into two mazhabs. Firstly, mazhab which tells that zakat should be given for unlimited time. It means that, fakir and miskin should be given zakat continuously until they did not need zakat or they can make sufficient they basic need. For instance, fakir and miskin who have skill or ability such as carpenter, farmer or merchant but they are lack of resources or capital, they deserve to get capitals from zakat. Furthermore, they can overcome their life by themselves. The participants of this mazhab are Imam Nawawi, who wrote Kitab Al Majmu, and his followers. Secondly, mazhab which restrict that the gift of zakat to fakir and miskin is in one year. For instance, ones who have no ability to serve their life such as blind man, paralyzed man, senior citizen, or others, deserve to get zakat distribution annually. It is merely the salary payment for them. This view is supported by Maliki and Hanbali Mazhabs. 


Beside that, the most important thing that should be given the attention is that fakir and miskin are the most priority groups which deserve to get the largest amount of zakat share. This is stated by Dr. Wahbah Zuhaili in his book, Fiqul Islam wa Adilatuhu. 




2.1.2 Amil

Amil are defined as those who are assigned to perform all the activities with regard to zakat matters, from the collection up to distribution stages. They are divided into two basic units, which are zakat collection unit and zakat distribution unit. And they are paid with money from zakat. So, zakat has a certain amounts that are budgeted to pay the salary of the amil.


Imam Nawawi in his book, Kitab Al Majmu, identified the importance of amil. They are assigned to take a census who has the obligation to pay zakat (muzakki), the type and the amounts of zakat that they have to pay. They are also assigned to take a census who deserve to receive the zakat distribution and how much they need. Beside that, they responsible to take care the wealth of zakat from destruction and mishandling or misusing.  Consequently, amil become the third priority to receive zakat. Moreover, Dr. Wahbah Zuhaili concluded that amil should be given the share of zakat at the first time before the other asnafs/mustahiks. They receive zakat not because of their need, but they receive zakat because of their work.


As the same with fakir and miskin, the concept and definition of amil still can be applied in this current situation. So, there will no discussion about how amil should be interpreted in this current situation. The important thing that should be discussed is how much the amil deserve to receive the share of zakat. Qordhowi (1973) argued that amil are official or employee. So, they deserve to get the wages based on their work. Mazhabs Maliki stated that amil deserve to get the share of zakat at the same amount with the other asnafs, which is not more than 1/8 of zakat (not more than 12.5% of total zakat collected). If their wage is more than the share of zakat, it can be paid from non zakat wealth such as from shadaqah, infak or tax that is collected by the government. This view was supported by the jumhur ullama since it is important to maintain the right of fakir and miskin and the other asnafs.


2.1.3 Muallaf

In general, muallaf are those who have just embraced Islam as their religion or those whose iman in Islam is weak. And specifically, Qhordowi (1973) defined that muallaf are those whose belief (iman) in Islam are expected to increase, or those whose bad intention to Moslem are expected to be stopped, or those who can help and protect Moslem from the enemies. They deserve to receive zakat in order to strengthen their heart in increasing their belief (iman) or stopping their bad intention or helping Moslem from the enemy. Moreover, it can be identified six groups which can be categorized as muallaf, that are:

1.      Those who are expected to embrace Islam as their religion, or those who can influence their society or family to come in Islam (Tafsir Ibnu Katsir);

2.      Those who have bad intention in Islam. It is expected that their bad intention can be prevented by giving zakat (Tafsir At Tabari);

3.      Those who has just embrace Islam as their religion. It is expected that the giving of zakat can strengthen their iman (Tafsir At Tabari);

4.      The Moslem leaders or Moslem society figures whose friends are mostly kafir. It is expected that they can attract their friend to come in Islam (Tafsir Al manar);

5.      The Moslem leaders or Moslem society figures whose iman in Islam is weak. It is expected that giving zakat can encourage them to strengthen their iman and to struggle (jihad) in Islam (Tafsir al Qurtubi);

6.      Moslems who live in the kafir region. It is expected that they can survive in that region;


The distribution of zakat to this asnaf muallaf in this current situation can be directed to help Moslem whose iman and life are threatened. For instance, to help African or Middle East Moslem who are trapped in the ethnic and religion conflicts with involve Zionist Israel intervention, communist activities and colonialism activities (Zuhaili, 2001). It is also can be distributed to student that are threatened by a lot of Christianity programs, or to the Moslem society which was persuaded to come in other religion (murtad). The last two issues are the most commonly found in the Indonesian society. So, hopefully they can save their iman by ensuring that Islam has attention to them through zakat. Moreover, zakat for this asnaf also can be distributed for funding of muallaf foundation since there are a lot of Christian foundations, which try to recruit weak Moslem to their religion such as Rotary Club Foundation.


2.1.4 Riqob

The fifth target (masarif) of zakat is riqob (slave). The objective of the distribution zakat to this asnaf is to release the slaves and to eliminate slavery in this world, since slavery is against the humanity.


As we have already known, it is difficult to find the slavery practice in this current situation. So, it is possible that some questions will rise with regard to the distribution zakat to this asnaf such as whether there is still share of zakat for this asnaf or how zakat should be distributed to this asnaf. With regard to this issue, Zuhaili (2001) interpreted that the distribution of zakat to this asnaf is still there. It means that there is no elimination of this asnaf. The problem is to whom zakat should be distributed or what for zakat should be distributed in this situation since there is no slavery anymore. Zuhaili (2001) in Fiqul Islam wa Adilatuhu suggested that this zakat can be directed to release or to guarantee the Moslem prisoner who is arrested because of his da'wah activities such as Abu Bakar Ba'asyir case in Indonesia. It also can be used to help the Moslem societies, which are under control of kafir, to get their independency (Syeh Rashid Ridha in Tafsir Al Manar) such as Moro Moslem in Philippines. Or it can be used to help Moslem woman employee (Tenaga Kerja Wanita Moslem) who is treated discriminatively, especially the housekeeper. Finally, although there is no slavery practice formally in this current situation, we can still find a lot of "slavery" practices, which are not only conducted by a group or nation but also by individual. And in this occasion, concept of zakat distribution to riqob can be applied.


2.1.5 Gharim

The sixth target of zakat is gharim, those who are trapped with their liabilities to fulfill basic need. Mazhab Imam Syafi'i argued that this asnafs deserve to be given zakat to pay their liabilities with some preconditions, which are: they have no wealth to pay their liabilities; they do not perform sin or illegal activities; the payment of liabilities has reached its due date. They deserve to get the amount of zakat which is as much as their liabilities. But if the creditors release them from their obligation to pay the liabilities, they have to give the share of zakat back to Islam.


Based on Dr. Wahbah Zuhaili, the application of this asnaf in this current situation can be interpreted as follow. The share zakat for this asnaf can be directed to Moslem who is really trapped in their obligation to pay liabilities as discuss above. It also can be distributed to help Moslem who loss their wealth because of disaster such as fire, flood, robbery, etc.  They deserve to get zakat to fulfill their basic need (Musannif bin Abu Syaibah in At-Tabari). It means that zakat for this asnaf, especially for those who are the victim of disaster, is almost the same as insurance in this current situation.


2.1.6 Fisabilillah

The seventh masarif of zakat is fisabilillah. There are some differences in the concepts of this asnaf, especially what masarif really mean and who deserve to get this share. Qordhowi (1973) summarized, based on the big-4 mazhabs in Islam (Hanafi, Hanbali, Syafi'I and Maliki) and jumhur ullama, that there are three agreements with regard to this asnaf, which are:

·        Jihad is included in the part of sabilillah;

·        It has been declared to give zakat to mujahid personally who does not receive salary from the ruler or government;

·        Zakat cannot be used to build public facilities such as bridge, mosque, highway or street, school building etc. The funding of these public facilities can be captured from baitul maal from the revenue of tax, shadaqa, qhardul hasan etc. It is prohibited because there is no ownership to those public facilities and it has been out of the eight asnafs of zakat.


Moreover, Syeh Rashid Ridha in Tafsir Al Manar   explained that zakat for this asnaf can be used for the public benefit (maslahah of ummah) with regard to the establishment of aqidah of ummah. It can be directed to finance jihad to protect Islam. In the current situation, zakat under this asnaf can be directed to finance the real jihad to against the kafir who fight them such as jihad in Ambon Indonesia or Palestine. It also can be used to finance the Moslem education, the establishment of Islamic mass media such as Islamic newspaper, Islamic publisher, Islamic magazine, Islamic website, Islamic television etc and to finance the da'wah Islamiyah. All those mentioned before are due to the fact that there have been a lot of Western cultures, which influence Moslem society. Therefore, it is essential to save the aqidah and iman of Moslem from Westernization through the education. Beside that, Western mass media always publish the unfair publication/news about Islam in this world such as CNN, Times, etc. Consequently, it is necessary that the establishment of Islamic mass media can counter those unfair publications.  And this is the role of zakat, which is as their funding or financial support.


2.1.7 Ibnu Sabil

Jumhur ullama defined ibnu sabil as musafir, those who pass from one region into other region. Imam Syafi'i defined ibnu sabil as those who loss and have no sufficient provisions in their journey. Ibnu sabil deserve to get zakat only if:

1.      They really need since they have no sufficient fund to go back to their country;

2.      Their journey is not for sin or illegal (maksiat) activities. Qhordowi (1973) stated that the journeys which can be categorized as ibnu sabil journeys are the journeys to find rizki (QS, 2:177), to find knowledge/ilm' (QS, 29:20), to perform jihad fisabilillah (QS, 9:41) and to perform hajj in Mekah (QS, 3:97).


The distribution zakat to this asnaf in this current situation still can be applied although there are no country boundaries in this world since the modern telecommunication and transportation. Qhordhowi (1973) identified that the application of zakat distribution to this asnaf can be distributed to:

1.      Moslems who are on a trip and they loss their provisions or they cannot access their wealth. I.e. ones who loss in the dessert or on the remote area;

2.      Moslems who are chased away from their country because of keeping their Islam and try to request political asylum or protection from other Moslem;

3.      Moslems who have wealth but they cannot use it; i.e. a merchant who owe their wealth to others but they can not collect it and the have no other wealth, they deserve to get zakat;

4.      Beggar or homeless person (supported by Mazhab Hanbali);

5.      Kids who are not recognized by their parents or discarded kids (supported by Syeh Rashid Ridha in his Tafsir Al manar);


2.2 How zakat should be distributed

There are different arguments with regard to how zakat distributed, especially how much the share, which should be received by each asnaf, are.  Qordhowi (1973) and Zuhaili (2001) summarized all the arguments as follow:

1.      If the amounts of zakat are sufficient enough (big) and all the asnafs are available, they deserve to receive the same amount of zakat. It means that zakat must be distributed in the same amount among the eight asnafs (supported by Mazhab Syafi'i);

2.      If the amount of zakat are not sufficient enough (not big), zakat should not be distributed equally to all the asnaf, but only based on their need. Imam Maliki suggested giving the priority to the biggest asnaf whose needs are also big.

3.      The most priority asnaf are fakir and miskin since they really need zakat. It was revealed in the Al Qur'an and As Sunnah that the main objective of zakat is to fulfill the need of fakir and miskin;

4.      For the amil asnaf, as proposed by mazhab Syafi'i and supported by jumhur ullama, amil deserve to get the share of zakat at the first time (before the other asnaf get their share), but they only deserve to get zakat not more than 1/8 (12.5%) from total zakat collected. If they deserve to get more because of their work, the lack can be taken from infak, shadaqa, zakat or the other fund;


2.3 The limitations of the using of zakat

Zakat is Islamic tax, which has special characteristic. The characteristic which distinguish zakat from other transfer of wealth is that zakat only can be used in the limited objectives. These objectives relate to individual Moslem life, society life and humanity. Qordhowi (1973) and Zuhaili (2001) summarized that zakat cannot be distributed:

1.      To build or finance the public facilities such as bridge, highway, mosque (except mosque for muallaf who live in the kafir country);

2.      For rich Moslems;

3.      For Moslems who able to work and fulfill their basic need;

4.      For kafir;

5.      For the child or parents or wife of muzzaki;

6.      For the family of Rosululloh SAW which are Banu Hasyim and Banu Mutholib.



Pusat Pungutan Zakat (Majlis Agama Islam Selangor) was established in February 15, 1994 in order to manage the collection of zakat payments in Selangor and was registered under MAIS Zakat Sdn Bhd. PPZ (MAIS) is a wholly owned subsidiary by Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS) with paid – up capital of RM 500,000. The main purpose of establishment of PPZ (MAIS) is to improve the management of zakat to the new professional system as used by corporate sector.


However, it started its operation in October 1995 after all the preparation and the instalment of the new facilities such as the new system and the recruitment of new staff. Then, the name of PPZ (MAIS) has been changed to Pusat Zakat Selangor (MAIS) or PZS in October 30, 1996.


The main function of PZS is to manage the collection of zakat payments in Selangor on behalf of Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS) under the supervision of one Board of Directors appointed by Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS). This board consists of various professionals and experts in different field.


The objective of the distribution of zakat is to fulfill the right and responsibility to all asnaf in Selangor as ordered by Allah. It is also to improve the quality of life of all the asnaf in Selangor socially, economically spiritually and also their level of education.


3.1 Principles Of Zakat Distribution (PZS)

3.1.1   Istiab

The distribution of zakat collections should be made to all asnaf as ordered by Allah which are Fakir (the poor), Miskin (the needy), Amil (those employed to minister it), Muallaf (those whose hearts are to be won over), Gharim (freeing from bondage), Fisabilillah (struggle in God’s cause), Riqab (those who are burdened with debts) and  Ibnu Sabil (the wayfarer). The first four asnaf is classified as muqaddam and the rest as muakhkhar. The distribution should be based on the necessities of all the asnaf eventhough the priority is for the first 4 asnaf (muqaddam). The transfer of allocation from one asnaf to another asnaf is allowed and should be based on the necessities and the excess (if there is any).


3.1.2       Ikhtisas

It has been determined by Allah that the zakat collection can only be distributed to the asnaf as mentioned by Allah in Surah Al-Taubah verse 60. The distribution done by Pusat Zakat Selangor (PZS) is restricted to all asnaf in Selangor only. There should not be any ijtihad in determining the recipients except all the matters which are related to the implementation of the distribution to the asnaf. Any qiyas made with regards to the recipients should not be other than the 8 asnaf.


3.1.3       Hak

All the accumulated zakat collections are belong to the asnaf that are made compulsory to be distributed to them in term of physical or benefits. Any missing of the zakat collection should be replaced. The distribution follows the current needs of the asnaf.


3.1.4       Muraqhabah

All the allocation and distribution of zakat collection must be done with the supervision and monitored by the authority. Every application must be investigated and certified by two persons in charged. Every approval and decision on the zakat management must be made in the present of fear to Allah, sincere, honest and responsible. The asnaf are advised and reminded regarding the uses of zakat received by the authority of zakat.




3.1.5       Al – Kifayah

The distribution to the asnaf must fulfill the bacis necessity of them. Allocation of zakat to the asnaf is based on the shariah.


3.1.6       Fauran (Immediate)

Amil (those employed to minister it) involved in the process of investigating the applications must observe the principle of muraqabah. Distribution should be made immediately after the certification of the asnaf based on the shariah principles.


3.2 Types of Distribution made by Pusat Zakat Selangor (PZS) – refer appendix 1)


 4.0      OUR STANDING

4.1 The Application Of Zakat Distribution In This Current Situation

Based on the literature review on zakat distribution in Islamic perspective, it can be summarized that the applications of zakat distribution in this current situation are as follow:


Table 1 The Application of each asnaf in this current situation



Fakir and Miskin

1). Capital gift for the fakir or miskin who has ability or skill, such as carpenter tools for carpenter, farm yield and plant seed for farmer, money for merchants, etc.

2). Monthly or annual fund for unable Moslems, such senior citizen, paralyzed man, yatim piatu kids

3). To build house for unable Moslems

4). Scholarship for Moslems students whose parents do not able to finance their education


To pay the wages of ones who perform all the zakat matters such as zakat collector, zakat distributor, zakat treasury, zakat warehouse keeper, etc.


1). Funding for muallaf foundation

2). To build mosque for muallaf who live in the kafir region or kafir country

3). Scholarship for Moslem students who study in un-Islamic school or in kafir region

4). Humanity gift for Moslems who threatened by Christianity or others religion program such as Moslems who live in minus or poor region

5). Humanity gift for Moslems in conflict area such  as African Moslems or Iraqi Moslems


1) To release the Moslem prisoners who are arrested because of their da'wah activity

2) To release the Moslem women employee who are under pressure of their employer

3) To finance the jihad of Moslems to get their independency from kafir ruler/country


1). To pay the liabilities of Moslems who are trapped in their obligation for their basic need

2). Humanity gift for Moslems who become the victim of disaster such as fire, flood, robbery, etc


1). To finance the Islamic jihad against kafir who fight them such Moslem in Ambon Indonesia or Palestine

2). To finance the Islamic mass media such as Islamic newspaper, Islamic magazine, Islamic television and other Islamic publication media

3). Scholarship for Moslem students who have good performance

Ibnu Sabil

1). Scholarship for Moslem students who study in other countries

2). To finance the elimination of beggar or homeless person

3). To help the discarded kids

4). To help a merchant whose merchandise are borrowed by others and he cannot collect it back

5). To help Moslems who are chased away from their country since they keep their iman



4.2 The Share of Zakat for Each Asnaf

Based on the literature review on zakat distribution in Islamic perspective, it can be summarized that the share of zakat distribution for each asnaf are as follow:


Table 2 The share of zakat for each asnaf


The share of zakat

Fakir and miskin who have ability

As much as they need to fulfill their basic need using their ability

Unable fakir and miskin

As much as the standard of living cost in that region


As much as the standard of wages in that region but not more than 1/8 (12.5%) of total zakat collected

Muallaf, riqob, gharim, fisabilillah, and ibnu sabil

As much as it is needed



4.3 The Analysis of Zakat Distribution in Pusat Zakat Selangor

To analyze the efficiency of zakat distribution in Selangor, we used monthly data of zakat distribution performed by PZS in year 2002. And to make it more comprehensive, we also try to analyze the annual data of zakat distribution for year 1998 up to 2002. All the data can be referred in appendix 2.


Using Microsoft Excel, we can identify the pattern of zakat distribution, monthly and annually, which can be referred from table 3 up to table 6.




Table 3

Table 4




Table 5

Table 6


Based on the data analysis, we can identify the zakat distribution in Selangor as follow:

  1. The Pusat Zakat Selangor give the priority of zakat distribution to the asnaf fisabilillah;
  2. There are some violation of the principles done by Pusat Zakat Selangor  such as:
  3. Fakir and miskin should be the first priority to get the biggest amount of zakat. Nevertheless, in the case of PZS, they allocated the highest percentage for fisabilillah even though based on one of the principles the priority should be given to the muqaddam which are fafir, miskin, amil and muallaf. This is due to the false allocation made to the improvement of public facilities which is violating the principle of distribution because public facilities have no ownership.
  4. There is no distribution zakat for amil in year 1998-2000. It is questionable, why it happens, since this asnaf deserve to get the share of zakat the same as the other asnaf.
  5. On the other hand, in year 2002, asnaf amil got the share of zakat more than 12.5% of total zakat collected (they got 13.47%). This is against the principle of zakat distribution that had been agreed by the jumhur ullama, which stated that amil deserve the share of zakat not more than 12.5% of the total zakat collected.



5.0 Conclusions and Recommendation

As for the conclusion, it seems that there is inefficiency in the zakat distribution in Pusat Zakat Selangor, in the sense that the wealth of zakat do not distribute properly. It may be due to they refer to other mazhab or zakat law (zakat fiqh) which is different from those which explain in the previous section. If it is so, the problem lies on which mazhab or fiqh which they adopt since the previous section have covered the zakat fiqh under the big-4 mazhab in Islam and under the opinion of jumhur ullama. It is questionable. And if it is not due to that they refer to the other mazhab or fiqh, it is possible due to the lack of the understanding of zakat distribution. Wallaahu a'lam bisshowaab.


Therefore Pusat Zakat Selangor should observe more the principle of priority in which they should allocate the distribution to the muqaddam first than the muakhkhar in which among them are fakir, miskin, amil and muallaf. In the case of allocation to be distributed under fisabilillah, there should not be for the development or renovation for public facilities such mosque (surau), school and roads. Based on the principles of distribution, there must be ownership for the distribution made to the asnaf. If the distribution allocated for the development or renovation public facilities, this violates the concept of ownership.