Muslims urged to pay tithes early

National 1 minute, 49 seconds


MAJORITY of local Muslims prefer to make their zakat fitrah (tithe) payments in the final week of Ramadhan to garner benefits, but some tithe payments have already been received, said imams of main mosques yesterday.

The imams encouraged Muslims to make early payments to avoid failure in meeting the deadline, before the takbir (proclamation of the greatness of Allah SWT) for Aidifiltri starts.

Imam Hj Daud Hj Abd Kadir from Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah Mosque in Kampung Tamoi, noted that Muslims prefer to make tithe payments on the final days of Ramadhan as they believe they would reap more benefits.

"It is recommended to pay your zakat earlier as we are not delaying our responsibilities at the same time," he said, adding that the mosque has also been receiving early payments.

In his past 15 years of experience as an amil (zakat collector), Imam Hj Daud had seen few cases where individuals fail to make payments before the deadline, as such late payments could only be received as sedekah (alms).

Mudim Hj Suhaili Hj Kalong, imam at the Jame' 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah also advised Muslims to make early payments. "Don't get into a rush and end up committing sins for failing to pay your zakat."

Appointed zakat collectors at the mosque will be on standby until as late as 1am on Raya eve as their normal operations time starts from 6.30am-10pm daily, the imam said.

Begawan Pehin Khatib Hj Hamidon Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Hj Abdul Hamid, imam of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque, noted that most Bruneians and some foreigners prefer to pay on Hari Raya eve as it offers more benefits.

It is a religious obligation for all Muslims to pay zakat fitrah, whereby it is a sin if Muslims fail to pay during the holy month, and it is also meant to aid the needy and less fortunate.

Muslim expatriates and foreigners residing in the Sultanate will be paying the same rate as Bruneians, which is $1.93 per person for Siamese rice and $2.84 per person under the Fragrant rice rate, said the imam. (AFS1)

The Brunei Times