Call to pay Zakat Fitrah

National 3 minutes, 20 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's government has provided amil in every mosque to facilitate Muslims in paying their zakat. There is no reason for Muslims not to pay their Zakat Fitrah, said Mudim Abdul Latif Hj Saman, an Imam at the Jame' 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah yesterday.

Amils are those appointed by the Islamic Religious Council, Ministry of Religious Affairs, to collect payments of Zakat Fitrah and Zakat Harta on their behalf. This year, a total of 287 amils were appointed nationwide.

Zakat Fitrah, also known as 'head tax', is payable by all Muslims during the month of Ramadhan. The zakat will be used to (among others) provide assistance to the needy and destitute, and those who have recently embraced Islam. A portion of it will be spent in the way of Allah (SWT).

The time to pay Zakat Fitrah is during the entire month of Ramadhan up until the morning of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (before the start of the Raya prayer). Muslims have been advised to pay early to avoid last-minute rush.

"Many want to pay their zakat on the last night of Ramadhan. This is the trend now but there are risks that we might forget as during the last days of Ramadhan many will be busy with Hari Raya Aidil Fitri preparations," he said.

Zakat Fitrah must be paid before Hari Raya, otherwise the payment will become sedekah (charity). Paying Zakat, including Zakat Fitrah, is the third of the Five Pillars of Islam, which represents the fundamental of Islam.

As Jame' 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah is strategically located, many outside Brunei-Muara District took the opportunities to pay their zakat at the mosque.

"We had people from Temburong District paying their zakat here. There were visiting families here, keen on paying zakat because they were afraid that they might forget," Mudim Abdul Latif added.

The mosque is also sought after for paying zakat by families which come after visiting the graves of their late loved ones in the nearby cemetery.

The Imam of Pengiran Muda 'Abdul Malik Mosque in Kg Tungku/Katok, Imam Hj Abdul Aziz Hj Md Yassin, shared the same sentiment.

"Alhamdulilah (praise be to Allah), we have a lot of people coming in to pay zakat here. The people come from other areas as well, not just Kg Tungku/Katok," he said.

Imam Hj Abdul Aziz said the mosque was recently opened and had since attracted many Muslims to perform their prayers here.

"They will perform their prayers and then pay zakat," he added. Before the mosque was built, the (people) paid their zakat at the residence of appointed amils or at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha (RIPAS) Mosque in Kg Rimba.

Located at Kg Tungku/Katok, the mosque was completed on July 9, 2012, as part of the National Development Plan 2007-2012 project and can accommodate about 1,000 people. His Majesty officially opened the new mosque by performing Friday prayers there last month (July 27).

Imam Hj Abdul Aziz agreed with Mudim Abdul Latif that many preferred to pay their zakat after the prayers.

"We have our sungkai at the mosque as many will also come here to perform Maghrib prayers and pay their zakat," he said.

The Imam for 14 years added that the responses for tarawih prayers are very encouraging.

"Alhamdulilah (praise be to Allah), there are still people joining our Tarawih congregations. The congregation can fill up to four to five saf (lines in congregational prayer) during the prayers," the Imam added.

Imam Hj Abdul Aziz said there was a decrease in the numbers of tarawih congregates.

"Early in the month of Ramadhan, our congregations filled the mosque. Some even had to pray outside (of the designated praying area). This decline is a common sight in mosques, especially now that Hari Raya is approaching. But we are happy that we still have people joining us for Tarawih," he added.

The Brunei Times