Delegation visits zakat recipients

National 3 minutes, 10 seconds


A DELEGATION led by the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs began a two-day working visit to several homes of asnaf zakat (tithe) recipients in Temburong District yesterday to check on their welfare and distribute food hampers to five new convert families.

Heading the delegation of senior officers from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Mokti Hj Mohd Daud first visited the home in Kg Batang Duri of Nur Haziah Abd Rahman, one of the success stories involving asnaf zakat recipients who managed to improve her life and get her name taken off the zakat recipients list. She had been a recipient from 2009-2014.

The recipients receive monthly monetary assistance to cover costs such as basic food and drink expenditures, daily living expenses, children’s school expenses and house rental assistance.

Last September, Nur Haziah and her husband Mohd Hazim Abd Rahim started their duck farm and created their salted egg business to supplement their income from sales of her handicrafts. She began selling the handicrafts six years ago.

The 34-year-old also previously voluntarily provided accommodation to new converts who didn’t have a house or couldn’t afford to rent.

The delegation then visited the homes of the five new convert families in the district which received assistance as part of the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ efforts in caring for and monitoring the welfare of Muslims, especially asnaf fakir miskin (the poor and destitute).

Among these were the homes of Gani Abdullah and Muhammad Razali Abdullah who live next door to Nur Haziah. The two families currently reside in joined bungalows that belong to Nur Haziah. The rents are paid for by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) through their house rental assistance.

Muhammad Razali, who is also a recipient of food assistance, lives in the house with his wife Siti Mariah Lanun and two of his sons. His other son, the eldest, currently works in the capital in the private sector.

His 26-year-old son Mohd Farhan Saifullah cares for him and his wife.

Muhammad Razali’s youngest son, Muhd Farid Ashraf, who will turn 18 in September, said he is motivated to join the Asnaf Zakat Empowerment Programme (PROPAZ) after being introduced to it by staff from the Temburong Religious Affairs Department. During his visit to the family, the deputy minister also expressed hope that he will join.

Founded in October 2007, the programme aims to provide the less fortunate with the necessary guidance and skills training to help them improve their quality of life and provide them with better job opportunities. The programme was implemented through MUIB with the cooperation of the Youth Development Centre.

Muhd Farid Ashraf dropped out of school in Year 8 but has a clear idea of what he wants to do once he joins PROPAZ.

“I would like to join PROPAZ. Hopefully, by joining PROPAZ, I can help my parents. It’s my hope that I can lessen their burdens.

“I’ve always been interested in fashion and design, so I want to take that course,” he said.

The deputy minister also visited Nursabariah Abdullah Bunga in Kg Temada Bokok and Nurulhuda Abdullah in Kg Puni.

Nursabariah is a recipient of the Islamic Da’wah Centre’s housing assistance and MUIB’s zakat asnaf muallaf (tithe for new converts). One of her two children is currently undergoing a work attachment with TelBru as part of PROPAZ.

Meanwhile, Nurulhuda, a single mother, is a recipient of several forms of assistance including house rental assistance, monthly financial assistance, school assistance for her two children and basic food assistance.

Dato Hj Abdul Mokti also presented food items to the family of Mohd Anuar Abdullah Garai in Kg Kenua who lost his home to a fire on April 28. The 54-year-old and his family are staying with his brother.

The Brunei Times