Mu'adz ibn Jabal and Zakat in Yemen That Continues to Multiply

Because of the success of zakat in Yemen during the reign of Mu'adz ibn Jabal, no one in the region is eligible to receive zakat. Until Mu'adz was forced to give his fortune to another country.

Al Jund Mosque
Al Jund Mosque, also known as Jennad Mosque, is one of Yemen's oldest mosques and the legacy of Mu'adz ibn Jabal. (Flickr/Julien Harneis)

 ACTNews, JAKARTA – When the Prophet sent Mu'adz ibn Jabal to Yemen to become governor in 10 Hijriyah, he instructed Mu'adz to convey to the people there the commands of Tauheed (monotheism), prayer, and zakat. According to Ustaz Bobby Herwibowo, the Prophet ordered the distribution of wealth from the rich to the poor in the hadith.

"Zakat is decentralized. If it is collected in Yemen, for example, it will solve all of Yemen's economic problems. Do not relocate it," said Ustaz Bobby Herwibowo in mid-February during a virtual discussion titled Bincang Zakat from Global Zakat-ACT.

Mu'adz ruled Yemen after the Prophet passed away until the caliphate of Umar ibn Khattab. Mu'adz brought a third of Yemen's zakat wealth to Medina during Umar ibn Khattab's first year in office.

Umar, who was firm, immediately reprimanded Mu'adz, saying that it was contrary to the principle of zakat, which requires that zakat be directed toward people in need in the area where it is collected.

"'O Caliph, I have distributed two-thirds of this zakat to the beneficiaries of the eight asnaf,' Mu'adz said politely. This third, however, is not entitled to receive in Yemen. I am afraid that there are many people in need in other countries. Umar accepted that explanation after hearing it," Ustaz Bobby Herwibowo stated this while quoting Dr. Yusuf Qardhawi's dissertation, Fiquzzakah.

The incident reoccurred in the years that followed. Mu'adz's second year in office saw him bring half of Yemen's zakat wealth to Medina. Even Mu'adz brought all of Yemen's zakat assets in the third year. That is, poverty and economic difficulties were completed during Mu'adz ibn Jabal's reign.

Allah promises in Surah Ar-Rum verse 39, "Whatever loans you give, ˹only˺ seeking interest at the expense of people’s wealth1 will not increase with Allah. But whatever charity you give, ˹only˺ seeking the pleasure of Allah—it is they whose reward will be multiplied." This order, according to Ustaz Bobby, is a zakat-based economic system practice. "If we follow nowadays language, it is exponential growth," says Ustaz Bobby.[]