Why We Should Pay Zakat as Soon as Possible in Pandemic

“In this condition, many people have their income reduced, or even lost their jobs altogether. Therefore, zakat ul-fitr should be paid immediately for everyone's benefit since the underprivileged people shouldn’t wait until the Eid Al-Fitr day to get their food,” explained ustaz Amir Faishol Fath.

Flood survivor in Kupang is eating in front of his house.
Illustration. A Flood survivor in Kupang eats in front of his house. (ACTNews/Muhammad Ubaidillah)

ACTNews, JAKARTA — The month of Ramadan of 2021 is the second Ramadan in the Covid-19 pandemic. Aside from fasting, the Muslims are to pay zakat ul-fitr during Ramadan. Then, how should zakat ul-fitr be paid during Ramadan in a pandemic?

Last year, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued fatwa No. 23 regarding “The Utilization of Zakat, Infaq and Shadaqah Assets for Overcoming the COVID-19 Outbreak and Its Impact”. In the fatwa, it said that zakat-ul-fitr may be paid and distributed since the beginning of Ramadan without having to wait for the eve of Eid Al-Fitr. Until now, the fatwa is still valid and has not been revoked.

About the fatwa, Ustaz Amir Faishol Fath during his visit to Aksi Cepat Tanggap head office once explained, Prophet of Muhammad allowed people to pay zakat in early Ramadan, or before the haul (period of time) for the zakat-ul-mal since there’s an urgency during the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, paying zakat immediately during Ramadan is aiming to save people from hunger.

“In this condition, many people have their income reduced or even lost their jobs altogether. Therefore, zakat ul-fitr should be paid immediately for everyone's benefit since the underprivileged people shouldn’t wait until the Eid Al-Fitr day to get their food,” explained ustaz Amir Faishol Fath.

Ustaz Amir's explanation is in line with the data from the Indonesian Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) that the number of poverty in Indonesia has increased. In September 2020 the underprivileged people in Indonesia has reached 27.55 million people or 10.19 percent of the population. It saw an increase by 0.41 percent or 1.13 millions people from March 2020.

Therefore, Global Zakat-ACT encourages the muzakki (Muslims who are obliged to pay zakat) to pay their zakat-ul-fitr as soon as possible so that the underprivileged people, evacuees, preachers, teachers, mosque caretakers, casual workers, and other people who are in need around the country can soon enjoy nutritious food from the zakat.[]