KUALA LUMPUR — November 4, 2019: The Sultan of Selangor has decreed that the state’s zakat money will only be disbursed to needy Muslims. He also wants politicians to stop using the issue to gain popularity.
According to the decree, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was advised by the state’s mufti that zakat money can only be disbursed to non-Muslims if doing so would lead them to convert to Islam.
Hence, the Sultan has stated that, according to Islam, zakat money can only be given to the eight categories of the needy and impoverished Muslims and also the newly converted.
“Although Islam stresses on being humanitarian, the donation of zakat money, which is collected from Muslims, must be given to the said needy Muslims first.
“The Sultan of Selangor has also called for all quarters to stop capitalising Islamic matters and issues in order to gain popularity or impress others,” reads the decree.
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had last week remarked that zakat money should be given to needy non-Muslims.
His controversial view was partially supported by the muftis of Perlis and Penang, who both said it can be done but only if there are no longer poor and needy Muslims left in the country.
Zakat is a mandatory tithe for financially capable Muslims. In Malaysia, matters concerning it falls under the Rulers as well as a state’s jurisdiction. Thus each state has different regulations on it.