Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar has called on the local Muslim community to be mindful of the obligation to pay Zakat (religious tithe).
“It is a Fardhu Ain (obligatory act) commitment which must be fulfilled and not to be taken lightly,” he said yesterday, in his capacity as Vice-President of the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB), during a presentation of letters to appointed Amils at the Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Damit Mosque in Mukim Kilanas.
The appointments were made with the consent of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
“It is a trust and confidence given to all Amils, to enable them to perform the duties and responsibilities of collecting Zakat in this country conscientiously and in compliance with the given rules and instructions,” said Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom.
He also advised the Amils to read and revise the book on Task Guidelines and Amil’s Responsibilities, published by MUIB under the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA).
Also present at the event were directors, assistant directors and senior officers from MoRA; officers from MUIB; officers from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), the Fire and Rescue Department (FRD); and other government personnel.
Statistics from MoRA have shown a drop of 0.32 per cent in the number of Muslims paying Zakat Fitrah in 2020, compared to 2019.
Around BND977,815.59 Zakat Fitrah was collected from 346,103 people in 2020, compared to BND980,254.22 from 347,208 people in 2019.
Meanwhile, there was an increase of 11.42 per cent in the number of people paying Zakat Harta (property tithe), with 5,678 in 2020 compared to 5,096 in 2019. However, the amount received dropped to BND16,962,896.45 in 2020, compared to BND17,312,345.60
Since the enforcement of Zakat and Fitrah Regulations 1969, MUIB has appointed Amils from among mosque officers; Imams; Bilals; village heads; religious teachers; uniformed personnel from RBAF, RBPF, FRD; and officers.
This year, 349 Amils have been appointed to collect Zakat in 140 areas across the country.
A total of 203 Amils have been assigned to 79 areas in Brunei-Muara District, 24 to 15 areas in Belait District, 51 to 29 areas in Tutong District, and 26 to 13 areas in Temburong District.
Meanwhile, 45 Amils have been appointed at MUIB.
Zakat collection and payment can be made at mosques, suraus, religious halls, Amil houses (village heads), and offices for Zakat distribution and collection at the MUIB in Brunei-Muara District and its branches.
In addition, Islamic financial institutions such as Perbadanan Tabung Amanah Islam Brunei (TAIB) and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) have also allocated personnel to collect Zakat, especially Zakat Harta, for their depositors.
On April 5, MUIB introduced online services as a new alternative to pay Zakat Fitrah. The services were made possible through a collaboration between MUIB, MoRA, DST and BIBD, to facilitate Muslims in paying the obligatory Zakat.
The public has the option of paying Zakat online through BIBD QuickPay and DST’s eZakat starting from 1st to 28th of Ramadhan, 1442 Hijrah.