KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — It is now possible for Muslims to fulfil their zakat (tithe) obligations by paying it to the Malaysian Medical Relief Society (Mercy Malaysia).
The non-profit humanitarian aid agency has been appointed by the Kedah Zakat Board and Perlis Religious Council’s zakat management division as the bodies’ zakat (tithe) collection agent.
The move allows Mercy Malaysia to receive zakat payments from public and corporate bodies and provides a major source for the agency to fund its humanitarian missions all over the world.
Mercy Malaysia’s Honorary Secretary, Razi Pahlavi Abdul Aziz, said the body has been looking for ways to receive zakat monies in order to generate funds for its activities since 2017.
“In order for Mercy Malaysia to qualify to be categorized as one of the eligible groups of zakat, we have also held discussions with zakat centres and the State Islamic Religious Council with emphasis on humanitarian issues and medical aid being channelled.
“We also put forth Shariah-compliant fundraising methods to raise funds for the humanitarian works through Islamic Social Financing (ISF),” he said to Bernama in an interview recently.
Razi said the ISF, launched last year, permits Mercy Malaysia to receive Shariah-compliant funds through means such as zakat, donation, ‘sukuk’ and micro financing.
The United Nations (UN) also sees this methodology (ISF) as an effective and effective alternative to raise funds to finance humanitarian programmes, he said.
Meanwhile, Head of ISF Fundraising & Events Amrul Hazarin Hamidon said 35 representatives from the United Nations (UN) and the International Council of Voluntary Agency (ICVA) came to Malaysia to learn the Islamic financing method as a major source of fundraising for humanitarian purposes.
“In the discussion, they asked for our technical expertise and learned more about ISF. And two Mercy Malaysia representatives were sent to Geneva in March this year to continue discussions regarding the ISF,” said Amrul.
“To date, the collection through the ISF initiative has totaled RM500,000 since its launch last year, while Mercy Malaysia received funds from the Selangor Zakat Board for medical outreach to refugees,” said Amrul.
He said Mercy Malaysia has also appointed Datuk Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, who is currently the Chairman of the Syariah Advisory Council at the Central Bank of Malaysia, as its Shariah advisor.
Mercy Malaysia has now opened a bank account, especially for zakat payments. For details on Mercy Malaysia Zakat, email your questions to [email protected]
Established 20 years ago, Mercy Malaysia conducts humanitarian missions in turbulent countries due to disasters, wars and conflicts by channelling humanitarian aid in the form of emergency medicine, rehabilitation, reconstruction, rehabilitation and many more. — Bernama