For sometimes, since quite recently, I was wondering what type of asnaf society (zakat recipients) has been created by zakat management centres in Malaysia. Have the asnaf been transformed to a pious rather impious society, independent rather than dependent, optimistic rather than pessimistic, creative rather than passive, industrious rather than indolent society?
Acknowledging the encouraging statistics of zakat collection in some states like Selangor, Penang and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, I was curious to know what type of sub-culture has been actually developed amongst the asnaf. The curiosity goes beyond the normal questions of the mechanisms of zakat collection and disbursment per se. Instead, it moves a step further to deal with societal development of the asnaf, so that a development of an Islamic society amongst the asnaf could be ensured. In fact it is my strong contention that a substantial percentage of the asnaf's problems could be diagnosed and exact solutions could be able to be prescribed through the development of the Islamic society itself.
With a preliminary thought on it followed by a series of brainstorming with a number of academics from National University of Malaysia (UKM) and MARA Technology University of Malaysia (UiTM), as well as with officers of one of the zakat management centre in Malaysia, I came up with a short article to express my preliminary concern and observation on it. It was published last week in the September 2011 issue of Milenia Muslim. Here it is to be shared with all.