The distribution of zakat (alms) to minorities in Perlis is not limited to the poor but to anyone for the “purpose of harmonising their perception towards Islam”, Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin clarified today.
Asri said earlier media reports that the Perlis Islamic Department (MAIPs) would start giving zakat money to poor non-Muslims were “inaccurate”.
He then explained that the money will be given to any individual in cases where MAIPs deemed it possible to bring them closer to Islam.
“In the fatwa, it was clearly stated that the zakat will be distributed under the allocation for muallaf qulubuhum and under the subcategory for a group of people with behaviours and perception that can be harmonised towards Islam,” he wrote in a text message to Malay Mail Online.
“This covers anyone, poor or not, so as long as their attitude and perception towards Islam can be made friendly by MAIPs,” he added.
Asri did not explain if this meant poor non-Muslims may only access the state’s zakat money if they show interest in the religion.
Earlier this evening, Malay Mail Online reported that the Perlis Fatwa Committee had declared that poor minorities in the state will also be able to receive zakat, funds otherwise reserved for Muslims only.
The letter announcing the decision was posted on Asri’s Facebook page this afternoon.
Source : SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID @ Malay Mail Online