The Light of Islam


Zakat is one of the five Pillars of Islam and it is stated that one of the main principles in Islamic finance. Its aim is to balance wealth distribution fairly among all state members, and it has deep meaning for not only the one who is eligible to receive but also the one who is eligible to perform it. Zakat is often interpreted as the almsgivings to the poor and the needy and as from the zakat payers’ perspective; it is the purification of their soul through helping needy and a way of restraining one from greed. Using library-based research, this study investigated the colonial zakat institution of Malaysia in order to find changes that occurred in the zakat institution of Malaysia at that time. The main objectives of this study are to identify main factors that motivated the colonialists to initiate changes in the zakat institution in Malaysia as well as to describe the zakat institution and zakat practices during the colonial period in Malaysia. The main findings suggest that there were many changes, which occurred during that time. For instance, evidence indicates that due to the British influence the zakat institution became more centralised and well organised compared to the pre-colonial era.

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