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Friday, 24 January 2014

Zakat payment by firms almost doubles in 2013

The number of companies that has paid their annual Zakat (obligatory Islamic alms ) to the Zakat Fund has almost doubled in 2013, compared to the 2012 figures.

Dr Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Kubaisi, head of Zakat services section at the Zakat Fund, said yesterday that the number of companies that contributed the Zakat was 57 in 2012 and the number has jumped to 103 in 2013 when the Fund launched its free service for calculating the Zakat due on companies.     

The Fund honoured companies that paid huge amounts of Zakat at a programme yesterday. These were approved as Zakat giving companies and some others were also thanked for facilitating the collection of Zakat and promoting its importance among the local community.

Dr al-Kubaisi stressed the need to promote the practice of Zakat in all segments of the society. He also said that there was a proposal to ask ministries to deduct one, two or three days wages from the annual salaries of willing employees and the same forwarded to the Zakat Fund.

He said that it is still an idea under study and it would be perfectly a voluntary process with no obligations whatever.

(Gulf Times / 23 Jan 2014)
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Tengku Razaleigh suggests Islamic banking and finance system to be relooked

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — Former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today suggested for a relook into the Islamic banking and finance system to ensure the system is in accordance with the syariah economic principles.
He said that in the early days when the system was at the stage of finding its footing within the industry, there was a tendency to design the Islamic finance products not to the strictest of Islamic principles and standards.
“A relook at the system with a view to refining it is timely and opportune.  This, I submit, is part of the continuous quality assurance exercise that we have to go through to keep our practice true to the dictates of the syariah,” he said in his talk entitled “Islamic Finance: Straying From Syariah and Pioneer’s Path’ when launching a book titled “Islamic Transactions and Finance:
Principles and Developments at the Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) today.
Tengku Razaleigh said that it would not hurt the system “if it is to be revisited on what constitutes halal and haram in the Islamic banking and finance.”
He said that in the early days of Islamic banking in the country, it was inevitable then as the understanding and measurement of the economic and finance systems were based on the conventional system.
This could have led to the development of products that were less than perfect and lacked Islamic comprehensiveness when they were measured against the syariah economic yardstick, he added.
On the book, Tengku Razaleigh said that it is a collection of essays based on research and practice of Islamic finance in the country.
“I am sure it will be of great value and assistance to Islamic banking practitioners and students,” he added.
The book was jointly published by IAIS and Malaysian Current Law Journal Sdn Bhd. One of the compilers of the book is Sheila Ainon Yusoff.
(The Malay Mail Online.Cm / 23 Jan 2014)
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