All praise is due to Allah subhana wa ta’ala, Lord of the Worlds.
Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, my dear brothers and sisters.
My mother and I were talking about the possiblility of me returning to the workforce. Alhamdulillah, our family is blessed with rezqi from Allah Almighty, enough to sustain our basic monthly expenditure. But, I felt I should increase our family’s income to ease my husband’s financial burden, seeing he is working so hard overseas to enable his family to live well here in Kuala Lumpur.
My mother then told me about her friend, a single mother who is educated, speaks very good English but because of her age, jobless. With children in university, she is barely making ends meets and we both talked about job options that she could take up, even part time. It made me think, what then was the role of Baitulmal? How is it possible so many muslims are living below the poverty line, living on the streets and living, day in and day out, with barely enough to survive..?
Zakah is collected diligently every year and the total amount is staggering; more than enough to help the needy muslims improve their life. Yet, when there is a natural disaster or emergency, Baitulmal steps forward proudly and bestows a meager sum to those so badly in need! They have been given amanah by the people to dispense the monies responsibly, for the needy and not for unnecessary secular materialistic purposes. I fear for the state of our community. Allah Almighty said in Al Quran, in Surah Al Rad, ‘ Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls). But when (once) Allah willeth a people’s punishment, there can be no turning back, nor will they find, besides Him, any to protect.’
My concerns are such that I haven’t decided how I will distribute my yearly allocation for zakah; whether through official channels of Baitulmal or giving it directly to those I know truly needs it. I do know though, that whatever decision I make, I will first ask Allah subhana wa ta’ala to accept my zakah and to forgive my shortcomings, Insha’Allah.