The 14th AJI Frontier Seminar on "The Traditional Role of Zakat and its Adaptation to a Modern Institution in Contemporary Indonesia”
On February 18, 2020, the 14th AJI Frontier Seminar was held. Dr. Mari Adachi, researcher at Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, gave a presentation entitled “The Traditional Role of Zakat and its Adaptation to a Modern Institution in Contemporary Indonesia”.
Dr. Adachi began with an introduction to Zakat and its practice in the late 20th century. She explained that the Indonesian Zakat Act states that after fulfilling the basic needs of the poor, zakat funds can be used for productive activities to alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life. She went on to describe her research on Zakat organizations in Malang city, East Java and developments after the state Zakat Fund BAZNAS was established. Modernization has led to the financialization of zakat which is collected annually or monthly from formal workers’ salaries, giving public and grassroots zakat organizations a steady income to distribute as consumptive zakat to sustain life expenses, and as productive zakat to provide interest free loans to productive recipients capable of gaining financial independence. This mobilization of zakat funds in Indonesia has increased awareness of socio-economic disparities and put pressure on corporations to support sustainable development.
Dr. Adachi’s informative presentation led to an active Q&A session with discussions on the fundamental and practical issues related to zakat’s role in the country’s economy.
Dr. Adachi delivering her presentation