By HABEEB RAHMAN CP
The International Zakat Conference, organised by Baithuzzakath Kerala, concludes in Cochin with the new hope for the effective zakat management in the country. More than 250 high-profile delegates from various parts of the country and other nations participated in the conference. The inaugural function of the conference held at Ernakulam Town Hall with remarkable participation. The conference comprised a public conference, four plenary sessions, nine parallel sessions, and three panel discussions in various subjects related to strengthen the new step in the zakat management and promotion.
The conference reviewed the possibility of poverty eradication, uplifting the backward classes and needy people in the country through effective zakat management models. Zakat Practitioners, Diplomats, Islamic Economic Professionals, academicians, scholars and researchers presented papers in various subjects such as Zakat philosophy and practice, Zakat and social development, Zakat management, Role of zakat in the development of India, Zakat and economic development.
The International conference was the first of its kind in India to explore and discuss the various aspects of Zakat which is known as an effective social empowerment tool. A respectable number of national and international scholars and experts in the arena of Zakat and related issues participated and presented the papers in this unique conference. The conference has introduced Zakat as a powerful tool for the economic welfare of the nation, and to highlight and disseminate the development aspects and social relevance of the institution of Zakat in Islam. It also helped to build a productive collaboration with national and international foundations active in the same field for greater efficiency in the mobilisation, allocation and distribution of Zakat proceeds.
The conference was inaugurated by Prof. Tariq Mansoor, Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, at Ernakulam Town Hall on April 27. He said Zakat is the perfect solution to the burning economic problems of the world. He pointed out the need for the academic and research activities to highlight and disseminate the social development aspects and societal relevance of Zakat system in the country. Aligarh Muslim University will provide suitable facilities for Zakat studies and research, he added.
Jamaat-e-Islami Kerala Ameer, Ml. Abdul Azeez presided over the function. He hoped that if zakat could be used to help the growth of the entire community, it could pave the way for greater changes in the country. Human Welfare Foundation, General Secretary, New Delhi, T.Arifali delivered the keynote address in the public conference. “The country has the resources needed to eradicate hunger and poverty in the country, but it is not possible because there is no social system to redistribute the wealth,” he said.
He also said that the Zakat system could be a creative tool for poverty eradication and social development. Ml Shanavas MP, Kochouseph Chittilappilly (industrialist, social activist and writer), CP John (former Kerala government planning board member), Abdul Rahman Abdul Khadir Bukhari (industrialist, social worker and chairman of BS Abdurahman Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai), H. Abdul Raqeeb (General secretary, Indian Centre for Islamic Finance), O. Abdurahman (Group Editor Madhyamam daily – Media one TV), VK Ali (Chairman, Baithuzzakath Kerala), CH Abdurahim (Chairman, Organising Committee) and Adv. TPM Ibrahim Khan made remarkable speeches in the public conference. People’s Foundation Chairman P. Mujeeb Rahman delivered the concluding speech. General Convener PC Basheer welcomed the gathering and Aboobacker Farooqi proposed the vote of thanks.
The academic seminar held at Lemeridian, Cochin on April 28 and 29 was noted for its varied diversity and the presence of eminent scholars and professionals in Zakat and Islamic finance. Dr. Ajeel Al Nashmi (Zakat Policies and Social Service and Developmental Approaches) Dr. Fareed Hadi (The Purpose of the Shari’ah in Zakat through its Eight Beneficiaries), Dr. Muhammad Al Gammal (Zakat and Social Development), Sayed Sa’adathulla Husaini, Deputy Ameer, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (Indian Social Development: the Role of Zakat), Dr. Ziyad Mahomed (Zakat and the UN SDG: Driving the Humanitarian Agenda for Socio-Economic Development), Dr. Zafar Mahmood, Zakat Foundation, New Delhi (Circulation of Wealth: Zakat, Sadaqa and “Qulil Afw”), Dr. Obaidulla Fahad, AMU (Zakat and Social Service in Islam), Sheikh Dr. Ali Al Quradaghi (The Modern Economic Domains, Sectors and Activities to be Revisited in the Light of Zakat) Dr. Magda Ismail Abdel Mohsin (The Potential of Zakat in Ending Poverty Today, Empowering the Mass and Providing Global Humanitarian Needs Tomorrow), H. Abdur Raqeeb, General Secretary, Indian Centre For Islamic Finance, New Delhi (Need and Relevance of Institutionalisation of Zakat in India) delivered the keynote presentations.
More than 60 papers regarding the broad theme and concern of the conference were presented. M.V. Mohammed Saleem Moulavi (The Role of Zakat in the Islamic Economic System), Illyas Moulavi ,Al Jamia al Islamiya, Santhapuram (the clause that completion of one year is mandatory for zakat), K.M. Ashraf Neerkunnam (The Zakat on ornaments; Modern Perspectives), Dr. Muhiyudheen Ghazi (The problems and practical issues faced in distribution of zakat), Abdul Hafeez Nadvi M.U. (Spending in the way of Allah; Modern Interpretations), Prof. K.T Abdul Rahiman (The Welfare Effects of Zakat), Dr. A.I Rahmathulla (Socialising the Zakat System to Empower the Downtrodden in Indian Social Order), Namungo Hamzah, Uganda (Zakat: A Poverty Tool or Charity Instrument?) Adv. T.K. Mohamed Aslam, Dubai Islamic Bank (Zakat Policies and Social Service), Dr. K. Mohammed Pandikkad, Govt. College, Malappuram (The Role of Zakat in Social Upliftment), M.A. Majeed, CEO, Mediaone TV (Providing Entrepreneurship Development Training and Establishing Business Enterprises for Poor Using Zakat), Giyas Ahmad Rashadi, Safa Baithul Mal, Hyderabad (Reaching Zakat Deserving People on the Basis of Survey), Dr. Mohammedali, University of Calicut (Models and Strategies for Public Communication of Zakat), Ebaad Momin, Mumbai (E-Zakat India – A Disruptive Model to Zakat Collection and Distribution in India), M. Ahamedullah, Chennai (The Progress and Development of Zakat Mechanism in Islamic History), S.M. Wasiullah, Mumbai (Methodology and Issues in Zakat Calculation for Shari’ah Compliant Businesses), Moustafa Amin Mohammed (The Administration Mechanism Adopted for Zakat Collection and Distribution during the Periods of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) and Khulafae Rashideen), P.A Shameel Sajjad, CEO, Zirva Solutions, Palakkad (The Fiqh of Investing Zakat Funds for the Larger Benefits of the Society), Dr K. Abdul Vahab, Govt. College, Mankada (Management of Zakat, Centralised Vs. Decentralised Approach), MT Abdul Qader / Afra Shihab (Zakat: An Interpretation of Rules with Modern Economic Terminologies), Shuhaib Mohammad, Zakariya Korot (Ibn Hazm’s Notion on Obligatory “Sadaqa” and its Scope in Contemporary Application), Saleem Ahmed, Jamia Millia Islamia (Poor Rate (Zakat): Contemporary Practices, Issues and Challenges), LKS Imtiaz Ahmad, Chennai (How can the Idle Interest Money be Used for the Welfare of the Poor and Needy in Accordance with Islamic Guidelines), Shoukath Ali Sulaiman (Redistributive and Re-allocative Potential of Collective Zakat System: An Analysis), Muneer Muhammad Rafeeq (Zakat Collection and Distribution, Malaysian Model: an Analysis), Dr. Mansoor Ahmad Bhat (Ethical Dimensions of the Institution of Zakat and Its Contemporary Relevance: Analytical Views), TP Sharafudheen (Analytical Study on Zakat and Philanthro-Capitalism in the Perspective of Social Development), Yasar Qutub (The Impact of Social Entrepreneurship and Transformed Deployment of Zakat), Zainab Fida Ahsan, New Delhi (Exploring Zakat and Awqaf as Tools of Community Development- Synergies and Convergence with FinTech Possibilities), Nasreena KK (Impact of Zakat on Economic Development), Ameen Ahsan P.A (The Economic Development of Muslims in Kerala and Priorities in Zakat Programmes), Roshna P.A. (Zakat Projects and Economic Development of Kerala Muslims at Mahal level- A case study, Kannanthara Mahal, Ernakulam), Dr. M Kabeer (The Economic Imbalance among the Muslims of Kerala), Jose Sebastian, Gulathi Institute of Finance and Taxation, TVM (Growing Inequality & Failing State: Relevance of Zakat as a Societal Intervention in Kerala), Hafiz Rashadudheen, Alkhair Society, Hyderabad (Utilisation of Zakat/Charity – A few Practical Models in Hyderabad), Jazeel Abdul Vahid (The Role of Zakat in Supporting Sustainable Development Goals), Dr. C.P. Shaheed Ramadan (Zakat Management System in Kerala), M.K. Umar Bukhari (Role of Zakat in Empowering the Muslim Community by Providing Employment Opportunities for Youths), Dr. Mohammed Ahamed Kisuule, Uganda (The Importance of Zakat in Supporting Government Poverty Alleviation Programmes), Dr. P Ibrahim / K.A. Faisal (Role of Zakat as a Fiscal Tool in an Islamic Economy), Hamdia Ahmed, Ethiopia (The Economic Benefit of Zakat), C.H. Abdur Raheem (Distributive Justice in the Current Economic Systems: Different Economic Aspects of Zakat Distribution), Samee-Ullah Bhat, Research Scholar, University of Kashmir (Zakat: Its Significance and Impact in the Establishment of Social Welfare), Dr. Nissar Ahmad Yatoo (Zakat management- Issues and Challenges), Dr Najmus Sahar, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (Importance of Collective Zakat and a Study of the Administration of Zakat of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.), Nabeel Kattakath /C.P. Shafeeque, Sharjah Islamic Bank (The Zakat practice of Islamic Financial institutions) and O.K. Faris (Zakat Management at Mahalla level) presented the papers in the conference.
The three panel discussions on various aspects of Zakat’s management and the ways to strengthen the Zakat system in the country were a remarkable event in the conference. The first panel discussion (Ulama Session) discussed “The Role of Ulama and Muslim Organisations to enrich the Zakat Management in Kerala”, Sheikh Mohammed Karakkunnu, Dr. Abdul Salam Ahmad, O Abdurahman, Kunjhi Mohammad Parappur, MV Muhammed Salim Moulavi, Palayam Imam VP Shuhaib, Yusuf Umari, Dr. AA Haleem and others participated in the discussion. “If the Muslim community in Kerala was willing to implement proper Zakat management system, it would have played a major role in poverty eradication and the progress of Islamic society. The richest people in our community are now making poor people by refusing collective zakat management system,” the session reviewed.
“Concerns, Projects, Strategies and Pragmatic Approaches to deliver the Zakat with sustainable Development Goals” was the theme of the second panel discussion (Entrepreneurs and social workers meet) in the conference. The renowned entrepreneurs and social workers like VK. Hamsa Abbas, Dr. Azad Mooppan, Abdul Azeez Skyline, P.Mujeeb Rahman, Dr. Anwar Amin, Ameer Ahmad Babu, Dr. Ahmed, CH Abdurahim, Noor Seit, Salam Kalamassery and CP Habeeb Rahman participated in the debate. Several ways and means to expand the zakat storage and economic stability of Kerala were proposed in the discussion.
The third Panel Debates on the topic ‘The Scope of Formation of Common Platform for Effective Zakat Management in India’ was attended by prominent people from various parts of the country. Malabar Group Vice-chairman PA Ibrahim Haji inaugurated the session. H. Abduraqeeb (New Delhi), Mohammad Husain Khatkhate (Mumbai), Dr. Taha Matin (Bangalore), Hamid Mohammad Khan (Hyderabad), Maqbool Ahmed Siraj (Bangalore), SM Hidayathulla (Chennai), Mohammed Amin Quraishi (Jammu Kashmir), Ameer Ahmad Babu and CP Harris (Kerala) participated in the event.
Baithuzzakath Kerala chairman Prof. VK Ali presided over the closing ceremony of International Zakat Conference Kerala. Sheikh Dr. Ali Khuradagi, Public Relations Director Abdullah Ahmad Manham and General Convener PC Basheer addressed the session. Peoples Foundation chairman P.Mujeeb Rahman, NM Abdurahman (General Secretary, Baithuzzakath Kerala), Organising Convener Habeeb Rahman CP, Academic Director Dr. AA Halim, Delegates Convener CP Harris attended the session.
The first international academic conference in India in relation to Zakat was a remarkable event in all respects. The conference was designed to strengthen the country’s Zakat system with new initiatives and concerns. The conference has helped to promote Zakat as a means of poverty alleviation and improvement of the common people, the ability to have greater impact on work sustainability and socio-economic development. The International Zakat Conference will help to make Zakat a colourful social representation tool of Indian Muslims to engage with public community and nation development.
[The writer is Organising Convener, International Zakat Conference Kerala. Habeebcp33@gmail.com]