The Role Of Zakat in the Age of Umar bin Abdul Aziz

Caliph ‘Umar ibn’ Abd al-‘Aziz (717 AD) was a prominent figure who should be remembered by history, especially in terms of zakat management. In his hands, zakat management underwent a very riveting reform. All types of assets must be subject to zakat. In its time, the system and management of zakat was handled very professionally. The types of assets and wealth that are subject to compulsory zakat are increasingly diverse. ‘Umar ibn’ Abd al-‘Aziz was the first person to oblige zakat on assets obtained from business income or service proceeds, including salaries, honoraria, income from various professions and various other mustafad malls. So that during his leadership, abundant zakat funds stored in Baitul Mal. Even amil zakat officers have difficulty finding poor people who need zakat assets. Some of the main factors underlying the success of the management and management of zakat in the time of the Caliph ‘Umar ibn’ Abd al-‘Aziz. First, there is collective awareness and optimal empowerment of Baitul Mal. Second, the high commitment of a leader and supported by general awareness of the people to create prosperity, solidarity, and empowerment of the people. Third, awareness among muzakki (zakat payers) who are relatively well established economically and has high loyalty for the benefit of the people. ( awareness among muzakki (zakat payers) who are relatively well established economically and have high loyalty for the benefit of the people. ( awareness among muzakki (zakat payers) who are relatively well established economically and have high loyalty for the benefit of the people. (Faisal )

Umar was very concerned about the development of the zakat system. Umar imposed a number of policies, namely first, Dividing several categories of zakat distribution, including zakat for the sick, the disabled, the poor, and people who are in debt. Second, to get around the collection of zakat budget needs, Umar saves all cash and state revenues ( Republika, 2017 )

Narrated by Ibn Abi Syaibah, and received from Zureiq, maula from Bani Fuzarah, that Umar bin Abdul Aziz wrote a letter to him, that is, after he was appointed caliph: “Take from every Muslim merchant that passes before you – regarding the property they are trading – one dinar from every forty dinars! If it is not enough, then it is reduced according to the ratio, up to twenty dinars. If it’s less than that even if one third is slipped, let it not be collected at all! And write proof of their full payment that is valid until that date in the next year “( Sayyid Sabiq )

As reported by Ubaid, that Baghdad Governor Yazid bin Abdurahman sent a letter about the abundance of zakat funds in Baitulmaal because there were no more people willing to accept zakat. A condition that is different from our country where people scramble only to receive zakat, even though life is at stake. Mindset and permission of Muslim behavior that needs to be a common concern between muzaki and mustahik. Then Umar bin Abdul Aziz ordered to give wages to people who used to receive wages. Then Yazid answered: “It has been given but the zakat funds are still abundant in Baitulmaal   “. Umar instructed again to give to people who are in debt and not wasteful. Yazid said: “We have paid off their debts but the zakat funds are still abundant.” Then Umar bin Abdul Aziz ordered to marry a single person and pay his dowry. But that was answered by Yazid with the same answer that zakat funds in Baitul   Maal are still abundant. In the end Umar bin Abdul ordered   Yazid bin Abdurahman to look for people who were in business and needed capital, then gave the capital without having to return it. ( Ahmad Shonhaji )

Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz In carrying out his various policies, Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz was more protective and improved the standard of living of the community as a whole. He reduced the tax burden collected by Christians, abolished taxes on Muslims, made rules for measurements and scales, eradicated excise and forced labor, repaired agricultural land, dug wells, built roads, built tourist lodgings and provided assistance. The poor. These policies have succeeded in increasing the overall standard of living of the community so that no one else wants to accept zakat. ( Euis Amalia )

Furthermore, Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz implemented a policy of regional autonomy. Each Islamic region has the authority to manage zakat and taxes individually and does not require giving up tribute to the central government. On the contrary, the central government will provide subsidized assistance to Islamic regions that lack zakat and tax opinion. ( Euis Amalia )

Thus, each Islamic territory was given the power to manage its wealth. If there is a surplus, Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz suggested that the region provide assistance to areas with minimal income. To uphold this, he appointed Ibn Jahdam as amil sadaqah in charge of receiving and distributing the results of sadaqah evenly throughout the Islamic region. ( Euis Amalia )

During his reign, the sources of state income came from zakat, the results of war reparations, agricultural income tax (this tax at the beginning of Umar ibn Abdul Aziz’s administration was abolished given the economic situation which was not conducive. After the economic stability of the people improved, this tax was applied), and the results of providing productive employment to the wider community. ( Euis Amalia )

Under the reign of Umar bin Abdul Aziz (Umayyah Government), the governor of Egypt wrote to him asking what to do   with zakat  funds as no deserving poor and needy all over the country. Umar bin Abdul Aziz answered: “buy slaves and let them free, build a shelter for travelers to rest and help young men and women to get married”. Thus, it shows that the effect of Zakat distribution will eliminate the poverty if Zakat is managed properly. During his administration, zakat on income is earned by the employee employee was levied on a regular basis (monthly basis). This was his ijtihad to introduce new sources of zakatable items (al-amwal al-zakawiyyah). This opens the door for further exploration and ijtihadon new sources of zakatable wealth. Exhibit 1 shows the historical evolution of zakat collection and disbursement from the earlier period of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) until the period of the caliphates ( Irfan Syauqi Beik and Nursechafia)

Exhibit 1

Early Zakat Management in Comparison

Aspects Early age Period of the Caliphs
Collecting agent The appointed zakat workers (amil) under simple state structure Government bodies in more complex structure
Disbursement program Dominated by consumptive-based programs; few attempts on productive-based programs Some improvisations in the disbursement program
Zakatable objects Limited of the sources explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an and hadith Sources of zakatable objects were expanded following economic development of the ummah
Management of zakat Simple structure of amil administration; limited territorial coverage More complex institutional structure; wider territorial coverage
Rules and governance Rules and regulations on zakat were under direct guidance if the prophet In addition to the Qur’an and Hadith, the rules and regulations on zakat started to emerage despite it’s simplicity

(Irfan Syauqi Beik, Nursechafia, Towards an Establishment of an Efficient and Sound Zakat System)

The allocation of subsidies to people who have low purchasing power as a destination for the distribution of zakat continues to be improved in its time. Umar realized that zakat is an instrument of economic growth and equitable development ( growth and equity ). From this we can see the concept of Umar’s economic democracy which does not have to be interpreted as the application of the principle of equal treatment , but there are people who do not have the need to obtain partial support and help ( partial treatment ). So that assistance to the poor and guarantees of a decent decent life to them, is highly prioritized ( Ayief Fathurrahman )

The concept of Umar bin Abdul Aziz’s fiscal policy in the current context is as follows (Mukhoer Abdus Syukur) :

  • Decentralization and decentralization   of zakat management systems . Decentralization is the transfer of authority from the central government to local governments to take care of existing affairs in the regions. Whereas Deconcentration is the transfer of administrative authority from the central government to regional officials. The government gives authority to each region to manage the potential zakat funds owned and distributed in accordance with the levels determined from each region to those entitled to receive zakat (mustahiq)
  • Cross-subsidies, regions that have a surplus in their financial balance sheets are required to provide assistance to regions that experience a financial deficit. By doing so, the number of areas that are deficit will be easily minimized

Umar bin Abdul Aziz set the collection of zakat in each area, he advised the collection of zakat to collect shadaqah when zakat had been fulfilled its obligations. He is very concerned about the fuqara, poor and ibn sabil. He built daar el-tho’am (restaurant) a special place for the three groups. ( Badawi Abdul Latif Al-Azhar )

It is a historical fact that at the time of the Caliphate of the Umayyads, precisely at the time of the Caliphate of Umar bin Abdul Aziz, a condition of prosperity and prosperity was achieved throughout the Islamic territory. This fact was revealed among others based on the testimony of Yahya bin Said, he said, “One day, Umar bin Abdul Aziz told me to take the zakat of the African nation and give it to the poor. But I did not find any poor person, and no one wanted to take alms from us. Indeed, Umar bin Abdul Aziz has made his people rich. ( Karnaen A. Perwataatmadja & Anis Byarwati )


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