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Jakarta Post

Despite limits, mosques remain popular way to channel alms

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Tue, August 21 2012   /  03:39 pm

Come Ramadhan, mosques in Indonesia bustle with people donating and collecting alms, or zakat, for the fasting month.

On the porch of one mosque in Condet, East Jakarta, a banner read: “Accepting zakat, infaq, and sedekah”. At another mosque in West Jakarta, three youngsters were seen setting up a post to receive alms. In Central Jakarta, after tarawih, or Ramadhan evening prayers, an official of another mosque reviewed his logbook on alms collection.

Islamic law obliges Muslims who are able to give two types of zakat. The first is zakat fitrah, or donations of food (or of cash earmarked for food), given at the end of Ramadhan. In Indonesia, recipients of zakat fitrah typically take home about 3.5 liters of rice. The second type of alms, zakat maal, comprises at least 2.5 percent of a person’s earnings and assets. Infaq and sedekah, meanwhile, are voluntary donation...