Religion and Beliefs
Paying zakat (Islamic almsgiving) is one of the most important duties for Muslims. Zakat is a religious obligation (ibādah) for those who fulfil nisāb (minimum amount of property liable to payment of zakat) to pay for recipients (mustaḥiqq), which originally means deserving or beneficiary in Arabic. Those recipients as determined in the Qura‘n include eight categories such as the poor, needy, and those who have a debt. A famous Islamic jurist, al-Qaraḍāwī, insisted that zakat can be used not only for direct cash transfer, but also for productive usage as a non-profit loan. This innovative idea has been supported by many Islamic jurists and economists because it aligns with socio-economic objectives (al-ibādah al-māliyya al-ijutimaiyya) such as income redistribution, poverty reduction, and the achievement of social welfare. However, previous studies lacked the subjective perspectives of recipients themselves, and their strategic dynamics were overlooked. How do recipients become customers? This paper aims to reveal how recipients choose to lend money from zakat management organisations. In order to achieve this goal, this research used case studies and exploratory research via surveys and direct interviews using a list of structured interview questions conducted in my field work from November 2016 to October 2017 with the customers of a productive zakat programme in Malang, East Java.