Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Russia is not a Muslim country because the population of Muslims in the country is only 9.4 million or 6.5 percent of the total population of 144.5 million.
Russia, which used to be a Soviet Union and was attached to socialism-communism, was also never known by its Islamic identity.
However, this year the country officially joined the World Zakat Forum at the 2019 International Conference held in Bandung, West Java on November 5-7, 2019.
Zakat is an obligatory payment made annually under Islamic law on certain kinds of property and used for charitable and religious purposes.
Secretary General of the World Zakat Forum (WZF) Prof. Bambang Sudibyo, who opened the annual meeting and international conference of the WZF on Tuesday (Nov 5), said that people in Russia enjoy the freedom of believing in religion.
“And hence, the potential for zakat in Russia is large,” he said.
According to Bambang, Russia also has a zakat management agent.
Like Cambodia, whose Muslim population is only five percent, the government of both countries pay so much attention to the Muslim minority that there are special ministers of Islamic affairs, he added.
Bambang said Cambodia also expressed interest in joining the World Zakat Forum which is a place to share experiences in managing and developing the role and function of zakat.
The World Zakat Forum, which was established on September 30, 2010, has now 33 members, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Bahrain, Jordan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Australia, United States, Bangladesh, Benin, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, and Ghana. India, Britain, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Maldives, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leon, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Togo, Uganda, and Vietnam.
In addition, organizations such as the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the UN Children’s Affairs Fund (UNICEF), the D-8 Economic Cooperation Organization, the UN Development Program (UNDP) and Bank Indonesia are also included in the WZF members.
Reporting by Indonesia Window