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Social Solidarity of Zakat

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Zakat, in its form as religious service, has two aspects. First, Zakat is the observance aspect to Allah that is vertical between human and God. In this case, there is no reason why Zakat have to do. Here, it can not be rationalized, because of its transcendent character. Zakat is the taken for granted thing in Islam society. Second, Zakat is the obligation aspect of social in Muslim activities. In its social activity, Zakat needs the society beyond of individual to be done. The donor of Zakat (Muzzakki) can not implement Zakat in transcendental vertical relation to God only. Muzzakki need the Zakat receiver (Mustahik) in its application. In addition, in Zakat application, it is needed a institution to be intermediary between Muzzakki and Mustahik that is called Amil Zakat. Therefore, Zakat is the religious service that have more social nuance than individually concept.

Zakat, in sociological perspective, is concerned in the second aspect, where in zakat application has a relation between individuals. Recently, Zakat has appears to be a phenomena in social interaction especially in religion. There is special relation that creates by Zakat application. Zakat in religion service is the individual activity, but in other hand, Zakat is the social relationship in the social solidarity.

Defining the Social Solidarity

In describing how the society, with entire of it individual differentiations, can be formed and survive, Durkheim creates a typology of society. The typology reflects his primary theoretical concern: social solidarity. Social solidarity can be defined as the degree to which social units are integrated. According to Durkheim, the question of solidarity turns on three issues: the subjective sense of individuals that they are part of the whole; the actual constraint of individual desires for the good of the collective; and the coordination of individuals and social units. In addition, Durkheim describes the way social solidarity comes about as well. Here, he categorizes it to two parts: mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity (Allan, 2005).

In mechanical solidarity, each individual unit’s actions is absolutely constrained by and coordinated with the whole. Individual are directly related to a group and its collective consciousness. Here, the collective consciousness is represented by the common beliefs and sentiments and the collective ideas and behavioral tendencies. The collective consciousness varies by at leas four features: the degree to which culture is shared, the amount of power the culture has to guide individual’s thoughts, feelings, and action, the degree of clarity, and the collective consciousness varies by its content. The social horizon of individuals tends to be limited in mechanical solidarity (Allan, 2005).

Organic solidarity, in other hand, tends to be characterized by weak collective consciousness. The collective consciousness is represented to the relationships between special and different function (utilitarian). The structures become more dependent upon another as they differentiate (structural interdependency). Here, individual have almost limitless possibilities from which to choose in social horizon (Allan, 2005).

Social Solidarity of Zakat

As we know before, Zakat is the religious service that is more social nuance. It caused that in its application is needed more than one person/individual to be done: Muzzakki, Mustahik, and Amil Zakat. Those actors have the different social-economic background. Here, Zakat can unite those differences to be a social solidarity in society: Zakat solidarity.

Muzzakki is the Zakat actors who have ability in its social-economic life. It is caused that the implementation of Zakat is only the obligation of them who have more outcome in social-economic activities. Mustahik is the Zakat actors who have limited ability in social-economic life and are developing the Muslim society.

Urutan Mustahik yang disebutkan dalam Al-Qur’an berdasarkan penyebabnya dapat dikelompokkan dalam dua kelompok besar. Pertama, karena ketidakmampuan dan ketidakberdayaan. Kelompok ini dapat dibedakan pada dua hal, yaitu (1) ketidakmampuan di bidang ekonomi diantaranya fakir, miskin, gharim, dan ibnu sabil; dan (2) ketidakberdayaan dalam wujud ketidakbebasan dan keterbelengguan untuk mendapatkan hak asasinya sebagai manusia, yaitu riqab. Kedua, karena kemaslahatan umum ummat Islam. Mustahik kelompok ini mendapatkan dana zakat bukan karena ketidakmampuan finansial, tetapi karena jasa dan tujuannya untuk kepentingan umum ummat Islam. Yang termasuk kelompok ini adalah amil, mu’allaf, dan fi sabilillah (Ernizar, 2006).

In addition, Amil Zakat is the actors who intermediary between Muzzakki and Mustahik. The function of Amil Zakat is important enough, because of its obligations to exploit the potency of Zakat from Muzzakki to be more effective.

The relation pattern that is created in Zakat application is not something that appears off hand. The Zakat solidarity is formed because of a collective consciousness that comes from the norm and system. Zakat, as a society, have the spirit of Islam as “the general will” or “collective consciousness” to which people (Muslim) can commit. In the modern society, this case is unique. The modern society should be the community that have character tend to organic solidarity, where the collective consciousness is based on utility that given in the differences of individuals.

Zakat is the relation form that unites between moralistic and utilitarian aspect where both of them are represented the collective consciousness in the solidarity of Zakat. The moral aspect in Zakat is the obligation of Muslim who has excess in social-economic life to help the other individuals who have weakness in this social-economic life. Moral in Zakat application is based on the argument that every production tools in the nature is belongs to Allah. Individuals in society are given the authority of entire production tools to manage it for the prosperity in human-being life. Meanwhile, the economic profit is the excess of the individuals when them all interact each other in society. In obtaining the economic profit, there is the other role and function. Thus, the obtained economic profits have ought to be shared to the other individuals who are unlucky (Mustahik).

An example, the consumer buys the rice form the farmer. The farmer is the individual who is given the authority to manage the production tools of the rice. The he plants the rice in the farm. In Allah authority, the farm produces the rice. Then, the rice is sold in the market to the consumer. When selling the rice, the do not really sell the cost that is needed for the creating of rice. The price is the advantages from the managing of production tools of rice that is given the authority from Allah before. Thereby, the economic profit is not purely according to the farmer. In addition, in the rice selling, there is the profit from the consumer who buys the rice from him. In other hand, there are so many other individuals who have no this profit. Therefore, this economic profit have to be shared to the other individuals who have no this profit with Zakat.

The utility aspect of Zakat, in other hand, head for the eradication of the poverty and empowerment of economic sector. Zakat, in the poverty eradication progress, is the process to fulfill the internal economic necessity of individuals in the society. If the individuals have been able to fulfill their economic by themselves, they can develop the excess of economic life to create the unique function of individuals whom they have. Then, the individuals can participate in society with the specific ability that they have. Each individual have special function. They cannot fulfill they necessity by themselves only, because of the special function is only in one sector and not all. Thus, they need the other to equip their necessity. Here, the interaction that happens is not based on the moral aspect, but more in utility aspects.

As the sample, the owner of car (Muzzakki) pays the Zakat to the Amil Zakat. Then, the Zakat is given to the Mustahik for the capital to run the private enterprise. The fund of Zakat is managed by Mustahik to create the car service. The Mustahik has the specific ability in society by its car service. Then, there are many car owners to repair their car at that car service. It caused that the owners of car have no ability to repair theirs by themselves. Here, the changing of relation pattern between Muzzakki and Mustahik has been happened. In previously, the relation pattern that is form is based on the moral aspect. But, after the economic empowerment of Zakat, the relation pattern has changed to be utility relation between Muzzakki (car owners) and the Mustahik (car repair owner).

Here, Zakat in the society has been able to develop the positive interdependency among individuals. This case, in Durkheim thinking, is categorized as modern society. The structures become more dependent upon one another as they differentiate (structural interdependency).


Zakat as the religious service in Islam has the special characteristic. In its application, there is the social relationship that is unique in society. Zakat is a social solidarity that unites both of mechanistic and organismic character of the society. The collective consciousness that is used in the Zakat application is the compilation between moral aspect and the utility aspect that occurs in the Zakat relationships.

Zakat move up indirectly the society to be the modern with organic solidarity by its effects. Here, Zakat has supported the structural interdependency in positive defining. The specific abilities of individuals in society are motivated by fund regulation of Zakat. Thus the individuals have special (economic) sector to be handled and need the other to fulfill entire of their necessity.


Written by hanumisme

September 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Posted in masyarakat Madani

2 Responses

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  1. I usually don’t post on Blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent! … I’ll add a backlink and bookmark your site.


    September 30, 2009 at 10:08 pm

  2. I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean


    October 1, 2009 at 6:15 am

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