Fasting for Ramadan to start on Thursday; new payment method for tithes
Muslims here will begin fasting for the month of Ramadan on Thursday, with the annual zakat fitrah rate this year set at $5.00 or $7.70 per person.
Ushering in the Islamic holy month, the Mufti of Singapore, Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, said: “I wish everyone a blessed Ramadan, a month of great blessings, forgiveness, empathy, patience, and gratitude.”
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) announced on Wednesday that it would be introducing a self-service kiosk at 16 mosques across the island to facilitate the payment of the zakat, or tithe.
The 16 mosques comprise Masjid Al-Ansar, Masjid Al-Falah, Masjid Al-Islah, Masjid Al-Istiqamah, Masjid Al-Mukminin, Masjid Al-Muttaqin, Masjid An-Nur, Masjid Ar-Raudhah, Masjid Assyakirin, Masjid Darul Aman, Masjid Darul Ghufran, Masjid Khalid, Masjid Muhajirin, Masjid Mujahidin, Masjid Pusara Aman and Masjid Sultan.
The zakat fitrah rate is determined by the Muis Fitrah Committee, based on the cost of five pounds (2.3kg) of rice, the staple food in Singapore.
Zakat payers may pay the higher rate if they consume a higher grade of rice than what is generally consumed by the Muslim community.
Zakat fitrah must be paid during the month of Ramadan, but no later than the morning of Aidilfitri, which falls on April 22. However, Muslims are advised to pay early ahead of celebrations.
To prevent long queues at mosques, Muis encourages the Muslim community to continue fulfilling their zakat obligations digitally.
The zakat portal was recently refreshed to simplify the payment process, with Singpass registration being introduced.
However, both new and existing users will need to create an account on the refreshed portal in order to access the new features, which include a calculator for different types of zakat.
Besides paying through the zakat portal, Muslims can also make payments through several other methods, including AXS stations islandwide, writing a cheque to Muis, or using PayLah or Internet banking.
With the greater push towards digitalisation, however, Muis stressed the need for the community to remain vigilant when transacting online, citing potential scams and phishing attempts.
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