Chief Minister of Melaka, Hon. Adly Zahari, opened World Zakat Forum (WZF)  2018 International Conference at the Equator Hotel, Melaka, Wednesday (5/12). Hon. Adly Zahari will also give a speech in front of 300 participants from 28 countries who attended the conference for three days from 5 - 7 December 2018.

The conference program will also be attended by the Minister of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency , Prof. Bambang PS Brodjonegoro and Minister of Religion of Malaysia, Dr. Mujahid Yusof Rawa, WZF Secretary General, Prof. Bambang Sudibyo and 31 speakers from 16 countries such as United Kingdom, India, Nigeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and South Africa. World Zakat Forum 2018 raises the theme "Strengthening Global Alms Cooperation in improving the welfare of the people". Prof Bambang Sudibyo stated, this theme was used when the collection of zakat rose to become an important part and a high potential source of social Islamic finance.

“The benefit of zakat must be significant and strategic to improve ukhuwah (togetherness), brotherhood, collaboration and solidarity among Muslim countries and people to achieve common goals, "he said.

In achieving the common goal, the global zakat movement requires a platform to establish an effective solution to multi-dimensional problems in the Islamic world. "First, zakat should not only be limited to eradicating poverty, but also to empower the people. Second, to reduce socio-economic difficulties among the ummah," he said in his opening remarks.

Third, he said, to provide welfare for the ummah, fourth, to escalate the standard of living of the muslim world. And fifth, to revive the greatness of Islam in various global aspects. The idea of establishing the WZF emerged in response the need of developing the world zakat movement. WZF members continue to grow, at the 7th WZF Conference, the WZF will have 28 member countries, which shows increasing interest in the world zakat movement.

"Our mid-term target is to include at least all 39 OIC member countries," he said.

In addition, the conference will also discuss the possibility of having an association membership by cooperating with UNDP, UNICEF, IsDB and Bank Indonesia. The conference will be different from the previous conference, because there will be high-level discussion sessions by ministers and officials who are responsible for religious affairs on efforts to promote cooperation between countries.

"In the end this conference is expected to produce a good resolution to strengthen global zakat cooperation among WZF members," he said.

About the World Zakat Forum

The ideas of World Zakat Forum establishment arose in response to the needs of the development of the world zakat movement. During a meeting of the World Zakat Forum (WZF) in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, in 2007, Indonesia was appointed to host the first WZF conference. Three years later, on 30th September 2010 during World Zakat Forum International Conference 2010 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, this forum is officially established. Initially, this Forum was attended by 9 representatives from international alms institutions such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, England, Bahrain, Jordan, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia. In this first conference Prof. Dr. KH. Didin Hafidhuddin was appointed as the first Secretary-General of the World Zakat Forum until 2013, on the next term, this position was held by Dr Ahmad Juwaini until 2017. Currently, Prof. Dr. Bambang Sudibyo is elected as the third Secretary-General of the WZF beginning from March 2017. 

The establishment of World Zakat Forum is expected to become a platform to formulate an effective solution for multi-dynamics problems of the Islamic World concerning: first, the main essence of zakat should not only to eradicate poverty and disability, but also for the empowerment of ummah; second, to alleviate social- economic difficulties among ummah; third, to deliver welfare of ummah; fourth, to lift up Muslim world leverage, and; fifth, to revive a glorification of Islam at many different aspects globally. World Zakat Forum connects zakat enthusiasts such as activists, experts, researchers and academics as well as various organization that committed in developing and promoting zakat practice globally.