Senin, 03 Januari 2011

ORGANISATIONAL BACKGROUND OF STATE MOSQUES IN PENINSULAR MALAYSIA


CHAPTER 3


ORGANISATIONAL BACKGROUND OF STATE MOSQUES

IN PENINSULAR MALAYSIA

3.0            Introduction

The discussion in this chapter is based on various related publications on state mosques, homepages of state mosques, and the researcher’s personal discussion with personnel from state mosques. The chapter is divided into two main sections: the administration of Islamic affairs and the administration of state mosques.

The first section explains the functions of the Islamic Religious Council (Majlis Agama Islam), the Islamic Religious Department (Jabatan Agama Islam) and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jabatan Kemajuan Agama Islam Malaysia (JAKIM)). The second section covers the functions and categories of mosques as well as the general administration and financial administration of state mosques. The final section provides a conclusion to this chapter.



3.1            The Administration of Islamic Affairs

 As Malaysia is a multi-religious country, Islam plays a very significant role in Malaysian society. Muslims constitute more than 50% of its population and are concentrated primarily in Peninsular Malaysia. Its significance is indicated in the Federal Constitution, which recognizes Islam as the official religion of the country while allowing other religions to be practiced freely in Malaysia (Majid, 1988). Article 3 (1) of the Federal Constitution stipulates that “Islam is the religion of the Federation” In addition to this, the involvement of the government in disseminating Islam and instilling Islamic values among Muslims is considerable. Government involvement, both at the Federal and State levels, signifies the importance of Islam in shaping the Malaysian society. 

The Federal Constitution, however, delineates the power of the Federal government and the State governments in relation to the administration of Islamic affairs. The power of the State government is restricted to Shari’āh[3] Laws that concerns Muslims and the administration of Islamic affairs in the individual state (Majid, 1988). The Ninth Schedule of the Constitution states that, among other things, the administration of Malay customs, zakāh (Islamic wealth/income taxes), fitrah (Islamic poll tax), baitul māl (Islamic Treasury) and other Islamic income, mosques and other places of worship for Muslims are the prerogative of the State governments. Accordingly, each state has its own enactments on the administration of Islamic affairs and Malay customs. Consequently, this may contribute to the variations in the implementation and enforcement of the Shari’āh Laws and administration of Islamic affairs in Peninsular Malaysia.

Peninsular Malaysia comprises what were known as Federated and non-Federated Malay states and the Straits Settlements (Jali, et. al., 2003). Federated Malay States were Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak and Selangor while Non-Federated Malay States comprise Perlis, Kedah, Johore, Kelantan, and Terengganu. These Malay states were headed by Sultans (the Rulers). The Straits Settlements were initially consisting of Penang, Malacca, and Singapore. In 1906, the Labuan Island, North Boneo (Sabah) and Sarawak joined the Settlements (Hooker, 2003). They were administered by British Governor. Singapore officially separated from Malaysia in 1965 (Jali, et. al., 2003). The Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur was established in 1974 when the state of Selangor ceded the territory to the Federal Government. Labuan and Putrajaya joined the Federal Territories in 1984 and 2001 respectively.

The provision in Article 3 of the Federal Constitution stipulates the relationship between elite (royal) power and the administration of Islam in each state. According to Article 3(2) of the Federal Constitution, the Ruler of the Malay States of Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Johore, Pahang, Terengganu, and Kelantan is proclaimed as the head of the religion of Islam. On the other hand, Article 3(3) stipulates the head of Islam for states of Penang, Malacca, Sabah, and Sarawak is the Yang di Pertuan Agong (paramount ruler). For Federal Territories including Labuan, Article 3(5) specifies that the Yang di Pertuan Agong is the head of Islam and the Parliament involves in the administration of Islamic affairs of the territories. The Council of the Rulers elects the Yang di Pertuan Agong, who is then proclaimed as head of Islam in the country. Being the head of Islam, rulers of each State are responsible for the administration of Islamic affairs as well as the development and advancement of Islam.

In performing their duties, the rulers are assisted by the Islamic Religious Council (IRC) of each state. The IRC assists and advises the rulers in making policies and procedures pertaining to the administration of Islamic affairs in the state. While the IRC assists in the policy making, the Islamic Religious Department (IRD) is responsible for the execution of policies and procedures for the development and advancement of Islam in each state. At the Federal level, there is a Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM)) under the Prime Minister’s Department. The role of JAKIM is to standardize and coordinate the administration of Islamic affairs in all states.

Table 3.1: The Administration of Islamic Affairs at State Level

Malay States*

Non-Malay States**

States

Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan

Penang, Malacca and Federal Territory

Head of Islam


Ruler of individual state (Sultans)

Yang Di Pertuan Agong
(King)

Advisor to the Head of Islam and policy making body


Islamic Religious Council

Islamic Religious Council
Executing agency of the Islamic policies
Islamic Religious Department
Islamic Religious Department
Note:      *    Federated and Non Federated Malay States
                **  Strait Settlements and Federal Territories

A brief discussion on the objectives and functions of the IRC, IRD and JAKIM would facilitate the understanding of the unique nature of the administration of Islamic affairs in Peninsular Malaysia. Although there are variations in the administration of Islamic affairs between states, this section attempts to present the discussion in a general manner. The section also relates the functions of these agencies with the management of state mosques.




3.1.1    Islamic Religious Council

The IRC is the highest authority in a state with regards to policy-making relating to the administration of Islamic affairs. Additionally, the IRC also promotes the development and advancement of Islam in each state. The councils serve as an advisor to the rulers or the Yang di Pertuan Agong on all aspects of the administration of Islamic affairs.

 
Apart from the key role of advising the rulers on Islamic affairs, most IRCs are actively involved in the economic programs that would benefit Muslims in the state. For instance, baitul māl (Islamic Treasury), one of the divisions in the IRC, manages waqaf (endowment) properties and other deserted properties that are owned by Muslims in the state for the benefit of Muslims. As for the zakāh funds, most of the states have privatized the management of the funds for them to be more effective in the collection and redistribution to the beneficiaries. For instance, Pusat Zakāt Selangor (Selangor Zakāh Centre) that was established by Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (Selangor Islamic Religious Council) manages zakāh collection and distribution on behalf of the state of Selangor.

With regards to the members of the IRC, the state enactment would normally stipulate the composition of its members. In Selangor for instance, the Administration of Islamic Law Enactment 1989 stipulates that members of the council should consist of the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman, the Mufti, the State Legal Adviser, the State Financial Officer, and ten other members of which at least five are ‘ulama’ (religious scholar). Their appointment by the Ruler is on the advice of the Mentri Besar. In practice, the Mentri Besar or Chief Minister normally serves as the chairman of the IRC. Table 3-1 lists the IRC for each state in Peninsular Malaysia.

Table 3.2: List of Islamic Religious Councils in Peninsular Malaysia

No
State
Name of State Islamic Religious Council
1.
Perlis
Majlis Agama Islam Dan Adat Istiadat Melayu Perlis (MAIPs)
2.
Kedah
Majlis Agama Islam Kedah (MAIK)
3.
Penang
Malis Agama Islam Negeri Pulau Pinang (MAINPP)
4
Perak
Majlis Agama Islam Perak (MAIP)
5.
Selangor
Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS)
6.
Negri Sembilan
Majis Agama Islam Negri Sembilan (MAINS)
7.
Malacca
Majlis Agama Islam Melaka (MAIM)
8.
Johore
Majlis Agama Islam Johor (MAIJ)
9.
Pahang
Majlis Agama Islam Pahang (MAIP)
10.
Terengganu
Majlis Agama Islam Dan Adat Melayu Terengganu (MAIDAM)
11.
Kelantan
Majlis Agama Islam Kelantan (MAIK)
12.
Federal Territory
Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (MAIWP)

The Malacca Islamic Religious Council is an example of an IRC in the non-Malay state. It acts as the highest authority to advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the head of Islam for the state on the administration of Islamic affairs. This is stipulated in Section 27 No. 1 1959 (1994 Amendment) Enactment of its Shari’āh Law Administration (http://maim.mmu.edu.my/b-maim/cartamaim.htm, 2002). Figure 3.1 illustrates the administration of Islamic affairs in the State of Malacca.


 


Figure 3.1: The Administration of Islamic Affairs in Malacca


The Zakāh Centre and the Division of Endowment, Zakāh and Baitul māl (Lembaga Wakaf, Zaāat dan Baitul māl (LUKMAL)) form part of the administration of the Malacca IRC.  The Zakāh Centre manages the zakāh funds of the state. The endowment properties in the state are managed by LUKMAL. In some other states, the Department of Mufti and Shari’āh Court would also form part of the administrative arm of the IRC.

3.1.2    Islamic Religious Department

The IRD is another Islamic entity, which is responsible for the development and advancement of Islam in a state. In the administration of Islamic affairs, the IRD is responsible for planning, coordinating and executing Islamic programs and activities for the development and advancement of Islam as outlined by the IRC. The IRD provides basic infrastructures such as Islamic religious schools at the primary and secondary levels as well as mosques to serve the community. Generally, the administration of the IRD comprises divisions that are responsible for religious education, propagating Islamic teachings, the Shari’āh court, mosques as well as research and development.

In achieving its missions, the IRD deploys its staff to all districts in a state with the purpose of overseeing and coordinating the execution of Islamic programs and activities including those of the mosques. In some states, the IRD also places its religious officers at district mosques to assist the mosque committees in the operation of the mosques. Table 3.2 lists the Islamic Religious Departments for each state in Peninsular Malaysia.

Table 3.3: List of Islamic Religious Departments in Peninsular Malaysia
No
State
Name of State Islamic Religious Department
1.
Perlis
Jabatan Agama Islam Perlis (JAIPs)
2.
Kedah
Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Kedah (JHEAK)
3.
Penang
Jabatan Agama Islam Pulau Pinang (JAIPP)
4
Perak
Jabatan Agam Islam Perak (JAIP)
5.
Selangor
Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS)
6.
Negri Sembilan
Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Negri Sembilan (JHEAINS)
7.
Malacca
Jabatan Agama Islam Melaka (JAIM)
8.
Johore
Jabatan Agama Islam Johor (JAIJ)
9.
Pahang
Jabatan Agama Islam Pahang (JAIP)
10.
Terengganu
Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Terengganu (JHEAT)
11.
Kelantan
Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Kelantan (JHEAK)
12.
Federal Territory
Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI)


3.1.3  Department of Islamic Development Malaysia

As an effort to minimize the variations in the implementation of Shari’āh Laws and the administration of Islamic affairs in Malaysia, the Federal government set up the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM)). The Department was established in 1968 and was initially known as the Islamic Affairs Division (Bahagian Hal Ehwal Agama Islam (BAHEIS)). Its primary objective is to strengthen efforts in developing and enhancing the achievement of Muslims in Malaysia (http://www.islam.gov.my/profil/index.html, 2002). As a central agency, the department is also relied upon to enact, standardize and coordinate the implementation and enforcement of Shari’āh laws and the administration of Islamic affairs in all states (http://www.islam.gov.my/profil/index.html, 2002). 

The department organizes seminars and meetings with religious officers at the national level in an effort to coordinate programs and activities for the advancement and development of Islam in Malaysia. The Department also deploys its religious officers to all states in Malaysia in the process of coordinating the implementation and enforcement of Shari’āh laws and the administration of Islamic affairs. Its officers work with the officers from the IRC and the IRD to ensure that the planning and implementation of Islamic programs and activities are standardized throughout each state.

In relation to the operation of mosques, there is a specific division that is responsible for the Islamic programs and activities in the community and the mosques. This division is known as the Division of Family, Social and Mosques Development (Bahagian Pembangunan Keluarga, Sosial dan Masjid (KESUMA)). The National Mosque is part of the administration of KESUMA (http://www.islam.gov.my/mn/bawah_tad.htm, 2002).
3.2            Mosques in Peninsular Malaysia

According to Al-Zarkasyi and Al-Zajaj, in Islam, all places of worship are called mosques (Mokhtar, 1997). In Arabic, the equivalent term for a mosque is al-masjid and literally it means a place for prostration. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), the term al-masjid referred to the House of Worship or the House of God. This term included churches, synagogues and temples (Rasdi, 1999). However, nowadays, the term al-masjid or mosque normally refers to a place of worship for Muslims (Rasdi, 1999).

To the Muslims, a mosque is regarded as the place to perform prayers to God, Allah. In Malaysia, for instance, a mosque would refer to a specific building where Muslims perform their daily prayers, congregational prayers and weekly prayers on Fridays. According to the Administration of Islamic Law Enactment 1992 of Perak, a mosque is a building or a place used for Friday prayers, daily prayers and other activities approved and encouraged by Islam. This is not to be confused with a musallá. A musallá (or surau) is a place ranging from a simple room to a building, for Muslims to perform daily prayers. Normally, Friday congregational prayers are not performed in musallás.



3.2.1  Functions of Mosques

Although, initially, mosques were meant for religious purposes, the functions of mosques have evolved according to the situation. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), the building of mosques was initially for performing prayers. The building of the Quba’ Mosque when the Prophet and his followers arrived at Yathrib was meant for performing prayers (Mokhtar, 1997). However, once the Islamic state was established in Madinah, and realizing the importance of the mosque in shaping the society, the Prophet (P.B.U.H) personally made the effort to construct a mosque, which is known as the Prophet’s Mosque (Mohammad, 1996). From then onwards, mosques have not only functioned as religious places, but also as community centers. During the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) time, the mosque served as the state administration center.

 At present, although mosques are no longer used as a state administration center, their role in shaping society still continues. In Malaysia, for instance, a mosque functions as a vehicle for transforming government Islamic policies within the society. Islamic programs and activities are carried out in mosques to instill and strengthen the Islamic values among community members. Proper management and supervision of the mosques facilitates the services to the community.


3.2.2    Categories of Mosques

There is no consensus as to the categorization of mosques in Peninsular Malaysia. The state of Johore categorizes mosques in the state into two: government mosques and kariah or qaryah[4] mosques (http://wwwjohor.net…/Pentadbiran%20 DanPengurusan% 20Masjid-johor.htm, 2003). The basis for this categorization is the sources of finance and administrative aspects. Government mosques are built in the state capital and all the districts of the state. They receive financial allocation from state government and managed by state government staff. Qaryah mosques may also receive financial support from the state government. However, the management of these mosques are initiated and carried out by mosque committees. In Perak, however, mosques are categorized into four types: government mosques, district mosques, small district mosques and qaryah mosques (http://www.geocities.com/bpm_jaipk/pengenalan.htm, 2002). The basis of categorization is not specified. 

In light with the preceding discussions, it may be practical to categorize mosques in Peninsular Malaysia according to their administrative aspects and sources of finance. Generally, mosques in Peninsular Malaysia can be categorized into four types: state mosque, district mosque and private mosque. State mosques are managed state governments through the relevant agencies. The state governments also finance both the staff and their operational costs. Any donations that are received from the public will be used to finance part of the religious and social activities conducted by the mosques. Most of the state mosques appoint mosque committees to be part of their management. However, such committees do not normally play an active role in the management of the state mosques. In most cases, these mosques do not have qaryah members, as they are normally located at non-residential areas in the state capital. Generally, the attendees of daily and weekly prayers are “working people” in the vicinity of the mosques (Rasdi, 1999). Table 3.3 lists all state mosques in Peninsular Malaysia.

The second category of mosque is the district mosque. In contrast to state mosques, the primary source of finance for the district mosques is donations from members of the qaryah as well as the general public. The operation of these mosques is funded by donations. Primarily, the mosque committee performs the administrative tasks of these mosques. A district religious officer often chairs the mosque committees. Other committee members comprise religious officers of the State IRC and/or IRD and qaryah members who are elected during the annual general meetings. Generally, the IRD monitors the operations and activities of district mosques to ensure compliance with government policies and regulations outlined by the State IRC.


Table 3.4: List of State Mosques in Peninsular Malaysia

No.
State
Name of State Mosque
1.
Perlis
Masjid Negeri Perlis
2.
Kedah
Masjid Zahir
3.
Perak
Masjid Sultan Idris Shah II
4.
Selangor
Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah
5.
Negri Sembilan
Masjid Negeri Negri Sembilan
6.
Malacca
Masjid Al Azim
7.
Johor
Masjid Sultan Abu Bakar
8.
Pahang
Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah ke 2
9.
Terengganu
Masjid Abidin
10.
Kelantan
Masjid Muhammadi
11.
Penang
Masjid Negeri Pulau Pinang
12.
Federal Territory
Masjid Wilayah

The third category of mosques is qaryah mosques. Generally, qaryah mosques exist within the district where district mosques are erected. Thus as a district may have more than one qaryah, it may also have more than one qaryah mosque. The main purpose of the qaryah mosques is to serve the people within the qaryah, which may be a distance away from the district mosque.  As district mosque, the primary source of finance of these mosques is donations from members of the qaryah and the general public. A mosque committee elected by members of the qaryah normally handles the administrative aspects of these mosques. As district mosques, the operations and activities of the qaryah mosques need to conform to government Islamic policies and the regulations set by the State IRC.

The fourth category of mosques in Malaysia is private mosques. These mosques are managed and financed by private organizations or individuals. As such, the activities and programs of these mosques are not subject to the policies of any State governments or Federal government. For instance, mosques that are managed and financed by Indian Muslim associations throughout the country are in this category.  The Pilgrimage Fund Mosque (Masjid Tabung Haji), the As -Syakirin Mosque of Kuala Lumpur City centre (KLCC) and the Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque at the International Islamic University Malaysia are examples of private mosques. The existence of these mosques basically serves the people within the areas and most of them do not have qaryah members as such.  In the case of Indian mosques, which are located in towns, their qaryah members normally consist of Indian Muslim businessmen and working Malaysians working in that vicinity.

3.2.3    General Administration of State Mosques

In general, there are three parties involved in the general administration of state mosques. These parties are the state IRDs, officers of state mosques and state mosque committees. Figure 3.2 illustrates the parties that are generally involved in the general administration of state mosques in Peninsular Malaysia. However, there is one exception to this administration. The Muhammadi Mosque in Kelantan is directly managed by the State IRC, with no involvement by the State IRD. The following paragraphs discuss the functions of each party that is involved in the administration of state mosques.

Figure 3.2: The General Administration of a State Mosque



 
 













i.        The Islamic Religious Department

There are three distinct scenarios of how state mosques are being administered by the IRD. In the first situation, state mosques are under the prerogative of the respective Propagation Division of the IRD. The division supervises the general operation of a state mosque while the Administration and Finance Division of the IRD handles the financial affairs of the mosques. An example for this scenario is the state mosque of Negri Sembilan. Figure 3.3 illustrates the organizational structure of the Negri Sembilan IRD. As indicated, the state mosque appears as a subdivision of the Propagation Division.


 









Figure 3.3: Organisational Structure of Negeri Sembilan
           Islamic Religious Department
(Source: http://www.mains.gov.my/jheains.html, 2002)

Apart from the Propagation Division, there are six other divisions that form the administration of the IRD. These include the divisions of Religious Education, Prosecution and Enforcement, Shari’āh Laws, Research and Development, Administration and Finance and Propagation. Additionally, the Propagation Division also monitors the operation of other mosques in the state.

In the second scenario, the IRD sets up a Mosque Management Division to specifically monitor the operations of state mosques as well as other mosques in that particular state. This Division is also responsible for both the general administration and financial affairs of a state mosque. The organizational structure of the IRD for the state of Perak provides an appropriate example of this scenario. The IRD established a Mosque Management Division to purposely oversee the operation of the state mosque as well as other mosques in the state[5].
Figure 3.4: Organisational Structure of the Perak Islamic Religious Department
(Source:http://jaip.perak.gov.my/menu.htm)

In the third scenario, the state mosque is formed as one of the divisions in the State IRD organizational structure. As an example, the IRD of Selangor establishes the state mosque as a division on its own and forms part of the administrative arm of the IRD. As a division of the IRD, the state mosque has its own administrative personnel. These personnel are responsible for both the general administrative tasks as well as financial administration. Religious officers such as the Imam only perform religious duties. This is probably due to the size and complexity of the state mosques. The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in Shah Alam, which took twelve years of construction, is the biggest mosque in South East Asia (Brochure of Masjid Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah 1988-2002). Figure 3.5 illustrates the organizational structure of a state mosque established as a division of the IRD.

 










Note: * refers to Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque, Shah Alam

Figure 3.5: Organisational Structure of the Selangor Islamic Religious Department
(Source: http://jais.selangor.gov.my/bm/bahmasjid.html, 2002)




ii.         Officers of State Mosques

The officers of state mosques normally comprise the Imām Besar (Chief Cleric), the Imām (Cleric), the Khātib (Friday sermon reader), the Bilāl (caller to prayer) and the Siak (mosque keeper). These officers, in general, perform only religious duties except for the Siak who looks after the cleanliness of the mosque. Among other things, the duties require them to ensure that the Islamic programs and activities of the mosque are properly organized. The responsibilities are shared with the state mosque committees. Generally, these officers are appointed by the IRD or IRC.

iii.                State Mosque Committees

Another party that is involved in the administration of state mosques is the mosque committee. In general, this committee does not play an active role in the general administration of state mosques. The committee works together with the state mosque officers to run the daily activities of the mosques. This includes religious classes for adults and children, monthly religious programs including ceramah (public religious talks) or qiyāmullail (midnight prayers). The state mosque committee is also involved in the selection of the speakers for the programs.

Members of state mosque committees comprise religious officials from both the IRC and IRD and representatives from various government agencies. Their representation in the state mosque committee is on a voluntary basis.  An official either from the IRC and the IRD normally chairs the committee while the Imām Besar of the state mosque often holds the position of secretary.

3.2.4    Financial Administration of State Mosques

In general, state mosques are not autonomous in their financial affairs. There are two sources of finance for state mosques; the state government allocation, and public donations. Consequently, state mosques have two sets of financial administrations; one relates to the state government allocation and the other is for public donations. The state IRD is responsible for administering the state government allocation while the state mosque committee is responsible for managing public donations.

However, there are two exceptions in the case of sources of finance for state mosques. The first exception is the state mosque of the Federal Territory. This mosque is funded fully by the Federal Government. It does not have any collection from the public. The second exception is the state mosque of Terengganu, which is fully funded by public donations. The mosque does not receive any financial assistance from the State government to finance its operations. Figure 3.6 illustrates the three different types of financial resources of state mosques in Peninsular Malaysia. The following paragraphs discuss the administration of State government allocation and the donations from the general public.

                       
Sources of Finance
 
    Exception                                                                                          Exception






 

Federal
Government
Fund only
State Government Fund
 & Public Donations
Public
Donations
 only

Figure 3.6: The Sources of Finances of the State Mosques in Peninsular Malaysia

                       
i.        The Administration of State Government Allocation

The administration of State government allocation in state mosques involves annual budget preparation, disbursements and reporting the disbursement activities. Since the allocation is public monies received from the government, the administration of this allocation should conform to financial procedures issued by the government in the Treasury Instructions[6] (Arahan Perbendaharaan). The conformation is required by Section 4 of the Financial Procedure Acts 1957 (Revised in 1972). The administration of this allocation is performed by the IRD of each state. The government allocation is granted based on the annual budget request prepared by the state mosques. Thus, the IRD of each state will prepare an annual budget for each state mosque. The staff of state mosques is normally consulted during the budget preparation process to ensure all supplies are included in the budget. Once completed, the annual budget is submitted to the State Treasury Department for approval.

In expending the allocation, the IRD plays an important role in ensuring that all financial commitments do not exceed the budgets. As the funds from the government allocation are not actually transferred to either the IRD or state mosques, all payments for the expenditure are processed by the State Treasury Department. Apart from monitoring the use of the monies allocated, the Finance and Administration Division of the IRD compiles supporting documents and prepares payment vouchers for payments. 

The department reports back to the State Treasury Department on the financial position of state mosques periodically. The State Treasury Department does all the recording and accounting of financial transactions undertaken by state mosques. Accordingly, the annual accounts for the state mosque are consolidated with the annual accounts of the State Treasury Department. Subsequently, these accounts are also audited.

ii.         The Administration of Public Donations

Public donations, however, are collected either from the general public through static collection boxes placed in state mosques or during the Friday congregational prayers. The mosque funds management system would involve receipts, disbursements, operations of bank accounts and reporting back to the donors and/or contributors. Most of the public donations are in the form of cash or cheques. 

In some state mosques, there is more than one type of funds collected from the general public. The state mosque of Pahang, for instance, collects more than one type of fund. In this case, the ‘general’ funds are meant for maintaining regular religious and social activities. Some funds are specifically collected for fasting month activities, tahfiz (memorization of the Qur’ān) schools, religious school conducted at the state mosque as well as orphanage schools and homes.

In general, there are two ways of managing the public donations in state mosques. In the first instance, the funds are fully managed by the state mosque committees.  In this instance, the state mosques committees act as the trustees of the funds. They have full authority over the receipts, disbursements and banking operations of the funds. An example for this type of public donations management is at the Abidin Mosque in Terengganu. The mosque committee of the state mosque has full authority over the management its public donations.

In the second situation, state mosque committees would normally be responsible for the collection of public donations only. The disbursement of the funds and their banking operations are handled by the state IRC who act as the trustee for the funds.  All necessary controls with regards to the management of funds except for the collection are implemented and enforced by the IRC. The Zahir Mosque, the state mosque of Kedah is an example of this.

 Although state mosque committees are held responsible for managing public donations, the Imām Besar, who is normally the secretary of the state mosque committee, and the treasurer play an important role in the management of public donations. They ensure that all procedures in the Treasury Instructions pertaining to cash management are observed. In other words, the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of such funds in state mosques is very much dependent on their competence in financial management.

3.3         Conclusion

Three Islamic agencies play an important role in the administration of Islamic affairs in Malaysia. They are the Islamic Religious Council, the Islamic Religious Department and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia. Since the Malaysian Constitution delineates the power of the Federal and State governments, there are variations in the administration of Islamic affairs and Malay customs. As a result, the general administration of state mosques in Peninsular Malaysia varies from one state to another.

The financial administration in state mosques, however, is divided into two types: State government allocation and public donations. The administration of the state government allocation is generally handled by each respective IRD. As such, generally, there is no significant difference in the administration of government allocation. The state mosques only manage the donations that are received from the public. This is where variations in the financial administration arise. The research questions, methodology for the data collection and the development of questionnaire for the study are discussed in the following chapter.


[3] Shari’āh is a detailed code of conduct or the canons comprising ways and modes of worship, standards of morals and life and laws that allow and proscribe, that judge between the right and wrong. It has undergone amendments from time to time to suit with the conditions of each Prophet’s people and time. This process ended with the advent of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH)), who brought with him the final code which was to apply to mankind for all times to come. Two major sources of the Shari’āh are the Qur’ān (divine revelation) and Hādīth (a collection of the instructions issued or memoirs of Muhammad’s (PBUH) conduct and behavior (Mawdudi, 1992, Towards understanding Islam. Kuala Lumpur: A. S. Nordin)
[4] According to the State of Perak Administration of Islamic Law Enactment 1992, qaryah or mosque qaryah is an area of neighbourhood in which a mosque is erected. A member of the qaryah is a person who is permanently living within a neighbourhood in which a mosque is erected.
[5] State Legislative Assembly Perak. 1992. Administration of Islamic Law No. 2/92.
[6] Treasury Instructions is a financial management manual for government departments and agencies. It contains instructions on budget, control on receipts and disbursements, bank operations, stocks, tenders and quotations and fixed assets and document management.

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