The international conference World Zakat Forum (WZF) 2019 held on November 5-7 in Bandung, West Java, has raised the theme ‘Optimizing Global Zakat Role through Digital Technology’. This theme was primarily driven by the notion of Industrial Revolution 4.0.  

Zakat is one of the Islamic monetary tools specialised at poverty alleviation. Hence, the management of zakat must be adaptive to the recent circumstances for its relevance.  Concerning this issue, the WZF general secretary, Prof. Dr Bambang Sudibyo, said that WZF is a platform to increase the global awareness towards zakat, that it has been proven in reducing poverty and strengthening social community. 

Further, there is a recognised need for commitment among the Islamic countries to collaborate on zakat practices. On this matter, Prof. Dr Bambang Sudibyo said; “The use of zakat must address strategic plans in order to achieve maslahah among the global Muslim community. To make this comes true, the global movement of zakat requires a platform to initiate an effective solution for multidimensional problems occur in the Islamic world”.

Apart from his concerning on WZF as a global platform, Prof. Dr Bambang Sudibyo who is also the Chairman of the National Board of Zakat Republic of Indonesia (BAZNAS), mentioned that the worldwide commitment on zakat should not only see the way zakat is collected and distributed but also it has to be professionally, effectively and efficiently managed. That is, zakat also must adopt the rapid changes caused by technology.  On this matter, he stated; “The global movement of zakat has to be in line with the role of digital technology in managing zakat. This is due to the Islamic world is large, it is from Africa to south east Asia, it covers six continents”.

Additionally, in line with the theme raised in WZF 2019, BAZNAS actually has been adopted the use of technology to ease muzakki paying zakat since 2016. In terms of scholarly works, BAZNAS with its subsidiary, Center of Strategic Studies (Puskas BAZNAS), has been pioneering the global discourse of zakat, including zakat and technology. The first draft of WZF resolution which highlights the potential of blockchain technology for zakat management, was proposed by the researchers of Puskas BAZNAS.