Until recently, the Covid-19 case has not been able to be controlled, especially in Indonesia. Limiting physical contact between individuals remains to be the best alternative in controlling the spread of the virus. This is certainly a challenging situation for the operations of zakat institutions. Nevertheless, they should adjust and adapt to the new normal, so the collection and distribution of zakat can be performed well.

Facing the multidimensional impacts of Covid-19, the zakat institutions are expected to allocate a more significant concern to zakat technology development. The utilization of technology, such as digital platforms in the zakat collection, can assist the mustahik to fulfill their responsibility to pay zakat. On the other hand, technology in the distribution of zakat is considered more crucial and central in providing benefit and impact to the economically vulnerable communities.

Realizing the importance of adopting the technology to articulate the aspiration of zakat, especially during the outbreak, the International Conference of Zakat (ICONZ) 2020 brings "ZakaTech for Inclusive Development" as the main theme. This prestigious zakat conference is held in collaboration with global zakat research institutions, namely the Center for Strategic Studies BAZNAS (Puskas-BAZNAS), the Indonesian Ministry of Religion Affairs, Trisakti University, and Airlangga University. 

The 4th ICONZ event, held annually, takes place on 7-8 October 2020 by using a virtual platform. The conference invites distinguished speakers with high qualifications in their specific fields consisting of regulators, practitioners, researchers, and academics. Drs. H. Tarmizi as Director of Zakat and Waqf Department of Ministry of Religious Affairs, and Dr. Muhammad Hasbi Zaenal as Director of PUSKAS BAZNAS, share their opening remarks to the audiences. Furthermore, the welcoming speech is delivered by Dra. Khofifah Indar Parawansa (Governor of East Java), Prof Mohammad Nasih (Rector of Airlangga University), Prof Ali Ghufron Mukti (Rector of Trisakti University). The keynote speakers at the 4th ICONZ are the Chairperson of BAZNAS, Prof. Dr. Bambang Sudibyo, and also the Vice Minister of Religious Affairs, Dr. KH Zainut Tauhid Sa’adi. 

In the plenary session on the first day, the 4th ICONZ presented M. Lawal Maidoki (Director of SOZECOM), Azim Kidwai (Chairman of NZF Worldwide), Prof. Dr. Raditya Sukmana (Professor of Airlangga University) and Prof. Dr. Abdul Ghafar Ismail (Professor of the Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia). The theme discussed in this first plenary is "The Role of Islamic Social Finance in Promoting Inclusive Development in Time of New Normal COVID-19". In the second plenary, the 4th ICONZ presents Datuk Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar (President of IIUM), Dr. Irfan Syauqi Beik (Director of Distribution and Utilization of BAZNAS), Prof. Ahmad Satori (BAZNAS Commissioner), Dr. Mohammed Obaidullah (Lead Research Economist, IRTI-IsDB) and Prof. Muhammad Zilal Hamzah (Professor of Trisakti University). The theme carried in this second plenary is "The Use of Technology in Zakat Management in time of New Normal COVID-19".

The final plenary takes place with the theme "Blockchain Technology for Zakat Institutions: Theory and Practices." The attending speakers are Achmad Setio Nugroho (Head of IT Division, BAZNAS), Mufti Faraz Adam (Managing Associate NZF Worldwide), Dr. Farrukh Habib (Co-Founder of ALIF Technologies), Dr. Moutaz Abojeib (Research Development & Innovation, ISRA), and Dr. Aishath Muneeza (Associate Professor of INCEIF).

In addition, at the parallel session, the 4th ICONZ also invited 40 academics and researchers from various backgrounds and leading universities in Indonesia to present and discuss their research related to the central theme of the 4th ICONZ. It is expected that the conference can offer many breakthrough opportunities and novel innovation in regard to ZakaTech, which can assist zakat institutions to fulfill the zakat aspirations. Notably, more than 500 audiences coming from around the world is estimated to earn the benefit from the conferences.


Rep: Puskas BAZNAS