I have sold the rice package for decades, at least for 50 years, as I began selling the package since I was a child, while I am now already 60 years old
Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA) –
A resurgence in the sale of rice packages for Zakat (almsgiving) purposes was observed in Ambon City, Maluku, as traders sold rice packages along the city roads nearing the end of the Ramadan fasting month.
Zakat al-Fitr is a form of obligatory almsgiving to be paid by every Muslim before Eid al-Fitr. It is intended to “purify” a Muslim’s wealth and is an expression of care for the poor.
According to the National Alms Agency (Baznas), the Zakat al-Fitr value is fixed at 2.5-3.5 kilograms of basic foods or an equal amount of cash needed to purchase basic foods, currently pegged at Rp45 thousand (US$3.1).
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One of the rice package merchants, Sitti, said she has sold rice packages for the last five decades and is among the first merchants to sell them in the city.
“I have sold the rice package for decades, at least for 50 years, as I began selling the package since I was a child, while I am now already 60 years old,” Sitti noted.
Customers can pick between 2.5 kilograms or three kilograms of rice packages that are offered by merchants, she stated.
“We sell the Zakat rice package in 2.5-kg packages each, but some merchants also offer three-kg package if they have more capital,” Sitti noted.
Sitti said she sells each package at Rp38 thousand (US$2.6), close to the average rice price per kilogram available in markets.
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“We peg the rice package price to not be too high than the average rice price. We cannot take a large income margin from the rice package sale, as we do not want to profit from riba (exploitative profit-taking). Hence, the profit margin will be minimum and not too high,” the merchant expounded.
Meanwhile, a buyer of the rice package, Anwar, stated that sellers of rice packages are helpful to him and others looking to pay Zakat al-Fitr.
“I am glad because they have helped us pack the rice (in the sizes we require). We can just buy their rice package and bring it to the nearest mosque (to pay our Zakat). I have just bought five packages,” he stated.