SINTOK: 25 percent of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) students who are recipients of zakat assistance from UUM and the Kedah State Zakat Board (LZNK) are among the first-class students.
Through a study conducted in 2020 involving a total of 950 students, 548 of whom were UUM students, it was discovered that 137 respondents managed to obtain a first-class Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) score (CGPA 3.67–4.00), while 362 respondents (66.2 percent) obtained a second class above (CGPA 3.00-3.66).
The study under the Institute of Zakat Research and Innovation (IPIZ)-LZNK grant titled, ‘Profile of Emotional, Spiritual Intelligence and Academic Achievement Among Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Students Who Receive Zakat’ was conducted by researchers from UUM led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zarina Mat Saad along with other members namely Assoc. Prof. Dr. Azlin Hilma Hillaluddin, Dr. Fatimah Zailly Ahmad Ramli, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rajwani Md Zain, Ms. Sharima Ruwaida Abbas and Dr. Hafizah Zainal (LZNK).
The results of the study indicate that the zakat recipients from UUM have great potential and are excellent students. They have attempted to make the best use of the space and opportunities provided in order to achieve success in their studies and, eventually, in life.
Zakat is distributed twice a year to selected students as a ‘one-time’ payment. The amount distributed by LZNK is determined by the amount of zakat collected by UUM.
According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zarina one of the study’s goals is to identify social work intervention programmes and appropriate measures in an effort to improve emotional intelligence, spiritual intelligence, and academic achievement of students who receive zakat assistance.
“As a result of the focus group discussion (FGD), the respondents stated that the zakat money received was only enough to buy food, finance transportation costs, and complete academic assignments. This shows that zakat assistance, to some extent, contributes to the positive development of students in their respective academic achievements as well as helping them to continue their survival in the university.
“This Zakat aid is also found to be able to improve the quality of life of students. Respondents also suggested that zakat assistance be expanded to finance the cost of projects or theses for final year students, professional licenses such as registered counsellors and practicum allowances that require high financial costs,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Director of IPIZ, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selamah Maamor invited all UUM citizens to continue contributing through zakat payment as an obligation.
She explained that UUM through the Zakat, Waqf and Endowment Division (BZWE), Business Strategy and Development in collaboration with the Student Affairs Department always strives to ensure that zakat distribution is carried out transparently and reaches eligible and needy recipients.