Adam is preparing himself for the zakat interview today. This is his 3rd year of the first sem. He is studying English literature. He works part-time in one restaurant in Pavilion. Usually Saturday and Sunday he tries to work there, but this is really difficult for him to concentrate on his studies because he is taking 18.5 credit hours each semester. He must deal with 6 lecturers, assignments and group work. And he is taking Niche Debating with .5 credit hours. In fact, he attends debate club training every Monday and Wednesday. Also, He tries to join weekend debating competitions in different universities in Malaysia. In that case, he needs to take off from his workplace. He hates to work there because he can not take the wordings of a Pakistani Team leader. In fact, nobody likes him there, but everyone tries to maintain good conduct with him, but it is really difficult to take his wordings sometimes. Even the manager is in stress and he needs to shout with him sometimes.
Mostly, Adam has an 80% deduction for his tuition fee due to his family’s financial condition. Yet the amount of money, he needs to pay it is really difficult for him since no financial assistance comes in from his family. Sometimes he calls his mother and says, ‘Why did you take a child when you can not bear the expenses of your child?’ and his mother told Adam, ‘Then, you do not believe in fate. Adam cut off his phone. He does not talk with his family much because he does not want to scold them. For the zakat, he is going today, it is after months of waiting. He got refused after his application 2 months before. If you get rejected and applied again it is really taking time to prepare all the documents and by that time you would lose your faith. You scold the whole system even though you understand nothing. The mind becomes crazy. This time also he got rejected but he sent emails to 3-4 zakat staff including senior staff, and then he was called for an interview. The interview is so disgusting. The questions they ask are as if whole the world sits in front of you to do a conspiracy against you not to give this rm300 zakat money per month. Adam sometimes thinks even a worker leads a luxurious life with no tension, but just this amount of money the wordings he needs to listen to, he needs to bear the rest of the year.
Adam entered Zakat's office. There are a few students sitting and waiting for an interview. Everyone would be called to one room. Suddenly, she says ‘Brother, I want to ask you a question. Are you Muslim?’ ‘Yesterday the email you sent to us you mention that you watch Richard Dawkin’s videos
‘ Sorry….Madam…you need to read carefully my whole email about what I am talking about
‘Also’ She looked at other applicants to get support ‘you said you went to a night club and you write that you have seen Malaysian Muslim boys and girls. How will you feel if I accuse Bangladeshi boys’ and girls’
‘ Sorry… sister… you again did misunderstand me
‘ If I knew, my zakat from my salary goes to students like you I would better stop giving zakat from now onwards’
‘I am sorry sister you are misunderstanding me
‘ I do not want to understand you. No need to talk. Wait for an interview to be called’ said She angrily.
I looked at other Applicants. All are Malaysian students and they get scared already about what will happen in an interview if the first impression is like that. He saw all sitting helpless and worried about their fate. Initially, Adam thought they may be scolding Adam in their mind by saying ‘ bodoh orang’ but he saw no reflection in our conversation.
The officers called Adam.
Adam entered in room and gave a greeting.
‘ Assalamu Alaikum’
‘ brother, we are very worried and curious due to the email that you sent yesterday. I was worried that you did not send this email to a higher authority. That’s why I came myself for your interview.’ One officer told. There were 3 officers sitting there. Adam knows two of them very well, but the new officer who is asking him the first question does not know him.
‘No sir, I just sent an email to the staff that I found on website as zakat senior staffs’
‘ Brother… what is the issue actually’
‘ Sir, I actually applied last month but the sister sitting outside purposely refused last month just because of one document this month I submitted and she did not call me for an interview as well. That’s why I sent you the email’
‘brother, you mention you went to night club… what’s this?’
‘Sorry, Sir… the sister misunderstands me that’s why. I had an assignment in one class about youth moral degradation and we were in a group and we planned to visit night club together to write an assignment based on our observation I only went once for this and what I saw I just told in the email. I found Muslim youth and I tried to refer to that in general but the sister took already as Malaysian in racist point of view
‘ Yes….we took in that way actually’
‘I am sorry Sir, I did not want to hurt like that way…Also, for my assignments, I like to watch Richar Dawkin’s videos on how he undermines Islam as I saw in one interview with Mehdi saying ‘Come on! Muhammad flew onto heaven with a wing horse! …do you believe that?’ So, I was referring to this kind of issue. I want to study sir to learn more about Islam and the universe. I was the best student in my school because I was concentrating fully but nowadays, I cannot concentrate on my studies since I do not have sufficient money and I work sometimes as a waiter. I had to wash 2000 workers' plates every day when I was admitted to this university and I was working for 12 hours at night and attending classes during the day time and due to this work pressure, I cannot perform well in academia. These two sirs approved my zakat two times previously and they know well my condition I got an 80% fee deduction due to this and I am trying my level best just to continue my studies. If another university in Malaysia, I could never continue to study and only because of this university do I have the opportunity to continue studying. I am really grateful for that and I do not deny that.‘ Brother….come to the point…do not worry…we would give you zakat and if you need more assistance you can go to the deputy rector's office since I have communication with them, but next time please do not write like that.’
‘ I will never write like that sir. I never thought my wordings would hurt you, but I really needed this zakat to concentrate on my studies
‘ Well… please send the next applicant’
‘ Jazakallah Sir….Assalamu Alaikum’
‘Oh… sir the sister said that if I know that my zakat from my salary goes to students like you I would stop giving zakat. Please ask her not to misunderstand other students due to me and not to stop zakat just due to me. This zakat really helps needy students
‘Ok …. we will do but you say sorry to her as well as you go’
‘Sure… Sir…Assalamu Alaikum’
Adam came out of the interview room and asked another student to enter that room.
Then, she said to the Malaysian lady
‘Sorry sister I gave an interview already. Please do not stop giving zakat just because of me. I am really sorry for yesterday's interview’
Adam came out of the office and went to pray at Central Mosque.