Hajj Funds May be Used to Build Infrastructures, Religious Minister Says
Date 29 Juli 2017
Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said hajj funds may be used for productive things, including to build infrastructures, and this is allowed by both the Constitution and the fikh (Islamic jurisprudence).
Hajj funds may be invested to build infrastructures as along as it complies with the principles of sharia and prudence and brings benefits, is in accordance with rules and regulations, as well as give benefits for the candidate of hajj pilgrims and the public in general, the Minister said in Jakarta on Saturday (29/7).
Lukman referred to the decision of meeting of ulemas (ijtima) of the Fourth Fatwa Commission in 2012 on the status of ownership of hajj funds of hajj pilgrims who are on the waiting list. It was said that hajj funds of hajj pilgrim candidates who are on the waiting list and registered at the Ministry of Religious Affairs may be used for productive things (those that bring benefits), among others, by parking it at sharia banks or invested in the form of sukuk (Islamic bonds).
The returns of the investment become the rights of the hajj pilgrim candidates while the fund manager, which is the Hajj Fund Management Agency (BPKH), in this case, has the rights to receive reasonable returns. Nevertheless, hajj funds may not be used for any purposes unless to finance the needs of the hajj pilgrim candidates.
The edict is also in line with law on the management of hajj funds, which is Law Number 34 of 2014 which regulates that the BPKH shall receive mandates from hajj pilgrim candidates and manage the funds.
The mandate is also the implementation of akad wakalah (initial contract) regulated in the cooperation agreement between Directorate General of Hajj and Umrah of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and banks that receive hajj funds on receipt and payment of hajj funds. The contract was signed by every hajj pilgrim candidate when they paid initial payment of hajj funds. Under the contract, hajj pilgrim candidate authorizes Ministry of Religious Affairs to receive and manage the funds that have been stored through banks authorized for it in accordance with the prevailing laws and regulations.
UU 34/2014 also states that the management of hajj funds is done by the Hajj Fund Management Body (BPKH), which is authorized to park and invest hajj funds in the form of bank products, bonds, gold, direct investment, and other forms of investment. Returns of the investment, the law said, shall be used for the greater interests of the hajj pilgrim candidates. However, the investment must also take into account the aspects of security, prudence, benefits, and liquidity and must be in line with sharia principles considering that hajj funds are funds of those who will go on hajj pilgrimage. Afterwards, the BPKH and the supervision body are responsible should there are financial losses due to fault and/or negligence in the management, the Minister said. (Humas Kemenag/EN) (EP/YM/Naster)