Endowments (Awqaf) in Islam - Hussein Elasrag - ebook
Opis

Endowments or Awqaf (the plural of waqf) can be used not only to provide immediate necessities to the poor, but also to create or strengthen business support institutions that can lower the cost of doing business for the poor. Awqaf can also be used to support and build infrastructure institutions that can improve corporate governance and reduce the cost of doing business. For example, information bureaus, market regulatory bodies, the provision of accountancy services, and other such shared services for a group or for the entire society can be funded through waqf. The Book therefore sheds more light on the concept of Waqf, its meaning and historical development. The Book also focuses on some possible roles that Awaqf may play in the socio-economic development of the Muslim societies.

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Endowments (Awqaf) in Islam

––––––––

Hussein Elasrag

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).''

[Narrated by Muslim]

This Book

The word (waqf) and its plural from awqaf are derived from Arabic root Verb which means “to stop”, or “ to hold” “ to keep” or to prevent property from passing into the hands of a third person. In a religious connotation, the term waqf means to protect and preserve the property in such a way that  remains intact but its usufruct is dedicated for charitable purposes in perpetuity

Endowments or awqaf (the plural of waqf) resemble common law trusts, with the trustee being the institution or individual in charge of the waqf and the beneficiary usually being the whole community.

Awqaf can be used not only to provide immediate necessities to the poor, but also to create or strengthen business support institutions that can lower the cost of doing business for the poor. Awqaf can also be used to support and build infrastructure institutions that can improve corporate governance and reduce the cost of doing business. For example, information bureaus, market regulatory bodies, the provision of accountancy services, and other such shared services for a group or for the entire society can be funded through waqf.  Thus, this paper focuses on the application of these concepts and some possible roles that waqf may play in the socio-economic development of the Muslim societies.

Contents

I. Introduction:

II. WAQF: Definition and Types

Definition of Waqf:

Waqf in the Holy Qu'ran

Waqf In Sunnah:

Types of Waqf:

Waqf components:

Nazir  or Mutawalli (administrator)

III. Waqf over the years

First: Attending to Mosques

Second: Health Services

Third: Educational  Services

Fourth: Social Services

IV. Economics of Waqf

V. Towards a new role of the institution of waqf

Toward the Optimal Mobilization of Waqf Resources

Importance of waqf in Supporting Voluntary Works

Waqfs support of small business

Waqfs’ Financial Support

Waqf’s Non-financial Support

Role of Waqf in Establishing Fair and

Affordable Prices

Policy Recommendations to Better Mobilize Waqf Resources

Toward Better Management of  Waqf Resources

Policy Recommendations to Integrate Waqf with Microfinance

References:

I.  Introduction:

The institution of waqf, has played an instrumental role in addressing a range of socio-economic issues in the Muslim societies of the past. Many contemporary Islamic economists contend that the institution of waqf is still relevant to the socio-economic development of the Muslim societies, most of which face a multitude of problems. Social aspects of Islamic economics through waqf have been given little interest in Islamic economics literature, comparing to the Islamic finance and banking sector. The reason for this gap in the literature is mainly rooted in the challenges of collecting data and the measuring of Awqaf. The Waqf in many countries, and its Payment channels are mostly unreported and unclear, which is a clear obstacle for conducting an academic study. In this regard, there are several studies on understanding waqf and mostly, based on empirical studies such as surveys and interview analyses from some Islamic countries. But In many other countries, the studies on waqf are less than the other countries in spite of the people’s high sensibility in this countries on waqf as an  charity  of all Muslims. The scarcity of studies on waqf may arise from the lack of data and the lack of transparency in the economic and political structure of the many Islamic countries. Awqaf can be used not only to provide immediate necessities to the poor, but also to create or strengthen business support institutions that can lower the cost of doing business for the poor. Awqaf can also be used to support and build infrastructure institutions that can improve corporate governance and reduce the cost of doing business. For example, information bureaus, market regulatory bodies, the provision of accountancy services, and other such shared services for a group or for the entire society can be funded through waqf.  Thus, this paper focuses on the application of these concepts and some possible roles that waqf may play in the socio-economic development of the Muslim societies.

II.  WAQF: Definition and Types

Philanthropy and benevolence occupy a central position in the Islamic scheme of poverty alleviation and redistributive justice.

Islamic social finance comprises instruments and institutional structures that are rooted in philanthropy. Their integration with for-profit risk-sharing instruments may provide some key success factors while addressing some critical challenges. The broad instrument of Islamic philanthropy is sadaqat. When made compulsory on well-to-do Muslims, sadaqat is called zakat. When sadaqat results in flows of benefits that are expected to be stable and permanent (such as through endowment of a physical property), it is called sadaqat jariyah or waqf. Contemporary Islamic economists emphasize that a philanthropy-based intervention inherent in the institutions of zakat and sadaqat could potentially take care of the basic needs of the extremely poor and the destitute and create a social safety net.

Awqaf have been used by Muslim philanthropists in the past and at present, in pursuit of religious satisfaction. Although it is a common assertion in the Islamic literature that waqf is a unique Islamic financial institution, there are parallels in other traditions as well. For examples, endowments and trusts in the Western world are like the institution of waqf. Admittedly, such developments in the West took place much later than the use of waqf in Islamic countries, and it is possible that trusts and endowments were an Islamic influence in the Western world.

Many Islamic scholars agree that waqf is a shariah compliant charity. They referred to general and specific evidence.

Allah - Exalted be He - in His revelation said about charity, including waqf "By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness - here it means Allah's reward i.e. Paradise), unless you spend in Allah's cause (al-Imran:92).

Definition of Waqf:

Waqf is a form of charity for the sake of Allah. It is lawful because it aids in the sustainable development. It also seeks to empower the Muslim society. Waqf is a beautiful loan to Allah - Exalted - Who shall reward the endower granted it is done with pure intention.

Waqf, in the Arabic language, means to stop, contain, or preserve.

In Islamic terms, waqf refers to a religious endowment i.e. a voluntary and irrevocable dedication of one's wealth or a portion of it - in cash or kind (such as a house or a garden), and its disbursement for shariah compliant projects (such as mosques or religious schools...).