Waqf And Poverty Eradication

Topics: Sharia, Islam, Islamic Golden Age Pages: 25 (6690 words) Published: April 13, 2015
BOLOGNA UNIVERSITY
MASTER IN INTERNATIONAL STUDIES IN PHILANTHROPY AND SOCIAL
ENTREPRENEURSHIP

ISLAMIC PHILANTHROPY: THE CASE OF WAQF IN POVERTY
ALLEVIATION AND SOCIAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPEMENT

MODULE :
RELIGIONS AND PHILANTHROPY: TRADITIONS, PRACTICES AND
ANTHROPOLOGICAL CONTEXT

PRESENTED TO:
PROFESSOR ERSILIA FRANCESCA
BY:
KEFA CHESIRE CHEPKWONY

APRIL 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 Introduction.

1

1.1 Defining Waqf, Its Current Usage And Its Legitimacy

1

1.2 Legal Framework For Waqf

3

2.0 Economic Decline Of Waqf

5

3.0 The Role Of Waqf In History

6

3.1 Contemporary Revival Of The Waqf

7

4.0 Waqf And Poverty Alleviation In The Contemporary World

9

5.0 Making Waqf An Effective Socio-Economic Instrument

11

6.0 Waqf, General Welfare And The Interactive Process

14

8.0. Socio-Economic Effects Of Waqf

17

8.2. Social Effects Of The Waqf System

18

9. Criticism Of Waqf System

19

10. Conclusion

20

References

22

ii

1.0 INTRODUCTION.
The John Gerhart Centre for Philanthropy based at the American University in Cairo in 2006 defined Islamic Philanthropy as an institutionalized pooling and distribution of private resources with the goal of building capacity, sustainable financing and expertise for long term socio-economic benefit. Islamic Philanthropy is linked to the concept of Islamic solidarity [takaful]. Islamic giving includes but not limited to Zakat, Sadaqa, and waqf.

Zakat is the third pillar of Islam and thus is required of all believers. It is seen as a tool for more equitable distribution of wealth, achieving social stability and solidarity, discouraging hoarding and encourage circulation of capital. It is also seen as a way of spiritually cleansing oneself and purity of wealth. It has a special way of calculating and distribution which have evolved differently in various environments and economies.

Sadaqa which can also be translated to mean benevolence is voluntary giving of alms of all types and forms.

It can be performed through voluntary work, in-kind

contributions and free services. The beneficiaries are however not defined as it can be given by anyone to any other person he or she wishes. It is less structured and thus its use as an instrument of socio-economic development is limited.

Waqf on the other hand is a form of endowment of a resource in perpetuity. It can be performed on behalf someone who has passed away, usually for public good. The purpose of a waqf is set by the endower and should only be changed in accordance with his or her will. (John Gerhart Center, 2006). This paper will focus on Waqf as one of the forms of Islamic Philanthropy and especially with respect of how it can be used to alleviate poverty and in socio-economic development.

1.1 DEFINING WAQF, ITS CURRENT USAGE AND ITS LEGITIMACY
A waqf is an inalienable religious endowment in Islam, typically devoting a building or plot of land for Muslim religious or charitable purposes. It is conceptually similar to the

1

common law trust. It has its source in the shari`a, or religious law of Islam. Islam is generally divided between the Sunni and Shiite traditions. Although the Qur'an does not directly mention the institution of waqf, its legal parameters have been developed through centuries by jurists (UN Habitat, 2005).

It is inspired from repetition and emphasis upon charity within Islam as an act of devotion to God. In accordance with the saying of the prophet Muhammad, "Among acts and good deeds for which a believer is rewarded after death, a piece of knowledge he has taught and diffused, a virtuous son he has brought up, an inherited book of Quran he has left, a mosque or a wayfarer's house he has constructed, a river he has caused to stream or alms he has handed out of his riches while still healthy and alive, so that he benefits there from in afterlife". The institution of waqf is such a perpetual charity in the...

References: not directly mention the institution of waqf, its legal parameters have been developed
through centuries by jurists (UN Habitat, 2005).
(Sadeq, 2002)
It is important to note that Waqf is a voluntary charity characterized by perpetuity
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