Synopsis on Waqf (Endowment)
The Arabic word of “Waqf” in English means: Endowment Trust. The idea of Waqf is as old as humanity.
The first Waqf ever is the sacred building of the Ka’bah in Makkah, which the Qur’an (3:96) mentioned that it is the first house of worship set for people. Practically, all societies set aside certain lots of land and buildings, as places of worship. Today, the idea of Awqaf (Endowments) is known and practiced all over the world. It exists in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand under the name of foundations and sometimes endowments, especially religious and charitable foundations. There are hundreds of thousands of charitable foundations in Canada alone.
The Islamic institution of Waqf (Endowment) has the potential to revolutionize the operations and achievements of Muslim communities. It provides tangible opportunities for Muslims to channel their charities into income-generating activities so as to fuel the immediate, short-term, and long-term development of their communities. In addition to promoting social welfare, Waqf has the potential to fill the gaps in the development of Muslim communities in such areas as education, science & research, health & wellness, seniors’ care, childcare, da’wah, the development of alternatives to traditional banking, finance, insurance, and many more.
In addition to all of the above, in today’s world, with the advent of new accelerating technologies, progressive scientific advancements, evolving Islamic thought conception and advisement, and highly demanding societal values, creative innovative fields of Awqaf (Endowments) developments have emerged and are giving way to wide open creative thinking, visionary leadership and enterprising societal paradigms.