Waqf Academy: Introduction
“ For centuries, waqfs (s: waqf pl: awqaf / endowments or foundations) were a crucial part of the political, economic, and social history of the Arab and Muslim world. As service providing institutions, waqfs were a major source of education, heath care, and employment. As urban landmarks, they shaped the city and contributed to the upkeep of religious edifices” (Pascale Ghazaleh in Held in Trust: Waqf in the Islamic World, Cairo (2011) , p1)
The Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s choicest blessings and peace be upon him, advised his companions to make waqfs for public charity as well as for family and progeny. This was indeed one of his strategies for transforming a self-centered economy to a gift economy where people gave away private wealth for the public good, for the pleasure of Allah.
There is no doubt that throughout the ages, awqaf played a major role in the growth and development of Islamic Civilisation. It’s religious institutions – masjids, madrasahs, libraries, universities, hospitals, social welfare houses, soup kitchens, farms, shopping and housing complexes, scholars and researchers, scientists and educationists, artisans and professionals, and more – were all funded by this remarkable prophetic and divine institution of waqf.
Due to several factors, which will be dealt with in due course, the waqf system fell into decline – colonialist confiscations, nationalisation, and mismanagement took its toll. Despite its decline, those surviving this onslaught, still continue playing a major role in social development. Thousands of waqfs such as the Al Azhar University in Cairo, the Hajee Lockhat Waqf in Durban, and several others play a major role in Muslim societies. Their contribution to humanitarian efforts are also well documented and recognised.
About Waqf Academy
However, there is a dire need today to make waqf knowledge available to the global Muslim Ummah so that the waqf system may once again play a significant role in humanities affairs in general and Muslim affairs in particular. There is a need to recreate the Islamic Gift Economy where people give of their wealth and possessions for community development, poverty alleviation, humanitarian causes, and more.
The Waqf Academy has been established with the mission of being a dedicated resource as well as a provider of waqf knowledge.
The Waqf Academy has set its sights on providing world-class online education and training programmes from basic level appropriate to the general public and high school, madressah learners to the highest levels of graduate and postgraduate programmes in partnership and collaboration with other academic and awqaf institutions, scholars, ulama, academics, and foundations.
Waqf Academy.org is a proud Awqaf SA project
Reasons to visit the site:
Access over 300 articles by leading academics and thought leaders on the topic of Waqf.
Free online Waqf Course
This course was compiled by dedicated scholars and academics to promote the understanding of Waqf (Islamic Charitable Endowments) and its proliferation. The course explores as an introduction, topics such as: Islam as a comprehensive way of life, the objectives of the Sharia, and the importance of Charity in Islam. This is followed by the core subject of waqf: the meaning and implications of Waqf, its phases and roles, as well as recession and expansion of Waqf movements. The course concludes by explaining the development, dimensions, and future prospects of Waqf.