The World Bank – INCEIF – ISRA launches Waqf report
The World Bank – INCEIF – ISRA today launched the Waqf Report entitled “Maximizing Social Impact Through Waqf Solutions” in Kuala Lumpur. The jointly produced report highlights the importance of Waqf in mobilizing and maximizing resources to meet societal needs.
It also emphasizes the legal and regulatory frameworks that enable the implementation of Waqf in selected countries.The report was launched by Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department of Religious Affairs , Dato’ Dr. Mujahid Yusof.
Today’s launch has been attended by Malaysia’s Central Bank Assistant Governor, Adnan Zaylani Mohamad Zahid, The World Bank Group Country Manager for Malaysia, East Asia and Pacific, Dr Firas Raad, INCEIF President & CEO, Dato’ Prof Dr Azmi Omar and International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) Executive Director, Prof Dr Mohamad Akram Laldin.
In his keynote speech, Datuk Dr. Mujahid stressed how Islam has long produced economic development tools such as Zakat and Waqf to uplift the poor and get through the obstacle of poverty – which are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Datuk’ Dr. Mujahid also mentioned that Waqf (endowment) – has been adopted in the institutions outside of the Islamic world, including the Oxford University’s Merton College which started utilizing waqf back in 1264.
Imam Shafie (may the mercy of Allah be upon him) says:
“The concept of Waqf was not known to the Jahiliyyah (the pre-Islamic era), but a brainchild of Islam.”
He also said that throughout the history, Waqf has brought many benefits including the education for the great Muslims scholars being educated at the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Egypt, University of Ez-Zitouna in Tunisia and University of Al Quaraouiyine in Morocco.
Muslim history has also recorded how the Ottomans used to collect their rural income from different regions and channelled them into the town economy, redistributing it through the food and material purchases for the fulfillment of charitable services and for the upkeep of waqf buildings.
Due to the many challenges and issues starting from the lack of public awareness about Waqf, lack of professional management culture among Waqf administrators and the lack of transparency in managing the Waqf funds, technology advancement brings about solutions such as Blockchain.
Blockchain is an ideal solution to solve the issue of trust and transparency of Waqf funds and help to gain public trust in the Islamic collective endowment system.
Datuk Dr. Mujahid also encourages education and research institutions the likes of The World Bank, INCEIF and ISRA to work with state religious councils to develop capacity building and enhance the professionalism of the Waqf workforce.
“Shariah Scholars and IT experts could develop innovative models for waqf in line with the advancement of technology. Corporate bodies, meanwhile, should lead the way in contributing towards the funding of waqf institutions’, he added.