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Waqf (Islamic Endowment). What is it?

Waqf (Islamic endowment) is a form of worship to Allah and is also a charitable act with special features that has perpetuity and continuity. The recipients are able to gain and enjoy the benefits derived from the waqf property incessantly. The ownership of waqf asset is withdrawn from the owner/donor and will be returned to Allah s.w.t for the benefit of the mankind to whom the property has been donated.

However, looking from another outlook, waqf is able to offer a significant contribution to economic development of the ummah as it plays a vital role as wealth redistribution instrument. In usual practice, waqf assets are generally used for the mosque, land for Muslim cemeteries, social projects such as orphanages and shelters, business centres, waqf hotel, public universities such as Al-Azhar University in Egypt, agriculture lands and religious schools purposes. In the present times, majority of Muslim scholars have taken another approach to advance and revitalise the waqf by accepting cash waqf, waqf share and takaful waqf as form of waqfs.

In view thereto, the author wishes to bring the readers to appreciate the beauty of waqf as it can be used as a device to tackle the issues of alleviation of poverty and lack of funds to provide and operate health services, education, orphanage centre, mosques and residences for the needy society.

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