Zakat and Poverty Alleviation: Institutionalizing Zakat

Zakat is an Islamic practice based on one of the five pillars of the religion. This obligation for Muslims to give alms to the less fortunate is aimed at alleviating poverty in society. Yet in many countries, poverty is a grim and persistent reality despite zakat institutions. What can we learn from success stories in zakat management?

Encouraging sustainability

Poverty occurs due to the lack of transfer of assets to the poor. The zakat model ensures the net transfer of wealth to the poorest people at the bottom of the pyramid, without burdening them with repayment and interest.

Zakat has to ensure sustainability for the recipients over the long term. A zakat project jointly initiated by several corporations in some countries has demonstrated success in helping poor families increase their income.

A post-assessment of the project found that not only was the original zakat capital intact, but it had increased by nearly 15 percent. The study also recommended a phase-out exit strategy of another two years, which will enable the families to be self-sustainable instead of relapsing into poverty. While zakat can be a short-term arrangement, for long-term rehabilitation and poverty alleviation, waqf institutions are needed to open up opportunities for the poor to access funds in the future.

Treating zakat payers as shareholders

To successfully institutionalize zakat, the role of Muslim scholarship must be respected. Scholars need to work with practitioners to develop a framework for zakat distribution and come up with authentic and relevant solutions.

Zakat payers should be served as customers and treated as shareholders. As customers, zakat payers want education and a deeper understanding of zakat, including support for calculating zakat. As shareholders, they want an easy and accessible collection, the integrity of management, transparency of information and clear communication.

Zakat payers should not be taken for granted, even though zakat is an obligation, as this attitude will cause a lot of disenchantment among the payers.

Transforming lives of zakat recipients

To better serve zakat recipients, data gathering and management are critical for correct distribution, to measure the impact, and to set a future agenda for advocacy and policy.

Zakat should not only aim to alleviate poverty among its recipients but should also transform their lives. Gaining a deeper understanding of the community that needs help will enable the zakat funds to be used more effectively and strategically. This approach also enables zakat organizations and institutions to determine whether those asking for aid are truly eligible and are not violating social security laws.

While the traditional understanding of zakat is that Muslims give obligatory alms with the intention of sharing their wealth with the poor, zakat should go beyond mere charity- giving. Hence, zakat should be used for education, training, jobs creation and empowerment of people. Furthermore, as zakat is not always appropriate in all situations, the boundaries have to be very clearly defined.

Institutionalizing zakat

Institutionalization of zakat needs to be carefully managed to achieve:
• The scale of distribution; and
• Quality, in terms of appropriate distribution and communication to zakat payers.

Establishing a proper collection and distribution method of zakat is of spiritual and economic concern. To achieve this, more dialogue is needed across the state and community zakat institutions to share knowledge, information and best practices. Islamic financial institutions have a significant role to play here.

One challenge of institutionalizing zakat stems from the concern that employees of a zakat organization could be biased or corrupt. This is why such institutes had to be stringently audited as they are no different from any other institution, such as a government or a bank. There are good and bad, and what is needed is carefully managed and nurtured institutionalization that gives scale to zakat distribution, while making sure there is quality in terms of how it is distributed and how zakat payers are communicated to.

___________________

This is based on a session in the 10th WIEF in Dubai.


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Zakat to Natural Disaster’s Victims such as Fire, Flood, Earthquake, and Others?

What is the opinion regarding the ruling for giving zakat to flood victims?

Regarding this issue, we should understand that natural disaster victims usually are in dire need of help depending on the destruction they faced. In some cases, only a portion of their assets or property is destroyed, where some may experience a considerable amount of loss while others faced total loss to their property. In this case, let us understand the statement of Allah in surah al-Taubah, verse 60 (which means):

“Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Al-Quran, surah al-Taubah, verse 60].

The above verse specifies the only people that have a right (qualified) to receive zakat (which is called as the eight asnaf). The consensus of the fuqaha (Islamic scholars) agrees that it is impermissible to give zakat to people other than the specified people in the above verse.

In mazhab al-Syafie, it is obligated to divide the zakat towards the eight asnaf that have a right to receive zakat. While other mazhab’s opinion state that it is enough to give to a group of the asnaf. This fatwa is issued by Ibn al-Asma’ie and most contemporary scholars agree with this opinion, for it is hard to find all eight asnaf, as stated in Bughyah al-Mustarsyidin.

Regarding the above issue, some scholars hold the opinion that natural disaster that results in the destruction of property, the people involved are in need of help and in debt for themselves or their family. Hence, some scholars include them as the asnaf of al-gharimin or as the people in debt. The scholars set a condition that the debt must be for a necessity (desperate need) and not luxury and indulgence.

Hence, we state that it is permissible to give zakat to people that faced natural disasters, such as a huge flood, typhoon, landslide, earthquake, and others that result in the destruction of their home, crops or loss of all their property. They can be categorized as al-gharimin that are qualified to receive zakat.

Other than the above-stated evidence, based on opinions of scholars, Mujahid (one of Islamic scholar) states: “3 types of people that are considered as al-gharimin are:

  • People that their property is washed away by flood;
  • Their property is destroyed in the fire;
  • Those that have dependents, but they are unable to provide for their dependents”

The above statement of Mujahid is in accordance with a hadith from Qabisah bin Mukhariq al-Hilali, he said (which means):

I was under debt and I came to the Messenger of Allah and begged from him regarding it. He said: Wait till we receive sadaqa, so that we order that to be given to you. He again said: Qabisah, begging is not permissible but for one of the three (classes) of persons: one who has incurred debt, for him begging is permissible till he pays that off, after which he must stop it; a man whose property has been destroyed by a calamity which has smitten him, for him begging is permissible till he gets what will support life, or will provide him reasonable subsistence; and a person who has been smitten by poverty. the genuineness of which is confirmed by three intelligent members of this peoples for him begging is permissible till he gets what will support him or will provide him subsistence. Qabisa, besides these three (every other reason) for begging is forbidden, and one who engages in such consumes that what is forbidden. [Narrated by Muslim (no. 1044)].

Imam al-‘Azim al-Abadi said (which means): “Whoever that befall on him a disaster from the heaven or earth, such as extreme cold, ice, sink or others like it that results in the destruction of his property and he has nothing left to survive, then it is permissible for him to ask from others until he can live on his own again.” (refers to ‘Aun al-Ma’bud 3/36)

One of the scholars that issue a fatwa regarding this issue is Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, where he said (which means): “I specify the characteristics of al-gharimin for victims of natural disasters that faced huge destruction to their property that they are forced into debt, then the ruling is permissible for them to receive zakat.” (refers to Fiqh al-Zakat 2/62)

Dr. Husamuddin bin Musa ‘Iffanah, Professor of Fiqh and Usul from the University of al-Quds, Palestine also ruled it permissible to give zakat to the victims of natural disasters.

My opinion is; it is permissible to give zakat to them, based on the presented opinions above and I am inclined to suggest that it must be given through Baitulmal, then Baitulmal will act as the body of authority to disburse the funds by identifying the people who are really in need, according to the destruction assessment made and the necessities needed for each victim. The reason is, if zakat is given directly in huge amounts, it is feared that only some would receive the help they needed while other victims won’t receive any of it. Hence, the people that didn’t receive any zakat will feel wronged by the unjust distribution of zakat.

Baitulmal should mobilize all its resources to solve the problem as soon as possible because the needs in life are immediate. Hopefully, this answer will give enlightenment to those who ask in channeling the aid of zakat or other infaq to help our brothers in Islam who are involved in disasters such as floods and others.

Wallahua’lam.

Taken with slight changes from http://muftiwp.gov.my/en/artikel/irsyad-fatwa/irsyad-fatwa-umum-cat/2054-irsyad-al-fatwa-series-14-the-ruling-of-giving-zakat-to-natural-disaster-victims-such-as-flood-and-others


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How Should Money from Prohibited Means, Fidyah and Kaffarah be Managed by The Baitulmal?

How should the money from prohibited means, fidyah and kaffarah be managed by the Baitulmal (or zakat institutions)?

Praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgment.

We are informed regarding this issue and the 92nd Islamic Syari’ah Consultative Committee of Federal Territories Meeting on 7th July 2015 was held to discuss this issue, where the following are what has been agreed.

Kaffarah for Fasting

Kaffarah means an act that is performed as an effort to remove or erase a sin by freeing a slave, a donation to charity and fasting under certain conditions. It is also an action that could patch any imperfections in our worship.

First: Where Should the Money from Prohibited, In Contradiction with Sya’riah or Doubtful Means be Distributed To?

According to Ibn al-Arabi in his commentaries:

“If someone is in doubt, and he is uncertain how much of it is permissible and how much is prohibited with him, then it is obligated for him to be careful about the amount he has with him and he is obligated to return the money to their rightful owner until he no longer has doubts about the remaining he has with him.”

Al-Imam al-Ghazali in Ihya’ Ulumuddin (2/93) said:

“If the permissible and prohibited assets are incorporated with one another and cannot be differentiated, then it is permissible for us to use it. This is in regards to the asset or property that we receive today (during the time of al-Imam Ghazali, who pass away on 505H, where the incorporation of permissible and prohibited is grave, and the case is worse now). However, if the permissible and prohibited can be differentiated, then, it is obligatory to avoid the prohibited.”

[Al-Ghazali in Ihya’ Ulumuddin (2/93)]

The conclusion that can be drawn for when the income of someone is from both the permissible and prohibited:

  • Try to differentiate between the permissible and prohibited
  • If that is possible, then the prohibited money should be returned to their rightful owner and the remaining can be spent for one’s family expenses.
  • If it cannot be differentiated, then it is permissible to be used.

As for money from prohibited means:

  • It should be returned to its rightful owner
  • Distributed for the benefit of Muslims, such as building roads, bridges, toilets, and others.
  • Baitulmal
  • Donated to charity on behalf of the rightful owner

Second: Fidyah

Fidyah is a fine for a Muslim who has reached puberty if one left an obligatory fast for certain reason or if he delayed replacing the fast (qadha) in Ramadan.

For someone who does not replace (qadha) the obligatory fast until the next Ramadan, then he has to pay fidyah and qadha. Syeikh Muhammad Syarbini al-Khatib stated in al-Iqna’ (1/243) (which means):

“And whoever delayed the replacement (qadha) of Ramadan fasting when he is capable until the next Ramadan, then he has to pay a mudd (a cup) of food (rice in Malaysia) for each day (that is not replaced) and to replace (qadha) the number of days that he has missed. This is the opinion of the six companions of the Prophet and not even a single companion contradicted this opinion. And it is considered a sin to delay it. He (al-Nawawi) said: It is obligatory for him to pay a cup of food if he does not replace the fasting until the next Ramadan. However, if he is incapable to qadha (replace) the fast due to prolonged illness until the next Ramadan, then there is no fidyah for him because of this.”

[Muhammad Syarbini al-Khatib in al-Iqna’ (1/243)]

Methods of Payment

First: According to Imam al-Syafi’e, payment in the form of money to replace food (rice) is invalid [Refers the explanation by al-Mawardi in his book al-Hawi al-Kabir (2/179)]. However, contemporary scholars ruled it permissible.

Second: In mazhab Hanafi, it is permissible to pay fidyah through cash (the equivalent price of food) as a replacement of the food. If someone pays his fidyah through cash (in his currency, for example, Ringgit Malaysia or US Dollar), it is valid. Scholars of mazhab Hanafi have differing opinions regarding which is prioritized; food or its price (cash/money) [refers al-Mawardi in al-Hawi al-Kabir (3/179); az-Zabidi al-Ibadi in al-Jawharah an-Nayyirah (1/134); and Badruddin al -Aini al-‘itabi al-Hanafi in Al-Banayah Syarah al-Hidayah (3/349)].

Third: When we conform (taqlid) to Mazhab Hanafi in paying (by cash) for fidyah, the amount is half a sa’ from wheat or one sa’ of barley or dates. What should be reminded, in mazhab Hanafi the fidyah is not from ghalib qut al-balad (staple food of a country), unlike in mazhab Syafie, but in their opinion, the fidyah is half sa’ of wheat or one sa’ of barley or dates. One sa’ according to mazhab Hanafi is equivalent to 6 mudd and not 4 mudd as the opinion of mazhab Syafie. Hence, when evaluating the value for fidyah one must take into account regarding this difference. As an example, the price of ½ sa’ of wheat (is equivalent to 3 mudd in mazhab Hanafi) using cash, then distributed to the rightful recipients (the poor and needy). Thus, for the application of it in Malaysia, firstly, the price of ½ sa’ of wheat or one sa’ of barley or dates need to be determined. As an example, if the price is RM3 (almost equivalent to USD1), then the fidyah of RM3 is valid. However, to take a cautious approach in this issue, then you can set the fidyah as RM4 and set the intention of the extra RM1 for donation [refers Muhammad Bin Hasan as-Syaibani in al-Hujjah ‘Ala Ahl al-Madinah (1/398); as-Sarakhsi al-Hanafi in al-Mabsuth (3/100)].

Fourth: It is permissible to give fidyah through a representative who will then distribute it to the rightful recipients. This is one of the exceptions of invalidity of using representatives in doing ibadah. In regards to giving fidyah through a representative, the representative must be someone who is knowledgeable and trustworthy. It is also permissible to give it to an employee of a religious body (for example to country’s baitulmal) where it is an official body responsible to distribute fidyah to the rightful recipients in accordance with Islam [refers al-Khatib Asyarbini as-Syafi`e in Mughni al-Muhtaj].

Fifth: Important reminder; it is invalid to pay fidyah before it is due and it is paid according to the number of days. Thus, a fidyah is invalid if it is paid at the beginning of Ramadan for 30 days [refers al-Nawawi in al-Majmu’].

As a conclusion, money from prohibited means can be used as a general fund for the benefit of the public, while fidyah and kaffarah are distributed to the poor and needy.

May this explanation be an answer to the issue of money in Baitulmal account of which from kifarah, fidyah and prohibited means.

Wallahua’lam.

Taken with slight changes from http://muftiwp.gov.my

Using Blockchain to Improve Transparency of Zakat Process.

The collection of zakat has been institutionalised in many Muslim countries. The promotion, collection and distribution of zakat are undertaken by the respective religious authorities according to shariah requirements.

However, there are several challenges, according to several research papers. They include inefficiency, a lack of transparency in terms of how the funds are collected, managed and distributed, the differing views of Islamic scholars on how these should be dealt with and extensive bureaucracy.

To address these challenges, Dr Ziyaad Mahomed, associate dean of executive education and e-learning at the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), and his team have come up with an Islamic social financing app that leverages blockchain technology. The app — which won first prize in a competition organised by the Islamic Development Bank Group and the IE Business School in Madrid in February — was developed in partnership with Dublin-based financial technology (fintech) company AidTech and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

“How the app works is very simple. When users turn it on, they are presented with two options: sedekah (charity) or zakat. If they choose zakat, the app prompts them to select the school of thought they follow — Shafie, Maliki, Hambali or Hanafi — as there are differences of opinion,” says Ziyaad.

“Then, the app asks a few questions such as where they would like to see their money go. We provide them with a choice of projects such as water irrigation, sanitation, poverty eradication and education. After choosing the project, they complete their payment using a secure gateway.”

He acknowledges that the main concern of zakat contributors is whether the money goes to the right party. His team is currently working on a scorecard for the social enterprises and social development organisations that wish to promote their projects via the app. This will help the app developers to assess the credibility of the projects. Users of the app will also be able to view the scorecard.

“Specific projects are listed. And once the zakat payment has been made, it is registered on a node in the blockchain. Payers will receive confirmation of acceptance. Now, the project has their money,” says Ziyaad.

“When the money has been fully utilised, the payers will be notified via the app. Thanks to the transparency provided by the blockchain, there is more confidence among payers that their zakat has reached the intended recipients.”

The app may be launched before the end of the year, but not in this region yet. Instead, the team has chosen the UK as the base for the app’s proof of concept. There, it has access to many non-governmental organisations it could partner. Also, there are many Muslim expatriates who wish to have their zakat utilised in their home country.

There are also challenges in developing the app, such as ensuring an optimal content management system, he adds. Poverty eradication projects, for example, may involve tens of thousands of individual recipients. This makes it hard for the developer to ensure that the zakat does not go to the same group of recipients the following year.

“We have to create a solid system that does not promote dependence on zakat. The practice of giving handouts to the same individuals is a serious problem — we are not helping them to enhance their standard of living if we keep on giving them handouts. There is a category of people living in extreme poverty who will always need zakat, but we have to be careful not to contribute to a culture of dependence,” says Ziyaad.

“I am not worried about the demand for the app. I am sure that millennials, especially, would use it to pay zakat because of the transparency and convenience it offers. It is not a perfect solution, but it is a step in the right direction.”

He hopes that after the proof of concept, the app can be launched in other parts of the world, especially in Muslim-majority countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

“In a country like Malaysia, where zakat is managed by a particular state, introducing something like an app would be expected to improve efficiency,” he adds.

Ziyaad says there are other promising enhancements that blockchain technology could bring to Islamic finance such as the use of smart contracts in takaful. Implemented together with technologies such as telematics and the Internet of Things, smart contracts could improve the underwriting process and hasten the claims process.

“We also see that smart contracts could play a role in Islamic banking activities that rely on sequential transactions for permissibility. Banks spend significantly on arranging, monitoring and auditing these sequences. If transactions have strayed from the sequence, they may not be compliant and incur additional expenses later on,” he says.

“If there is a smart contract managing the transactions, then banks can potentially reduce costs, making the product much cheaper. Due to blockchain’s transparency, shariah compliance may be enhanced. There are companies trying to introduce this and we are helping them to figure this out. But things are still very much in their infancy at this time.” — By Khairani Afifi Noordin

Original Source: http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/islamic-finance-using-blockchain-improve-transparency-zakat-process

News: Panel on Federal Institutions of Islam (Malaysia) invites memos.

The high-level panel on the Federal Institutions of Islam (Malaysia) has invited Malaysians, including non-Muslims, to submit written memorandums expressing their opinions, views and proposals for the panel’s consideration in relation to the federal administration of Islamic institutions in the country. Hmm… maybe I should send a memo to them??

The high-level panel on the Federal Institutions of Islam (Malaysia) has invited Malaysians, including non-Muslims, to submit written memorandums expressing their opinions, views and proposals for the panel’s consideration in relation to the federal administration of Islamic institutions in the country.

According to a statement from the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal, the invitation is in line with the high-level panel’s terms of reference to undertake a complete review of the administration of Islamic institutions at the Federal level, as well as to look into the effectiveness of these institutions.”The high-level panel welcomes all forms of evaluation related to the administration of Islamic institutions, zakat and baitulmal matters, Islamic education and da’wah activities, Islamic banking and finance, food and halal issues, enforcement of Syariah laws and other matters of interest.

“The high-level panel also expects the memorandum submissions to encompass proposals and suggestions towards the structural improvement of such institutions,” said the statement.

The Office of the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal is the secretariat for the high-level panel. The statement said the high-level panel will consider proposals related to Islamic institutions at the Federal level in delivering its terms of reference.

It also said that parties submitting their memorandum are also encouraged to give their views on Islamic non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Hmm… maybe I should send a memo to them??

An Hour and An Hour..

One day, Hanzalah al Usaidi* said to his friend Abu Bakr*: “Abu Bakr, I have become a hypocrite!” “I seek Allah’s protection against the accursed Satan! Why are you saying this?” Abu Bakar was shocked. “I swear by God” Hanzalah continued, “When I am in the presence of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ * or when we are listening to the Quran from his mouth, or when he reminds us of Paradise, I feel motivated and energised and inspired! When he reminds us of Hellfire, I feel fear and aim to be extra careful in my actions. But the moment I reach home after the gathering, when I meet my wife and children, or when I go back to work after the gathering, I feel different! I often get busy and forget about the matters of Hereafter. I can’t recognise my own heart anymore!”

One day, Hanzalah al Usaidi* said to his friend Abu Bakr*: “Abu Bakr, I have become a hypocrite!”

“I seek Allah’s protection against the accursed Satan! Why are you saying this?” Abu Bakar was shocked.

“I swear by God” Hanzalah continued, “When I am in the presence of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ * or when we are listening to the Quran from his mouth, or when he reminds us of Paradise, I feel motivated and energised and inspired! When he reminds us of Hellfire, I feel fear and aim to be extra careful in my actions. But the moment I reach home after the gathering, when I meet my wife and children, or when I go back to work after the gathering, I feel different! I often get busy and forget about the matters of Hereafter. I can’t recognise my own heart anymore!”

Abu Bakr said, “You’re right. This is a problem. I feel the same way too! That makes the two of us. We’re both hypocrites! Oh no. Let’s go ask the Prophet!”

So, off they both went to see the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ straight away. They knew that the Prophet was the best teacher they ever had and nobody else could answer them in the best way possible.

After listening to their query, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ replied, “By Allah, Hanzalah, if you had the same feeling when you are here with me and when you are with your family or when you are at work, the angels in the streets would want to shake hands with you! Why? Because your level of faith is so great. And it is consistent too. The angels would turn up in broad daylight to come to shake hands with you. But O Hanzalah! An hour and an hour.”

Hmmm…
“An hour and an hour”?

Moral & Afterthought
What does the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ mean by “an hour and an hour”?

This means that we can put aside an ‘hour’ for our heart’s matters and its purification or cleaning process. And we can put aside another ‘hour’ for our dunya (temporary world) matters or even entertainment.

It does not mean that we can do one hour of good deeds and one hour of bad deeds. For example, we spend one hour listening to an Islamic lecture and we spend one hour at the club or pub, dancing, drinking, singing karaoke or gambling. No! That’s not what the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ meant.

What the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ meant by the dunya matters was that we have to attend to the necessary and important things that we do for our body, mind and lifelike eat, drink, go to the bathroom, go to work or school, clean the house, cook, ride the train or car or other vehicle, etc.

As for entertainment, we could perhaps read a book, watch a Halal* movie, play a video game, go for a walk, go shopping, spend quality time with your parents or grandparents, enjoy moments with your siblings or cousins or aunties or uncles, sew, paint, fish, solving puzzles, visit friends, etc.

There are numerous other Halal dunya activities and Halal entertainment activities that we can do. Can you name one more?

Don’t you just love Islam? Islam is perfect. It teaches us to be balanced.

*Hanzalah al Usaidi = he is also known as “Hanzalah al Asadi”. He is one of Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ companions. He is not the same companion Hanzalah ibn Abi Amr who died in the battle of Uhud and who was washed by angels between the heavens and the earth.

**This true story (which was derived from a Hadith, refers Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4, Book 11, Hadith 2514) and the words of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ were edited and paraphrased for ease of understanding. The story has been taken from a lecture called “Balance In Islam” by Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem. (The video was uploaded by Al-Khadeem Akymedia Channel in Youtube). The Afterthought section is generally put together by SFMK, using gathered resources such as the Muslim Matters website, Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem’s video and Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed’s video, and the like.

Administration Of Waqf In Malaysia

The waqf (i.e. wakaf / awqaf) institution is a permanent charity in the Islamic system. Waqf is an Islamic economic tool that can enhance and enhance the socio-political of the ummah. The famous waqf is the waqf of land and waqf of money (cash). The waqf of land is very familiar in society, most of its main goals for individuals or institutions donating land for waqf are for education and Religion.
Waqf of money is also a tool to improve the social economy of the ummah. Cash waqf is a form of certificate that will be offered to individuals or institutions as a way of earning money for planned projects.

The waqf (i.e. wakaf / awqaf) institution is a permanent charity in the Islamic system. Waqf is an Islamic economic tool that can enhance and enhance the socio-political of the ummah. The famous waqf is the waqf of land and waqf of money (cash).

  • The waqf of land is very familiar in society, most of its main goals for individuals or institutions donating land for waqf are for education and Religion.
  • Waqf of money is also a tool to improve the social economy of the ummah. Cash waqf is a form of certificate that will be offered to individuals or institutions as a way of earning money for planned projects.

Brief About Waqf
Waqf comes from the Arabic word, “Waqafa” or “hurbs” an Arabic masdar. In Islamic terminology, waqf means “a dedication of property either in expressed terms of by implication for any charitable or religious object or to secure any benefit to human being” which means to hold still and last long. In brief, Waqf is transferring personal properties into public properties.

Waqf asset cannot be disposed, its ownership cannot be transferred, only its benefits are to be used for the specific purpose(s), which is (are) mainly charitable in nature, and It is a voluntary charity characterized by perpetuity.

Although waqf is not specifically mentioned in the Holy Quran, the concept of wealth distribution is strongly emphasized therein. Distribution of wealth is a key issue in the modern economy to make it more dynamic, prejudice-free and entrepreneurial. However, a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira [May Allah be pleased with him (R)] is considered as the origin of this institution in the world of Islam:

Abu Huraira (R) reported Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, as saying: “When a man dies, all his acts come to an end, but three; recurring charity (sadaqa jariya) or knowledge (by which people are benefited), or a pious offspring, who prays for him.” [Narrated by at-Tirmizi in Sunan al-Tarmizi]

It is also evidenced in the Sunnah that many great personalities of Islam had waqf their properties in a different form.

The institution of waqf was developed throughout the Islamic history, since its commencement during the time of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) until today. The first Islamic waqf is the Mosque of Quba’ in Madinah al-Munawwarah, which was built upon the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) to this town in 622 A.D370.

390635_61724363                  Mosque of Quba’

This was followed by many other waqf activities during the time of the Prophet and was further developed during the reign of the Khulafa‟ al-Rashidin and the subsequent period of Islamic ruling. The above kinds of waqf normally referred to as the religious waqf and there are other kinds of waqf such as philanthropic waqf which also include the waqf for educational purposes and posterity of family waqf.

Who’s Taking Care Of It?
In Malaysia, Waqf affairs are the responsibility of the Islamic Religious Council of each state. The Islamic Religious Councils are empowered to administer and manage Waqf properties. There are 14 State Islamic Religious Councils, one for each of the 13 states and one for the Federal Territory.

Beside the Islamic Religious Council, the government of Malaysia has formed a Department for Zakat, Waqf and Hajj (JAWHAR) under the Prime Minister‘s Department on the 27th March 2004 with the aim of making the administration systematic and effective.

puteri1                                   Waqf Hotel in State of Terengganu, Malaysia

Considering the classical definition of Waqf in the Islamic Law, the holding and preservation of property as common, whose usufruct and revenues are exclusively used for the defined aims and objectives, and prohibiting the use and/or disposition outside the defined purposes. The centralized administration of the Waqf properties under the state authority is important to ensure a proper record being kept and the state able to place a complete database of its Waqf.

In modern practice for the management of Waqf properties, a trustee from a government institution will be appointed. The trustee is called a Mutawalli or Nazir.

A Mutawalli is an individual who is appointed by the Waqif (founder of the Waqf). A Waqf is created for any religious cause and is not necessarily confined only to mosques and cemeteries. It can also be used to fund and maintain schools, hospitals, and other charitable institutions in the fields of education, healthcare, and even also in infrastructural works such as road, water canals, and bridges.

The appointment process of a Mutawalli is conducted in the light of the administration of Waqf based on the terms of the Waqf deed which certainly contains a provision for the appointment of an administrator or a Mutawalli. The power to appoint the Mutawalli is primarily within the jurisdiction of the Waqif as per Classical fiqh rules.

Furthermore, the Waqif could also choose an individual known for his trustworthiness as a Mutawalli to manage the Waqf property for the benefit of the beneficiaries. In case of Waqif‘s death, the office of the manager would go to the person appointed by him as stated in the Waqf deed. In the absence of such an appointment, the Syariah Court will appoint a Mutawalli for managing the Waqf.

Attending a Public Lecture – “In The Footsteps of The Khalifa” by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ninowy

On 24th July 2018, I had attended one public lecture held in IAIS Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. The lecture was presented by Shaykh Dr Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Husayni Al-Ninowy. I feel enlightened about the particular topic which is about ‘Khalifah’, and I will like to share some of the knowledge I get…

On 24th July 2018, I had attended one public lecture held in IAIS Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. The lecture was presented by Shaykh Dr Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Husayni Al-Ninowy. I feel enlightened about the particular topic which is about ‘Khalifah’, and I will like to share some of the knowledge I get.

In this lecture, Shaykh explained that the term Khalifa need to be understood in the right way. We should understand the term Khalifa as ‘a successor’, which mean as a maintainer to up keeping the earth, and should not blindly think Khalifa as ‘a successor of Allah’. Misunderstood of the term Khalifa as ‘a successor of Allah’ will expose it to abuse. This seems true when Shaykh said that the term Khalifa is quite a problematic. And it had been abused a lot throughout history. And it abused usually came from misapplication or misunderstanding of the term khalifah. I do understand that the term ‘a successor of Allah’ comes from the word ‘Khalifatullah’. From my humble understanding, the word Khalifatullah can be explained with reference directly to Allah.

The first person who noticed it will be abuse is Abu Bakar As-Sidiq. In one narration, which by Waqee who heard Nafi’ Omer and he told to Ibn Abi Malikat that someone addressed Abu Bakar: “Oh Khalifatullah!” Abu Bakar stopped him and said that it was not sound right and was not the Khalifatullah, but just a deputy of Rasulullah and with that, he feels satisfied being the deputy of the Holy Prophet.

Syeikh also explained that Khalifah is to maintain, not in charge of and do not give absolute authority. It is a title that been entrusted to upkeep and maintains earth. Syeikh said that the job of a Khalifah is not to always zikr (solely on ibadah), but has to be zikr, has to have ilm (knowledge), has to put the ilm into practical, and lastly, has to be able to correct a mistake (taubat). Ilm by means is having the knowledge to be Khalifah, and thus bring the knowledge into practices. In implementing some task, sometimes we must choose the less of the best and from that, a mistake will be made. A Khalifah should make a correction immediately.

In short of his background, Shaykh Dr Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Husayni Al-Ninowy was born and raised in Syria. Shaykh began his study under his father, Sayyed Yahya (Rahimahu Allah), and many of the senior scholars of Aleppo/Syria at the time, memorizing the Glorious Qur’an and acquiring knowledge in many of the Islamic disciplines, such as Tawheed, Hanafi/Shafi’i Fiqh, Usool, and Ihsaan. Besides attending the Faculty of Usuluddin at Al- Azhar University, Shaykh Muhammad delved further into the fields of Hadith and Tawhid under the tutelage of many of the foremost scholars in Syria, Hijaz, Morocco, Egypt, and elsewhere. Shaykh Muhammad is the founding director of “Planet Mercy” and Madina Institute & Seminary in the UK, South Africa, and Canada, and the USA. Shaykh Muhammad also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology from the University of Illinois and a Doctor of Medicine degree.

The Program’s Poster:

PosterNinowy