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Towards the Better Management and Transparency of Waqf Institutions_Lessons From the Charity Commission, UK

Towards the Better Management and Transparency of Waqf Institutions_Lessons From the Charity Commission, UK

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Published by: Dr. Shahul Hameed bin Mohamed Ibrahim on Jan 08, 2009
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05/09/2014

 
1
Towards the betterment management and transparency of 
waqf 
institutions:Lessons from the Charity Commission, UK.Shahul Hameed Hj Mohd Ibrahim
(International Islamic University Malaysia)
Hidayatul Ihsan
(International Islamic University Malaysia)
Abdullah Muhammad Ayedh
(International Islamic University Malaysia)
Abstract
This paper explores the issues of accountability and transparency in
waqf 
institutionsamong Muslim countries. Previous studies show that there is lack of management of 
waqf 
 in most of Muslim countries. There is no transparency and lack of accountability inmanaging
waqf 
assets. A comparison study between
waqf 
with charities in the UK ismade in this paper. Through examining the Charity Commission’s proposals, we findsome aspects from the Charity Commission proposals could be adopted for waqfs.namely internal financial controls, transparency and reporting, management of fundsand code of Good Governance.
Corresponding author: Mobile: +62166028903 (Hidayatul Ihsan)E-mail addresses:hidayatul_im2@yahoo.com(Hidayatul Ihsan)ataf2001@gmail.com(Abdullah M.Ayedh),shahul@iiu.edu.my(Shahul Hameed)
 
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Towards the betterment management and transparency of 
waqf 
institutions:Lessons from the Charity Commission, UK.1. Introduction
Waqaf 
(plural:
 Awqaf 
), used to be a significant element in the development of Muslimsociety. It was laid down firstly by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the
sahabah
(Prophet’s companions). Later, during the period of Khilafah Islamiyah,
waqf 
was still one of the important parts in Muslim’s life. There were many famous
awqaf 
created by kings andwealthy persons. For instance, Al-azhar mosque which is still being used to date is one of 
waqf 
property from the Fatimid Caliphate
1
.However, with the passage of time,
waqf 
become less popular among Muslim society.Moreover, colonialism has made the situation become worse. Even though the activities arestill there, however, it is not as widespread as it used to be. In some Muslim countries,
waqf 
 properties have been neglected as. not much attention is paid for it. Therefore, it is notsurprising if some of 
waqf 
properties are not recorded properly or even have been missing.The main problem of 
waqf 
today is a lack of management in most Muslim countries. Besides,the
mutawallis
2
(managers) who have the responsibility to manage
waqf 
property haveinsufficient skills to handle them.
 Mutawallis
have to find alternative ways how to increasethe value of 
waqf 
properties.Ironically, Western society pays attention to endowment activities, classified under charities.Charities have become a part of European life. In their quest to create a better society, manycharities have been establishing in the European and Western society. Some of the bestcharity management practices can be found in the UK. Their proposals for managingcharitable activity can be a good model for the betterment of 
waqf 
institutions.The main objective of this paper is to examine the practices and standards of the CharityCommission in the UK regulates charity activities as some of these can be implemented in
waqf 
institutions. To achieve that aim, we organize this paper as follows : the next sectionwill discuss the definition of 
waqf 
, it’s types and the development, followed by the portrayalof charity activities and the development of the Charity Commission in the UK. Later we willexamine and propose some of the Charity commission’s proposal which can be adopted bywaqf institutions.
2.
Waqf 
: An Islamic endowment2.1. Definition of 
Waqf 
According to Raissouni (2001),
 
waqf 
in Arabic term means “
habs
” “locking up”, forbiddingmovement, transport or exchanging something. The word
waqf 
is used in Islam in the
1
Fatimid Caliphate is the Ismaili Shiite dynasty that ruled North Africa from A.D. 909 to 1171
2
In some references, manager of 
waqf 
also called
nazer 
. These both terms are used interchangeably inthis paper.
 
3
meaning of holding certain property and preserving it for confined benefit of certainphilanthropy and prohibiting any use or disposition of it outside that specific objective so asto seek the pleasure of Allah.In line with above definition, Sadeq (2002) defines
waqf 
as the locking up of the title of anowned asset from disposition and allotment of its benefit for a specific purpose. In additionhe explains that
waqf 
assets can not be disposed of and its ownership can not be transferred.Rather, only its benefit (usufruct ) can be used for specific purpose.Whereas, Kahf (1992) describes
waqf 
as “holding certain property and preserving it for theconfined benefit of certain philanthropy and prohibiting any use or disposition of it outsidethat specific objective”.Moreover, Kahf (1992) explains that even though commonly
waqf 
widely relates to land andbuildings, however,
waqf 
can be in terms of books, agricultural machinery, cattle, shares andstock as well as cash money.From the definitions given, we can highlight the idea of 
waqf 
as an abstention of assets fromconsumption in order to keep them available for repeated extraction of usufruct.
2.2. The history of 
 Awqaf 
in Islam
According to Raissouni, (2001),
waqf 
activity had begun in the life of Prophet MohammadPBUH when there was
waqf 
for worship purpose, i.e. Quba’ mosque in Medina. Later on, itis considered as the first religious
waqf 
in Islam
3
. Beside religious
waqf 
, there was alsocharitable
waqf 
which aimed to help the poor and for social purposes. For instance,Mukhairiq (one of Prophet’s companions) gave his seven orchards in Medina as
awqaf 
tohelp the poor and the needy.During the period of second Caliph i.e. Omar bin Khatab, the Islamic state developed andextended
awqaf 
activities. Further,
waqf 
activities had achieved it’s highest stages during theOttoman Empire
4
. Additionally, in the early of seventh century, mosques and religiouseducation were the largest form of 
waqf 
and voluntary contributions.Throughout the time,
waqf 
had a significant role in the development of Muslim’s societies,especially in social and economic aspects. Raissouni (2001) reveals that Islamic
awqaf 
had asubstantial contribution to the promotion of mutual support and solidarity among Muslimindividuals and institutions, as well as the social and economic development. In fact,
awqaf 
 were the richest charities institutions. For instance, in Egypt
awqaf 
were owned around 24%from total agriculture lands (Kahf, 1992). In addition, Raissouni (2001) portrays that
awqaf 
 institutions in many Islamic countries were exclusively limited to mosques and some relatedfacilities to them, and shrank in social welfare, cultural activity and educational development
3
There is different opinion regarding the first
waqf 
in Islam among scholars. Some consider that thefirst
waqf 
was by Omar bin Khattab, when he gave a piece of his land in Khaibar. However, it will be asubject of 
waqf 
history.
4
Ottoman Empire (Ottoman Turkish) existed from 1299 to 1922

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