Riding on the success of an age-old Islamic institution - Waqf – referring to a trust or endowment, whereby private asset is dedicated for a charitable purpose in perpetuity and is motivated by a sense of responsibility to humanity, the recently launched Imam Jabir bin Zaid Waqf Foundation has been working hard to popularise such concept in Oman with a call for all to join in as partners.
The Imam Jabir bin Zaid Waqf Foundation, founded and supervised by His Eminence Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad al Khalili, Oman's Grand Mufti, aims at serving Islamic Sciences, subsidising education, helping needy students and extending a helping hand to poor patients suffering from serious diseases.
According to Sheikh Khalil bin Ahmed al Khalili, the foundation's chairman, Waqf can help those in need, contribute to society, and this way, it is a way of getting endless religious reward, even after death.
“Waqf means to donate some of our wealth or property for public interests. The period of life is short and there is an end point when we have to leave it. We will be in our graves and need to keep our good deeds going. So the Waqf is a good investment. A person should not wait for others like his children to do something for him after he passes on. He or she should invest for himself, and Waqf is the solution,” he said.
“The Waqf initiative follows a framework that utilises the fundamentals of asset management to maintain value and money spent within the institutions. The foundation’s targets are to serve the field of Islamic Sciences, support educational institutions and centres as well as help students in need,” Sheikh Khalili said.
“It will provide services to patients suffering from serious diseases and social support to people facing difficult life conditions. Furthermore, the foundation will invest in real estate, industry, commerce, agriculture and other fields that are aligned with the tenets of Islamic Sharia’a,” Shaikh Khalili added.
Eng Ahmed al Rashdi, CEO of the foundation and board member, said the project is aligned with the concept of religious endowment whose initiative will play an important role in bringing about equality and development for the nation. “The foundation seeks to deliver a variety of projects that will be open for community participation. Its special features are that it is permanent and irrevocable while its benefits go from one generation to another,” Eng Rashdi said.
He explained that the initiative aims at promoting social integration and cooperation for goodwill as well as strives to urge local organisations and individuals to contribute to philanthropic projects.
What is Waqf?
Waqf is an inalienable charitable endowment under Islamic law, which typically involves donating any kind of assets for charitable purposes defined by the donor with no intention of reclaiming the assets.
“The ownership of Waqf's assets is transferred from its original owner. Selling or inheriting these assets is not allowed. Waqf has many benefits, including making the donor spiritually closer to Allah Almighty by observing His commands to spend and give charity since Waqf is one form of ongoing charity,” Sheikh Khalili explained.
Waqf also establishes the principle of solidarity and social balancing among a nation's individuals so that sincere social brotherhood, stability and morals prevail. It also ensures the existence of properties and the continuity of returns from them for future generations. People competed to better and fully follow this concept when it flourished during early Islam. It has far-reaching benefits, and Oman had an abundant share of it that has been reported to exist since the first Hijri century. “Among the famous Awaqf are donations by Imam al Warith bin Kaeb, whose returns are still being generated for dedicated sources up to this day from over 1,200 years ago,” Eng Rashdi said.
Awqaf in Oman reached unprecedented areas – walking sticks for the blind, donations to make iftar meals at the Holy Mosque during Ramadan, medical treatment to name a few.
In addition to that, Awaqf profits and goodness expanded to allocate for animal welfare, too. “With the blessing of Allah Almighty, we place the first cornerstone of the Imam Jabir Bin Zaid Waqf Foundation. The foundation works actively to achieve the goals it was established for. Thus, its doors are open for anyone interested to take part in Waqf to obtain rewards, at this life and the hereafter.”
The Idea behind the Foundation
His Eminence Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad al Khalili, the Grand Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman and the founder of Imam Jabir bin Zaid Waqf Foundation, had realised the importance of the synergy and collaborative efforts of the community. Therefore, he adopted the idea of setting up a Waqf project to which all individuals of society can contribute.
The aim of this foundation is to promote and develop certain interests related to spreading knowledge, Dawah and humanitarian causes. His Eminence proactively initiated the establishment of this Waqf foundation with ambitious objectives driven by social responsibility and the necessity of building cooperation and solidarity bridges between the society and the government institutions.
His Eminence Khalili has assigned the management of this foundation to honourable personalities and designated specialised members with long, diverse expertise for its first Board of Directors who posses all the know-hows required by the establishment at its inception stage.
Those who wish to participate can contact +968 9781 1525; email@example.com; @JabirFoundation