Wakaf not just for building purposes

National 2 minutes, 32 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

WAKAF (endowment) is capable of generating wealth and profits to help Muslims in line with the Islamic economic system, said a syariah high court judge yesterday.

Dato Seri Setia Hj Metussin Hj Baki said, “Wakaf property can be a valuable asset, it may be invested or developed to create a favourable outcome for the wakaf institution”.

Centres and business premises constructed from wakaf funds or built on land that had been endowed, for example can increase the potential for economic activities in a community, he said.

“This is one of the objectives of wakaf that should be present in the management objectives in the administration of mukim, district up to the national level,” he said.

He said this at the international education seminar of Fiqh Al-Iqtisad Al-Islami titled generating economy through zakat (tithes) and wakaf, which was held in conjunction with Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College’s (KUPU SB) 5th convocation. The convocation took place in October last year.

Muslims must also scrape/scratch the narrow understanding or perception that wakaf is only for the purpose of building mosques and surau (prayer halls), he said.

“Wakaf is not necessarily for building places dedicated to worship alone, it can be used to construct schools, hospitals, libraries, homes for new converts, welfare and activities centres,” he said.

Wakaf, as a form of redistribution of wealth may also be referred to as paying for public services such as health and education by a group of people to the communities, he said.

He said, in this context, Islam has provided a mechanism for the distribution of assets to ensure the economic development is enjoyed by the community through zakat, _hibah, kirafa_t, korban and wakaf.

When speaking about the role of wakaf in development, Dato Hj Metussin said the development refers to an integrated development, which comprised development of spirituality, mental and physical.

Muslims performed wakaf because it is a form of ‘taqarrub’ (striving to be closer to Allah SWT) as it guarantees lasting reward from Allah SWT, he added.

Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Mokti Hj Mohd Daud, in his speech at the event’s opening ceremony, said that in the Islamic economic system, zakat and wakaf are potential strategies in tackling economic problems of the ummah (Muslim community), such as extreme poverty, wide gap in living standard and unemployment.

With zakat, we would be able to increase economic activities and we will also be able to provide social security to the people, especially to those that need help, he said.

Recognising the importance of zakat and wakaf, efforts must be made in order to improve students’ and the public’s academic understanding of zakat and wakaf to strengthen the management of the two areas in solving socio-economic issues in accordance with ‘maqasid syariah’ (the objectives of Islamic law), he said.

The five main goals under the maqasid syariah refer to protecting and preserving faith, life, intellect, posterity and wealth which the Islamic law is prescribed to achieve and accomplish.

The Brunei Times