A waqf is an endowment created under Islamic guidelines. In Arabic, waqf (awqaf) literally means “containment” or “prevention.” The concept was implemented during the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions and has a rich history in Islamic civilization. Today, a waqf is a way to create “ongoing charity” in our local communities.
A waqf is a true Islamic endowment, a method endorsed by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to support the community. The benefit of this structure is that it is not only a financial vehicle for the charitable organization, It refers to the dedication of some valuable goods – land, a building, or even money – such that it no longer belongs to anybody, and cannot be bought or sold. The profits which are then generated from this endowment are given away as charity.
An exemplary case was that of the story of Uthman’s well. When people of Madinah were suffering draught of water and there was sufficient water in a well belonging to one Jew. The Jew named Rumat al Giffari was selling water to the poor inhabitants of Madinah with a high price (as many of us would do today). The Messenger of Allah (SAW) assured Paradise to those who will buy the well and endow it to the entire residents of Madinah (both poor and rich).
Uthman bin Affan (RA) at once set out for the Jew and purchased the well in two batches paying a hefty price (38,000 dirham – silver coins – a huge sum in those times) and registered as endowment (WAQF) to poor natives of Madinah.
This prolonged charity (i.e. the well) is still intact and tons of water are being pumped out of it using an electrical motor which is used to irrigate the farmland beside it, quench the taste of pilgrims and vast communities in need of water.
Can you imagine the enormous benefit of such act?
You can support IESP-Initiative projects through WAQF donations;
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