Waqf Education for Economic Growth: An Indian Perspective

Waqf Education for Economic Growth: An Indian Perspective

Zakir Hossen Shaikh, Adel H. Sarea
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1245-6.ch007
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The foundation of waqf (religious endowment), an act of establishment of a charitable trust, often in the form of a property or any legitimate fund-generating estate – for which public utilities are designated as recipients of the yields, among different purposes – laid the foundation of an independent means of financing for education across the Muslim world. In recent years, overall cost of education has been increasing, despite intervention from the government in the form of grants and soft loans. In general, parents and students alike face the burden of ever-increasing fees to enroll in the higher education learning institutions while the education institutions themselves also face increasing costs to operate and provide quality education. Waqf is an Islamic financial instrument which can be utilized in solving various educational issues in India. It is a known fact that waqf education institutions are significant assets in the development of skill and knowledge amongst the Muslim communities.
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Background Of Waqf Institution

“The origin of the Waqf is traced to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) and his companions. Of the two mosques, Quba Mosque and the mosque of the Prophet Muhammad (Masjid Al Nabawi) are examples of Waqf. Moreover, Umar bin Khattab (May Allah (SWT) be pleased with him) has donated a piece of land in Khaibar as Waqf”.

“Besides waqf for worshipping purposes, the most important waqf in the history of Islam was the development and dissemination of knowledge through educational institutions. This type of waqf had been introduced since the time of the Prophet Muhammad SAW, whereby the Prophet's mosque in Madinah Al-Munawwarah was not only used for worshipping. Prophet Muhammad SAW used the mosque to develop the understanding of sahabah regarding the teaching of Islam. Most of these activities took place after the Maghrib prayer or it could be in other times. After Muslims grew not only in the vicinity of Medina, the mosques in many places besides Medina had been used by the sahabah as the center for Islamic teaching (Ramadhan Al-Buthi, 1991)”.

“The waqf deeds not only focused on the establishment of school and madrasah, but also the establishment of library that collects a lot of books, which are very important in the development of knowledge and education. This library has existed since the time of Umar al-Khattab RA. However, the establishment of a large library that consists of books and research activities was done by Harun Al-Rashid of the Abbasiyyah caliph. He donated his wealth to build the library known as Baitul Hikmah in Baghdad. The library is considered to be an early prototype of an Islamic university model developed in various parts of the Islamic world (Ahmad Salabi, 1973)”.

All the basic principles of the classical Islamic law, pertaining to waqfs, particularly that of the Hanafi School are also valid in India.

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