As the Muslim communities in the UK grow, so do their needs. Despite being the most generous religious communities in the UK, giving more then £500 million in charitable causes each year, almost half of the population live in the most deprived regions in the UK. Charitable and other Third Sector organisations are stretched, increasingly competing for the same resources from the same communities they are trying to serve. Funding for causes is often short-term, one-off donations which don’t allow charities to plan long-term initiatives which are needed for lasting change and thus do what they can to make smaller and smaller interventions, providing band-aid solutions with the resources at their disposal.
As Muslims we believe that our Lord has given us solutions to every problem we face. Muslim civilisations of past and present used the vehicle of Waqf (pl. Awqaf) to provide sustainable, long term giving back to communities, continuously. Traditionally assets such as land or buildings were donated by the wealthy for the permanent benefit of the public. Examples would be farmland where the output would be distributed to the poor, universities and schools to provide an education for all and hospitals to treat the sick, regardless of background.
The National Waqf Fund seeks to revive the institution of Waqf in our communities, enabling everyone to create the long term and sustainable change they want to see. We do this by pooling donations, investing in assets and distributing the profits to charities. The original donation never diminishes and thus each year, the amount you give to charity increases. In return, charities also get a reliable, long term income source that allows them to invest in projects and spend less time (and effort) fundraising.
“When a person dies, his deeds come to an end, except for three: ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), knowledge that is benefited from, and a righteous child who prays for him.”
(The Prophet Muhammad)
Umer Suleman studied Economics at the Royal Holloway University of London, and is further qualified from Manchester Business School aswell as Harvard University.
Umer is a regular khateeb in the city and his locality and also delivers lectures across different platforms.
Umer started his career as an auditor within the big 4 then moving to a major global finance firm in the city. At both organisations, Umer led the Muslim Networks.
Additionally Umer has been actively involved in Islamic Finance for the last decade, working with some of the most notable UK scholars on shariah structuring and process reviews. Umer currently is and Global Head of Risk, Compliance & Shariah for Wahed, he sits on the board of the UKIFC, is an advisor for the finance arm of the Islamic Council of Europe and is co-Founder of the National Waqf Fund. Umer has also been an advisor for a number of other Islamic Fintechs.
Umer was recognised for his work in 2016 as "one to watch" in the city of London by Brummel magazine for not only his work in Islamic Finance but also his role as a member of the board for the Cube Network, an umbrella organisation for professional corporate Muslim Networks.
Wahid Aziz is a qualified financial adviser and a professional engineer. He has over a decade of experience in the technical safety aspects of chemical plants, as well as investment in public equities. He has completed several training and development programmes in Islamic studies, and has been an instructor to date delivering the Sabeel Development Programme. He is also a part-time Khateeb in Southampton.
Tahir Talati pursued a journey in Islamic Education from a young age by completing his memorisation of the Holy Quran at the age of 14. Thereafter he enrolled onto a 7 year Alimiyyah programme at Imam Zakariya Academy (IZA) London graduating with an equivalent to Bachelor’s degree.
He currently pursues his passion of teaching the Quran and Hadith in the Alimiyyah programme at IZA and is a visiting Khateeb and Imam when he isn’t busy at his day job in accounting.
Aadil completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at SOAS University of London after which he was awarded a Jameel Scholarship to complete his Masters at Cardiff University’s Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK. Aadil started his career in Tax Advisory with one of the big 4 professional services firms. He then went on to take an in-house role in the tax team of a global pharmaceutical company.
Aadil has also completed Alimiyyah studies at Imam Zakariya Academy London following on from which he continues to be involved in teaching Islamic Studies in various different capacities.
Sheikh Dr. Sajid Umar is a qualified Mufti and Judge with expertise in Islamic Finance. Dr. Sajid is the first British, English speaking graduate of the faculty of Shariah and also the first from the Higher Institute of Judiciary at Al-Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh. He is an international lecturer and teacher, well known for sharing Islamic knowledge at every level.
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