Famous Beneficiaries of Waqfs

Famous Beneficiaries of Waqfs

The annals of history is enriched by extraordinary individuals: rulers, generals, judges, artisans, artists and intellectuals. Their contributions and legacy continues to influence and inspire us today. Yet greatness is not forged by individual efforts alone. When we read the lives of the extraordinary we ignore the institutions that educated, cultured, supported and protected them. In Islamic history, Awqaf were an important means to create and sustain institutions that facilitated the pathways for the extraordinary to leave their mark. Awqafs were used in sectors such as hospitality,...

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Famous Historical Awqaf

Famous Historical Awqaf

One of the defining features of the Islamic economy through the ages has been the utilisation of Awqaf. A number of Awqaf rose to prominence and remained in the collective memory of the Ummah, this article briefly sheds light on some of the Muslim World’s acclaimed Awqaf. This will inshallah help inspire the next generation to draw on their rich financial heritage. The oldest surviving Waqf is the well (bi’r) of Uthman Ibn Affan (RA) known as the well of Roumah and located near Masjid Qiblatayn in Madinah. During the Prophet’s (ﷺ) lifetime a severe draught in Madinah caused the surrounding...

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Healthcare Waqfs

Thousands infected. Society paralysed. Fear rampant. At the turn of the new decade our planet has been gripped by the novel and deadly Coronavirus (Covid-19). For much of human history – prior to the introduction of universal healthcare –  this has been the norm....

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Ramadan and Waqfs

This Ramadan is going to be different, we all know that. The Masjids will be closed for Taraweeh and Itikaaf, and no communal iftars. However, despite the changes inshallah there will be some constants. We will still be fasting for the duration of the day and breaking...

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Waqf-led Islamic Social Finance

Look out for NWF's chapter "Utilizing Awqaf in Modern Muslim Minority Societies" in this book when it's published by Routledge in September 2020 The book provides an authoritative and comprehensive overview of Waqf (endowment), addressing specific issues, models,...

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Common Questions on Waqf & NWF

1. What is a Waqf and the National Waqf Fund?

A Waqf (Awqaf plural) is an Islamic endowment, usually of property or land, which is held in a trust and used for a charitable or religious purpose. The designated ‘Waqf’ is thus used permanently to benefit the relevant causes either directly by use of the waqf, e.g. a hospital or university, or it is used indirectly by generating income from the asset which is then used for the charitable purposes, such as rent from a residential or office building.

2. How does giving to Waqf differ from other forms of giving such as Zakat, Sadaqa etc?

Awqaf are permanent endowments such as buildings, land and other assets that can be used continuously for charitable or religious purpose. Zakat is a mandatory portion of your savings that has to be given in accordance with the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet, setting up a Waqf is not mandatory. Sadaqa is considered general charity and giving to NWF can be considered a specific form of ‘Sadaqa’.

3. Can I donate my Zakat to NWF?

Zakat can only be given to the categories Allah has mentioned specifically in the Quran (Surah Tawbah verse 60) and donating to or setting up a Waqf is not considered to be Zakat eligible.

4. Is there a minimum I need to donate to invest in a Waqf?

Traditionally Awqaf were buildings or land that were handed over to the relevant authority to benefit the public, such as universities and schools. The NWF model allows much smaller donations that we can then pool together and invest in assets such as property. The income generated from these assets is thereafter distributed to the causes according to the agreed criteria.

In short, there is no minimum you can donate.

5. How do you keep the fundraising, investment and grant giving departments independent from each other?

NWF has been setup to ensure complete transparency and independence of our fundraising, investment and grant management departments by ensuring they are each managed by their own committees that have decision making that is not reliant upon each other.

The everyday fundraising and operations of the organisation is managed by the operational team, led by the CEO who reports into the directors and trustees of the charity.

The Investment committee consists of the advisors and consultants that are overseen by our shariah board to ensure our investment choices and partners are shariah compliant. Our investment partners ensure that the performance of these investments are managed like any other investment portfolio.

Finally, our grant making process to charities is fully compliant with both best practice guidelines from the charities commission and HMRC advice. Any charities applying for grants have to evidence of meeting these criteria as part of their application process.

6. How does NWF cover its operating costs?

NWF aim’s to maximise the returns for the beneficiary charities by minimising its costs to administer the fund. We aim to do this in the following ways;

  1. Gift aid donations: For individual tax payers, NWF will be able to claim 20% of their donation back from HMRC (once we are registered as a charity). However, we are unable to claim Gift Aid for business donations or from those that have not paid enough tax to cover the Gift Aid refund.
  2. 15% from any returns on investments, which means that we will not take any costs from your donation to the fund and will only take costs once any return has been made from the investment itself.
  3. We aim to setup a separate development fund that will directly fund the operating costs of NWF based on the WAQF principles. We will fundraise for this fund separately and if you are interested in helping please get in touch.

7. What are the different ways I can donate to NWF?

NWF aims to pool the donations of donors to invest in assets that will perpetually give back to charities. Thus you can donate cash directly to NWF through it’s website or bank transfer using the details below;

Account Name: National Waqf Fund
Account No: 28746503
Sort Code: 60-05-30
IBAN: GB62NWBK60053028746503

You can also donate property and land and other assets directly to NWF where we will transfer those assets into a trust for the causes you wish to support. This is of course subject to how the asset can be utilised. If you have assets you would like to contribute, please contact our Waqf team directly at [email protected].

8. Can I donate my property to the National Waqf Fund?

Yes, we can transfer your property in to Waqf and distribute any income from it to the causes you choose.

9. What happens to my investment after death?

A waqf is literally forever, which means that your contributions to the waqf and the returns that are gained from it will continue to benefit the causes in perpetuity till the end of time itself. It is thus one of the only forms of charity that continues to benefit you after death.

10. How do you decide what charities and causes receive grants?

Charities wishing to be considered to receive grants from the NWF will need to meet the criteria outlined in the Grant Application Process. This includes submitting an application with a project proposal that meets one or more of the causes identified by NWF and its donors. Once the application has been submitted, funds are allocated to relevant projects based on the amounts raised for the relevant causes.

11. Are you registered in the UK?

We are registered as a not for profit company with Companies House in the UK, our company number is 11774961. We are also in the process of Charities Commission registration with England and Wales.

12. Who manages your investments?

NWF intends to use registered and authorised investment partners regulated by the FCA and other authorities in the UK. Our partners and investments are also vetted by our investment committee and shariah panel to ensure multiple layers of compliance. If you require further details of our investment partners, please contact us.

13. How will you report the performance of the investments and charities donated to?

Our investment committee and grant making teams will collect and share all monitoring and performance of both investments and charitable grants directly on our website.



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