The fields of action of the waqf
The different areas of intervention of waqf
The waqf can cover all areas of life, namely agriculture, transportation, industry, education, justice, health, tourism.
In short, drinking water to the university through the construction of schools, high schools, dams and roads.
The waqf has been used to set up and finance many public utility foundations covering several sectors of activity.
Many schools, training centers, universities, hospitals, pharmacies, clinics and social services have benefited from the waqf capital.
Some Waqf schools have become enormous university centers thanks to the many services offered to students, namely: libraries, canteens, dormitories, bedrooms, Moorish baths, scholarships, etc.
Some Waqf were used for making paper to make it available to students and teachers.
Waqf schools were an illustration of an independent and impartial education system. The poor benefited from various material, financial and educational support to enable them to have the same opportunities as the rich. In addition to a scholarship, they were entitled to school supplies, canteen and clothing.
Some Waqf were intended for the purchase of school supplies and clothing for needy children.
The rural inhabitants could pursue higher education in the city thanks to the Waqf university system.
In the 13th century – which was the Middle Ages in Europe – there were 400 Waqf schools in the city of Damascus alone, 300 in Sicily. Some schools had thousands of schoolchildren.
Among the universities that were established and financed by the Waqf are the universities of Az-Zaituna in Tunisia (currently dissolved) AL-Aqsa in Palestine, Al-Azhar in Cairo, Karaouiyne in Morocco.
Most Muslim scholars have been trained with Waqf money.
The Oulamas left their libraries with Waqf goods.
Teachers were paid by the Waqf, which made them morally and materially independent of public power.
Also, the magistrates were remunerated with the resources of the Waqf, which allowed the justice to be worthy of the name thanks to the independence of the magistrates.
Waqf has expanded to the medical field and other related fields such as pharmacy, veterinary, medical schools and hospitals.
The Waqf financed the hospices intended to accommodate the elderly, the infirm, the homeless.
The waqf even spread to animals including birds. In Turkey, there was a specific waqf for feeding birds in public squares, another for clearing the snow and even a waqf to compensate families when their housekeeper broke their plates of value. In Fez, Morocco, there was a waqf for the protection of animals.
In addition to the water supply system, there was a supply of water through public fountains fed by water carriers paid by the waqf system. These fountains were called ” sabil ” (the way, for the cause of God).
The waqf financed major hydraulic works such as the construction and maintenance of aqueducts that ensure the supply of water over an entire territory.
One-third of the agricultural land in Egypt and Turkey was Waqf land.
Waqf has many advantages
It allowed the protection of Islam and the Arabic language that were exposed to serious threats during colonization.
It has allowed the poor to access higher education.
He was at the origin of the creation of the largest libraries in the history of the Muslim world.
He instituted an authentic educational system, adapted to the needs of his time.
It thwarted and weakened the feudal system by distributing farmland.
It allowed the Muslim minorities to take charge and preserve their identity.
The role of Waqf in the fight against poverty and underdevelopment
We are witnessing a recent return of the Waqf in many Muslim countries. This renewed interest in this tradition finds its explanation in the proliferation of the scourges of misery and poverty on the one hand and the failure of exogenous development models on the other.
Most people involved in development assistance have realized that this aid does not serve them, rather it serves donors. In addition, they found that anti-poverty policies have not worked.
In this respect, broken promises are numerous. To cite only one recent example: in 1974, rich countries promised to “eliminate poverty” in the year 2000.
However, it was found that at that time, not only was poverty not eliminated, but it increased. In 2000, there were 2.7 billion people living below the poverty line – almost half of the world’s population.
In 2003, the number of poor increased by 100 million, reaching 2.8 billion. This goal was not achieved because the rich countries did not live up to their commitments. More serious, “they have conducted commercial, financial and technological policies reinforcing the causes of the continued impoverishment of populations already in destitution”
Faced with the successive failures of the experiences in question, the Muslim people have realized that they must take charge of themselves and solve their internal problems with their own concepts and their own means.
Hence the return to the concept of waqf. It must be part of a larger program involving intensive efforts by wealthy Muslims to reduce poverty and lift their country out of underdevelopment.
This system is already operational in many countries. It operates in the form of various funds managed either by individuals or by public or private bodies, such as NGOs and humanitarian associations.
For example, there are waqf funds for well drilling and drinking water supply.
Others concern medical assistance and the fight against the spread of diseases.
Waqf funds are used to support the education and training of orphans, to finance schools, training and literacy centers, waqf funds intended to finance micro-credit projects for poor families, others serve to finance food aid for the poor and the needy, other waqf’s mission is to build housing for students.
The waqf is used to fund popular pharmacies that provide free or low-cost medicines to the poor, and popular restaurants of the heart are also funded by the waqf.
Waqf extends to the protection of the environment, culture and thought. The waqf fund for the protection of the environment aims to raise the awareness of both the public and the authorities of the importance of the problems of pollution and its harmful effects on the environment in general and on the lives of citizens in general. particular.
The waqf fund for culture and thought aims to develop culture and creativity through the creation of libraries, the promotion of scientific research, conferences, round tables
Source: Waqf and development by Master Simozrag