Tun Abdullah Badawi, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, has launched the Waqf (Islamic Endowment) crowdfunding platform or WaqfWorld. Described as the “worlds first” the new platform was announced at the 12th World Islamic Economic Foundation Forum (WIEF) held in Jakarta this past week The platform was developed in partnership with EthisVentures.com.
Waqf is defined as ‘an endowment made by a Muslim to a religious, educational, social or charitable cause’. Waqf is an important foundation of the Muslim religion and is a permanent and institutionalized act of donation. Once a Waqf is created the property may no longer be donated, bequeathed or sold in the future. It is a recommended benevolent act in Islam, as it is based on contributing to philanthropic causes recommended by textual sources, namely the Quran and the Sunnah(examples of Prophet Muhammad). Historically, waqf has served many purposes including the construction and maintenance of Islamic religious, educational, scientific and social institutions. WaqfWorld.org is said to combine Waqf with the dynamism of crowdfunding.
The idea of establishing waqf-based crowdfunding was first proposed bythe Research Center for Islamic Economics and Finance (EKONIS), Universiti KebangsaanMalaysia (UKM) in a roundtable discussion (RTD) organized by the Islamic Development Bank’s Research and Training Institute (IRTI) in January 2016 in Jeddah. Founding patron, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi saw the potential of Waqf Crowdfunding to develop the Ummah (the whole community of Muslims bound together by ties of religion). Waqf has played an important role for Tun Abdullah, who implemented “breakthrough Waqf initiatives” during his tenure as the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Tun Abdullah Badawi released a statement on the new platform;
‘Waqf is an institution that can unite and bring socio-economic development to the Muslim World.’Ummah development is the focus of WaqfWorld.org. We use technology to improve Cash Waqf flows to Partner Mutawallis(authorised or recognised Waqf trustees or managers)and Charitiesfor their campaigns including Islamic microfinance, education or human capital development, humanitarian relief, social enterpriseor religious activities/assets. We are actively seeking for more beneficiary partners to join us.”
Managing Partner of Waqf World, Adi Rahman welcomed any Waqf organization from the around the world to list their projects on the site.
“…so as to build trust and sustainability.’WaqfWorld.org is developed and operated by the EthisVentures.com family of Islamic crowdfunding platforms, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts,” said Rahman.
EthisVentures was founded by Umar Munshi,who is also the Chairman of the Islamic Fintech Alliance. EthisVentures provides end-to-end Islamic Crowdfunding solutions and infrastructure.
WaqfWorld.org does not charge beneficiaries or users any fees. The platform is completely free during the initial phase. Operational costs will be partially borne by voluntary contributions, and other resources provided by Ethis Ventures.
‘We are socially-driven and our activities are focused on community-building. Waqf is a natural institution for us to support, and is a core platform in our family of Islamic Crowdfunding platforms,” stated Munshi.