Waqf literally waqf means to stop, contain, or to preserve. In Islamic terms, a Waqf is a voluntary, permanent, irrevocable dedication of a portion of one’s wealth – in cash or kind – to Allah. Once a waqf, it never gets gifted, inherited, or sold. It belongs to Allah and always remains intact. The fruits of the waqf may be utilised for benefits to society.
Waqf fund is an amount donated with the intention of committing a philanthropic deed in perpetuity.
A person can’t own a waqf donation and it isn’t something that can be sold. The benefits of this donation continue through generations.
“When a person dies, their acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious child who prays for them.” – Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
Assets can be donated as Waqf or any amount may be donated to builds mosques, schools, clinics, and other socio-religious assets which keep helping the community. A Waqf may be made by any sane adult male or female and with any amount – not only by the rich and famous but one and all – irrespective of social or economic background – according to means.
Forms of Waqf Assets
Economic Assets: These are usually fixed assets that generate income and include but are not limited to rentable shops, houses, farms, shares in companies or businesses, etc.
Social Assets: These are also fixed or capital assets and include but are not limited to educational institutes, mosques, healthcare institutes, libraries, community centers, etc.
Difference between Waqf, Zakat and Sadaqah
Waqf are permanent endowments such as buildings, land, and other assets that can be used continuously for charitable or religious purposes.
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 (SAW), setting up a Waqf is not mandatory.
Sadaqah is considered general charity and giving to Islamic Aid can be considered a specific form of ‘Sadaqah’.
Yes, Waqf is permanent. The donor (or heirs) cannot revoke the endowment if it has already been declared a Waqf, to ensure that the Waqf is created solely for charity purposes and that it will keep on benefiting the society.