Awqaf Beneficiaries – Venerable or Vulnerable?

Hisham Dafterdar, CPA, PhD Chairman Awkaf Australia Ltd The waqf is a feature of Islamic civilization; and it’s not so much about the grand mosques that awe and inspire, or the magnificent shrines that amaze and impress. It’s more about the schools and universities, the hospitals, orphanages, and nursing homes that serve and care.  It…

Maqasid al-Shariah, SDGs and Environment

In this blog I seek to demonstrate the convergence of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in general, and the goal of climate management in particular with the objectives (Maqasid) of Shariah (MaS). Since the MaS should determine the trajectory of Islamic finance, the latter should be geared towards achievement of the SDGs in general and climate management…

Zakat Payment to Non-Muslims: Revisiting the Issues

In an earlier post (Should zakat be used for humanitarian finance?) I discussed whether zakat payment is exclusively meant for Muslims, noting the divergence of views among scholars on this issue. There is, of course, nothing whatsoever, in Islamic law against payment of other forms of (non-zakat) charitable contributions to non-Muslims. The Malaysian state of Perlis…

A Crowd-Funding Platform for Managing Zakat and Sadaqa

In a few earlier posts I sought to build a case in favor of creating a centralized pool/ platform (Should Zakat be Centralized in India?) for managing zakat and sadaqa (including sadaqa jariya or waqf) funds in India. I argued and pleaded for a few volunteer-IT professionals to come together and build the platform as a pilot project…

A Model Orphanage in Kazakhstan

Ensuring a life of dignity for orphans is a very special act of piety, benevolence and kindness in Islam as in all religions. The holy Quran says: “Treat not the orphan with harshness” (Quran 93:9) Creating a sense of responsibility towards orphans, the Quran says: “They ask you, (O Muhammad), what they shall spend. Say:…

Developing a Governance Framework for Islamic Social Finance Institutions

February 12, 2015 An Islamic social finance institution is essentially a non-profit or charity organization that seeks to operationalize the concepts of waqf, zakah, sadaqah and qard hasan. It has unique assets and liabilities, income and expenditure. By definition, an Islamic non-profit rules out return-seeking share capital. It creates assets through (i) waqf of “permanent”…

Lessons from a Hospital Tragedy

Social edupreneurs like Dr Manoj Nayak deserve respect. I am shocked to see how quickly our society can brush aside all the contribution of this man towards education, healthcare, social development and what-have-you in the state of Odisha and be swayed by a hostile media. Don’t we, the parents of thousands of children who can now…

Making Sense of Onion Economics in India: Can Islamic Finance Help?

I was motivated to write this piece by the story of a poor farmer in India. The story of this 48-year old farmer Devidas Parvane from the Rasai village of Pune in Maharashtra state in India as reported in the mainstream media captures a classic unresolved problem of agricultural finance in India. The farmer brought…

Islamic Finance in India: A New Beginning?

It was an Indian scholar, Dr Muhammad Nejatullah Siddiqi who provided the first theoretical model for an Islamic bank in his celebrated book “Banking without Interest” in the 1960s. He went on to contribute immensely to the development of Islamic economics as a discipline. Way back in 1996, the Xavier Institute of Management in Bhubaneswar, India…

Islamic Social Finance at World Humanitarian Summit

It was an eagerly awaited event. A day before the event, the daily Star of Malaysia published an interview titled “Taking Islamic Social Finance to the World” with HE the Sultan of Perak who would lead a special session on Islamic Social Finance at the United Nation’s inaugural World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul. The…

Should Zakat Be Used for Humanitarian Finance?

On March 26 a very interesting document “An Act of Faith: Humanitarian Financing and Zakat” prepared by Chloe Stirk was launched at an event hosted by Development Initiatives and Muslim Charities Forum in London. The paper echoes the concerns expressed by UN Humanitarian Summit at the ever-increasing demand and supply gap for humanitarian funds. For instance, the paper points…

Revisiting Islamic Philanthropy for Sustainable Opportunities Finance

2nd Yayasan Tun Ismail Berdafter Public Lecture on Islamic Finance at Kuala Lumpur Plan of Lecture: Opportunities Finance in Islam Institutions of Islamic Philanthropy 2.1. Institution of Zakat 2.2. Institution of Waqf Meeting the Resources Gap 3.1. Estimating the Resource Gap 3.2. Estimating the Potential Resources from Zakat 3.3. Estimation of Potential Resources from Waqf…