Waqf in the Islamic concept refers to the handover or transfer of ownership rights over an asset to a specific purpose, usually for public or charitable purposes. The waqf asset can be in the form of land, buildings, or other assets. The purpose of waqf is to provide benefits to society or to support various charitable activities.

In other words, waqf involves the retention of an asset which then yields its results. A person who commits waqf is relinquishing ownership of useful assets, without diminishing their value, to be handed over to a specific individual or group to be utilized for Sharia-compliant purposes.

Waqf assets can be used to solve various social problems, for the benefit of the people in a sustainable manner. Starting from education, health, micro-economy, transportation facilities, places of worship, to da'wah activities and others. Through waqf, the value of wealth is not only eternal, but its benefits and goodness continue to grow.

The Law of Waqf

The law of waqf in Islam is commanded by the Qur'an and hadith. The Quran mentions the concept of waqf and encourages Muslims to do good deeds. Some of the Quranic verses that discuss waqf include:

"O you who believe, give away some of what you have earned and some of what We bring forth from the earth for you. Do not choose that which is bad for you to give away, while you do not want to take it, except by straining your eyes against it. Know that Allah is All-Rich, All-Praised." (Q.S. Al-Baqarah [2]: 267)

"(Those) who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend some of the sustenance We bestow upon them." (Q.S. Al-Baqarah [2]: 3)

The ruling of waqf is sunnah mu'akkadah (recommended sunnah) and is a form of good deed recommended by Islam.

The Pillars of Waqf

Imam Nawawi in the book Raudhatut Thalibin explains that there are four pillars of waqf, namely:

1. Al-waqif (the person who endows),

2. Al-mauquf (the property being waqfed),

3. Al-mauquf 'alaih (the party to whom the waqf is intended to benefit),

4. Shighah (the pledge of waqf from the person who endows).

It is important to note that waqf assets may only be used and utilized without ownership rights. This is different from zakat which can be owned by individuals and traded. Muslims who donate waqf not only get the reward when giving the waqf, but also continue to receive the reward when the waqf property is used by others, even after the donor dies.

Waqf, in the context of Islamic civilization, has an important role in improving community welfare and economic empowerment. As such, waqf is not only an act of charity but also an investment in sustainable good.

Types of Waqf

Types of waqf are divided into three main categories, namely khairi waqf, expert waqf, and musytarak waqf. The following is a brief explanation of each type of waqf:

1. Khairi Waqf

Waqf khairi refers to waqf that is intended for the public interest or the benefit of mankind at large. Its purpose is to provide benefits that are general in nature and not limited to specific groups or individuals.

Examples of khairi waqf may involve the construction of public facilities such as schools, hospitals, mosques, or water wells for the common use of the community.

Waqf khairi reflects the spirit of humanity and concern for public needs. Donors who choose khairi waqf seek to make contributions that can empower and improve the quality of life of the community as a whole regardless of background or group.

2. Expert Waqf

Expert waqf is a type of waqf that is intended for certain groups or individuals, such as the family or descendants of the waqf donor. Unlike khairi waqf, which provides general benefits to society, expert waqf focuses more on providing benefits to parties who have a specific relationship with the waqf donor.

Some characteristics and examples of expert waqf can be seen from its more specific purpose, which is to provide benefits to certain groups or individuals determined by the endowers. Thus, the benefits of expert waqf are not general in nature, but are specifically intended for the benefit of people who are closely related to the waqf donor, such as family or descendants.

An example of the application of expert waqf could involve the granting of land or buildings to the family of the waqf donor with limited usage rights and benefits. In addition, expert waqf can be used to provide support to the waqf's family, for example in the form of housing, education, or other welfare assistance.

Expert waqf reflects the will of the donor to provide specialized and more personalized support to certain groups or individuals. This can be a form of concern for the sustainability and welfare of a family or community with whom the donor has a close relationship.

3. Musytarak Waqf

Musytarak waqf combines elements of both khairi and expert waqf. This means that its benefits can be enjoyed by the public as well as for specific groups or individuals. Thus, musytarak waqf has a general benefit dimension as well as providing benefits to groups or individuals that have been determined by the waqf donor.

An example of musytarak waqf could involve the construction of a health center that is accessible to the general public, but also has special facilities for the family of the donor or designated parties.

Musytarak waqf reflects an attempt to harmonize the general good by giving special attention to groups that may need additional support. Through this type of waqf, waqf endowers seek to create a balanced and sustainable impact in providing benefits to society and certain selected groups.

Through this division, the concept of waqf reflects the diversity in the utilization of assets for the benefit of the public, specific groups, or both. This illustrates the flexibility of waqf in providing benefits to society as a whole or in accordance with the wishes and values of the donor.

The Virtues of Waqf

Waqf has several virtues and advantages in the view of Islam. Scholars as well as the hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) mention several benefits and blessings associated with the practice of waqf.

Here are some of the virtues of waqf in Islam:

  • Ever-Flowing Rewards

The waqf donor not only gets the reward when the asset is given for waqf, but also continues to receive the reward as long as the benefits of the waqf continue, even after the waqf donor passes away.

  • Investment in Blessings

Waqf is considered a blessing investment that keeps on flowing. The benefits derived from waqf can cover various fields such as education, health, and social, so its blessings involve many aspects of people's lives.

  • Improving Social Welfare

Waqf has the potential to improve the social and economic welfare of the community. For example, waqf can be used to establish educational facilities, hospitals, or social service centres, all of which can benefit many people.

  • Community Empowerment

Waqf can also be a tool for community empowerment by providing resources for local economic development, skills training, and projects that support environmental sustainability.

  • Maintenance of Property Value

Waqf involves the retention of property rights, so that the value of the property is maintained and does not diminish. This allows for the sustainable utilization of the asset without diminishing the principal of the waqf.

  • Meeting Social Needs

Waqf can be used to fulfil various social needs, including education, health, and social assistance, ultimately aiming to improve the quality of life of the community.

  • A Jariah Practice

Waqf is considered a jariah practice (charity that continues to give rewards) because its benefits can be felt by future generations.

  • Worship and Obedience

Waqf donors are considered to be performing acts of worship and obedience to Allah SWT by setting aside a portion of their wealth for the public good.

These virtues of waqf create a system that not only provides physical or economic benefits, but also brings spiritual values and blessings to society. Waqf is considered a means to achieve social justice