Awqaf, by definition, create sustainable entities, governed as they are by the fundamental principles of perpetuity, inalienability, and irrevocability. The institution of waqf offers a powerful mechanism to generate sustainable resources. The endowed assets could be dedicated to provide a range of public benefits. However, the potential of waqf in providing for a sustainable source of funding for socio-economic development of Muslim societies remains largely untapped. Contemporary developments in the Islamic finance sector have opened up many possibilities in terms of new structures for financing development of waqf assets.
There is therefore, an urgent institutional need for imparting knowledge and skills in the art and science of waqf development and develop a cadre of trained professionals and managers well-versed in the Shariah aspects of waqf as well as in the scientific techniques of management of charity-based and not-for-profit institutions. Realizing this need, the IIIBF has embarked on this ambitious program to develop a cadre of certified waqf professionals to address the challenge of human resource development for the Islamic charity-based and not-for-profit organizations.
The course covers the following major areas in five modules:
1. Waqf and Comprehensive Human Development – I: This module provides an overview of the role of waqf in comprehensive human development in the framework of the objectives (Maqasid) of Shariah (MaS), exploring its historical evolution, typology and related Shariah principles. By relating specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the primary sources of Shariah and to the goals (Maqasid) of Shariah, the module demonstrates the role of waqf in achieving the specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to poverty, hunger, healthcare and education and the overall goals (Maqasid) of the Shariah.
2. Waqf and Comprehensive Human Development – II: This module is a continuation of the previous module that relates the remaining thirteen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the primary sources of Shariah principles and to the goals (Maqasid) of Shariah provides. It demonstrates the role of waqf in achieving these specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to gender equality and family empowerment, provision of water, sanitation, energy, affordable and safe shelter focusing on inclusive growth, employment and industrialization, environmenal balance and protecting the planet, strong institutions for peace, justice and partnership-based development within the overall framework of (Maqasid) of the Shariah.
3. Shariah-Legal Compliance in Waqf: This module focuses on the twin challenges of creating new awqaf as well as managing existing awqaf. It provides a comprehensive understanding of how to create and manage a waqf according to the rules of the Shariah or a waqf-based organization given the legal and regulatory framework in various countries; some of which have dedicated laws of waqf. The coverage includes creation of near-waqf institutions e.g. trusts and foundations in countries that lack a dedicated legal and regulatory environment for waqf. A unique feature of the module is its coverage of accountability and governance considerations and how awqaf regulations and guidance principles influences the waqf practices in this regard.
4. Business and Financing Decisions in Waqf: This module focuses on the significance of enhancing potential benefits for intended beneficiaries through developing existing waqf assets. It provides an understanding of the investment and financing modes available in classical books of fiqh, as well as the modern financial structures for developing waqf assets involving the financial institutions and capital markets with an additional focus on the advanced and more complex financial mechanisms for development of awqaf assets involving composite structures and securitization.
5. Innovations and Good Practices in Waqf Sector: This module comprises several case studies that highlight some recent innovations, e.g. fintech applications as well good practices in waqf sector. The case studies highlight how to overcome the challenges of mobilizing resources for financing of waqf development through creative and innovative structures, new products (e.g. sukuk), of enhancing accountability, transparency and good governance in waqf-based organizations; and how to efficiently and effectively use the institution of waqf for provision of various public goods and services including microfinance and addressing needs of the humanitarian and development sector.