Introduction to WAQF
Waqf is an alienable charitable endowment under Islamic law. It involves donating a building, plot of land or other assets for muslim religious and charitable purposes with no intention of reclaiming the assets.
The returns from the waqf properties are used to finance educational institute (Madarasa), Graveyards,mosques and shelter home etc.
Any Waqf must fulfill 3 primary things:
(1) The person doing Waqf and it’s maintain should sequester the principal and allocate the proceeds to charity.
(2) The endowment should legally be removed from commodification such that it is no longer in the market.
(3) It sole purpose must be charitable & the beneficiary group must be named.
Waqf has no direct Quranic presence but conception has been derived from Hadiths. During the time of Prophet, after Hijrah, the first Waqf was composed of a land with 600 date palms and were meant to feed Medina’s poor.
INDIA & WAQF
Referencesof Waqf in India can be found in 14 th century work, “Isha-i-Mahru” by Aynul Mulk Ibn Mahru in which it is mentioned that Sultan Muizuddin Sam Ghaor dedicated villages in the favour of Jama Masjid & Multan. As year passed by more waqfs were created.
Waqfs in India are governed by the WAQF Act in 1995. The Waqf is managed by a mutawali who acts as a supervisor. These are under Waqf Board headed by Chairperson, Nominees from State government, Muslim legislators & Parliamentarian, Muslim member of State Bar Council recognized scholars of Islamic Theology and Mutawali of Waqf with annual income of One lakh rupees & above.
The WAQF board has powers under the law to administer the property & take measures for recovery of lost properties of any Waqf by the way of Sale,Gift, Mortgage, Exchange or Lease. Also the sanction shall not be given unless atleast 2/3 rd of member of the WAQF board vote in favour of such transaction.
The Waqf institutions are Mosques, Dargahs, Ashurkhanas, Graveyards, Takhiya, Iddhgahs, Imambara, Anjumans & various religious and charitable institution for example there are aprrox 3,00,000 mosques in India and approx 24,010 madarsas. Since in India the muslim population is near to 22 crore currently in 2021 which is approx 14% of India’s population but the literacy rate is far less than many other socio-religious community. Also the share of Muslims in any Govt. Sector, IITs, IIMs, IAS, IPS, Police, Defence Forces are far less than the population share even at the level of legislators whether it’s MLAs or MPs.
Due to low literacy rate, lack of education most of the muslim population is engaged in self- employment or unorganized sector. The point of matter to be discussed here related to the WAQF Board & it’s Properties along with the Muslim Community is that the Waqf are fir the development & to fulfill the need of community. But before that it is more important that even the power of WAQF Boards should be decentralized & District WAQF Boards must be established for its better reach to the community on the ground.
As per Sachar Report (2006) there are 4.9 lakhs of registered Waqfs with 6,00,000 acres (2400 km^2) land in India. Current annual income from these properties are Rs. 163 crore which is 2.7% rate of return where as the market value is Rs. 1.2 lakh crore and has a potential to generate 20% of returns if efficiently utilized I.e 24,000 crore.
Since the return from these properties are used to finance & run Masjids, Madarasas and others it is important that Masjid & others Islamic institution should also fulfill it’s social responsibility related to health by contributing in a way to organize Health Camps and Blood donation Drive along with Hospitals. Even Sacchar Committee recommended that the Madarasas should be link with a higher secondary education board for a better opportunity for Muslim youth studied in Madarasas.
Since it is revealed that the Muslim concentrated areas are less developed specially in rural area for e.g UP. WAQF Board should along with the Govt. or on their Own establish Chartable Clinics & Hospitals and Schools in such areas for the Health and Educational upliftment of the Community.
The muslim community is mostly working in unorganized sectors or are self-employed it is important that WAQF Boards are established at District level and start loan programme at lowest rate for the benefit of Community.As the WAQF are for the benefit & development of the Community and the National & State WAQF Boards has Eminent & Famous scholars and person in the Council along with the representative such as MLAs & MPs also the People from Bar Council. It is their utmost priority and duty to intervene in the Govt. Schemes, share their views and made them more convenient to the community along with widen their reach on ground to aware about development programmes and schemes and set up Hospitals, Madarasas with Modern Education, Special schools for girls & programme for their empowerment, loans programme for Self- employed, workers in unorganized sector, for education purposes and other such events for the Development & Growth of the Community.
I am a Science Student pursing my masters in zoology from Mumbai’s RJ College Ghatkopar and also engaged in social sector via volunteering in different NGOs specially working in the field of Gender with MAVA by volunteering from 4 years. Also did diploma in research on Homosexuality from TISS via PUKAR along with these working with different Youth groups of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.