Waqf, or endowment, is a long-standing Islamic tradition of a voluntary, permanent dedication of one’s wealth to Allah. This Sadaqah Jariyah could be in the form of land, a building or even money.
When ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab acquired a piece of land, and asked the Prophet (pbuh) how best to use it, the Prophet advised him to establish a waqf: “make the land inalienable (unable to be sold or given away), and give its profit away as charity.”
Over the centuries this tradition of given away land, building and the profits from these as charity has continued. Today waqf’s have been used as schools, hospitals and mosques to benefit the community.
Today, modern Islamic charities like African Development Trust accept monetary donations as Waqf too. We invest the money wisely and use the profits to fund our development programmes to help the poorest communities around the world. In the last 14 years we have used our Waqf profits to build wells, provide healthcare and distributed emergency aid to flood victims in Kashmir.