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International Waqf Conference 2007

International Waqf  Conference Southern Africa

Cape Town,17-19 August 2007  3-5 Shabaan 1428

Waqf Conference Recommendations

Click here to Download a PDF Copy of the Recommendations


Jointly organised by: National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (AWQAF SA),

Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) – a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB),  and Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation (KAPF).

Theme: “Developing Waqf Institutions for Sustainable Community Development and  Poverty Eradication (Shari’ah, Legal, and Regulatory Perspectives).”


Conference Recommendations

Where as various topics and issues were deliberated and concern was expressed for the development, revitalisation, promotion, protection, governance, and successful implementation of the Waqf Institution for poverty alleviation and community development within the Southern African Region and Internationally, the Conference hereby  makes the following recommendations for the further development of Waqf Institution in line with the theme of the Conference:    

1.        That  each country,  especially in minority Muslim communities such as the SADC region, develop a broad community based Waqf  institution.

2.        Establish  and capacitate  a “Southern African Awqaf Development Council” with the following objectives:

a.        to bring together Waqf Institutions and Commissions in the region;

b.        to promote and create Waqf/Awqaf  in the respective areas/countries;

c.        to develop Waqf investments according to a set of criteria and laying down specific guidelines;

d.        to formulate regulatory, governance, accounting and reporting standards for Waqf institutions with the involvement of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), International Financial Services Board (IFSB) and  Islamic Rating Agency (IRA);

e.        to establish (i) a Professional Code of Conduct and a Code of Ethics for Mutawallees/Trustees, Management,  and other full time and volunteer workers of the Waqf financial services industry;  (ii) a Governance Charter for the Waqf Boards & Commissions, and (iii) an  international accreditation authority to enforce such charters and professional codes.

f.         to establish a Shari’ah Advisory Council in order to provide Waqf institutions with the necessary expertise on Shari’ah compliance and related issues;

g.        to build capacity in the region for local Waqf institutions; and

h.        to open dialogue with governments in order to facilitate systems and enabling legislation for the creation and regulation of Waqf.

3.        Work towards a Waqf Education,  Training, and Awareness programme in the region in order to:

a.        promote the training and advocacy on Waqf matters including the history,  theory,  practice, and management of Waqf;

b.        create Waqf training at all levels: (i) establish a Chair on “Awqaf  Studies” at either a Muslim managed University or a tertiary institution that offers programs in Islamic Economics and related sciences; (ii) develop  certified courses as well as Post Graduate Courses at honours, masters, and PHD level  at selected tertiary institutions in the region and around the world; (iii)  develop an Awqaf   Studies  curriculum for schools and madaris;  and (iv) provide training to volunteers;

c.        extend the KAPF “Waqf Cadre” training programme to Southern Africa and in addition to hold special programmes for the training of Ulama in the various regions;

d.        establish a scholarship fund for potential students in  Awqaf  Studies wherever the studies are being (or will be) offered; and

e.        popularise the Waqf system to the broader ummah and public.

4.        That the partners of this Conference, namely Awqaf SA, IDB/IRTI and KAPF, together with other institutions  present at the Conference (e.g. Muslim Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS); Awqaf & Minors Foundation, Dubai), and other stakeholders cooperate in the establishment and promotion of the following:

a.        capacity building for Waqf institutions in the various regions in Africa and  around the world;

b.        support institutions in poverty alleviation and community development on the African continent;

c.        establish structures for microfinance and micro enterprise to assist communities in need,  and develop practical models for their implementation;

d.        encourage and support the holding of more international and regional Waqf conferences, seminars, and symposia  in order to keep abreast with new thinking and development in the field; and

e.        a follow-up strategic workshop be held prior to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to track and monitor the post conference  gains.

5.        Develop an inventory and a register of Waqf properties in the region and identify properties for development in cooperation with the Awqaf Property Investment Fund of the IDB and other stakeholders.

6.        Create forums, special sessions, seminars and conferences, and affirmative action programmes regarding the involvement of women as paper presenters, their roles in Waqf making, fieldworkers, and in the management of Awqaf; investigate, study, and advise how Awqaf may be established to cater for the special needs of women – as beneficiaries, benefactors, service providers,  and office bearers in the Waqf sector.  

7.        Commission a team of experts to draft a model Waqf Law  for possible adoption, with adaptation, by countries within the region and beyond with the purpose of protecting, enhancing, and regulating Waqf institutions particularly in Muslim minority countries.

8.        That resolutions of all past and present Waqf conferences and seminars be compiled and studied for follow up and accountability purposes.

9.        That all papers of all prior Waqf conferences and seminars be compiled and selected papers be published.

10.     Facilitate the translation of relevant literature from Arabic to regional languages.

11.      Establish an online Waqf Library in the main languages of the various regions.

12.     That the partners of the Conference and other stakeholders be encouraged to invest  Waqf/ other  funds in the region for the sustainability of the Waqf institution as well as the relevant community development and poverty alleviation projects with a view to achieving social justice.

13.     That Waqf institutions should focus on the social development priorities, needs, and concerns of the communities in their respective regions and countries taking into account national social development imperatives and policies by means of social justice philanthropy.

14.     That innovative methods be developed on a continuous basis in the revitalisation of the Waqf system and mobilisation of Waqf funds and to transfer successful experiences to the broader Awqaf sector.  

15.     That Waqf institutions use new shari’ah compliant financial instruments to mobilise Waqf funds for the development of Waqf properties.

16.     That the Islamic Financial Services sector including Islamic Banks, Islamic Windows of conventional banks, Shari’ah compliant Mutual/Unit Trust Funds, and Takaful  institutions be encouraged  and called upon to  (i) structure investment products (ii) provide investment opportunities and (iii) create financing mechanisms for the development of Waqf properties that are commensurate with Waqf aims and objectives;

17.     That the Islamic Development Bank leads the way towards the establishment of an International Awqaf Bank.

18.     That an International Awqaf Development Council (IADC) be established under the auspices of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Islamic Development Bank to promote and develop the Waqf sector in various regions of the world as major role player and stakeholder in Community development and poverty alleviation.  The IADC should be a representative body of the various regional and country Waqf institutions and also have observer status at the OIC.

19.      Recognising that  Waqf  in  several countries is state controlled, the Conference urges Governments and Ministries of Awqaf of the OIC member countries and the governments in the SADC region  towards  the formation of  well regulated civil society community based Waqf/ Charitable Endowment Institutions, a thriving NGO sector, with maximum tax benefits for donors and exemptions  for Waqf Institutions in cooperation with bodies such as the proposed regional and International Awqaf Development Councils.

20.      That Awqaf SA, and  IRTI/IDB jointly take the responsibility of establishing a working committee with a view to pursuing the implementation of the foregoing resolutions in consultation with KAPF and where appropriate, in partnership with other stakeholders.

The above recommendations have been duly accepted and endorsed by the Conference and its organisers.

National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (AWQAF SA),

Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) – a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB),  and

Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation (KAPF).


21 September 2007/  9 Ramadaan 1428

Concept Document: Click here to download the document


17-19 AUGUST 2007 v  3-5 SHABAAN 1428


The institution of Waqf * (pl:  Awqaf, waqfs)  started in the earliest days of the nascent community of Medina under the leadership and guidance of  the Noble Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him). The call to voluntary charitable endowment making was immediately followed by a flood of gifts to Allah by the Righteous Companions of the Prophet. (Pbuh)  to benefit and strengthen the growing community and state. Furthermore the spirit of giving  by civil society of all ranks was grounded in Qur’anic verses such as “None of you shall attain righteousness until you give from what you love” (Ale Imran Sura 3:92). In fact with the revelation of the aforementioned verse, a revolution started in the field of  Waqf making.   

Over some 14 centuries,  the notion of  waqf spread worldwide with the growth and development of  Islamic Civilisation and communities resulting in Awqaf becoming a major roleplayer in the various sectors of community development. It has been recounted in the literature that the entire Health, Education, and Welfare budget during the Osmanli Caliphate based in Istanbul, came from its Islamic charitable endowments or Awqaf.    

Sadly, with invasion, occupation, and colonisation also came a wave of destruction of indigenous cultures, languages, and institutions. The institution of waqf was one such victim. Although several thousand dysfunctional waqfs still  do exist today, many  have been nationalised by post colonial governments. 

On the one hand, the revitalisation of this historic institution has become a major priority in both Muslim and minority Muslim communities as is evidenced by the exhortation by Muslim leaders and the plethora of conferences around the institution of waqf. On the other hand. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is the poorest region in the world, where poverty, hunger, and HIV/AIDS have reached epidemic proportions. The institution of awqaf can play a major role in the socio-economic development of this region. 

The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation (KAPF),   together with the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (AWQAF SA) will jointly host an International Waqf Conference during the period  17-19 August 2007 / 3-5 Shabaan 1428 in Cape Town, South Africa.   


Developing Waqf Institutions for Sustainable Community Development and  Poverty Eradication (Shari’ah, Legal, and Regulatory Perspectives).”


  • to explore the Shari’ah, legal and regulatory issues that affect the growth of  waqf institutions and organisations
  • to explore possibilities of integrating waqf  with the Islamic Financial services sector especially in infrastructure and commercial property project financing 
  • to highlight the importance of  Waqf  so that it is better known and understood   
  • to promote and expand academic studies and teaching on the subject of  Waqf  in the SADC region
  • to explore the potential role of  waqf in  sustainable community development, poverty alleviation,  and infrastructure development
  • to suggest ways and reforms so that the impediments to the growth of waqf  institutions can be minimized. 
  • to  revitalise the institution of waqf in the SADC and Sub Saharan region


IRTI  (established in 1401H /!981) isa member of the Islamic Development Bank Group  (IDB) based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  The purpose of IRTI is to undertake research for enabling  economic, financial and banking activities in Muslim countries  and Muslim minority communities in non-member countries conforming to Shari’ah and to extend training facilities to personnel engaged in economic development activities in the Bank’s member countries. For more information:  www.irti.org. IDB is a subsidiary organ of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).

Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation(KAPF) was established by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in 1993 as an effective, efficient, and modern institution responsible for managing publicly held awqaf in Kuwait. The main objective of KAPF is to strengthen the status of waqf  as a cornerstone of  the third sector of the economy and consolidate its role in shaping the state’s development policies. KAPF also aims at activating the role of waqf as an effective institution in managing community affairs. This strategy was the prime factor behind the move towards promotion and development of awqaf assets of Kuwait.  For more information: www.awqaf.org

AWQAF SA is a South African registered community-based trust. Its key focus areas are  to:  popularise the prophetic waqf system and mobilise waqf funds; mobilise and engage human resources; and,  to initiate and/or contribute to a variety of worthwhile sustainable community development projects and programmes. AWQAF SA  initiated and coordinated the Bicentennial Commemoration of the Unbanning of Islam and Religious Freedom in SA during 2004. In 2006 Awqaf SA  successfully co-hosted the International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern Africa. For more information: awqafsa.org.za




  • Teachers, researchers, ulama, academics and social workers
  • Bankers, Financial & Estate Planners, & Islamic Financial Services Providers
  • Accountants & Lawyers
  • Community, Social, and Local Economic Development practitioners 
  • Institutions and persons involved and interested in awqaf and development.
  • The appropriate ministries and ministers responsible for awqaf  and socil adevelopment
  • OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference) Member States’ diplomatic representatives
  • Representatives of  Muslim Communities in Southern Africa/SADC Countries
  • Students and general public


  • Sustainable Community Development
  • Country case studies
  • Investments & Economic Enterprises
  • Local Economic Development
  • Social Enterprises
  • Shariah, Legal & Regulatory
  • Corporate Governance
  • Integrating with Islamic Financial Services
  • Innovations in Waqf products & services


Several international and local speakers and experts addressed the conference.


The organisers will endeavour to run a  separate one day Masterclass training session which will  be conducted by Masterclass Trainers in Structuring Project Finance for Waqf Project Development.     



Local Organizing Committee: Awqaf SA P O 36120  Glosderry   7702 South AfricaTel: : +27(0)21-6964613 Fax: : +27(0)21- 6964614E-mail: info@awqafsa.org.za

Web-site: awqafsa.org.za

Fax: +27(0)88011-8378669


Mickaeel Collier (Cape Town)

+27 (0)82 2164269

 Raaghieb Najjaar (Cape Town)

+27 (0)832618874

 Zeinoul Abedien Cajee (Jhb)

+27 (0)82 8768027 

Technical  Committee:IRTIDr. Habib AhmedTel : +966-2- 636-1400
Fax: +966-2-637 8927
E-mail: Hahmed@isdb.orgWebsite:  www.irti.org



Awqaf SA

Dr Ismail Munshi (Jhb)  +27(0)82 7864572


 Dr Salie Abrahams

International Peace University

Cape Town