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This concise report will address fundamental issues about how Islamic institutions can establish awqaf (religious endowments) and start making use of conservative, "core capital protected" investment strategies.
Islamic Charitable Organizations
Mosques and modern Islamic schools across the Western hemisphere, from the wealthy Westbury mosque in Long Island to the eighty-plus mosques in the Greater Toronto Area, face a recurring problem: fundraising and how they can catalyse their trust funds to sustain themselves long-term instead of relying on continuous funding drives and donations.
Current turmoil in world financial markets provides ample opportunity for Islamic institutions to deploy stagnant capital and earn potentially excellent returns. While Islamic finance requires further integration and inflow into the world economy, significant progress has already been made in the structuring and selling of Shari'a-compliant investment products within existing frameworks.
This concise report will assist boards of directors at Islamic charitable organizations who conduct regular fundraising cycles, academics at law schools, business colleges and history departments, and Shari'a advisory firms and will address fundamental issues about how Islamic institutions can establish awqaf (religious endowments) and start making use of conservative, "core capital protected" investment strategies.
Awqaf are an integral part of Islamic heritage. While Muslims in the West have previously had to focus on issues of settlement, such as securing sources of halal food and places of worship, the next generation of Muslims can start to focus on sustainable funding for their institutions and on financial products that comport more closely with their religious beliefs. By following the example of university endowments at Oxford and Harvard, once inspired by awqaf themselves, Muslim institutions can reclaim a piece of their long-lost heritage.