CM: Islamic ‘wakaf’ concept can be expanded

Posted on : 13 Sep 2017  Source of News: borneo post online

Misnu (fourth left) performs the gimmick to declare open the seminar on ‘wakaf’ at Miri Islamic Complex. Looking on are Ahmad Lai (second left), Abang Shibli (on Misnu’s right) and Kipli (on Misnu’s left).

MIRI: The Islamic concept of ‘wakaf’ is not only meant to help less-fortunate Muslims, but also strengthen the Islamic economy.

According to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, the ‘wakaf’ practice can serve to educate the people about appreciating and treating property ownership and bequest according to Islamic teachings.

“The practice of giving away properties for ‘wakaf’ educates Muslims about the social responsibility of property owners in the eyes of Islam, apart from their obligation to pay the ‘zakat’ (tithe) meant for the development of the ‘ummah’ (people or society),” he said at the opening of the ‘Sarawak Wakaf Seminar 2017’ at Miri Islamic Complex yesterday, where his text-of-speech was read by Sarawak Islamic Council president Datu Misnu Taha.

In Islam, ‘wakaf’ is defined as ‘a perpetual dedication of property by a person, a group or a body through a will, donation or directive – meant for religious and charitable purposes’.

Adding on, Abang Johari said ‘wakaf’ has been the practice among Sarawak Muslims for years – disclosing that there are eight ‘wakaf khas’ (special) and one ‘wakaf am’ (general) for this year that are still in process.

The ‘wakaf am’ refers to the surrendering of the property to the administrator without specifying any particular purpose for it – in other words, this property can be developed for any purpose, provided it is in accordance with the ‘shariah’ (law) and requirements in Islam.

The ‘wakaf khas’ is the opposite – the purpose is specific such as the property to be developed into a surau, a mosque, a cemetery ground or a welfare centre.

In this respect, Abang Johari believed that it is time for the concept of ‘wakaf’ to be diversified further – meaning it can also be in other forms of properties such as cash and shares.

Moreover, he encouraged fellow Muslims in Sarawak to exercise ‘wakaf’ in any way that they could.

“Prophet Muhammad SAW himself was the first to practise the ‘wakaf’ through the building of the Quba Mosque during his migration to Medina, followed by the Nabawi Mosque also in Medina. The Oxford University in England was also developed under the ‘wakaf’ model.

“Although ‘wakaf’ is not obligatory for every Muslim, it is ‘sunat muakkad’ (act that is strongly recommended) in Islam.

The seminar was attended by more than 500 people.

Sibuti MP Datuk Ahmad Lai Bujang, Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak (TBS) board chairman Datu Putit Matzen, TBS general manager Datu Abang Mohammad Shibli Abang Mohammad Nailie and Sarawak Mufti Datu Kipli Yassin were also present.