Why Do Muslims Need the Waqf System?

There are several reasons why Waqf exists in Islam. This article attempts to explain some of the reasons why Muslims need the Waqf system. These reasons are explained as follows:

  • Firstly, one reason is to build religious infrastructure such as mosques and Madaris (plural of Madrasa) for Muslims in the West where non-Muslims are the majority and the Governments do not provide such services.
  • Secondly, since most Muslim countries are beset with high rates of poverty and income inequality, Muslims need the waqf system in order to reduce poverty and to redistribute wealth. Waqf can help reduce these problems thereby reducing the financial burden on Governments.
  • Waqf, when effectively administered, has the potential to reduce the financial burden on Governments by also providing social services such as hospitals and schools. Because of issues such as weak economic and political institutions (types of social infrastructure), there is inefficiency in providing social services in most Muslim countries. Therefore, Islamic Social Finance instruments such as Waqf is an ideal means of effectively meeting the social service needs in Muslim countries.
  • Another reason why Muslims need Waqf is to provide intermediation for perpetual social savings (Shaikh, Ismail & Mohd Shafiai, 2017). Through waqf, surplus segments of the society intending to engage in philanthropic acts are linked with the deficit segments such as the poor and needy.
  • Another reason why Muslims need the waqf system is to complement Zakah because Zakah cannot be collected to exceed the prescribed portion of wealth. Another way waqf complements Zakah is by having a wider array of use. The evidence is as follows:

“The alms are only for the Fuqara’ (the poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy) and those employed to collect (the funds), and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam), and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.”

[Al-Quran 9:60]

Based on this Quranic verse, Zakah has only eight categories of people that qualify. However, waqf can be used for these categories of people and much more.

  • Another reason why Muslims need the waqf system is to earn Allah’s pleasure by giving. Allah says in the holy Quran:

“By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give of that which you love”

[Quran 3:92]

Having said all these, we end this article by calling for you to invest in your akhira (hereafter). You may read more about what we do at Finterra’s WAQFChain and invest in your akhira through this platform.


Shaikh, S. A., Ismail, A. G., & Mohd Shafiai, M. H. (2017). Application of waqf for social and development finance. ISRA International Journal of Islamic Finance, 9(1), 5–14. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJIF-07-2017-002