Conference Invitation:

International Waqf Fund 2024 Conference

Unlocking Generosity: Waqf Instruments for Wealth Management in the West

Executive Summary:

We are pleased to announce the “Unlocking Generosity: Waqf Instruments for Wealth Management in the West” conference, which will serve as a platform to explore the rich history and potential of waqf (Islamic endowments) and discuss innovative strategies for raising funds to support waqf initiatives. This conference aims to bring together scholars, experts, philanthropists, and community leaders to foster a deeper understanding of waqf and its crucial role in shaping the socio-economic landscape in Muslim communities in the West.

Introduction:

Waqf demands a multidimensional approach that transcends the confines of economics and finance. It exists within a broader context, influenced by factors such as culture, institutional frameworks, and legal systems. Faith and religion stand as pivotal parameters, essential to understanding and harnessing the potential of waqf. Since the late 1970s, economists have embarked on a journey to rejuvenate waqf and reintroduce it into the discourse of the third sector of Islamic moral economy, with the intent of addressing critical issues facing the world.

Yet, it is imperative to recognise that the revitalisation of waqf and its broader impact on Muslim communities in the West hinge significantly on the availability of resources. Establishing waqf is a noble endeavour, but it requires financial support to grow into its potential as a way to make a positive impact on the world. Funding allows waqf initiatives to thrive and fulfil their developmentalist objectives.

Waqf isn’t merely a facet of Islamic charitable work; it serves as a cornerstone and a litmus test for the very fabric of an Islamic society . Across the globe, numerous ‘Islamic’ charitable organiszations profess to place faith- inspired waqf at their core. However, a pressing question arises: to what extent does this commitment manifest in their programmes and tangible outcomes for communities, beyond provision of aid? Arguably, the responses to the inquiry illuminate a limited Islamic influence in the output of Islamic charities, particularly when scrutinising the allocation of time, resources, and the nature of program implementation within the context of waqf.

Efforts to develop Islamic institutional economics, including the role of waqf as an authentic Islamic institution rooted in historical norms, values, and principles of Islamic ontology and epistemology, requires careful alignment of practitioners, Shariah scholars, economists, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, and the business community etc. Although this endeavour remains a work in progress, the global surge in Islamic finance has underscored the significance of waqf. Islamic institutional economics, primarily ceantered on waqf, provides a framework imbued with developmentalist objectives. It possesses the latent strength to realise the developmentalist agenda within the framework of the Islamic moral economy.

It is with this backdrop that we invite you to our forthcoming conference, where we will delve deep into the multifaceted world of waqf, exploring its historical significance, contemporary relevance, and its role as a catalyst for development. Join us as we unravel the potential of waqf to reshape the landscape of Islamic charitable work and contribute to the broader framework of Islamic society. Together, we will dissect the challenges and opportunities, seeking to infuse the spirit of waqf into every facet of our charitable endeavours, recognising that the vital fuel for these endeavours is financial support and entrepreneurial mindsets.

Conference Objectives:

To provide a comprehensive overview of the concept of waqf, its historical significance, and its role in contemporary society.

To explore effective fundraising strategies for waqf projects, including digital platforms, partnerships, and engagement techniques.

To showcase successful waqf initiatives from around the world and the positive impact they have had on communities.

To facilitate networking opportunities between participants, fostering collaborations and partnerships for future waqf projects.

Themes of the conference:

Papers and contributions are encouraged within the following themes:

Understanding waqf: Exploring the historical and religious significance of waqf, its various forms, and its role in Islamic jurisprudence and economics in Western world.

Contemporary challenges: Discussing the challenges faced by modern waqf institutions within the secular settings of the Western world and the need for adaptation.

Innovative fundraising: Presenting creative fundraising methods and tools for waqf projects in Europe, including crowd-funding, impact investing, and partnerships with philanthropic organisations.

Success stories: Showcasing case studies of impactful waqf projects that have made a difference in education, healthcare, poverty alleviation, and community development.

Legal and Regulatory Framework: Addressing the legal and regulatory aspects of waqf in civil and common laws of Europe, waqf management, governance and transparency.

Speakers:

Each of the participating UK Islamic Charities’ CEOs, and administrators heading the relevant departments, e.g. finance, programmes and research and development, are invited to discuss the case for their organisations on three areas: strategies, operations and research and development activities. Speakers are expected to discuss their charity’s strategy in relation to developmentalist objectives in light of mission and vision.

Important dates:

Abstract Submission: Wed, 7th Feb 2024
Full Paper Submission: Sun, 31 March 2024
Conference Date: Wed-Thurs 22-23 May 2024

Please email your submissions to : [email protected]