Awqaf as a Key to Socio-Economic Development of the Muslim Ummah
By Abdelkader Chachi
Economist Researcher & Senior Training Specialist,
IRTI-IDB, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Historically speaking, Awqaf (plural), Waqf (singular) means endowments
that are kept in perpetuity and dedicated for specific purposes such as
health, welfare and education. It played a significant role in providing
various public services to the masses including, welfare to the poor and
needy, health care services to humans and animals, educational
institutions, construction and sponsorship of places of worship and other
related welfare services and in bringing about economic growth,
sustainable development and social justice in Muslim societies.
The aim of this paper is to highlight some historical evidences that show
the role that the Awqaf played in early Islamic periods in relieving the
Islamic governments from the majority of the expenditures on health,
welfare and education, which nowadays constitute a large chunk of today’s
The paper argues that if the institution of Awqaf can be revived to reach
the level it was growing at earlier, it would not only take care of the main
government expenditures in health, welfare and education but it would
contribute significantly in securing permanent financial resources to meet
the religious, educational, economic, health, and security needs of the
community. Thus, strengthening the network of social relations, and
consolidating the values of social solidarity, the sense of brotherhood, and
the love between all segments of the society. In other words, serving as a
key to the socio-economic development of the Muslim societies in
different times and places.
Brief Profile of Dr. Chachi
Dr Abdelkader Chachi got his Bachelor Degree in Commerce and Accounting from the Faculty of Commerce (Ecole Superieure de Commerce), Algiers University (Algeria) in 1978. He did his Master and PhD Degrees from the University of Wales, UK. His PhD Thesis was entitled “Islamic Banking” in 1989.
He worked as the Coordinator of the Islamic Economics Unit at the Islamic Foundation, UK for 15 years. Then he worked as a Researcher and as an Assistant Professor at the Islamic Economics Research Centre, King Abdul-Aziz University Jeddah for 5 years.
Presently, he is Economist Researcher and Senior Training Specialist at the Islamic
Research and Training Institute (IRTI) of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB),
Jeddah since the beginning of 2009.
Dr Abdelkader Chachi has made seminal contributions to Islamic Economics and
Finance over more than 20 years in the form of a number of research and
conference papers and book reviews.
Some of his research papers, Seminar Presentations and areas of interest cover
topics such as:
Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance
Corporate Governance of the Islamic Financial Services Industry
Economic Integration of Muslim Countries
Islamic Marketing Ethics and its Impact on Customer Satisfaction in the Islamic Banking Industry
Origin and Development of Commercial and Islamic Banking Operations
The Role of Islamic Financial Institutions in Sustainable Development
The role of Zakat and Awqaf in the Economic Development of the Muslim World
Financing Small and Medium Businesses, etc..