Optimizing Santri’s Potential through Waqf Programs

National Santri Day is a reminder for santris to continue the jihad of their predecessors. In this era, jihad that must be carried out by the santris is by developing the economic sector. One of which is through waqf as one of the driving forces for the economic development.

National Santri Day.
Illustration. In this era, it’s not enough for santris to just be good in reciting the Quran but also ready to enter the industry and business sectors. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, JAKARTA – The Jihad Resolution which was enacted on October 22, 1945, motivated the establishment of the National Santri Day. In this commemoration, santris (students) are expected to continue the struggle (jihad) of their predecessors in developing the nation.

Santris’ struggle doesn’t only involve the religious sector. Deputy Minister of Religious Affair Zainut Tauhid quoted Vice President KH Maruf Amin's message that says, it is not enough for millennial santris to be good only at reciting the Quran. At this point, santris must also have the vitality and creativity to be ready to enter the industrial and business world.

Islamic boarding schools have great potential in developing the economic sector. Vice President revealed that 44 percent out of 34,652 boarding schools in Indonesia have great potential in the economic sector. It means, around 15,246 boarding schools have the economic potential for their surrounding environment.

Ma'ruf explains that the economic potential includes the potential for developing MSME unions and sharia economics, agribusiness, animal husbandry, plantations, and vocational. "With the abundance of resources, santris as the main component of Islamic boarding schools have the potential to contribute to various efforts to accelerate national economic recovery after the pandemic," said Ma'ruf in an official statement, Thursday (10/21/2021).

Vice President also said that there were 4.76 million santris in 34,652 Islamic boarding schools in Indonesia who can optimize the economic potential, starting from developing MSMEs to animal husbandry. The government also has given great attention to the development of Islamic boarding schools.

Optimizing the potential of Islamic boarding schools through waqf

One of the ways to develop the potential of Islamic boarding schools is through waqf. Waqf is an instrument that can be used by Islamic boarding schools to increase the empowerment of both the school and the surrounding community. The role of waqf as educational empowerment has been developed since the Umayyad dynasty era although, at that time, there was no special educational place such as boarding schools yet.

Global Wakaf-ACT strives to achieve the goal through various good programs. These economic empowerment programs are mostly food-based such as Productive Livestock Waqf. 

“Most of the Islamic boarding schools we met are not economically independent while Islamic boarding schools are the headquarters for fostering the generation that will lead this country. Therefore, we want to contribute with the help of the waqifs to make Islamic boarding schools become economically independent,” said Supriyadi, Head of the Productive Livestock Waqf Program.


Illustration. Through Productive Livestock Waqf, santris are expected to be economically independent. (ACTNews)

Productive Livestock Waqf program has assisted three Islamic boarding schools in West Java as of October 21, 2021, including a partnership boarding school in Central Java and the other ones in Aceh. The waqifs are given the opportunity to donate as many as 50 sheep to each school while the students will learn and develop livestock-raising skills.

“Just imagine, the 50 sheep that are given to boarding schools will be consumed by the santris, ustaz, kyai, and other religious people who later, will pray for the waqifs for their abundant sustenance and blessings to Allah. Insha Allah, their prayers will be granted,” said Supriyadi.

Apart from developing the boarding schools’ economic empowerment, Productive Livestock Waqf will also affect the breeders’ welfare and the community’s food sovereignty. “We want to increase the food and economic empowerment of the Islamic boarding schools. We also want to revive the Indonesian livestock as part of our food sovereignty,” Supriyadi added.

In addition, Global Wakaf-ACT also supports santris empowerment through the Productive Agricultural Waqf, Waqf Quranf, and Waqf Well programs. These programs are expected to be able to assist and facilitate the santris in their struggle.[]