Saving the Nation with Waqf: Optimism Amid Pandemic

Through the waqf funds that it collects and administers, Global Wakaf - ACT has built assets to serve the community, such as agricultural infrastructure, and financed MSMEs.

ACT President Ibnu Khajar, Relife Property Group CEO Ghofar Razak Nazila, and Ustaz Faris BQ during the Waqf Business Forum, Saturday (8/29). (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

ACTNews, JAKARTA – On Saturday (8/29), Global Wakaf - ACT held an event called the Waqf Business Forum 2020: Saving the Nation with Waqf. In this event, ACT invited a number of speakers to discuss about how waqf can support a civilization and be one of the best ways to revive the economy amid a pandemic. This event was attended by religious scholars and business people who have been involved regularly in waqf-related activities.

Through the waqf funds that it collects and administers, Global Wakaf - ACT has built assets to serve the community, such as agricultural infrastructure, and financed MSMEs, as revealed by Ahyudin, President of Global Islamic Philanthropy (GIP). He gave an of how the Waqf-Based Rice Granary (LBW), the waqf funds are used to build agricultural infrastructure and finance MSMEs so that the proceeds are used solely to rebuild the economy.

“Natural disasters have been happening repeatedly, but, currently, poverty is the biggest disaster that we are facing in the midst of the pandemic. Our jihad in the end time is to free people from poverty, and we know that our work to build the civilization is not an easy job. It takes great energy and support," said Ahyudin in the discussion.

The speakers also emphasized the benefits and virtues of waqf as an act of worship that brings perpetual rewards and benefit. Waqf is a special act of worship for Muslims because the rewards of waqf is will continue to flow although the waqf endowers have passed away. As long as people benefit from the waqf assets, the rewards will perpetually reach the endowers.

The forum also discussed how Sulaiman Al Rajhi, one of the world’s richest, and the founder of the largest Islamic banking institution donated all of his fortune assets for the sake of Allah. His goal is to support the Islamic civilization. He is an example of billionaire that continues to actively get involved in charity. Such an example of generosity is what Indonesia wants to emulate.

"We really want waqf movement to become a massive global movement. In order for the waqf movement to become a massive movement in Indonesia, we are emphasizing the most strategic object of waqf, i.e. cash waqf because cash waqf can be endowed at any time and any amount. It can be done by everyone even those who are not extremely wealthy. We must truly understand the benefits of waqf, it will be our biggest source of rewards that will reach us even until we die,” added Ahyudin.

President of Global Islamic Philanthropy Ahyudin explaining the importance of waqf at the Waqf Business Forum, Saturday (8/29). (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

The cash waqf movement is one of the answers to the problem of poverty because, without enough economic power and capital, poverty cannot be eradicated. Hence, Islam has come with a solution to this problem through the use of waqf for economic revival.

ACT President Ibnu Khajar stressed that the glory of Islamic civilization began with the Prophet and his Companions who always allotted their wealth for the good of the people.

"In the time of the pandemic, it a moment for us to be enthusiastic, to rebuild civilization and to revive. Imagine, if more people endow waqf, there will be a large circulation of funds, and multiple rewards will be reaped by people from across the country, all elements of the nation," said Ibnu optimistically.

Ibnu added that the community can contribute to the waqf movement with cash or stock waqf. Later, the proceeds from these assets will be used to benefit the community in need.

Until now, the waqf programs launched by Global Wakaf - ACT focus on empowering MSMEs with the hope that the waqf funds will accelerate the development of MSMEs as small businesses are the main support of Indonesia’s economy.

Ustaz Ahmad Faris BQ, who also attended the forum, also explained that, in the early days of Islam, the Prophet focused on building the economy. He said that around 93% of the Prophet's struggle focused on building just economy, dignified politics, protecting human rights, and upholding legal justice. Prophet Muhammad fostered the spirit of waqf among the early Muslim community.

"So, now is the time for us to follow what the Prophet fought for the most, building the people's economic civilization. Waqf plays a role in the economy because it involves waqf administrators (nazir) and professional waqf institutions," added Ustaz Faris.

He further mentioned that one’s true religiosity is seen from one’s attitude towards the poor and orphans. "So woe to those who pray but drive away the orphans and do not encourage to feed the poor," he concluded.

Global Wakaf - ACT invites all Indonesians to save the nation together. The donated waqf will be optimized and used as business capital for farmers, MSMEs, and ultra-micro businesses. The waqf funds will be used to save business owners from usury. []