Author: Mohamed Hamza Ghaouri
Hassan II Mosque
Completed in 1993, after more than 7 years of work, King Hassan the 2nd Mosque is the second-largest functioning mosque in Africa and the 7th largest in the world. A maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside ground. Construction costs, estimated at around 585 million euros, have been the subject of debate in Morocco. While Hassan wanted to build a mosque that would be the second in size after the Mosque in Mecca, the government lacked funds for such a large project.
Much of the funding has come from public subscriptions. A major national fundraising campaign was launched in 1988 by King Hassan II during an official speech. Twelve million people have donated to the cause, with a receipt and certificate given to each donor. Half of the subscribers (51%) gave from 5 (0.5€) to 50 DH (5€) and 13% paid more than 200 (20€) DH. The idea of the late king was to involve his people in the construction of this masterpiece. This contribution is considered as a Waqf to the Mosque.
University of Al-Qarawiyyin
Founded by a woman named Fatima Al-Fihri in 859, Al-Qarawiyyin (Al-Karaouine or Al Quaraouiyine,) university, mosque and hospital complex are all additions to a Waqf donation by Fatima Al-Fihri. She bestowed her land to the community by specifying it as a Waqf. Because of that, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin still operates to this day, serving as proof of the importance of Waqf in the birth of the modern university.
It was incorporated into Morocco’s modern state university system in 1963. UNESCO and Guinness World Records confirm that the University of Al-Qarawiyyin is the oldest existing, higher educational institution in the world. In addition to the land provided by Fatima Al-Fihri, the university operates through multiple sources of funding based on the Waqf:
- Fadi al Mazdaghi Family Fund
- Fatima Al-Fihri Fund
- Maryam Al-Fihri Fund
- Cash funds from an individual donor
- Waqf of Public Good or Waqf Al-Khairi Fund
- King Moulay Idriss Fund (745-791)
- King Moulay Idriss II Fund
- Mother Fund of Sultan Abu Yousuf
- Pope Sylvest II Fund
Al-Azhar University of Egypt
Al-Azhar University in Egypt, specifically Cairo, was built in 975 AD. It has been financed and continues to be funded from the revenue of the Waqf from its inception to this day. In 1986 alone, more than £ 147 million was allocated by the university to finance the development and expenses of its 55 faculties which include the salaries of 6,154 academics. Al-Azhar University, which was established during the Fatimid Caliphate, is one of the shining examples of waqf-based educational institutions, it plays an important role in spreading the Waqf around the world.
Merton College, Oxford University
Back between 1095 and 1291, the English followed the crusades in the Holy Land, where they became acquainted with Islamic customs and culture, and later borrowed from the Waqf system. An example is Merton College, University of Oxford, which was formed with the support of financial endowments. These endowments have led to centuries of scholarships, learning, and teaching. In relation to Waqf, the founding of Merton College is often viewed as a milestone in the evolution of Western universities.
Merton College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its foundation can be traced back to the 1260s when Walter de Merton, chancellor to Henry III and later to Edward I, first drew up statutes for an independent academic community and established endowments to support it.
ISRA was established in 2008 by the Central Bank of Malaysia as an Islamic finance and Shariah-related research institution. It is recognised globally as a leading research academy in the Islamic finance industry. This leading research entity was established based on waqf contributions.
Whether a university or a mosque, the afore discussed establishments were built on a Waqf lands or have mobilized Waqf funds to finance the development of the construction. Most of the monuments presented were built many years ago and require collecting funds to insure continuous maintenance and innovation. An innovative way to collect Cash Waqf funds is through a blockchain based Crowdfunding platform that provides the donors with transparency and security. This solution is provided by Finterra, a leading technology-based company, which is providing Waqfchain solution that consist of collecting Waqf funds through a blockchain platform. This platform has successfully raised and deployed funds in multiple causes in many countries. Besides the transparency in collecting funds, Finterra’s platform provides traceability of transactions which is crucial in identifying ownership.