International Centre for Waqf Research (ICWR)
In the Islamic history of social welfare schemes, waqf is acknowledged as the most prominent expression of Muslim philanthropy. It financed education, social welfare schemes and nearly every conceivable object of pro-poor initiatives. For reasons embedded in the colonial subjugation of Muslim lands, waqf went into a kind of recession during the last two centuries. In recent years, however, it is showing signs of revival, which needs to be sustained by every means, including theoretical and empirical research into its economic potentiality, effective management and development. An improvement in these key sectors would provide us the key to that treasure trove which is lying scattered everywhere in the whole of the Muslim world and which could only be unlocked through good governance and economic development. The economic potential of awqaf is beyond our wildest imagination. It is capable of generating annual income worth billions of dollars through development of waqf properties now lying neglected.
Serious research in every aspect of waqf is needed. Unfortunately, there is no research centre anywhere in the world for conducting such research exclusively on waqf. This urgent and apparent need of a centre prompted the IIUM (International Islamic University Malaysia) to establish ICWR (International Centre for Waqf Research) on November 21, 2013 at IIUM with some logistic support from MCCM (Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia). IIUM wished to make the centre as the world’s premier waqf research institution based on the concept of Endowment Fund. It is believed that an endowment fund is the most suitable means to sustain the administrative expenses and activities such as conferences and the grant scholarships and honorariums to outsourced scholars towards achieving the strategic plan of the centre.