Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Role of awqaf in promotion of scientific research

Islahi, Abdul Azim (2004): Role of awqaf in promotion of scientific research. Published in: The Muslim World League Journal , Vol. 32, No. 6 (August 2004): pp. 13-19.

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Waqf is one of the most fascinating institutions of Islamic history. Its role continued throughout Islamic history along with the public sector and it is still a very vital and viable source to provide goods and services where public and private sectors lag or fail. It provided goods and services ranging from pure religious objects such as mosques and madrasahs to various welfare schemes like water supply and highway facilities. But in the later part of history, the narrow and sometimes wrong concept of piety led to negligence of waqf creation for general welfare, modern education and social and scientific research. At present there are a number of works available in English on various aspects of waqf e.g. juridical and legal studies, economic role, political and historical aspects, management and development of awqaf, etc. But to the best of our knowledge no attempt has been made to examine what role it is playing or may play in promotion of scientific research. The present paper aims to explore the role of waqf institution in promotion and development of scientific research. To begin with, it briefly investigates the precedents of such a provision in Islamic history. Then it attempts to study the state of scientific researches financed by awqaf in the modern period. It also proposes to compare the situation with the Western institutions for the same purpose. Thus, after setting a proper perspective it examines the problems and prospects in financing the scientific research through the waqf institution. The paper concludes with certain suggestions regarding promotion of scientific researches through waqf institution in the modern period.

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