الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي الحمد لله الذي جعل الأوقاف سرّ الأمة وتنمية البلدان، وفضل يوم الجمعة على بقية الأيام، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير،  ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.

 

Today, I would like to talk about an age-old problem, a problem that has become the singular focus of the majority of people on the earth today, and that is the issue of money and finance. There is a well-known saying, “Money makes the world go round”, and it is in the pursuit of this money that the majority live their lives. It dictates their choices and governs their lives and circumstances. It determines the viability of their projects and standard of their lives. It is the most dunyawi of things, but affects what we do for the deen. In many ways, what we would like to do as an umma or a community seems to be governed by finance or by the lack of it. Our efforts to further advance the cause of the deen always appear to be hamstrung by a lack of finance and our attention and energy always seem to be distracted by a constant quest to get that necessary finance. It diverts most of energies and absorbs most of our time – indeed, the search for the means is what almost comes to define us, the drive and constant campaigns to get the money to do what we feel is good.

Support for and the running of charities becomes the raison d’être of many of those who would do something with their lives for the deen. And, indeed, that is the reason I decided to give this khutba – my growing realisation of how many admirable young Muslim men and women, people with tremendous reserves of time, energy and good intention, who desire above all else to serve the deen, find themselves working in charity, indeed, dedicating their lives to charity. For them and indeed for many of us, it is almost as if that act of getting people to give is the end in itself, the great accomplishment. But it is not the end – it is a means to an end. Our goal on this earth is not to become or make our people wealthy, nor to eliminate poverty, it is to obey Allah and His Messenger. It is to make His deen uppermost in the land. It may well be that getting wealth is the means to doing that, but it cannot become our sole purpose. Otherwise, we will forget our primary purpose and end up doing nothing but raising money. And therein lies stasis, and little that brings us or our communities longterm benefit or good.

Please do not misunderstand me – I am not saying stop giving or stop seeking support. No, ṣadaqa is a tremendous tool and an important weapon. It gives life to a community and helps binds the hearts of its members together. Without it, the ties that link us become weakened and frayed and liable to snap at the merest hint of difficulty or trouble. There is no love and no community feeling. We must have ṣadaqa and it must be a part of our make-up and identity. Without it, we could not hope for success, neither in this life nor the Next. Allah says,

وَأَنفِقُوا خَيْراً لِّأَنفُسِكُمْ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

 

the translation of which is, “And give for your own benefit. It is the people who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful.” And the Messenger of Allah said,

 

ما من يوم يصبح العباد فيه إلا ملَكان ينزلان، فيقول أحدهما: اللهم أعطِ منفقًا خلفًا، ويقول الآخر: اللهم أعطِ مُمسكًا تلفًا

 

“On every morning that dawns over the slaves of Allah, two angels come down [from the heavens], one of them saying, ‘O Allah, give a reward to all who give!’ and the other saying, ‘O Allah, bring ruin to all who withhold!’”

My message is not that ṣadaqa must be done away with, but rather that it must take a form that stops us from becoming dependent upon it and the process of seeking it. We must start giving in a new way, or rather in a way that has always underpinned our societies but which has largely fallen by the wayside. That form of giving is the waqf or the ḥubus. This is a topic about which we have spoken before, but one that, as a community and indeed as an umma, we continue to ignore in practical terms. It is as if it is too daunting when it need not be. So, today, let us remind ourselves of this great institution of the deen, an institution that has the capacity to alleviate and reverse the economic woes of the present era, a fact recognised even by the non-Muslims. In a 2011 Washington Street Journal article, Charles Landow and Courtney Lobel wrote, in order to encourage the wealthy of America to invest in the society’s infrastructure,

“There is a precedent: Ottoman-era Turkey lacked a budget for the provision of basic services. To fill the void, more than 35,000 private foundations, known as vakif in Turkish, funded public-works projects and municipal services, from water systems and schools to hospitals, bridges and roads…”

The waqf is a confirmed sunna of the Messenger of Allah. Indeed, his very first act upon entering Madina was to establish a waqf – that of the Mosque. And so that we might know that awqāf were not limited to places of worship, one of his next acts was to establish the market. Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Hasan narrated that,

 

أن رسول الله تصدق على المسلمين أسواقهم

 

“The Messenger of Allah gave the Muslims their markets as a ṣadaqa.” He established the market of Madina and made it a waqf for the Muslims, showing that awqāf were not only for overtly religious ends.

What is a waqf? Its definition is best given in a hadith. When Umar ibn al-Khattab received land in Khaybar as part of the booty of war, he went to the Messenger of Allah and said,

يا رسول الله إني أصبت أرضاً بخيبر لم أصب مالاً قط أنفس عندي منه فما تأمر به

 

“Messenger of Allah, the piece of land that has been given to me in Khaybar is the most precious piece of wealth I have ever received. What do you suggest I do with it?” The Messenger of Allah replied,

إن شئت حبست أصلها وتصدقت بها – أي بثمرها

 

“If you like, you could turn the land into a waqf and give away its produce.” So Umar gave the land away as ṣadaqa on the condition that:

 

على أنه لا يباع، ولا يوهب، ولا يورث، وتصدَّق بها في الفقراء، وفي القُرْبى، وفي الرقاب، وفي سبيل الله، وابن السبيل، والضيف، لا جناح على مَن وليها أن يأكل منها بالمعروف ويطعم غير مُتَمَوِّلٍ، ودعا نفراً من المهاجرين والأنصار وأشهدهم على ذلك، فاشتهر ذلك

 

“It not be sold nor given away nor inherited, and that the proceeds from its produce be given to the poor, to his relatives, to free slaves, in the way of Allah, to travellers and to look after guests. There is no problem with the one who looks after it uses what he needs from it, eating from its produce but not monetising it. Then he summoned a group of men from the Muhajirun and Anṣār to bear witness to these stipulations and spread word of them.” This is the basic definition and the basic way of setting up a waqf.  It is restricting the benefits of a particular piece of property or wealth – in this case an orchard – to a specified group of recipients – in this case the recipients of zakat and a few other categories – and stopping or prohibiting those benefits from being used for any other purpose. These benefits were commonly given in perpetuity by the wāqif – especially if duration was left unspecified. A consumable – such as an item of food or sum of money – could not be given as a waqf because its benefit ends as soon as it is consumed.

The waqf is the highest form of ṣadaqa, for unlike other forms of charity, it is ongoing. It is lasting. Its effects are felt even after the giver has long passed into the ground. It is the ṣadaqatun jāriya referenced by the Messenger of Allah when he said,

 

إذا مات الإنسانُ انقطع عنه عملُه إلا من ثلاث، إلا من صدقة جارية أو علم ينتفعُ به أو ولد صالح يدعو له

 

“When a person dies, all of his actions stop except for three: an ongoing act of ṣadaqa, knowledge from which he benefitted and a right-acting child who makes dua for him.” And not only is it lasting, but the fact that it is lasting raises it up in the eyes of Allah and makes it more pleasing to Him, and thus beneficial to you. The Messenger of Allah said,

 

‫أحب الأعمال إلى الله تعالى أدومها وإن قل

 

“The action Allah loves best is that which is most lasting, even if it is but a small thing.” If you want to accomplish great things in your life, then there are few things as great as a waqf. Indeed, it is narrated that one of the Ottoman rulers said, “If you would like to get to know us after our era, please refer to our vakifs (waqfs); as these are our best works that present us.”

 

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم

 

الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته.

 

As we mentioned in the first khutba, the waqf was one of the crowning achievements of Muslim civilisation, bringing ease and prosperity and a superior way of life, and leaving the sābiqun, those tirelessly working for Allah and His Messenger, free to concentrate their time and efforts on preserving and furthering the cause of the deen. People looked after each other. The wealthy looked to the needs of the people and then gave accordingly. They made sure their institutions and their cities were looked after, and their populace kept healthy and educated.

All of the madrasas and universities that were at the forefront of the great scientific advancement in al-Andalus and the Maghrib were established as waqfs and their upkeep (including lighting, teacher’s wages, provisions of books, sleeping quarters and student grants were provided for by waqfs). Indeed, in Fes in the Qarawiyyin, there was a separate waqf to support each discipline that was being taught. Abdal-Hadi at-Tazi mentions that eighteen different disciplines were being supported in that way in his time.

And each city was furnished with great libraries, funded totally by waqfs and free for all seekers of knowledge to use. It is mentioned in Nafh at-Tib that one of the great scholars of Granada, Abu Hayyan ibn Yusuf criticised another great scholar, al-Maqri, for buying so many books, saying, “Allah has provided you with an intellect and you should live by it. Any book I want to read, I simply borrow from the libraries of the awqāf!

And hospitals, pharmacies and clinics abounded. Indeed, in Baghdad alone in the fourth century AH, there were five great hospitals, and in Cordoba, it has been narrated that there were fifty hospitals! And that is not to mention all the smaller clinics and pharmacies that could be found in every district, as well as specialist hospitals dealing with particular illnesses and asylums for the mentally unwell. Almost all of these places treated the sick for free since the upkeep for the hospital and the wages of the doctors, nurses and medical students were all provided for by the waqfs that were attached to them.

Awqāf were also established to maintain the roads, provide weaponry to soldiers, look after orphans, widows and divorcees, provide free guesthouses for travellers lacking means, provide fresh drinking water, give young people the means to get married, provide milk and sugar to breast-feeding ladies and even, most astonishingly, give help to servants who broke things. And it was not just humans who were provided for, for there were even waqfs to look after stray cats and worn-out donkeys, one such place still existing in Fes today.

In the Muslim umma, all of these things were free, just like the mosque and the market – the citizens were not taxed to pay for them. And whenever such taxation was levied on the Muslims, it was immediately recognised as being unjust and the Muslims freed themselves of it at the first available opportunity. The main battle cry of the Murabitun when they freed the Muslims of al-Andalus from the yoke of their rulers was,

 

دعوة الحق ورد المظالم وقطع المغارم

 

“Call to the Truth, put right injustice, and abolish unjust taxes.”

I do not recount these things simply to crow about our past achievements or to fill us with pride because of our great heritage. No, we are not here to dwell on the past. Rather, I mention them for two reasons:

Firstly, so that you might know that the current system is not the only one. We do not have to cede all our needs and wants to a government, we can see to them ourselves. Dependency – living off the teat of any created entity – is not a healthy state for any human being and keeps us as children, preventing us from reaching maturity and becoming true men and women. To realise your potential, you must wean yourselves, and this is one of the steps towards doing that.

And secondly,  I mention it so we may start to bring this great institution back to live – we may restore that glory. I know its scope sounds daunting, but at the same time its scope makes it easier. Anything can be made a waqf, and it can be used to fund anything lawful. It does not necessarily need a huge initial outlay. You do not have to have millions or spend millions to create one. It can be a single fruit-bearing tree, a single egg-bearing chicken, a single horse or vehicle. The Messenger of Allah said,

 

من احتبس فرسا في سبيل الله، إيمانا بالله، وتصديقا بوعده، فإن شبعه وريه وروثه وبوله في ميزانه يوم القيامة

 

“If anyone makes a horse into a waqf that is to be used in the way of Allah out of belief in Allah and in confirmation of His promise, its food, water, droppings and urine will be placed in his balance on the Day of Rising.” So, in this day and age, one could very easily, for example, buy a car and use it as an uber, with the proceeds being split between the driver and the desired recipients.

And if you do not have the means yourself, there is nothing to stop you going into partnership with others, even many others, to set one up. All of our needs and all of our projects could be funded in such a way. This is the form of giving that will bring our community most benefit.

Yes, conventional giving has its benefits, and helps alleviate immediate hardship. And such giving must continue, but, it only provides short-term relief, and there are clear dangers, especially for businessman who need to project a certain image to expand their customer base. For such people, there is a danger that their intention is highjacked and diluted and it becomes more about status, about projecting an image and achieving respect and renown. That is the modern philanthropic model, and the Muslim philanthropists are in danger of going the same way. Allah only accepts what is given for Him. There is no baraka in what is given for any other reason, no matter how much, and it brings no benefit in its wake. It only increases dependence and weakens the umma.

So, for the long-term well-being of our umma, the majority of our giving should be in the form of awqāf. And to ensure that these awqāf are set up for the right reasons, it is best that they are done secretly, for that is the best way to guarantee that our intentions are not sullied by a desire for recognition or praise. The Messenger of Allah said,

 

صدقة السر تطفئ غضب الرب

 

“A ṣadaqa given in secret extinguishes the wrath of the Lord.” And, secondly, that they are not run by or named after the one who set them up. In a recent article in the Guardian, it mentions how billionaires are using their charitable trusts to expand their influence and guide policy. They are as much vehicles of control as of charity. The deen has safeguards in place to try to avoid that, and that is the encouragement that those who set up waqfs to appoint others apart from themselves or their immediate family and dependents to run them.

Let us make ourselves independent and let us free up our great young men and women to work to see our Lord’s deen uppermost in the land. Let us free them from the need to have to focus all of their time and energy on acquiring financing. If we do that, we will see startling results. Nothing will stand in our way and Allah’s deen will be restored.

We ask Allah to give us the means to establish the awqāf necessary for a healthy and vibrant society and, by means of them, help us to rid our societies of injustice and bring an end to unfair taxation.

 

إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً.

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ  أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وعن أم المومنين عائشة التي أمرنا الله في سورة النور أن ندافع عنها، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ، وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.

رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.

إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.