A historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Awqaf SA and the Kwanobuhle Muslim Community Trust (KMC) regarding the creation of a Masjid and Community Waqf Fund. The agreement was signed at a special signing ceremony during the 7th House of Ummah Stakeholders meeting held at Islamia College, Cape Town.
The Community Waqf Fund initiated by AWQAF SA is designed to empower local and emerging Muslim communities, particularly in poor communities living in “townships”. According Awqaf SA Deputy CEO Mickaeel Collier who presided the signing together with KMC trustee, Thandile Kona.
“South Africa has a diverse range of Muslim communities in terms of income distribution – those that are living on the fringes of poverty and those that have been blessed with abundance. There are those that are self-sufficient, self-reliant, and resilient while there are others that are dependent on their wages supplemented by generous donors. And herein lies the problem.”
The Waqf system is designed to ensure that poverty is eradicated so that the poor are empowered and become self-sufficient and self-reliant too. However, Awqaf SA says because the Prophetic and divine waqf system is hardly articulated and is largely absent from the country’s educational institutions, nobody has heard or learnt about it from authentic sources.
This scenario imposes a duty on the community to ensure that knowledge about the waqf system is transmitted, internalized, and acted upon in droves by the larger Muslim community as a form redistribution of wealth – the very noble objective envisioned by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
“Awqaf SA is proud to be associated with the KMC and are hopeful of building up the KMC Waqf Fund so that KMC could become a truly self-sufficient, self-reliant and an empowered community,” said Collier.
Kona said the MOU between Awqaf SA and the KMC Trust marks a turning point for the Kwa-Nobuhle community of Muslims.
“For the first time in the history of the Muslim community in SA, a waqf fund has been established with and for an indigenous community. This fund will be a lasting legacy for the KMC Trust and it serves to secure the future welfare of the community and can only propel it forward in a sustainable manner, in sha Allah.”
Principal of the International Peace College of SA, Shaykh Ighsaan Taliep, who also witnessed the signing ceremony described it as a “defining moment in the journey towards sustainable development of independent structures in township communities.”
Principal of the Islamia College, Shaykh Sadullah Khan added that it initiates “prioritised focus on previously neglected areas that needs our highest attention.”
Awqaf SA plans to roll out Community Development Waqf Funds in several other emerging Muslim communities in due course. Further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.awqafsa.org.za.