The Wall Street Journal, one of the world's most respected newspapers, has suggested recently that the ongoing economic crisis could be resolved in part by the charitable institution of waqf created by the Muslim civilisation and used effectively by the Ottomans. In its broader sense, a waqf in Islamic history is an endowment consisting in donating a building, a sum of money or plot of land for charitable purposes. The donated assets are held by a charitable trust. The institution of waqf played a great role in nurturing solidarity and charity in Muslim countries and continues to represent one of the most original and active aspects of the social and economic structures of the modern Islamic world.
The Institution of Waqf as a Solution to the Economic Crisis
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Figure 1. The Tabula Rogeriana, drawn by al-Idrisi for Roger II of Sicily in 1154, one of the most advanced ancient world maps. Modern consolidation, created from the 70 double-page spreads of the original atlas. (Source)
Figure 1: Muslim expansion by the end of Umayyad rule in 750. (Source).
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