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Durham e-Theses
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Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Waqf or endowment as an institution begins with a pious intention to do good deeds for the benefit of one and others. In other words, waqf is a dedication made by one person for the benefit of others, with the intention that the dedicator be entitled to a continuous reward from Allah the Creator throughout the period of the endowment. Once the waqf is declared by the person it will effect a transfer of the property which is the subject matter of the dedication to Allah Almighty. However the benefit derived from the use of property will be given in accordance with the founder’s intention. Historically, waqf played a key role in the development of Muslim societies. Waqf served the Muslim community (ummah) in almost all fields, such as religion, education, medicine and other socio-economic activities. However, nowadays waqf has become dormant and less popular in Muslim countries. Waqf no longer serves the needs of the ummah due to problems, such as mismanagement, waqf laws and awareness of it in Muslim society. The status of waqf has deteriorated to such an extent that in some countries waqf assets have been neglected and abandoned. As a result of colonialism, Malaysia and Singapore adopted western laws, which precede Islamic laws including those dealing with waqf. Despite this, Johor and Singapore still provide the best models of the successful development of waqf. Therefore, it is interesting to compare the different environments and situations of the two states in order to identify the challenges faced by waqf institutions in both states.
Based on a comprehensive literature review of issues affecting waqf in the two states, the following major themes were identified; legal issues, perceptions, management and operation. The importance of the legal system is basically to support and protect waqf in areas such as registration or amending the deeds. Any change in contemporary law does not necessarily mean it is against Shariah principles, as long as the state regulation upholds Shariah principles, in order to protect the waqf while catering for the current situation. Generally, both quantitative and qualitative data support the theory that many people still believe that waqf is only for religious purposes. The data obtained from both states also show that national differences play an important role in the variation of knowledge and awareness of waqf. In managing waqf, there are problems or challenges that have to be faced. The problems that can be detected are from three kinds, namely; development, management and public awareness. However, lack of awareness amongst the public becomes problematic when there is a need to increase and improve waqf assets. Based on the empirical analysis presented in this thesis, the last chapter’s purpose is to highlight policy recommendations with respect to improving waqf development and increasing public awareness. This small contribution not only fulfils the research requirement but hopefully also helps to make my beloved small country Brunei Darussalam more aware of and concerned with this important institution.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Waqf, development, religion, socio-economic, Johor, Singapore
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 May 2015 15:18

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