Sunday, June 10, 2007

The development of wakaf properties

The country's Islamic authorities has started to develop wakaf land for commercial and economic reasons. The first big project was launched by none other than Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad on a Jalan Perak wakaf land situated within the golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur.

Among others, the project's participants include Tabung Haji (Muslim Pilgrims Fund Board) and the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Religious Council. The land was endowed by a wealthy Indian Muslim.

Now, what is wakaf or waqaf?

Wakaf is a dedication of properties, be it land or buildings, by a Muslim through a will or otherwise for purposes recognised by Islamic law as pious, religious or charitable.

The dedicator is called the wakiff and the person he appoints to manage the properties to ensure that the purposes are carried out is called the mutawalli or trustee. The income derived from these properties must be used in accordance to the wakif's wishes for the benefit of the beneficiary.

In most of the Malaysian states, the Majlis Agama Islam (Islamic Religious Council) acted as trustees or the authority to manage or administer wakaf properties, irrespective whether they have rightful trustees or not. Most of the times, the Majlis claims to be the "owners" of the wakaf properties. This is wrong and against the wakif's wishes.


The Prime Minister has directed local (read government) "ulamas" (The Majlis Fatwa or National Fatwa Council) to issue fatwa on the wakaf properties so that the authorities can re-develop them as commercial and economic entities. This means that the government-controlled Fatwa Council can change "the wishes of the wakif" just by issuing a fatwa, be it on a general wakaf (wakaf am) or a specific wakaf (wakaf khas).


At stake is the efficiency of the religious councils. One has to look at the way they handle the various Islamic funds and trusts such as the baitul-mal, the zakat harta and the zakat fitrah. If the councils implemented their duties effectively and efficiently, there should not be a single hard-core poor Muslim family in Malaysia. But, the number is increasing year after year. Why?
Now, can we trust them to develop wakaf properties?

15 comments:

);-( Samurai said...

Pak Tuan,

I read this article with interest. It saddens me that in most cases, Malay/Muslim dominated administration increasingly fail to perform to expectations, or at least to be able to effectively manage and administer their responsibilities.

The Malay/Muslim dominated administration is incessantly plagued by ineffectiveness, poor service, lack of creativity and innovativeness not to mention corruption.

Being a Malay/Muslim myself this comment is a spit of my own face. But I find it quite disturbing that my race/religion is increasingly coming under fire for its shortcomings out of its own doing.

I acknowledge of course that there are institutions like Petronas, for instance, that is highly successful, and many more Malay businesses. But my concern is with government institutions that are supposed to be catalysts for the development of the Malay/Muslim community.

If at one time we can be proud that Malays may not dominate the economy, but were at least good at administering the country, now it seems that there is nothing much that we can be proud of.

While I had hoped that the new generation of Malay/Muslims would bring a change in attitude and values, this is only true to a certain segment.

As we approach 50 years of Merdeka, I am still hopeful that we can come to our senses and instil honesty and sincerity, values embraced in our culture and the religion that we practise.

Anonymous said...

Frankly i dont trust them, the ppl running it are human and tend to become devil when dealing priceless wakaf, they will do anything by changing fatwa to suit their greed and needs, especially backed by the highest authorities. We should encourage ppl to wakaf thru Amanah Raya Berhad, its much well managed by professional.

Anonymous said...

The National Fatwa council now listens to the Prime Minister?

Syed Imran said...

It is crystal clear, isn't it? He is asking the Fatwa Council, in a polite way, to meet and issue a fatwa on the wakaf properties. By the way, do you think the Fatwa Council is truly independent of government influence? Is there any fatwa on the Tugu Peringatan Negara by our religious scholars? If there is no fatwa, then why? The scholars, muftis, for example, are in fact government servants and they are subjected to the General Orders and government service circulars. So, they must listen to the Prime Minister.

Anonymous said...

Pak Tuan,

if thats the case, May Allah condemn them to hell, you're right not even a single mufti ever dare to stand for the RIGHTEOUS OF ISLAMIC TEACHING.

Syed Imran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Syed Imran said...

Yes, let us leave the question of heaven and hell to Allah. The only state mufti that has some guts to voice his opinion is Tuan Harussani of Perak. But, do they listen to him? Most of the times they do not but at least he has fulfilled his responsibility.

Mat Jerman said...

Bolehlak harta wakaf diambil oleh kerajaan?

Bolehkah harta zakaf dijual oleh pihak pentadbir iaitu Jabatan Agama Islam Negeri?

Mungkin anda terperanjat bila saya katakan jawapannya adalah ya! Menurut manual pengurusan tanah zakaf yang dikeluarkan oleh Jabatan Wakaf, Zakat dan Haji, Jabatan Perdana Menteri pada tahun 2006.

Sila lihat mukasurat 54-57, http://www.jwzh.gov.my/doc/mptw.pdf untuk maklumat lanjut kalau anda tidak percaya

Syed Imran said...

Terima kasih atas maklumat anda. Benar pihak yang berkuasa, di sini sudah tentu kerajaan, boleh meminda undang-undang pentadbiran agama Islam atau meminta Majlis Fatwa mengeluarkan sesuatu fatwa atas kepentingan tertentu.

Itu hak dan kuasa yang ada di tangan kerajaan. Ia adalah undang-undang dan peraturan yang dibuat oleh manusia.

Tetapi, harus diingatkan bahawa undang-undang Allah Yang Maha Agong dan Yang Maha Berkuasa tidak boleh dipinda, diubah atau diketepikan oleh manusia. Harta wakaf ada syarat, ada peraturan dan ada wasiatnya. Ia dibuat kerana Allah, bukan atas nama manusia kerana harta wakaf bukan lagi milik manusia termasuk kerajaan atau Majlis Agama Islam.

Wasiat hamba Allah yang mewakafkan hartanya untuk tujuan-tujuan tertentu yang dibuat atas nama Allah harus dihormati dan dipertahankan.

Malangnya di Malaysia, sudahpun berlaku dimana harta wakaf telah dijadikan hak politik. Umpamanya, Menara UMNO Pulau Pinang di Jalan MaCalister didirikan atas sebidang tanah wakaf. UMNO menempatkan pejabatnya di situ dan dua tingkat di menara itu disewakan kepada Majlis Agama Islam Pulau Pinang, iaitu tingkat tujuh dan tingkat lapan. Beberapa tingkat lagi turut disewakan.

Persoalannya, bagaimana UMNO, sebuah pertubuhan siasah, boleh mendirikan bangunannya atas tanah wakaf? Apakah ia selari dengan wasiat orang yang mewakafkan tanah itu?

Sebelum menara itu dibina, saya masih ingat terdapat pusara (kubur) orang yang mewakafkan tanah itu di satu sudut tanah tersebut. Saya tidak tahu sama ada kubur berkenaan masih ada di situ atau tidak.

Apabila UMNO mendirikan bangunannya di atas tanah itu, siapa yang mendapat faedah daripada harta wakaf berkenaan. Sudah tentu bukan umat Islam yang daif dan memerlukan bantuan daripada baitul-mal atau hasil pungutan zakat.

Saya khuatir langkah kerajaan membangunkan tanah wakaf di Jalan Perak, Kuala Lumpur kononnya atas kepentingan komersil dan ekonomi, akan membuka jalan kepada negeri-negeri lain di Malaysia untuk bertindak serupa. Umat Islam yang seharusnya mendapat faedah akan terus kempunan dan niat ikhlas orang yang mewakafkan tanah itu akan hilang begitu sahaja.

AHIRUDIN ATTAN said...

This is a no-holds-barred Administration, brother. Bukan Malaysia Boleh tapi Semua Boleh. Wakaf land pun jadik and now Universiti Malaya is in sight.

Syed Imran said...

Yes Bro, what will they think of next? Ampang Muslim cemetery? Why not, ask the Majlis Fatwa to issue a fatwa allowing the powers that be to remove and rebury the bones somewhere else. The cemetery (land) is a gold mine.

Anonymous said...

pertaining to the UMNO Building along Macalister Road we should ask Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He was instrumental about it.

Anonymous said...

With his skewed view on Islam vide Islam Hadhari, what's there to stop him and the rest from benefitting from the Wakaf land? Just a short reminder, all of us will be accountable in the Hereafter. So be prepared.

Syed Imran said...

To Anonymous 4:27, yes, as you stated, the Menara UMNO was completed during the leadership of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. I was told that the ownership of the building is now not with the state UMNO. Would any one from Penang UMNO care to explain or clarify?

Anonymous said...

good issue but i m sadden tat there are only criticsm without solution.?Wakaf land need to be develope.We are sensible muslim who can suggest methods to achieve the best use for the land.