Waqaf can be regarded as a mean to gain blessings from Allah the Almighty and brings prosperity to the nation, said Dean of Syariah Faculty of Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) Dr Haji Noralizam bin Haji Ali Akbar.
He said this as the moderator of the ‘Empowering Waqaf (endowement) Towards the Country’s Prosperity’ forum held as part of Brunei Mid Year Conference and Exhibition (Brunei MYCE 2021) at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas yesterday.
The forum, co-organised by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, aimed at providing an understanding of Waqaf, in addition to highlighting the role of Waqaf institutions in helping to stabilise and generate the economy of a country.
Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman and Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong were present.
Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom Bin Pengiran Haji Bahar was also in attendance.
Forum panellist Acting Secretary of Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) Haji Abdul Aziz bin Haji Akop discussed policies and regulations that oversees Waqaf in the country. He said wealth does not wholly belong to us but shared with others. He also highlighted on Waqaf, Sedekah (giving alms) and Infaq as ways to spend wealth for Allah the Almighty and as investment for the hereafter.
He said there are two types of Waqaf – special Waqaf which is decided by the Waqaf contributor for specific purpose such as to build mosques, and general Waqaf which is not specified and MUIB which is free to decide on how to utilise it.
Two speakers from Malaysia and Indonesia spoke on Waqaf management institutions and agencies in their countries.
Chief Operating Officer of Kedah Zakat School Management School in Malaysia Dr Mohd Faisal bin Mustaffa discussed the impact of Waqaf for the wellbeing of the people and sustainability of the nation.
He added that Islamic Religious Council is the sole trustee of Waqaf in Malaysia. He also discussed the models of Waqaf management in Malaysia including in building construction.
Meanwhile, Unisma Malang Prof Madya Samsu Madyan from Graduate School Universitas Islam Malang in Indonessia highlighted the significance of Waqaf Tunai (cash) from other Mazhab (Sect).
Head of Public Relations at the Ministry of Religious Affairs Ariffin bin Dato Paduka Haji Abu Bakar said the forum also aimed to share information on issues and challenges faced by Waqaf management institutions locally and in the region.
Some 150 participants comprising law practitioners, policy makers and enforcement agencies attended the forum.