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Waqf and Endowment Islamic History of growth and decline

The history of Islamic waqf (endowment) is rich and has played a significant role in Muslim development throughout various periods. Waqf refers to the permanent dedication of a property, such as land, buildings, or funds, for charitable purposes according to Islamic principles. The origins of waqf can be traced back to early Islamic history, but it reached its golden age during the Islamic civilization's height. During the Islamic Golden Age, between the 8th and 14th centuries, waqf was central in facilitating socio-economic development and providing public services. It was instrumental in establishing institutions of higher learning, hospitals, mosques, libraries, and other infrastructure projects. These endowments served as centers for education, scientific research, healthcare, and community support, benefiting countless individuals and communities. Waqf allowed for the accumulation and preservation of wealth within the Muslim community while ensuring its continuous circulation for the greater good. It offered an alternative economic model based on the principle of perpetual charity, aiming to address social and economic inequalities. Through waqf, individuals could dedicate their assets to noble causes, ensuring their benefits extend beyond their lifetimes.

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