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Systemizing Maldivian waqf regulatory framework

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Date
2023
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Abstract
The classical concept of waqf has been integral to Maldivian history since 1153 AD, when the Maldives embraced Islam as the nation's official religion. There are manuscripts dating as far back as 1153 AD, indicating the significance of waqf in Maldivian society, mainly in establishing masajids, while others included the traditional form of educational centres and family-owned private waqfs. However, over the years, the significance of waqf faded due to many factors ranging from social, political and economic factors. From the surviving manuscripts, it is evident that most waqfs were land-based, immovable forms of waqfs. Being a tiny Island nation, the scarcity of land became one of the primary catalysts for the fading waqf's significance in the Maldives. Furthermore, although widely practised, waqf was never under a formalized legal and regulatory framework in the Maldives. Nonetheless, realizing the potential of waqf, maintenance and building new masajids, as recently as within the past five to ten years, a whole new waqf revival effort has been initiated by the Government of Maldives. Therefore, even though the Maldives still lacks a formalized regulatory framework specific to waqf operations, the Government has decided to use the Public Finance Act as the legal mechanism for establishing the recently formed waqf funds. Thus, this is an attempt to study the existing regulatory framework applied to the Maldivian waqf industry in light of the applicable laws and regulations. In the scope of this study, the focus areas include understanding the existing waqf regulatory framework, its sustainability issues, examples of regulatory frameworks that the Maldives can adopt and the requirements needed for the systemization of the Maldivian waqf regulatory framework.
Keywords
Waqf regulatory framework , Maldives
Citation
Ismail, M. M. (2023). Systemizing Maldivian waqf regulatory framework (Master dissertation). INCEIF, Kuala Lumpur. Retrieved from https://ikr.inceif.org/handle/INCEIF/3923
Publisher
INCEIF
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