1- Seeking to educate the youth on the pure doctrine and call to Allah's via a group of elite scholars of Islam.
1- Our role is to illuminate the young generations of the west with their Islamic identity and establish an Islamic centers as a haven for Muslims' children.
2- The Foundation sees the Waqf as a strategic choice to fund its projects and programs in the light of its institutional work based on the modern management rules.
3- The Foundation adopts the co-operation that leads to integration in the charitable work by completing the shortage in a professional and objective base in sharing the roles.
Philanthropy and waqf work have become an important tool in disseminating the Islamic culture and identifying the moderate Islamic thought in the entire world. In the light of what the European peoples suffer moral decline and collapse, the Islamic Waqf Foundation has been activated in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to provide a balanced moderate Islamic approach for these peoples.
Due to the vital important role of Waqf Foundation, this dialogue was conducted with the General Manager of Waqf Foundation, Dr. Mohammed Bin Nasser Al-Katheeri. The Foundation achievements within the Kingdom included training, professional, scientific and educational programs for the youth with aim of protecting them from the negative phenomena that some may indulge in.
Waqf Foundation comprises in its membership some elite scholars and thinkers, most prominent of whom is Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdurrahman Al-Haseen the chairman for Al-Haram Mosque, the Prophet's Mosque and a member of Foundation Board Trustees. It has achieved a lot of external achievements including the construction of Islamic centers, holding training courses for the rehabilitation of imams, organizing medical caravans, designing school curriculum, constructing schools, teaching the people their religion and language, qualifying and graduating teachers and imams, identifying them with Islamic civilization and culture, providing emergency and permanent relief for all the afflicted and the needy as well as caring for the women and family to build the Man in accordance with moral system.
The following is the text of the first part of dialogue conducted with the Dr. Al-Katheeri:
Q- Your Excellency, Tell briefly about Waqf Foundation?
The Waqf Foundation is an educational Da'wai Foundation. It was founded in 1407 AH, and aims to teach and educate the youth on the pure doctrine and call for Allah. The board of trustees comprises of a group of elite scholars. This foundation adopts Shura (consultation) approach in order to achieve a comprehending vision for the current issues. Specialized committees and an integrated administrative system manage its work and its activities through its offices spread in the fields of work. The foundation adopts the policy of keeping away from the political disputes, conflicts, and the various intellectual parties.
Origin and Establishment
Q- How was the need for establishing this foundation and the reasons of its establishing?
After the end of the second world war, a big number of immigrants went to Europe from the third world countries for work, some of them were from the Islamic world. One of the noticed phenomena was the weak cultural and moral standard of the expatriate. The most important factor was the weak identity of the second and third generations of expatriates and their inability to acquire a new identity in the counties of emigration for many reasons.
Those who thought to establish the Waqf Foundation were concerned with this matter because they knew that the best treatment for the Muslims is to illuminate the young generations with their Islamic identity. They noticed that this would achieve several goals and interests some of which is the Muslims' benefit to keep their Islamic identity and the interests of host countries as there is no danger is more than the existence of some members without an identity and the interest of Islamic countries they had come from.. Hence, the founders led by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Osman Al-Husseini, Sheikh 'Abdullah Bin Suleiman Al Manee, the member Council of Senior Scholars and the member of Board of Trustees viewed to launch this project in Netherlands.
Q- Why did you choose Netherlands? How did the march continue?
There are several reasons for selecting Netherlands as a starting point for Waqf Foundation, one of which of them was the birth of the European Union in that time and the easy transport to other countries in the Union. Netherlands was one of the most European countries willing to accept multi-culture and its record in human's rights protection was the best one, as well.
Dutch officials understood the project's nature and offered financial support where the government assistance estimated (80%) of the total operational costs of the constructed schools. Then the need for a center for the Muslim children has emerged to protect them from the Western society's temptation., A building has already been purchased and set up as an Islamic center including a mosque and other utilities. A manager and imam have been appointed for the center. It has been called Omar Ibn Al-Khattab in the city of Helmund, Netherlands in 1407 AH.
The center's Da'awi works started and it performs its role as a recourse for Muslim children to learn their religion and doctrine and practise their activities and hobbies. The most important advantage of this center is that it has not any connection with any parties, sects or ideological conflicts as well as its moderate identity that adopts the pure Islamic approach. Board Trustees for Waqf Foundation was formed to manage the foundation's work and provides financial and moral support and takes decisions in the important strategic issues of the Foundation and the charitable work.
Q- What are the objectives and work fields of the Waqf Foundation?
Waqf Foundation seeks to achieve a set of objectives , some of which are teaching the Muslims their religion and language and qualifying and graduating teachers, imams and guides to teach people their religion and to get them acquainted with the cultural and Islamic civilization and providing them with all kind of temporary and permanent relief to the affected, providing care, sponsor for the needy and care for women and the family. The Foundation is active in Europe and the republics of the ex Soviet Union to present Islam and Arabic language using the latest technical and academic means . One of the most noticeable programs of the project is the ser0ies "Arabic for you", of which 100,000 copies shave been printed and has been taught in 29 countries. 56 Training courses have been held for the teachers of non-Arabic teachers students where 1730 male and female teachers in 31 countries benefited from them. An Arabic-audio dictionary to translate the word into a number of languages with an explanation and pictures has been prepared. Moreover, numerous projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including grants scholarship for the students at all stages from the secondary schools till PhD degree. As well as it provides accommodation for the students in addition to the training programs and rehabilitation.
Q: What is the Foundation’s concept of Waqf?
Waqf has its distinct concept in Islamic law. The Foundation views Waqf as a strategic choice to finance its projects and programs in the light of adopting the institutional work based upon the rules of modern management. The educational Da'wah projects' require long breath, financial flow and continuous development, because they need much time to bear fruit and this can only be achieved by relying on Waqf as their basic financing source.
Waqf Discourse Development
Q- In light of talking about renewal and modernization in the Islamic discourse. Has the Foundation provided new visions and interpretations for Waqf work to keep pace with the modern age ?
The Foundation provides, from time to time, suggestions and working papers in its publications, in conferences, seminars and charitable work in whenever it participates in. These papers include suggestions and opinions about the reality of Awqaf and ways of development and the future that awaits.
The Foundation has a number of publications illustrating the basic provisions and the general framework for Waqf in Islam. The scientific department in the Foundation issued a great research entitled "the impact of Waqf upon the Call to Allah the Almighty”. Originally it was prepared for obtaining Master's degree in Da'wah in the Islamic University of Imam Muhammad Bin Saud.
The Foundation has also provided new Waqf types which have become an example such as the “Mother Waqf” in the prophetic Madina and others. It has contributed in establishing a specialized institution in establishing and sponsoring private Waqf and providing them with the legal formulas and Waqf culture and awareness in the society.
Co-operation and coordination
Q- How far do coordination and cooperation between the Waqf Foundation and its counterparts in the Arab and Islamic world exist?
Waqf foundation considers co-operation among the charitable institutions working in the region as an inevitable necessity for proving all kinds of philanthropy to the beneficiaries. When the sincere desire exists, cooperation exists because it includes some kind of understanding.
The co-operation adopted by the Foundation is that leads to integration in the charitable work in the basis of professionalism and objectivity in role sharing. It is reflected in the partnerships set up by Waqf Foundation with local charities societies in the areas of its work. They are more that (40) societies in the Eastern Europe and the Islamic republics. They offer various activities, development, awareness and rehabilitation programs, in addition to health and Da'awi projects according to their thematic and geographic specializations. It's noteworthy, that there are some of the societies that the Foundation has contributed in their establishment in one way or another. Moreover, the Foundation held a number of partnerships with a number of international bodies, government and local religious institutions.
The projects that bear the hallmarks of collaboration is the open-heart caravan for children that was carried out in Kazakhstan in 1432 AH in co-operation with the International Islamic Relief Organization and the Center for Endoscopic Surgery in Kosovo, courses and Da'awi tours which were held in the countries of Western Europe, the projects of preparing curriculum for the religious schools, the efforts of translation and books publication. The foundation has provided its whole relief efforts during Kosovo civil war in 1999-2000 AC, under the umbrella of Saudi Joint Committee where a number of charitable organizations are included. The last of these successful and important partnerships what exists between the foundation and the International charitable Organization.