Understanding the role of Islamic Philanthropy as a global force for good

Understanding the role of Islamic Philanthropy as a global force for good

How Islamic Philanthropy tools could be best utilised in non-faith-based NGO contexts


About this Masterclass

Islamic Social Finance (ISF), including Islamic Philanthropy (IP), is a complex system with more than 18 different tools, each of which has a set of rules according to Sharia (Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet).

This masterclass focuses on three tools, which could help to address several of today’s crises and Sustainable Development Goals, such as poverty, displacement, climate change, animal rights, and food and water security – particularly in member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)*. Harnessing these tools could help accelerate change at scale.

Zakat: This is explicitly intended to reduce inequality and is widely used in Muslim countries to fund domestic development and poverty-reduction. Zakat is the amount of money Muslims are required to pay as an obligatory alms tax, for specific categories of beneficiaries.

Sadaqah: This is a voluntary donation and can be used for any cause.

Waqf: This is a kind of voluntary donation which is highly encouraged. It is given for a charitable purpose in perpetuity and stands out as one of the greatest achievements along the history of Islamic civilisation. It is typically a donation of a building or land.

* The OIC is an alliance of currently 56 countries mainly located in Western Asia and in Western Africa. All member states comprise a total area of 31.66 million km² and about 1.82 billion people. This is 21.0% of the habitable area around the world and 24% of the world population.


Aimed at

  • Fundraisers who operate, or are looking to operate, in OIC countries.
  • NGO professionals serving, or about to serve, beneficiaries in OIC countries.
  • Other fundraising and NGO professionals looking to diversify their expertise in faith-based philanthropy. 
  • Communication, advocacy and campaigning experts working, or about to work, in OIC countries. 


Learning outcomes

  • A full understanding of Zakat, Sadaqah and Waqf as key Islamic Philanthropy tools, and how they can be utilised in non-faith NGO contexts.
  • An in-depth awareness of existing practices and how to maximise results in Islamic Philanthropy. 
  • Inspiration for future campaigns, development and roll-out. 


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Khaled Khalifa (Saudi Arabia)
Senior Advisor & Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, UNHCR