More than $4m to be given to beneficiaries from wakaf-generated income: MUIS

Local beneficiaries will receive $2,896,083, with the remaining $1,221,441 channelled to foreign beneficiaries. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) will disburse more than $4 million from its wakaf-generated income this year, it said in a statement on Wednesday (June 15).

A total of $4,117,524 will be disbursed to various beneficiaries from the income of Muis-managed wakaf, a 3 per cent increase from last year's disbursement.

Local beneficiaries will receive $2,896,083, with the remaining $1,221,441 channelled to foreign beneficiaries.

While Muis did not identify these foreign beneficiaries, it said that the funds will be spread across five categories that meet the needs of the community, including welfare homes, healthcare centres and food banks.

Wakaf, a Muslim's permanent dedication of any property for any purpose defined by Muslim law as religious and charitable, is akin to a trust fund, where money is invested and the returns used to help the community.

Under the Administration of Muslim Law Act, Muis oversees the administration of all wakaf in Singapore.

In its breakdown of funds to local beneficiaries, Muis said $1,179,481 will be distributed to 21 mosques in Singapore for their operational needs, as well as upgrading and renovation.

The six full-time madrasahs, or religious Islamic schools, as well as part-time ones at mosques, will receive $487,288 in total to train future religious leaders in the community and for facility upgrading.

Several Muslim organisations and charities, including Jamiyah Food Bank and Club Heal, which helps people with mental illnesses, will get $403,485, with another $469,715 going to poor or distressed individuals.

The remaining $356,114 will be used for other purposes, such as the provision of religious rites, including free burials, as such costs have risen over the years due to a manpower shortage and inflation.

Speaking at the disbursement ceremony on Tuesday, Muis chief executive Kadir Maideen attributed the increase in disbursement amount to higher income growth last year.

He added: "Wakaf has proven to be a key institution that has benefited the community for many generations. To continue this legacy, Muis will be setting up the Wakaf Masyarakat Singapura (WMS), which acts as an endowment fund that generates sustainable income for the community's long-term needs."

Muslims can bequeath their assets and funds to WMS, which is a voluntary funding mechanism. The money will be used to benefit future generations, said Muis in its statement.

It added that it will work with various partners to diversify the aid rendered by the wakaf, including sponsoring medication for those from low-income backgrounds, regardless of race and religion.

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