Emerging Social Waqf Model for the Welfare of Pandemic Orphans


  • Saheed Busari IIUM




Waqf,, Orphans,, COVID-19, Sustainable social intervention,, family protection


The increasing number of COVID-19 orphans in Malaysia poses an alarming threat to the socio-economic fabric of the nation. Hence, policymakers are confronted with this escalating dilemma, as the surging population of COVID-19 orphans could lead to a rise in problems, such as child sexual abuse, children dropping out of school and suicide. The pandemic of orphans as one of the hidden tragedies of COVID-19 has triggered the need for a sustainable social intervention that can guarantee the socio-economic protection and psycho-emotional care of orphans, especially in Muslim societies. Moreover, the reported number of orphans in the world is over 140 million children, with almost six million pandemic orphans arising from COVID-19 deaths across the globe. Recent studies also suggest that some of the children in orphanages in Malaysia are malnourished from skipping breakfast, lack dental care and even basic needs because of limited funding. Nevertheless, social waqf has been receiving significant attention as an Islamic social intervention to cater to vulnerable members of society. Studies have shown that Islamic religious institutions and organisations have been sustained through the waqf system. The enormity of the challenge posed by the COVID-19 orphans is such that some activists have been calling on the government to adopt the children into its social scheme. Overwhelmed by the socio-economic challenges arising from the pandemic, the government has also been appealing to private stakeholders to extend their social mission to the care of pandemic orphans. It also requires funding for individual families willing to provide care and protection for orphans. Hence, this highlights the need for an appropriate intervention to take care of the pandemic orphans.

This study conducts a qualitative analysis of the potential of social waqf interventions for orphans’ care. Extensive desk research on the classical evidence of the socio-economic protection of orphans in Islam was detailed. The study explores the Islamic guidelines for fostering orphans through kafala (custody), for fostering orphans and children without biological parents. From the findings, the study proposed a Waqf model useful for providing social welfare intervention and adequate financial support for the sustainable care of orphans' needs through social workers, orphanages, foster care families, and further empowerment of orphans with needy single parents.


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How to Cite

Busari, S. (2024). Emerging Social Waqf Model for the Welfare of Pandemic Orphans. IIUM Journal of Religion and Civilisational Studies, 6(2), 139–158. https://doi.org/10.31436/ijrcs.v6i2.296