Ziauddin University (ZU) and the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (ICCIA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to launch the Green Waqf Initiative, a project of the ICCIA.

The project aims to provide a practical Islamic solution to tackle climate change, preserve biodiversity, and combat poverty by reviving the historical concept of the waqf. The MoU was signed by H E Yousef Hasan Khalawi, the Secretary General of the ICCIA, and the Vice-Chancellor of ZU Prof Dr Syed Irfan Hyder on behalf of their respective organizations.

The Green Waqf Initiative is a unique initiative that seeks to revive a historically proven model that caters to cultural and religious sensitivities and seeks to promote practical solutions not just within the 57 Muslim-majority countries of the OIC but beyond.

As part of the MoU, ZU’s Faculty of Law, Politics & Governance Centre for Human Rights will lead research around waqf legislation in Pakistan, working in collaboration with the ICCIA to assist the launch of the first pilot project. The initial phase of the project will focus on Pakistan’s legal landscape around the waqf, but it is projected to expand to other jurisdictions, including Mauritania, Morocco, and other OIC member states.

Syed Muaz Shah, the lead researcher at the Centre for Human Rights, will coordinate with Saad Pasha from the ICCIA to oversee the study, with students expected to contribute to the research.

In addition to the Green Waqf Initiative, ICCIA and ZU have also agreed in principle to expand further linkages and collaborations to engage students and faculty.

While talking at occasion of signing ceremony, Prof. Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, Vice-Chancellor of Ziauddin University, said, “We are honored to partner with the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture to launch the Green Waqf Initiative, which seeks to provide a practical solution to tackle climate change and promote sustainability. We look forward to working together to develop innovative ideas that can make a real impact on the world.”

H.E. Yousef Hasan Khalawi, Secretary General of the ICCIA, said, “We are delighted to partner with Ziauddin University on this important initiative. The Green Waqf Initiative aligns with our vision to promote sustainable development, and we are confident that this partnership will contribute to advancing our common goals.”

H.E. Mr Khalawi recognized the preliminary research done by two students, Alishba Fazal and Areeba Qureshi, under the supervision of Mr. Shah at the Faculty of Law, Politics & Governance on waqf and carbon credits. He subsequently invited them to the Al-Baraka Symposium 43, “The Sustainability Authenticity in Islamic Economy” happening this month in Madinah, Saudi Arabia and to also perform Umrah on a fully sponsored trip.

He expressed that “Young people like these two young women have to carry on the spirit of research and innovation for the next generation and that is what this Green Waqf Initiative and the various activities at ICCIA is all about – true sustainability for future generations to come.”

Related: ZU presents interactive dialogue on Power of Gender Diversity

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