It has been observed that the key feature of the Islamic ideal is the blending of the spiritual and the secular, the economic and the social, by engaging Islamic philanthropy through the waqf institution. However, the utilization of waqf as a charitable institution for the provision of community welfare for Muslims in northern Nigeria, for long facing serious socio-economic, in addition to the current insecurity, problems has basically remained untapped. Employing narratives, and analysis of available literature, this exploratory study is limited in scope by the few accounts considered. Highlighting the role of waqf (Islamic endowment) in enhancing public wellbeing, the paper reveals that harnessing effectively waqf requires the involvement of the ulama as change agents. Nevertheless, the study concludes that for the ulama in northern Nigeria to successfully mobilize philanthropy for community building, it is an imperative for them to undertake a self reassessment.
*This paper is part of an ongoing study. It was originally a section in the author’s Inaugural Lecture Paper titled: “The River that changed its course: Traversing Academic Disciplines-from Accounting to Community Development-while remaining in situ,” (2012).