​First: Waqf on mosques

Awqaf in Kuwait is as old as Kuwait itself, and it is one of the manifestations of the Islamic identity of Kuwaiti society. The philanthropists of the people of Kuwait used to build mosques as an act of righteousness and goodness and draw closer to Allah, The Almighty and to encourage Muslims to perform prayer in congregation in mosques by establishing them in every neighborhood, and many of them were Allah bless them, recommend allocating a third of their estates for building mosques.


The first generation of philanthropists from the people of Kuwait was not satisfied with building mosques in Kuwait, but rather they built and equipped mosques completely at their expense in some other cities and capitals to be a home for worshipers and the righteous, to establish prayer and to elevate the word of Allah, The Almighty, in addition to that they have Waqfs for real estate and land that generate revenues to spend on these mosques or are allocated to their workers.

After the establishment of the Awqaf Department in 1949 AD that took upon itself the task of building mosques, the benefactors continued to build mosques at their own expense, and allocated necessary endowments for them.

The cooperation of the people of Kuwait in the field of charitable endowment extended to mosques, and in many cases the Endower is not the founder, until most of Kuwait's mosques have more than one endowment from a house, shop or land, and that is a Contest and rally in getting closer to Allah, the Almighty by building and serving Allah's homes (Mosques).

The purposes of endowment on mosques varied to address one or more of the following purposes:

1.      The Imam and the Muezzin:

The endowments for the Imam or the Muezzin, are either to provide housing, or to pay salaries, as in the (Ali bin Hamad) Mosque, where the endowed house for this mosque used to be rented and the proceeds of it spent on the Imam or Muezzin.

2.     Reconstruction of the mosque:

The proceeds of the endowment may be devoted to the reconstruction and maintenance of the mosque. This was stipulated in the endowment of the Al-Shaya Mosque.

3.      General Waqf on the mosque:

The endowment may be a general for a particular mosque without specializing in mentioning a group of beneficiaries, and this is what Ahmed and Ali Al-Fahd Al-Khaled did, where they endowed at a house of one-third of their brother Farhan Al-Khaled at Al-Mahara Mosque.

4.     A school for memorizing the Holly Qur'an:

The people of Kuwait did not neglect the Holy Qur'an schools, as they appointed a waqf to spend its proceeds on the endowed school on the mosque, and this we find in Waqf of the Nahedh Mosque, which was founded by Muhammad Mulla Salih from one-third of his wife, and Shamlan Ali Al Saif from one third of the price of the commodity in the year 1335 AH.

5.      Reconstruction of the imam and muezzin's dwelling:

This type of endowment is represented in the endowment of Al-Shaya Mosque, as it was stipulated in the endowment, which is that its proceeds should be spent on: (what the mosque and endowment houses need from reconstruction).

6.      The tools that the mosque needs, such as brushes, buckets, ropes and lamps:

The good people in Kuwait paid attention to what the mosque needed in terms of tools such as carpets, buckets, ropes, and lamps, so they made a Waqf for it from houses and shops, and half of the endowment for Al-Badr Mosque are for these purposes.

7.     Waqf for a school for memorizing the Holy Qur'an:

Al-Nahedh Mosque had a small room with a door on the street that made it a school for memorizing the Holy Qur'an, as well as the case in the waqf house that made a school in Al-Qatami Mosque.

8.     Waqf to spend its proceeds for the fasting people:

This endowment was represented in one of Waqf of Al-Shaya Mosque, as it was stipulated in it to offer Iftar for fasting people.

The emergence of ancient mosques in Kuwait is the true beginning of the history of construction in them.

Second: Endowments in various aspects of righteousness and goodness

Charitable endowments in Kuwait were not limited to mosques, as we have already mentioned, but their fields diversified to include the following purposes:

1.     Feeding:

To provide the necessary foodstuffs to the needy in all Muslim countries, whether they are provided individually or collectively, especially the virtuous days, seasons, holidays and in the month of Holy Ramadan

2.     Waqf of Dining "Ashiy'at":

"Ashiy'at" is synonymous with feeding. It is achieved by providing meals and food to the poor and needy inside and outside the country, especially in destitute and poor countries by helping refugees and the needy.

3.     Waqf on sacrificial animals:

It is achieved by distributing sacrifices to the needy inside and outside Kuwait, and this is done on the days of the blessed Eid al-Adha.

It is noted that with regard to these endowments: (food, dining and sacrificial animals), the endowment administration currently transfers a portion of the sums allocated to it to the Zakat House annually, so that the House plays its role in distributing it with its administrative body and experience in the regions of Kuwait, in implementation of the conditions of the endowers.

4.     Waqf on good deeds:

This condition is fulfilled in various aspects of charitable work, including: providing aid to the poor and needy, and including support for Islamic bodies, associations and centers.

5.     Waqf on Charitable Institution:

This area includes building hospitals, health centers, nursing homes, etc.

6.     Waqf for the poor and needy:

This is achieved by spending on the poor and the abstinent needy.

7.     Waqf for students of knowledge:

This includes the printing of Islamic books and Holly Qur'an, publishing and distributing them in needy Muslim countries, and sending students on scholarships abroad, whether sending them to acquire Sharia sciences or other legitimate sciences.

8.      Waqf on drinking water:

This is by purchasing water coolers, placing them in mosques, public places and markets, and supplying them with water. It also includes digging wells in poor Islamic countries in need and providing water sources for drinking.

9.     Waqf on the Holy Quran:

It includes teaching the Holy Quran, printing and distributing it.

​10.                        Waqf on Reconstruction:

It is intended to reconstruct the endowment (Waqf) from its revenues and then to spend from its proceeds on the charitable causes that are allocated to that endowment.

11.                        Waqf on what the living does for the dead:

This is achieved by any action that brings goodness, benefit, and mercy to the dead.

12.                        There are special endowments for washing the dead, preparing and burying them.


We must include some observations, including:

  1. The total number of charitable endowments registered in the endowment records is 300, in addition to (140) endowments for mosques.
  2. Most of the mosque endowments are endowed in old mosques, such as mosques (Al-Adasani - Al-Numan - Al-Qatami - Al-Sarhan - Ibn Khamis - Al-Wazzan - Hilal) and others.
  3. There are charitable endowments that Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation (KAPF) performs the mission of looking after them, and there are endowments for which the "Foundation" is examined in conjunction with one of the relatives of the endower. There are Waqfs have individual Administrators from the Endower's offspring.
  4. In the past, endowments were widespread in all the old districts of Kuwait, such as: (Sharq, Qibla and Mirqab), and these neighborhoods were in the old the main center of Kuwait, and real estate in those areas was - and still is - of high economic value.
  5. The endowment was not limited to real estate and property inside the country, but expanded to include real estate owned by Kuwaiti endowments abroad, such as the Hilal Al-Mutairi Waqf in India and Bahrain, and Munira Al-Ateeqi Waqf in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, and there are several other endowments in Basra and Al-Ahsa.
  6. Examples of the oldest charitable endowments in Kuwait before the year 1300 AH are:

    Examples of the oldest charitable endowments in Kuwait
  7. Family Endowment (or Al-Ahly): It is the endowment whose proceeds are allocated to the offspring of the endower, their children, and their relatives, and if they become extinct, then to a charitable destination, and the number of family endowments in Kuwait is (70) family endowments.

Third: The role of the woman in the endowment

Women have a prominent and effective role in charitable work in general and in the endowment in particular, as the generous contributions of women to endowment works in property and real estate had a clear impact on the growth and prosperity of the endowment institution, which indicates the religious awareness that Kuwaiti women have enjoyed since ancient times and their keenness to draw close to Allah, the Almighty.

Such as:

  • Mrs. Malaka Al-Ghanim, as she built the Al-Qatami Mosque near her home and endowed for it two houses near the mosque, one of which became a school for memorizing the Holy Qur'an and the other a residence for the Imam.
  • As well as Shahah bint Hamad bin Yusuf Al-Saqr, with the encouragement of the esteemed philanthropist Sultan Al-Kulaib, to renew the building of the Old Market Mosque at her expense.
  • (Bint Dulaim), who heard about building a large mosque in Kuwait, and hastened to contact Yusef bin Abdullah Al-Saqr in writing, asking him to give her a role in building this mosque in Kuwait. She is a woman from Al-Zubayr, who inherited from her father a great fortune, so she wanted to make her in charitable works, whether in Al-Zubayr or in Kuwait, and Yusef Al-Saqr accepted her contribution after he saw her insistence on doing good.
  • Among the endowments for women in Kuwait for mosques:
  • From a quick statistical look at the contributions of women to the endowment works registered with the Waqf Department in Kuwait, the following facts can be clarified:

1.     In the field of charitable endowments:

The number of women endowers is (165), i.e. 50% of the number of those endowments.

2.     In the field of endowment on mosques:

Their number (11) is 7% of the general number.

3.     In the field of Family endowments:

The number of women endowers is (27), i.e. 38% of the total number of these endowments.

4.     In the field of joint endowments:

Women endowers(21), or 46% of the total.

Thus, the number of women endowers reaches (224), and their percentage to the total number of endowers in general is 38%, which is a high percentage indicating a real and effective contribution of Kuwaiti women to the Islamic Waqf Foundation.