About the Jaffaria Waqf Directorate

Brief History

Jaffaria Waqf Directorate was founded in 1927 and is an independent department attached to the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs in Kingdom of Bahrain. The senior management Authority is represented by Awqaf board, which is formed by royal decree and consists of the Chairman and ten members. The mission of this board is to monitor the Jaffaria Waqf, exchange the revenues, and reconstruct it under the provisions of Islamic Law.

The main activity of the Jaffaria Waqf Directorate is the supervision of around 724 mosques and 632 mattams as well as the supervision of the assets endowed to those mosques and mattams, the endowments of the charities, etc.

The Board consists of several committees in order to facilitate the work. Those committees are as follows

  • Committee of Detection and Rents
  • Technical Committee
  • Committee of Finance
  • Committee of Investment
  • Committee of Mosques & Mattams
  • Executive Committee
Vision and Public Policy

The board draws the public policy for the Jaffaria Waqf Directorate in order to maintain the mosques and mattams, and develop the endowments according to Islamic Law. Based on this policy,the board seeks to achieve its vision through the follow-up and the development of public utility of the endowments such as the mosques, mattams and charities according to the needs of the community with continued efforts to raise the level of revenue.

General objectives

  • Maintain places of worship such as mosques, mattams, cemeteries.
  • Development and maintenance oftheendowments.
  • Developing and investing the endowment’s revenue to achieve higher returns.
  • Developing the administrative side of the endowment and the revival of religious heritage.
  • The Board also nominates a director for the Jaffaria Waqf Directorate to be officially appointed by the Prime Minister.
The main responsibilities of the Di29 rector are to implement the board’s decisions and the general supervision of the daily work of the directorate which consists of the following sections:
  1. The Director of Jaffaria Waqf Directorate
  2. Admin & Personnel Affairs
  3. Section Accounts & Portfolio Section
  4. Legal Affairs &Waqf Registration
  5. Section Engineering Services Maintenance Section
  6. Research and Mosques Affairs Section
  7. Information Systems Unit
  8. Public Relations
  9. Group Rent & Agreements Group
  10. Purchasing Group
Founding Role

More than 100 years ago, there was no central administration for the endowment but only an agreement between the scholars, considering that only scholars and people who have endowment in different regions and villages of the country, have a legitimate authority on the endowment.

The Jaffaria Endowments in Bahrain as an administrative organization had begun its activities since 1927 (the year of founding) in its headquarter located in one of Manama’s schools consisting of two rooms. The first chairman of the endowments that time, Sayed Adnan Alawi Al Mousawi, one of the Bahraini scholars who was born in Bilad Al Qadeem and lived in Jidhafs,had the main role in monitoring, recording, collecting and sorting the endowments. He lived in the 14th century and held different Islamic positions.

The book (Mashareq Al Shomoos Al Dhariyah) written by Sayed Adnan Al Mousawi and published by Mr. Mohammed Saleh, the son of the translator of that book In a quote from the translated book (Mashareq Al Shomoos Al Dhariyah) it is mentioned that: "The current government appointed him as the chief of justice and endowments, and responsible for the money of the minors. He was able to do all the tasks assigned to him in addition to researching, teaching, authoring and holding religious ceremonies until he died at the age of 45 in 1928. He did great efforts in taking good care Sayed Adnan Bin Alawi al-Musawi The first President of the Jafffari Waqf of the Endowments for one year (1927-1928). He scanned the endowments in all the villages and cities in Bahrain and determined their borders, and then he recorded them in his book, known as 'registry of Sayed Adnan' which considered as the first reference for the Jaffaria Endowments Directorate in Bahrain, until the recording stopped after his death in 1928".

It is notable what mentioned by Charles Belgrave, (the political advisor to the State of Bahrain from 1926 to 1957) as a witness to the events that experienced by the country during this period, in Chapter 5 from his book (Personal Column) published on 1960 the second edition of the year 1972 (English text),he reviews the events that took place after his return from his summer holiday in 1928 and says: (Everyone was talking about changing the Sunni and Shiite judges. Their positions as judges were more important than their current situation.In this period, Sayed Adnan Al Mousawi who just arrived to Bahrain was appointed as a judge, but his unexpected death created one vacancy. The policy of the sheikh (the ruler) in appointing the judges is based on the desires of the people. After many consultations and meetings, we were able to appoint three judges for the Sunnis, and two for the Shiites. In this period, the government had entrusted the management of the Shiite Endowment properties,which was managed by the judges, to a board elected by the Shiites of the villages and cities. This important step from the government had gained public acceptance.

This Shiite Endowment Directorate, as later became, was very successful where after 10 years a similar board was established to manage the Sunni Endowment). Al Ayam Newspaper issued in 2003 in its review to the annual report of Bahrain government on the Jaffaria Endowments Directorate, the journalist Ms. Ismat Al Mousawi mentioned: (Until 1928 all Endowments properties were managed by members who have the authority to control them, and there was only a small percentage of the funds that given to the people and 12 institutions who are supposed to benefit from them. The step taken by the government to solve this problem was accepted by the citizens, because when Sayed Adnan Al Mousawi was appointed as a judge in Bahrain in 1927, he started to prepare a registry that includes all the Endowments and their records, and he was the basis of establishing the Directorate of the Shiite Endowment).

When Sayed Adnan died, Sayed Ahmed Sayed Jawad became the chairman of the Endowments which was located that time in Bahrain Court Building. After Sayed Ahmed, Mr. Mohsen Al Tajir became the chairman, and after the founding of Bab Al Bahrain building, the Endowments transferred there. Later on, Mr. Sadeq Al Boharna became the chairman, then Mr. Ahmed Al Aali in 1996, then Dr. Mohammed Ali Al Sitri in 2002, then Sayed Moustafa Al Ghasabin 2003, and finally Sayed Ahmed Hussain in 2008.

Regulation and Legislation stage

As mentioned before, Bahrain has started in Endowments field about 80 years ago, specifically in 1927 where the Jaffaria Endowments Directorate was founded, followed by about ten years, the Sunni Endowments. Each directorate manages and develops its endowments and both directorates cooperate together.

In 1960, the first governmental law was issued to regulate and manage the affairs of Jaffaria Endowments. This law contains 7 sections and 97 articles, and the Endowments affairs were organizedaccording to them, as the first and the second clauses are stating the following:

  1. The Jaffaria Endowments Directorate is a governmental body, and was founded to manage the Shiites Endowments.
  2. The Jaffaria Endowments have the full authority to manage, maintain and reconstruct all the Shiite Endowments, and distribute them to the concerned bodies. This law also contains some sections on organizing the internal affairs of Endowments, and the appointment of a chairman and members of its board by elections, and controlling the selection and appointment of the chairman of the Endowments.

In 1985 a decree No. 6 was issued on the organization of both the Sunni and Jaafari Endowments boards, and identifying their members. Each board should manage its endowment. The law also included drawing the general policy of the directorate, the development of the organizational structure of the board, the adoption of the annual budget, and determining the validity of both the Chairman and Managing Director.

In 1991 a decree No. 11 was issued from the Prime Minister of the State of Bahrain on the internal regulation of the Sunni and Jaffaria boards, which contained nine articles already mentioned before.

In 1996 a decree No. 5 was issued from the Prime Minister of the State of Bahrain on the organization of the internal regulation of the Sunni and Jaffaria boards, which contained nine articles, and the number of members of the two boards was identified based on the decree No. 6 for the year 1985 on the organization of both the Sunni and Jaafari Endowments boards, and identifying their members. Mr. Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali was appointed as a chairman of the Jaffaria Endowments with eight new members on February 14, 1996.

In late 2001, a decree No. 45 was issued to amend some provisions of decree No. 6 for the year 1985 on the organization of both the Sunni and Jaffaria Endowments.

The role of development

The Jaffaria Endowments as any financial institution need someone with a future vision to manage their affairs and to qualified technicians to develop the resources. Therefore, the new Directorate is trying to exhibit this behavior with its staff by developing the organizational structure and information system, connecting all the departments with one network,etc.

Between law and Islamic law

There is a close link between endowments and Islamic law, and as it was mentioned in the decree No. 11 for the year 1991 that both Endowments’ boards should manage the endowments under the terms of Islamic law and judgments of the competent legitimacy court. Therefore, the Directorate had developed the legitimate research unit, which is specialized in everything related to the legitimacy in endowment field.