Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research

Financing Kindness | 2019 MAS-ICNA Convention

“To understand the waqf is to understand Islamic philanthropy.” Dr. Zara Khan presents a paper on the the history, the present, and the future of Islamic charitable endowments.

Read Khalil Abdur-Rashid’s publication “Financing Kindness as a Society: The Rise & Fall of Islamic Philanthropic Institutions (Waqfs).”

Read Dr. Zara Khan’s publication “Reviving the Waqf Tradition: Moral Imagination and the Structural Causes of Poverty.

Dr. Zara Khan

Dr. Zara Khan

RESEARCH DIRECTOR | Dr. Zara Khan is an educator and researcher who studied Political Science and social justice at the City University of New York. Having specialized in comparative political philosophy and critical theory, her main hope is to contribute to the Islamicization of profane knowledge, particularly in education, politics, culture and economics.


Dr. Khalil Abdurrashid

Senior Fellow | Dr. Khalil Abdurrashid is the first full-time University Muslim Chaplain at Harvard University, Instructor of Muslim Studies at Harvard Divinity School, and Public Policy Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He serves all Muslim students at Harvard, supervises the staff of the Harvard University Office of the Chaplain, and also serves on the Board of Religious, Spiritual and Ethical Life at Harvard.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, he completed his Doctorate in Liberal Studies in American Islam from Southern Methodist University and holds both a Master of Arts in Islamic Law and Middle East Studies as well as a Master of Philosophy in Islamic Law and Middle East Studies from Columbia University in New York City. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Georgia State University and worked for the state of Georgia as a social worker for several years. He then pursued Islamic studies academically and traditionally which led him overseas to study for numerous years in the Middle East and in Istanbul, Turkey. While in Istanbul, Dr. Khalil pursued a master’s degree in Comparative Islamic Law at Marmara University and completed two advanced Islamic seminary doctoral licenses (​ijaza​) in Islamic Sciences.
He has taught numerous courses on Islam and Islamic law at NYU and Columbia University and taught Arabic at Georgia State University. He was the first paid Muslim Chaplain for Columbia University and Barnard College in New York City and served as an advisor to the NYPD Police Commissioner. He also served as Imam for several years in New York City and several years as Scholar-in-Residence at a major Islamic Center in North Dallas. He is the co-founder, along with his wife, of the Islamic Seminary of America in Dallas and worked as an instructor of Islamic Studies in the Graduate of Liberal Studies Program at Southern Methodist University. He serves the entire Muslim community at Harvard University through his mentoring, programs, lectures, interfaith work, and the courses he offers in the Divinity School and Kennedy School of Government.


Dr. Altaf Husain

Vice President | Dr. Altaf Husain is the associate professor at the School of Social Work at Howard University. His specialization includes community organizing, non-profit management, and social welfare policy; development of social services to serve immigrant and refugee families.