4th World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists

March 23-24, 2011, Dubai, United Arab Emirates




At a time of change and uncertainty, philanthropy is challenged to help facilitate dialogue among all sectors of society and provide the resources for implementing creative solutions to problems. Old approaches to giving that operated in isolation or only addressed the symptoms of social ills will no longer suffice. Philanthropy around the world has an opportunity to make sure that its efforts going forward are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Our gathering as the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists this week in Dubai is about rising to meet this challenge.


Indeed, what Muslim societies call for is a rational discussion of their own situation, on their own terms. As a growing network of individual donors, foundations and socially conscious corporations, the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists is creating a safe space for consultative dialogue among all sectors from which a new social compact can eventually emerge.


We challenge our fellow philanthropic institutions to revisit their funding priorities in the Arab and Muslim world.


We urge philanthropies to invest in locally generated agendas for change, whether these involve support to young social entrepreneurs with a vision for the future of their societies, or to Arab and Muslim researchers studying their own countries and developing coherent plans for progress.


We call on governments to invest in quality services such as education, and creating jobs, especially for youth, and to formulate economic investment policies that lead to broader development opportunities for all citizens.



We urge Islamic finance institutions worldwide to use the techniques and instruments at their disposal to address the issues of social justice, wealth redistribution, poverty alleviation and prevention of exploitation. In particular, these institutions can help unlock capital embedded in the waqfs, can enhance management of zakat and can fight financial exclusion through Islamic microfinance.


We strongly believe that these are the types of initiatives that will lead towards our common goals of advancement, through rule of law, human development and economic growth in a coherent and integrated manner. We must not leave any parts of our societies behind, and in serving equitable development, we will also achieve peace, stability, and hope for the future.