Today there are an estimated 1.57 billion Muslims constituting 23% of the world’s population. They live across the continents and contribute substantially to the world economy. They are also significant players in the social sector, whereby, developing nonprofits that address human services and social needs or creating charitable foundations that are distributing financial resources at an unprecedented level. Within this group there is a potentially enormous resource base on which philanthropies can build new initiatives to advance social justice.
Muslim philanthropy is at a crossroad, challenged to build new models of giving while simultaneously refining old methods embedded in vibrant Islamic tradition. The foremost challenge in the field is to promote strategic and accountable philanthropy that complements and enhances the generations-old conventional charity, which is often personal and spontaneous. Muslim giving needs to be reexamined and allied with the newly developing era of prosperity and hard-earned stability found in some parts of today’s Muslim world. Externally, Muslim Philanthropy is challenged by prejudice, suspicion and negative publicity, thus limiting its ability to fund programs addressing poverty, illiteracy, environmental degradation and disease.
The necessity to effectively harness resources in order to make a greater impact is compelling. The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (WCMP) has long shared the concern that strengthening practices in the Muslim philanthropic sector must be a priority, with a new view to enhancing social justice. Consequently, it is committed to a process of planning and action to achieve lasting change in the field. In pursuit of this agenda, WCMP envisions working in collaboration with the vast array of individuals and institutions that seek to improve the Muslim world and the broader global community. WCMP, therefore, resolves to work towards building and promoting these strategies in the field, accepting its share of responsibility for completion of this work, as well as encouraging and supporting others that can contribute to this endeavor.