The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf is an Islamic religious trust (sometimes called an "Islamic Religious Endowments" organization) best known for controlling and managing the current Islamic edifices on and around the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Some form or another of the waqf has governed access to the Haram esh-Sharif since the Muslim reconquest of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187, with the latest version instituted by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan after its conquest of the West Bank and East Jerusalem during the 1948 war. Accordingly, the King of Jordan currently supplies all of the funding needed to operate the waqf, which is in effect the civil administration for the holy site.
The waqf administration is headed by a director (or sometimes "director-general") who runs the civil administration for the holy sites. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is in charge of Islamic religious affairs at the site. The Supreme Muslim Council is the Islamic judicial body governing affairs under Islamic law within Israel. The Palestinian Authority has parallel organizations claiming interest in these same matters (i.e., the Ministry of Islamic Waqf at the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Authority Grand Mufti, or the Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council), and those are not to be confused with those recognized by Israel, even if some of the same people hold both offices.
Waqf in Alpha and Omega
When the Israelis captured East Jerusalem and the Old City in 1967, they needed to decide what to do with the Temple Mount. As a compromise, the existing Waqf would continue to administer the holy site. Ibrahim ibn Abd al-Rahman was the current head of the Waqf.
- Alpha and Omega, pgs. 22-23, hc.
- Ibid., pg. 78.