Waqf | Wikipedia audio article


A waqf (Arabic: وَقْف‎; [ˈwɑqf]),
also known as hubous (حُبوس) or mortmain property, is an inalienable charitable endowment
under Islamic law, which typically involves donating a building, plot of land or other
assets for Muslim religious or charitable purposes with no intention of reclaiming the
assets. The donated assets may be held by a charitable
trust. The person making such dedication is known
as waqif, a donor. In Ottoman Turkish law, and later under the
British Mandate of Palestine, the waqf was defined as usufruct State land (or property)
of which the State revenues are assured to pious foundations. Although based on several hadiths and presenting
elements similar to practices from pre-Islamic cultures, it seems that the specific full-fledged
Islamic legal form of endowment called waqf dates from the 9th century AD (see paragraph
“History and location”).==Terminology==
In Sunni jurisprudence, waqf, also spelled wakf (Arabic: وَقْف‎; plural أَوْقاف,
awqāf; Turkish: vakıf ) is synonymous with ḥabs (حَبْس, also called ḥubs حُبْس
or ḥubus حُبْوس and commonly rendered habous in French). Habs and similar terms are used mainly by
Maliki jurists. In Twelver Shiism, ḥabs is a particular
type of waqf, in which the founder reserves the right to dispose of the waqf property. The person making the grant is called al-waqif
(or al-muhabbis) while the endowed assets are called al-mawquf (or al-muhabbas).In older
English-language law-related works in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, the word used
for waqf was vakouf; The word, also present in such French works, was used during the
time of the Ottoman Empire, and is from the Turkish vakıf.==Definitions==
The term waqf literally means “confinement and prohibition” or causing a thing to stop
or stand still. The legal meaning of Waqf according to Imam
Abu Hanifa, is the detention of a specific thing in the ownership of waqf and the devoting
of its profit or products “in charity of poors or other good objects”. Imam Abu Yusuf and Muhammad say: Waqf signifies
the extinction of the waqif’s ownership in the thing dedicated and detention of all the
thing in the implied ownership of God, in such a manner that its profits may revert
to or be applied “for the benefit of Mankind”.Bahaeddin Yediyıldız defines the waqf as a system
which comprises three elements: hayrat, akarat and waqf. Hayrat, the plural form of
hayr, means “goodnesses” and refers to the motivational factor behind vakıf organization;
akarat refers to corpus and literally means ”real estates” implying revenue-generating
sources, such as markets (bedestens, arastas, hans, etc.), land, baths; and waqf, in its
narrow sense, is the institution(s) providing services as committed in the vakıf deed such
as madrasas, public kitchens (imarets), karwansarays, mosques, libraries, etc.==Islamic texts==
There is no direct injunction of the Qur’an regarding Waqf, which is derived from a number
of hadiths (traditions of Muhammad). One says, “Ibn Umar reported, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab
got land in Khaybar, so he came to the prophet Muhammad and asked him to advise him about
it. The Prophet said, ‘If you like, make the property
inalienable and give the profit from it to charity.'” It goes on to say that Umar gave it away as
alms, that the land itself would not be sold, inherited or donated. He gave it away for the poor, the relatives,
the slaves, the jihad, the travelers and the guests. And it will not be held against him who administers
it if he consumes some of its yield in an appropriate manner or feeds a friend who does
not enrich himself by means of it.In another hadith, Muhammad said, “When a man dies, only
three deeds will survive him: continuing alms, profitable knowledge and a child praying for
him.”==
Life cycle=====
Founding===Islamic law puts several legal conditions
on the process of establishing a waqf.====Founder====
A waqf is a contract, therefore the founder (called al-wāqif or al-muḥabbis in Arabic)
must be of the capacity to enter into a contract. For this the founder must: be an adult
be sound of mind capable of handling financial affairs
not under interdiction for bankruptcyAlthough waqf is an Islamic institution, being a Muslim
is not required to establish a waqf, and dhimmis may establish a waqf. Finally if a person is fatally ill, the waqf
is subject to the same restrictions as a will in Islam.====Property====
The property (called al-mawqūf or al-muḥabbas) used to found a waqf must be objects of a
valid contract. The object should not be illegal in Islam
(e.g. wine or pork). Finally these objects should not already be
in the public domain. Thus, public property cannot be used to establish
a waqf. The founder cannot also have pledged the property
previously to someone else. These conditions are generally true for contracts
in Islam.The property dedicated to waqf is generally immovable, such as estate. All movable goods can also form waqf, according
to most Islamic jurists. The Hanafis, however, also allow most movable
goods to be dedicated to a waqf with some restrictions. Some jurists have argued that even gold and
silver (or other currency) can be designated as waqf.====Beneficiaries====
The beneficiaries of the waqf can be persons and public utilities. The founder can specify which persons are
eligible for benefit (such the founder’s family, entire community, only the poor, travelers). Public utilities such as mosques, schools,
bridges, graveyards and drinking fountains can be the beneficiaries of a waqf. Modern legislation divides the waqf as “charitable
causes”, in which the beneficiaries are the public or the poor) and “family” waqf, in
which the founder makes the beneficiaries his relatives. There can also be multiple beneficiaries. For example, the founder may stipulate that
half the proceeds go to his family, while the other half go to the poor.Valid beneficiaries
must satisfy the following conditions: They must be identifiable. At least some of the beneficiaries must also
exist at the time of the founding of the waqf. The Mālikīs, however, hold that a waqf may
exist for some time without beneficiaries, whence the proceeds accumulate are given to
beneficiaries once they come into existence. An example of a non-existent beneficiary is
an unborn child. The beneficiaries must not be at war with
the Muslims. Scholars stress that non-Muslim citizens of
the Islamic state (dhimmi) can definitely be beneficiaries. The beneficiaries may not use the waqf for
a purpose in contradiction of Islamic principles.There is dispute over whether the founder himself
can reserve exclusive rights to use waqf. Most scholars agree that once the waqf is
founded, it can’t be taken back. The Ḥanafīs hold that the list of beneficiaries
include a perpetual element; the waqf must specify its beneficiaries in case.====Declaration of founding====
The declaration of founding is usually a written document, accompanied by a verbal declaration,
though neither are required by most scholars. Whatever the declaration, most scholars (those
of the Hanafi, Shafi’i, some of the Hanbali and the Imami Shi’a schools) hold that it
is not binding and irrevocable until actually delivered to the beneficiaries or put in their
use. Once in their use, however, the waqf becomes
an institution in its own right.===Administration===Usually a waqf has a range of beneficiaries. Thus, the founder makes arrangements beforehand
by appointing an administrator (called nāẓir or mutawallī or ḳayyim) and lays down the
rules for appointing successive administrators. The founder may himself choose to administer
the waqf during his lifetime. In some cases, however, the number of beneficiaries
are quite limited. Thus, there is no need for an administrator,
and the beneficiaries themselves can take care of the waqf.The administrator, like other
persons of responsibility under Islamic law, must have capacity to act and contract. In addition, trustworthiness and administration
skills are required. Some scholars require that the administrator
of this Islamic religious institution be a Muslim, though the Hanafis drop this requirement.===Extinction===
Waqf is intended to be perpetual and last forever. Nevertheless, Islamic law envisages conditions
under which the waqf may be terminated: If the goods of the waqf are destroyed or
damaged. Scholars interpret this as the case where
goods are no longer used in the manner intended by the founder. The remains of the goods are to revert to
the founder or his/her heirs. Other scholars, however, hold that all possibilities
must be examined to see if the goods of the waqf can be used at all, exhausting all methods
of exploitation before the termination. Thus, land, according to such jurists, can
never become extinguished. A waḳf can be declared null and void by
the ḳāḍī, or religious judge, if its formation includes committing acts otherwise
illegal in Islam, or it does not satisfy the conditions of validity, or if it is against
the notion of philanthropy. Since waqf is an Islamic institution it becomes
void if the founder converts to another religion. According to the Mālikī school of thought,
the termination of the waqf may be specified in its founding declaration. As the waqf would expire whenever its termination
conditions are fulfilled (e.g. the last beneficiary). The waqf property then returns to the founder,
his/her heirs, or whoever is to receive it.==History and location==The practices attributed to Muhammad have
promoted the institution of waqf from the earliest part of Islamic history.The two oldest
known waqfiya (deed) documents are from the 9th century, while a third one dates from
the early 10th century, all three within the Abbasid Period. The oldest dated waqfiya goes back to 876
CE, concerns a multi-volume Qur’an edition and is held by the Turkish and Islamic Arts
Museum in Istanbul. A possibly older waqfiya is a papyrus held
by the Louvre Museum in Paris, with no written date but considered to be from the mid-9th
century. The next oldest document is a marble tablet
whose inscription bears the Islamic date equivalent to 913 CE and states the waqf status of an
inn, but is in itself not the original deed; it is held at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel
Aviv.===Egypt===
The earliest pious foundations in Egypt were charitable gifts, and not in the form of a
waqf. The first mosque built by ‘Amr ibn al-‘As
is an example of this: the land was donated by Qaysaba bin Kulthum, and the mosque’s expenses
were then paid by the Bayt al-mal. The earliest known waqf, founded by financial
official Abū Bakr Muḥammad bin Ali al-Madhara’i in 919 (during the Abbasid period), is a pond
called Birkat Ḥabash together with its surrounding orchards, whose revenue was to be used to
operate a hydraulic complex and feed the poor.===India===
Early references to Wakf in India, can be found in 14th century CE work, Insha-i-Mahru
by Aynul Mulk Ibn Mahru. According to the book, Sultan Muizuddin Sam
Ghaor (f. 1195–95 A.D.) dedicated two villages in favor of Jama Masjid, Multan, and, handed
its administration to the Shaikhul Islam (highest ecclesiastical officer of the Empire). In the coming years, several more wakfs were
created, as the Delhi Sultanate flourished.As per Wakf Act 1954 (later Wakf Act 1995
) enacted by Government of India, Wakfs are categorized as (a) Wakf by user such as Graveyards,
Musafir Khanas (Sarai) and Chowltries etc., (b) Wakf under Mashrutul-khidmat (Service
Inam) such as Khazi service, Nirkhi service, Pesh Imam service and Khateeb service etc.,
and (c) Wakf Alal-aulad is dedicated by the Donor (Wakif) for the benefit of their kith
and kin and for any purpose recognised by Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable. After the enactment Wakf Act 1954, the Union
government directed to all the states governments to implement the Act for administering the
wakf institutions like mosques, dargah, ashurkhanas, graveyards, takhiyas, iddgahs, imambara, anjumans
and various religious and charitable institutions. A statutory body under Government of India,
which also oversees State Wakf Boards. In turn the State Wakf Boards work towards
management, regulation and protect the Wakf properties by constituting District Wakf Committees,
Mandal Wakf Committees and Committees for the individual Wakf Institutions. As per the report of Sachar Committee (2006)
there are about 500,000 registered Wakfs with 600,000 acres (2,400 km2) land in India, and
Rs. 60 billion book value.===Other===
The waqf institutions were not popular in all parts of the Muslim world. In West Africa, very few examples of the institution
can be found, and were usually limited to the area around Timbuktu and Djenné in Massina
Empire. Instead, Islamic west African societies placed
a much greater emphasis on non-permanent acts of charity. According to expert Illife, this can be explained
by West Africa’s tradition of “personal largesse.” The imam would make himself the collector
and distributor of charity, thus building his personal prestige.According to Hamas,
all of historic Palestine is an Islamic waqf, which translates as a “prohibition from surrendering
or sharing”.==Funding of schools and hospitals==After the Islamic waqf law and madrassah foundations
were firmly established by the 10th century, the number of Bimaristan hospitals multiplied
throughout Islamic lands. By the 11th century, many Islamic cities had
several hospitals. The waqf trust institutions funded the hospitals
for various expenses, including the wages of doctors, ophthalmologists, surgeons, chemists,
pharmacists, domestics and all other staff, the purchase of foods and medicines; hospital
equipment such as beds, mattresses, bowls and perfumes; and repairs to buildings. The waqf trusts also funded medical schools,
and their revenues covered various expenses such as their maintenance and the payment
of teachers and students.==Comparisons with trust law==
The waqf in Islamic law, which developed in the medieval Islamic world from the 7th to
9th centuries, bears a notable resemblance to the English trust law. Every waqf was required to have a waqif (founder),
mutawillis (trustee), qadi (judge) and beneficiaries. Under both a waqf and a trust, “property is
reserved, and its usufruct appropriated, for the benefit of specific individuals, or for
a general charitable purpose; the corpus becomes inalienable; estates for life in favor of
successive beneficiaries can be created” and “without regard to the law of inheritance
or the rights of the heirs; and continuity is secured by the successive appointment of
trustees or mutawillis.”The only significant distinction between the Islamic waqf and English
trust was “the express or implied reversion of the waqf to charitable purposes when its
specific object has ceased to exist”, though this difference only applied to the waqf ahli
(Islamic family trust) rather than the waqf khairi (devoted to a charitable purpose from
its inception). Another difference was the English vesting
of “legal estate” over the trust property in the trustee, though the “trustee was still
bound to administer that property for the benefit of the beneficiaries.” In this sense, the “role of the English trustee
therefore does not differ significantly from that of the mutawalli.”Personal trust law
developed in England at the time of the Crusades, during the 12th and 13th centuries. The Court of Chancery, under the principles
of equity, enforced the rights of absentee Crusaders who had made temporary assignments
of their lands to caretakers. It has been speculated that this development
may have been influenced by the waqf institutions in the Middle East.==See also==
Jerusalem Islamic Waqf Charitable trust
Islamic economic jurisprudence Islamic economics in the world
Private foundation Trust law
Zakah Waqf of Ibshir Mustafa Pasha ComplexAgenciesHaryana
Waqf Board (India) Ministry of Awqaf (Egypt)
Ministry of Evkaf (Ottoman Empire) Office of the Waqf Administrator (Bangladesh)==Notes

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