Friday, January 27, 2012


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Q 14: Define WAQF. What are the Object of WAQF? Can a Muslim Create Waqf in favour of his Children and Descendants?


A:                DEFINITION OF WAQF: A waqf is an unconditional, irrevocable, perpetual dedication of the property, vested in favour of, and in the ownership of God (Allah) in such a manner that the ownership of the founder is extinguished and the usufruct of the property is used for the benefit of mankind except for purposes forbidden by Islam.

                   ESSENTIALS OF WAQF: the essentials of a valid waqf are as follows:

1.                   (Essentials written in meaning in legal terms)

2.                 Permanent dedication of any property

3.                 by a person professing Muslim faith

4.                 For any purpose recognized by the Islamic Law as religious, pious or heritable.

5.                 Under the Shia Law, delivery of possession must be there

6.                 Waqf must be immediate and un-contingent.

DISTINCTION BETWEEN TRUST AND WAQF: A trust differs from Waqf in the following aspects:






No religious motive is necessary in a trust.


The motive should mostly be religious


A trustee may be beneficiary.


A founder except a Hanafi Muslim cannot reserve any benefit for himself.


There may be any object whatsoever.


Object should be charitable, pious or religious.


It involves doubles ownership, equitable and legal. The property vests in the trustee.


Extinction of ownership of the Waqf and vesting of ownership in Allah.


The trustee has superior power of using the property, because he is the legal owner.


While Mutawalli, is a mere receiver and manager.


A trustee cannot demand remuneration.


Mutawalli may ask for remuneration.


WAQIF’S FAMILY AND DESCENDANTS: Before 1913, waqf’s created substantially or exclusively for waqif’s family and descendants were treated as invalid. But after the passing of the Mussalman Waqf Validating Act, 1913, waqfs for the benefit of family are valid.

The term “family” has been liberally interpreted by the Courts, and has never been confined to for maintenance on the wakif. In a recent case the Allahabad High Court observed:

“The word ‘family’ in Section 3 (a) (of Waqf Validating Act, 1913) has to be given a wide and not a restricted meaning and a person may belong to a ‘family’ if either he is from a common progenitor or if he is living under the same roof and is being supported and maintained by the settler. As long as one of these two conditions are satisfied, the beneficiary would be a member of the family within the meaning of the Act”.


OBJECTS OF WAQF: Objects of Waqf may be for the benefit of persons of for any object of piety and charity. The term “charity” includes every purpose which is recognized pious”. Every good purpose which God approves, or by which approach (Qurbat) is attained to him, is a fitting purpose for a valid and lawful waqf. Objects of a waqf may be religious, charitable or private.

Following are valid objects of a waqf:

1.       Mosques and provisions for Imams to conduct worship therein.

2.       Colleges and provisions for professors to teach in them.

3.       Aqueducts and bridges.

1.                   distribution of alms to poor and assistance to poor to enable them to perform pilgrimage to Mecca.

2.                 Celebrating the birth of Ali Murtaza.

3.                 Keeping Tazias in the month of Moharram.

4.                 Repairs of Imambaras.

5.                 Maintenance of a Khankah.

6.                 Celebrating the death anniversaries of the settlor and his family.

7.                 Burning lamps in a mosque.


The following are not valid objects of a waqf:

1.                   Objects prohibited by Islam.

2.                 Payment to lawyers.

3.                 Providing for the rich exclusively.

4.                 Dedication to objects which are not certain.

5.                 A direction to spend a certain sum of money for feasting Cutchi Memos every year on the anniversary of the settlor’s death.

CONCLUSION: The objects for which a waqf may be crated must be one recognized by the Islamic Law as “religious, pious or charitable. Specification of objects is not necessary. A trust for charity simpliciter, so long as it is confined to charity exclusively, is a perfectly good waqf. A waqf may be created for the settlor’s own family and his descendants provided ultimate benefit is reserved for charitable purposes. A Hanafi Muslim can make a provision for his own maintenance or for the payment of his debts out of the rents and profits of the property dedicated but there should be ultimate benefit reserved for the poor or for any other purpose recognized as religious; pious or charitable.

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