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Fiqh of Waqf

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Following questions were submitted by an organization regarding the Fiqh of Waqf. A copy of answer is reproduced here with (Edited) questions...

Overview:: Basically ask for donations from muslims and once we have a set amount in our hands we would like to invest in halal businesses and use the profit for the purpose. Keeping this in mind please try to answer the questions below to the best of your knowledge, INSHALLAH.

1) What is a WAQF? All essential principles, Sunnah and history of waqf,
2) What is Bait ul Maal?
3) Can we ask for donations from muslims and put the funds in WAQF? as technically the donations are sadaqa and not WAQF.
4) Can we invest the money? and make profit on it so that the money grows
5) If we buy a house for example, that will become waqf property, so can we sell it back and make profit out of it??? I heard that waqf property cannot be sold.
6) Can Sadaqa money be used for investing and making profit.....the intention is to have more money to help more people.
7) What type of investments are we limited to??
8) Does the properties be registered under the waqf's name??
9) Can donations be given away??
10) Can the investments be moved around...refer to question 5....we buy a house then sell it then but some cars then sell it and keep doing that so as to make profit.
11) The people working for waqf - do they get salaries/expenses? if yes then how much?
12) Can we initially collect a specific amount of money and the start investing? like say $ 1 million would be the target money in hand then invest that around and make profit.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

We are pleased to read about your enthusiasm and desire to create a system so that Muslims can obtain Shariah compliant loans and grants thus saving them from the interest based loans. May Allah accept your intentions and make it easy for this project to become a reality. Verily this Ummah is in need of such a facility.

Hereunder are the answers to your queries.

1. The literal meaning of waqf is to stop and in Shariah it means to assign a property in the ownership of Allah in which the benefits are spent on those whom the waqf is assigned for.

(هو) لغة الحبس . وشرعا (حبس العين على) حكم (ملك الواقف والتصدق بالمنفعة) – الدر المختار مع رد الحتار

Historically, the act of assigning something as waqf has been a practice since the beginning of Islam. In fact, similar acts of waqf can be found in the previous nations as well. The Bible mentions assigning waqf for the sake of Allah. In the Qur’an it is stated that Mariam’s (Alaiha al-Salam) mother took a vow to make her child for the service and worship of Bait al-Maqdis, this is a form of waqf. If children were made waqf for the houses of Allah, then it is a reason to believe that other items were also made waqf. Islam broadened the concept of waqf.

Many examples of waqf can be found in the early periods of Islam. Uthman (Radhiyallahu Anhu) made waqf of the well of Roma. Imam Bukhari in his Sahih narrates the incident of the waqf made by Umer (Radhiyallahu Anhu):

عن ابن عمر رضى الله عنهما أن عمر بن الخطاب أصاب أرضا بخيبر فأتى النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم يستأمره فيها فقال يا رسول الله ، إنى أصبت أرضا بخيبر لم أصب مالا قط أنفس عندى منه ، فما تأمر به قال إن شئت حبست أصلها وتصدقت بها قال فتصدق بها عمر أنه لا يباع ولا يوهب ولا يورث ، وتصدق بها فى الفقراء وفى القربى ، وفى الرقاب وفى سبيل الله وابن السبيل والضيف لا جناح على من وليها أن يأكل منها بالمعروف ويطعم غير متمول

Umer (Radhiyallahu Anhu) made waqf of the land which he acquired from the battle of Khaibar and stipulated conditions that it cannot be sold, gifted, or inherited. The income derived from it will be spent on travelers, guests, solders, the poor and needy, and the family members of Umer (Radhiyallahu Anhu). Hafsa (Radhiyallahu Anha) will be the first trustee thereafter Ibn Umer (Radhiyallahu Anhu). After the demise of these two, the eldest from the family of Umer will become the trustee. The trustee will be able to eat from it an ordinary amount, but will not be able to hoard and stock it.
(Jadeed Fiqhi Masa’il 2:269)

The wisdom behind waqf is development and empowerment of people.

Islam has supported such organizations and investments schemes to a great extend. Imam Muslim narrates:

عن أبى هريرة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إذا مات الإنسان انقطع عنه عمله إلا من ثلاثة إلا من صدقة جارية أو علم ينتفع به أو ولد صالح يدعو له (صحيح مسلم)

Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “When a person passes away, his actions from him are terminated, except in three cases. He gave something in charity which is continuing, or knowledge which is benefited from, or son who makes dua for him.

The method to make a property waqf is to make intention of it and declare it to be waqf. Waqf property cannot be sold, inherited, nor can the waqf be cancelled.
It is permissible to give liquid assets as waqf. The assets should not be given out to the people, but instead it should be invested and the profits spend on the group of people it was made waqf for.

- (وعندهما هو حبسها على) حكم (ملك الله تعالى وصرف منفعتها على من أحب) ولو غنيا فيلزم ، فلا يجوز له إبطاله ولا يورث عنه وعليه الفتوى ابن الكمال وابن الشحنة (الدر المختار 4:338)
(و) كما صح أيضا وقف كل (منقول) قصدا (فيه تعامل) للناس (كفأس وقدوم) بل (ودراهم ودنانير) . قلت : بل ورد الأمر للقضاة بالحكم به كما في معروضات المفتي أبي السعود ومكيل وموزون فيباع ويدفع ثمنه مضاربة أو بضاعة فعلى هذا لو وقف كرا على شرط أن يقرضه لمن لا بذر له ليزرعه لنفسه فإذا أدرك أخذ مقداره ثم أقرضه لغيره وهكذا جاز خلاصة ، وفيها : وقف بقرة على أن ما خرج من لبنها أو سمنها للفقراء إن اعتادوا ذلك رجوت أن يجوز (وقدر وجنازة) وثيابها ومصحف وكتب لأن التعامل يترك به القياس لحديث {ما رآه المسلمون حسنا فهو عند الله حسن} بخلاف ما لا تعامل فيه كثياب ، ومتاع وهذا قول محمد وعليه الفتوى اختيار وألحق في البحر السفينة بالمتاع

2. Bait al-Maal is the public treasury, which is in the control of an Islamic government and spend in the path for the betterment of Muslims.

بيت المال: خزانة الدولة = المكان الذي تجتمع فيه الاموال العامة للدولة (معجم لغة الفقهاء)

3. Donations may be asked from people to be put in the fund of Waqf. However it should be made clear and have them agreed that the money will be for waqf purposes which is to cater for Muslims student seeking loans and grants. This is necessary since not all donations are considered waqf.

4. It is permissible to invest the money and make a profit from it and give the profit to the people who the waqf was made out for. (Refer to Anwer 1).

5. Once a property is made waqf, it cannot be sold or inherited. However, if the person making the waqf made a condition that it maybe sold and replaced by another property, then it will be permissible to sell the property so another in place is purchased. If the original person did not make such a condition, but a greater benefit is achieve by selling the property and investing else where, then too it will be permissible. Jurists have stated three conditions for it. Firstly, that it must not be sold for below normal price. Secondly, the right to sell will be given to trustworthy and righteous trustees, and not just any trustee. Thirdly, in place of the property another property is purchased and not sold for cash.

Waqf Imlaak kay Shar’ee Ahkam p.135 Idarah al-Qur’an

If the house was not made waqf, but it was bought with the waqf money as an investment, then it will be permissible to sell the house, since the investment is the purchasing and selling of houses.

6. For anything to become waqf, it must be stated clearly e.g. I make this waqf for such a group or I give this in sadaqah infinitely for such people. Not all sadaqah are considered waqf.
Imdad al-Fatawa (2:605) Maktaba Darul Uloom Karachi

7. All types of investments are allowed which are Shariah compliant. However, the capital amount should always remain. It is one of the conditions of waqf is that the original assets remain and the benefits are spent upon the people.

8. It is not necessary to register the item/wealth under the waqf’s name. However, if there is fear that the inheritors might make a claim for its possession, it will be necessary to get it registered.

9. Refer to Answer 6. Donations must be spent in the cause it was donated for.

10. Refer to Answer 5.

11. If the people making the waqf make a condition that the trustee and workers can receive a normal salary, then it will be permissible to receive a salary.

12. Money may be collected so it may be invested later. When collecting, it should be made clear that it is for waqf for assisting this particular group of people.

And Allah knows best
Ml. Ehzaz Ajmeri,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In'aamiyyah

Article taken (with Thanks) from

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