This study examines the early development of waqf doctrine, based on sources from the 2nd century AH, the writer argues that the institution of waqf emerged from a fusion of two earlier institutions.
This study examines the early development of waqf doctrine. Based on sources from the 2nd century AH, I argue that the institution of waqf emerged from a fusion of two earlier institutions: (1) the hubs fi sahil Allah, a permanent endowment for pious purposes that probably originated in voluntary contributions to jihad; and (2) the habs in favor of persons, originally a life estate, which probably had its roots in an earlier institution called ‘umra. Over the course of the 2nd century AH, the legitimacy of life estates was increasingly challenged, and the doctrine on habs in favor of persons was gradually modified until the institution eventually lost its temporary character. By the end of the 2nd century, the habs in favor of persons had become a variation of the habs fi sabil Allah: It was accepted as valid only if the settlor stipulated that after the beneficiaries’ death the donation should become a permanent endowment for a pious purpose.
Title: Early Doctrines on Waqf Revisited: The Evolution of Islamic Endowment Law in the 2nd Century AH
Author: Norbert Oberauer
Published in: Islamic Law and Society, Volume 20: Issue 1-2. 2013
Length: 48 pages