A waqf (ArB|وقف, "plural" ArB|اوقاف, "awqāf"; _tr. vakıf, IPA2|wæqəf) is an inalienable religious endowment in Islam, typically devoting a building or plot of land for Muslim religious or charitable purposes. It is conceptually similar to the common law trust.

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. In the 11th century, every Islamic city had at least 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 remedies; 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. [citation|last=Micheau|first=Francoise|contribution=The Scientific Institutions in the Medieval Near East|pages=999-1001, in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=985-1007]

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. [Harv|Gaudiosi|1988] Every "waqf" was required to have a "waqif" (founder), "mutawillis" (trustee), "qadi" (judge) and beneficiaries. [Harv|Gaudiosi|1988|pp=1237-40] 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"." [Harv|Gaudiosi|1988|p=1246]

The only significant distinction between the Islamic "waqf" and English trust is "the express or implied reversion of the "waqf" to charitable purposes when its specific object has ceased to exist", [Harv|Gaudiosi|1988|pp=1246-7] 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"." [Harv|Gaudiosi|1988|p=1247]

The trust law developed in England at the time of the Crusades, during the 12th and 13th centuries. The trust was introduced by Crusaders who were influenced by the "waqf" institutions they came across in the Middle East. [Harv|Hudson|2003|p=32] [Harv|Gaudiosi|1988|pp=1244-5]

ee also

*Charitable trust
*Islamic economic jurisprudence
*Islamic economics in the world
*Trust law



*Harvard reference
first=Monica M.
title=The Influence of the Islamic Law of Waqf on the Development of the Trust in England: The Case of Merton College
journal=University of Pennsylvania Law Review
date=April 1988

*Harvard reference
title=Equity and Trusts
publisher=Cavendish Publishing

*Harvard reference
title=Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science

External links

* [http://huquq.com/maghniyah/public_trusts.htm Islamic Law of waqf according to Five Islamic schools of jurisprudence]
* [http://huquq.com/maghniyah Islamic Law According to Five schools of jurisprudence]
* Islamic law concerning waqf (Public Trust). [http://huquq.com/maghniyah]
* [http://i-cias.com/e.o/waqf.htm Encyclopaedia of the Orient article on waqf]
* The [http://www.hodacenter.org Hoda Center] in Gainesville, FL is also known (lovingly) as "The Waqf"
* [http://www.hulusiefendivakfi.org Es Seyyid Osman Hulûsi Efendi Waqf] in Darende, in Turkiye.
* Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation [http://www.awqaf.org]
* Waqfuna موقع " وقفنا " [http://www.waqfuna.com]

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