IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST GRACIOUS, THE MOST MERCIFUL. WE SEEK THE ENDLESS BLISS OF ALLAH UPON THE NOBLE SOUL OF MUHAMMAD (peace be upon him), HIS HOUSEHOLDS, COMPANIONS AND THE GENERALITY OF MUSLIMS TILL THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT.
Brethren in faith, I admonish you and myself to be conscious about Allah, His rulings and punishments, as we will be called to account for our deeds separately on the day when there will be no shade except that of Allah.
This Friday sermon of today centers upon: “Islamic rulings on Waqfu-Endowment”
It is incontrovertible that Islam is a comprehensive system that encompasses all spheres of life. It gives credence to charity and exploring lawful means to alleviate poverty. Because, the mission of Muslims is to gain the pleasure of their Lord. Because every lawful action in Islam is regarded as act of worship. As such, as part of the way a Muslim can gain the pleasure of his Lord is to assist his immediate and remote community with his wealth. One of the ways endorsed by Islam is endowment or charitable foundation.
This is nothing but act of gaining the pleasure of Allah, sequel to the verse of the Quran where Allah says:
“وَٱبۡتَغِ فِيمَآ ءَاتَىٰكَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلدَّارَ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةَۖ “…
But seek, with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of hereafter…” (Q28:77)
Hence, endowment in Islam is an act of worship, and it is done to seek the pleasure of Allah for the home of hereafter. It is on this, this term paper is done to discuss endowment with reference to the work of Professor Mustapha Wahbah Az-zuhayli titled: Al-Fiqhu-l-Islamii wa adillatuh.
MEANING OF WAQFU
Waqfu means, freezing the capital or property and not disposing of it by selling, giving or inheriting, or in any other way, so that any income or earnings are to be disposed of in the manner dictated by the person who initiated the waqfu, for charitable purposes and the like.
With reference to these, Ibn ‘Umar related: that Umar got a land in khaybar and then went to the Prophet (PBUH) and said: Messenger of Allah!,I got a land in Khaybar. I never got a property more precious to me than this. What do you advise me?. He said: “If you want, you can make habs on (bequest) it, and give it as sadaqah (charity): provided that it should not be sold, bought, given as gift or inherited.”Ibn Umar, the narrator of the incident, said, “then Umar gave it as charity for the poor, relatives, slaves, wayfarers and guests. Therefore, there is no harm for the person responsible for it to feed himself or a friend from it but for free, without profiteering. (Bukhārī 2737).
Sequel to this, scholars of Islam opine that, this hadith forms the basis of endowment in Islām. As such, right from the early stage of Islām, it has been established to give out properties as endowment.
STAGES OF WAQFU (ENDOWMENT)
According to the Ḥanafyyahi school of thought, they opine that the major pillar or stage of waqfu is to be validated through specific statement (Aṣ-Ṣīghah). Such as saying: I give this land out as endowment to the orphans, the needy and the poor or to say. I give this building as endowment to so and so, after specific years it becomes endowment to the needy and the orphan. Hence, this is the same view held by Abū Yūsuf. (Abū Yūsuf was a student of Abū Ḥanīfah).
In furtherance to these, the majority of scholars are of the opinion that endowment has the following four pillars:
- The endower
- The receiver of the endowment
- The object given out as endowment
- The Ṣīghah (statement) that validates the endowment.
Therefore, waqfu is not yet valid, if a pillar is not actualized out of the above aforementioned four pillars.
Thus, in the ḥanafiyyah’s school of thought, the acceptance of objects of endowment by the receiver is not a condition. But the Ḥambali and Qāḍi Abū Ya’la also note that is not a condition for the acceptance of endowment or entitlement to it. Such as if the receiver is known or not known, even if the receiver keeps silent, he is indeed entitled to it.
However, if the receiver of the endowment is defined and after it is being presented to him, he rejects it. As such, he does not have entitlement to the profits that come out it. By that, it will be presented to those in need of it. However, if no one is in need of the endowment. Then it has to be returned back to the endower or those that have rights to inherit him if they are available. But if the heirs are not available, it shall be remitted to the public treasury. Hence, rejecting endowment does not invalidate the rewards of the endower. To buttress this, ḥanafiyyah school of thought holds that, if an endower gives out his properties as endowment, it is allowed to withdraw it and the rewards therein are his. Also, if he gives out totally, then it is meant for the betterment of the needy. As such, whoever that has accepted endowment. It is not for him to reject it again, and whoever that rejects it at first instance, it is not for him to take it again.
In other words,Shāfi’,Māliki and some of the Ḥambali hold that, acceptance of endowment is a condition if the endowment is defined or specifically for someone and he accepts it, but if he rejects it, then his guardian can take it as gift and will.
TYPES OF WAQFU (ENDOWMENT)
Endowment according to az-zuhayli is of two categories:
Philanthropic Or Humanitarian endowment: This is an example of endowing one’s land for building hospitals, borehole waters, schools and the likes. Then, one can still make it and endowment upon himself and family. That is, they can also benefit from it. Despite that, they endowed it out for humanitarian service.
Domestic endowment: This type of endowment is made initially upon the endower himself or he endows person with it. Even though, he can still make it as humanitarian endowment. Such as endowing himself and his family with it, after which he endows it as humanitarian endowment.
Hence, portion of land, house, books, clothes, domestic animals and weapons can also be taken as endowment sequel to the agreement of Islamic scholars.
CONDITIONS OF WAQFU (ENDOWMENT)
- It must be wealth that is beneficial to people, such as: land property.
- The object of endowment must be known not abstract.
- It must be something secretive to a reasonable extent.
- It must owned by the endower.
In furtherance to this, scholars agreed that endowment on non-muslims on what is sin is not allowed. The Ḥanafiyyah opine that endowment can be given to non-muslims. However, it must be what is known in both religions as charitable acts. Such as: feeding the poor, spending on the masjid-l-Aqsa. But to spend endowment of non-muslim on the mosque is not allowed. If it is seen as a righteous act in Islām, it is not righteous in his own religion.
INVALIDATORS OF WAQFU (ENDOWMENT)
Waqfu becomes invalid once any of the conditions stated below is found be problematic or absent. However the Māliki School lists some of the most significant of the invalidators.
Preventive Occurrence: for instance, if endower dies or becomes bankrupt, or he falls sick in which such sickness leads to his death before the waqfu is validated, such endowment is returned back and becomes part of inheritance for the rightful owners.
Endowment based on what is regarded as sin or crime in the Islamic perspective like setting up endowment for a church, things that are related to alcohol, or buying arms and ammunition for an unlawful war.
The endowment of a non-muslim for a mosque, an Islamic institution, an Islamic school and other things that has to Islamic symbol. This is a view of the Ḥanafiyyah.
Also, waqfu becomes invalid when the endower does it for himself, even if he does such together with an individual who cannot inherit him.
Refusal of the endower to release or free the property of endowment i.e mosque, school before his death. If he dies without giving it out in waqfu, such will automatically become part of the inheritance.
It is wrong to dedicate a waqfu for male while sidelining the female folk; such act is akin to the action of the Jāhiliyyah where females’ rights were downplayed.
EXPENDITURES OF WAQFU (ENDOWMENT)
According to the Ḥanafiyyah, it is obligatory that the expenditure of endowment should be got from its revenue or produce, whether the endower decreed that or not because waqfu is meant to be eternal.
Selling and swapping of waqfu on destruction.
The intention of waqfu is for the purpose of benefitting from it and also for the acquisition of rewards; however what should be the fate of the waqfu if going towards destruction.
Some scholars legitimize selling and swapping of waqfu based on some factors or conditions. Abū ḥanīfah opines that if for instance a mosque that is endowed becomes deserted by people because of another mosque built within its vicinity, such mosque should be left alone and its incomes should be used on it because it retains a mosque until the day of judgement.
Some other scholars conclude that if a waqfu becomes destroyed and there is no income to rebuild it, it should be reverted as inheritance.
To conclude, in case of waqfu, the best is to use it for charitable purposes in a lawful ways as prescribed by the Islamic law.