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A Waqf also spelled Wakf (Arabic: وقف‎, pronounced [ˈwæqf]; plural Arabic: أوقاف‎, awqāf; Turkish: vakıf) formally known as Wakf-alal-aulad is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, typically denoting a building or plot of land for Muslim religious or charitable purposes. The donated assets are held by a charitable trust. The grant is known as mushrut-ul-khidmat, while a person making such dedication is known as Wakif.[1][2]



The term waqf literally means detention. The legal meaning of Waqf according to Imam Abu Hanifa is the detention of specific thing in the ownership of waqif and the devoting of its profit or products "in charity of poors or other good objects".

Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad Says: Waqf signifies the extinction of the waqf`s ownership in the thing dedicated and detention of all the thing in the implied ownership of God, in such a manner that its profits may revert to or be applied "for the benefit of Mankind".

There is no direct injunction of the Quran regarding Waqf, but there is a hadith which says "Ibn Umar reported, Umer-Ibn-Al- Khitab got land in khyber, so he came to the prophet Muhammad Swl and asked him to advice him about it. The Prophet said, if you like, make the property inalienable, and give the profit from it to charity." Waqf means the permanent dedication by a Muslim of any property for any purpose recognized by the Muslim law as religious, pious or charitable.

Wakf in India

Early references to Wakf in India, can be found in 13th century CE work, Insba-i-Mahru by Aynul Mulk Mulltani, described by historian Ziauddin Barani as one of the officers of Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji (r. 1290-1296) first Indian ruler of the Delhi sultanate and the founder of the Khilji dynasty. According to the book, Sultan Muizuddin Sam Ghaor (f. 1195-95 A.D.) dedicated two villages in favour of Jama Masjid, Multan, and, handed its administration to the Shaikhul Islam (highest ecclesiastical officer of the Empire). In the coming years, several more wakfs were created, as the Delhi Sultanate flourished. [3]

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