Title

Waqf In Historical Perspective: Online Fatawa And Contemporary Discourses By Muslim Scholars

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Sabrina Joseph, Zayed University

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Journal Of Muslim Minority Affairs

Publication Date

10-2-2014

Abstract

Since the beginnings of Islam, awqaf or religious endowments have been the medium through which various public services (i.e. schools, hospitals, and mosques) have been provided to communities. Historically, endowments were both insulated from state authority and an emanation of imperial and/or state power. Modern day Muslim scholars have taken a renewed interest in waqf, particularly as Muslim societies look to revive those indigenous institutions which promote cultural sustainability. This paper examines perceptions of the role of waqf in Muslim society as evidenced in current online fatawa and writings by Muslim scholars. These sources are drawn from English-medium, Muslim web organizations and sites which have particular appeal among Muslims living in the West. This literature propagates a historical narrative of waqf which highlights the institution's moral significance, civic identity, and economic efficiency, and plays down its pre-nineteenth-century links to state power and its potential inefficiency. According to modern day scholars, endowments, with the proper legal framework in place, can promote civil society and sustainability. In a bid to examine these issues, the paper analyzes how online sources address the historical development of waqf and legal mechanisms shaping the regulation of endowments.

ISSN

1360-2004

Publisher

Informa UK Limited

Volume

34

Issue

4

First Page

425

Last Page

437

Disciplines

Islamic Studies

Indexed in Scopus

no

Open Access

no

Share

COinS