Saturday, 28 September 2019

A Summary of the Rulings of Waqf (Part 2)

Part 2 of the Introduction to The Book of Waqf, to be republished soon, insha'Allah, which is a translation of p.485 to 488 of  Sharḥ al-Yāqūt al-Nafīs

The Conditions of the Beneficiary of the Endowment

The conditions of the beneficiary of the endowment are two: that it not be disobedience[1] and that it be possible to take possession[2] of it if it is a specific item

The Conditions of the Beneficiary of the Endowment

            The conditions for the beneficiary of the endowment are two: that it not be in disobedience, such that if one were to dedicate a place to be used as a tavern[3] or the like it would not be valid, because it would be assisting in depravity and disobedience. An endowment can only be in obedience[4] or that which is permissible.
            Is it allowed to dedicate land to be used for ball games?[5]
            They have said: If it will not result in mingling between the sexes and having games there will not include obligatory prayers being left off, such that it doesn’t cause those who are weak in faith to miss one of the obligatory prayers, especially the sunset prayer;[6] if it is free of disobedience then it is allowed to dedicate it, because it is permissible.
           They have said: It is allowed to dedicate pins in order for clothes to be hung on them.

From the Guidance of the Experts:

            On the topic of pins, they mention that a man came to Sheikh Aḥmad Barakāt and asked for some charity, so he gave him a ḥarf.[7] The man thought it was a rather small amount so Barakāt looked at him and then said, ‘Maybe you think this ḥarf is a small amount, while it could enable you to buy something that you will benefit from for a week, or something you will benefit from for a month, or something you will benefit from for a year, or something you will benefit from your entire life.’ The man was astonished and said, ‘How can that be?’
            So he responded: ‘If you want to buy something that you will benefit from for a week, then buy some salt. If you want something for a month, buy a box of matches. If you want something for a year, buy four handheld fans. If you want something for a lifetime, buy four pins, nail them to the wall of your house and hang your clothes off them for the rest of your life, and then your inheritors can use them after you!’
            They also mention that Al-Sayyid ʿAbd Al-Mawlā ibn Ṭāhir, who was an intelligent man, was visited by some guests, and that day he welcomed them, fed them and sat with them until after ʿaṣr[8], being courteous with them while believing that they would leave, but none of them moved. So, he went out and came back with some fans and said to them, ‘Everyone, these are some fans, from Bā Yurawwiḥ[9]…Yurawwiḥ’, and he repeated it until they understood that he wanted them to leave his house and let him rest. They knew what was being implied and thus they left.
            The second, i.e. from the conditions of the beneficiary of the endowment, is that it be possible for him to take possession of it if it is something specified; and thus the beneficiary can’t be someone deceased or an unborn child, as mentioned in the main text and the footnote.

The Conditions of the Dedicated Article

The conditions of the dedicated article are eight: that it be a particular article, that it be specified, that it be owned,[10] that it be transferrable, that it be beneficial, that its benefit does not necessitate the elimination of the article itself, that it be permissible[11] and that it be used for its intended purpose[12]

The Conditions of the Dedicated Article

            The conditions of the dedicated article are eight:
            The first is that it be a particular article, as it is not valid to dedicate the mere right to use something.[13] Is it permissible to dedicate shares that one has in companies?
            If they change and are exchanged, then it is not valid to dedicate them. If they are firmly established as particular articles then it is valid to dedicate them. As for monetary shares in commercial companies, it is not valid to dedicate them according to the school of Imam Al-Shāfiʿī, because a condition of the dedicated article is that it be a particular, established article. However, some schools do hold that it is permissible to dedicate he right to use something.
            The second is that it be specified, for if one were to say, ‘I dedicate one of these two houses’, it would not be valid until one has specified. However, if one were to say, ‘I dedicate one of my two slaves’, the endowment is valid and specification is obligatory.

Attaching Stipulations to an Endowment:

            It is permissible to stipulate that an endowment be made after one’s death, so if one were to say, ‘I have dedicated such and such after my death for the benefit of the poor’, it would be permissible and the endowment would fall under the ruling of bequests. If the endowment were implemented and one stipulated that the proceeds be given to the beneficiaries after one’s death, that would also be permissible.

            The third is that it be owned, as it is not permissible to have an endowment that has been dedicated on top of another endowment. This has happened and it’s problematic. There are masjids that have land next to them that has been endowed for agriculture and then they expand the masjid and incorporate the land. Or, there is a bathhouse that has been endowed and they abolish it and incorporate it into the masjid. An endowment on top of an endowment is not valid, but when they have been compelled to do so they have followed other schools that deem it permissible. Al-Imam Al-ʿAlāmah Al-Sayyid ʿAbdullah Al-ʿAidrūs incorporated the bathhouse of Masjid Al-Saqqāf into the main masjid at the beginning of the fourteenth century AH.
            The fourth is that it be transferrable, and this excludes the slave girl who gives birth to her master’s son,[14] as it is not permissible to dedicate her, because it is not permissible for her master to transfer her in any way that would eliminate ownership. Thus, she is not transferrable, because she will be freed after his death.
            The fifth is that it be beneficial, even if only in the future, such as a dedicating a young donkey to a masjid. As for a terminally ill donkey, it is not permissible to dedicate it, because it has no benefit, and the same goes for someone who wants to dedicate his runaway slave.
            As for dedicating a trained dog, there are two positions in our school. The relied-upon position[15] is that it is not allowed, but there is a second position that permits such a dedication, and it is a strong position.

         The First Person to place Basins in the Masjids of Ḥadramawt:
As long as the lesson is on endowments, we would love to mention an important historical point, which is: The first person to establish basins in the masjids of Ḥadramawt was Al-Imam Al-Sayyid ʿAbdur Raḥmān Al-Saqqāf, and the earliest basin that still exists today is an ancient basin that stands alone just left of the entrance to his masjid, and it was built in the eighth century AH.

           The sixth is that its benefit does not necessitate the elimination of the article itself. As for that which eliminates the article itself, such as a candle or a bag of rice, anything which its benefit cannot be obtained without it being eliminated is not valid to dedicate, because what is sought from endowments is permanence.[16]
            The seventh is that be permissible, as it is not valid to dedicate musical instruments and that which is unlawful.
            The eighth is that it be used for its intended purpose, as it is not allowed to dedicate money to be used as embellishment, because such a utility is not the intended purpose of money.

[1] Whether it is general or specific, for it is not valid for the proceeds of the endowment to go towards the building of a church that will be used for worship, nor the servant of a church that is used for worship. It is valid for the beneficiaries to be poor as well as rich, i.e. those who are denied zakāt, even if it doesn’t appear to be an act of drawing nearer to Allah to give to them.
[2]Ar. imkān tamallukih, i.e. for the dedicated article from the endower at the time the endowment is made. Thus, it is not valid to dedicate a Muslim slave or muṣḥaf for the benefit of a disbeliever, and it is also not valid for the beneficiary to be an unborn child (janīn), due to the invalidity of it taking possession, whether it is specifically intended or included in a group, such that if there are children and one unborn child, it is not included. Yes, after it is born, it is included, but that is unless the endower has named those present or mentioned their number, in which case it is not included. The beneficiary also cannot be someone deceased, nor can the dedicated article be a slave for the beneficiary of that slave or for the benefit of oneself, and the same goes for an owned beast unless its owner is intended.
[3] (tn): or pub
[4] (tn): i.e. rewardable as opposed to being merely permissible
[5] (tn): e.g. football, soccer, baseball etc.
[6] Ar. ṣalāt al-maghrib
[7] Here a ḥarf is a currency that was equivalent to a quarter or half of a Saudi riyal at that time.
[8] (tn): i.e. the time of the mid-afternoon prayer
[9] (tn): which literally means ‘he provides rest’
[10] Yes, it is valid for the ruler to dedicate lands belonging to the Muslim treasury (bayt al-māl) for a specific purpose on the condition that the benefit therein be manifest, as his spending it is dependent on that, such as the guardian of an orphan.
[11] As it is not permissible to dedicate a musical instrument
[12] If one were to dedicate a dirham to be used for embellishment [i.e. jewellery], it would not be valid because embellishment is not its intended purpose. Likewise, it is not valid to dedicate dirhams that will be used to trade with and then donate the profit to the poor, and the same goes for making a bequest out of them for the same purpose.
[13] (tn): Ar. manfaʿah, e.g. one would dedicate a house or apartment as opposed to merely the right to reside therein, cf. usufruct
[14] Ar. umm walad
[15] Ar. al-muʿtamad
[16] Because an endowment, as they have said, is to retain the foundation and dedicate the proceeds to charitable purposes

Podcast of Part 2
A Summary of the Rulings of Waqf (Part 1)
Podcast of Part 1 
The Wonders of Waqf 

Why Are They Called The Forty Nawawiyyah?

Sheikh Hisham al-Kamil al-Azhari, may Allah preserve him, tells the story of the Forty Hadith of Imam an-Nawawi and how it all started with Imam Ibn as-Salah. 

The original video is available here.

A translation of al-Wafi, a contemporary commentary on the Forty Nawawiyyah by Imams Mustafa al-Bugha and Muhyi ad-Deen Mistu, will be available in the coming year, insha'Allah. Updates will be posted here and on my blog, and with Allah is every success.

Please like, share and subscribe. You can also support this channel by buying a book:
The Big Step
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Islamic Law Is Not Misogynistic

Upcoming titles include:
*The Approach to Human Civilization in the Qur’an:
*The Opening of The Hearts (Sharh as-Sudur)
*Man And Allah’s Justice On Earth
*Al-Wafi (A Commentary on The Forty Hadith of Imam An-Nawawi)

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb's advice to Saʿd ibn Abī Waqqāṣ

From the book The Approach to Human Civilization in the Qur'an by Imam Muhammad Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti, may Allah have mercy on him, the full translation of which will be released soon, if Allah so wills

Look at his statement, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, {The nations will gather against you just as people gather together to eat from one dish.} They said, ‘Will we be few in number at that time, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, {No. You will be many, but you will be foam like foam on a river. Allah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies and throw wahn[1] into your hearts.} They said, ‘What is wahn, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, {Love for this worldly life and hatred of death.}[2]

Come and look at the advice that the Commander of the Believers, ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, gave to Saʿd ibn Abī Waqqāṣ when he was setting off for the Battle of Qādisiyyah. He warned him and those with him against falling into the consequences of this weighty divine standard practice. He called upon him to keep his army away from the deviations and slips that would make them liable to fall into the grip of oppressors. Part of what he said was:

‘O Saʿd, the son of Umm Saʿd, do not let yourself be deceived because they call you the paternal uncle of the Messenger of Allah, for indeed Allah does not replace evil with evil but rather He replaces evil with good. There is no connection between Allah and any individual except through obedience to Him. I command you and those with you to be warier of yourselves than of your enemy, for the sins of the army are a greater threat to them than their actual enemy. The Muslims are only given victory because of their enemy’s disobedience of Allah. If that were not the case, we would have no power against them, because our numbers are not like their numbers and our equipment is not like their equipment. If we are equal in disobedience, then they have power that is superior to ours. If we are not victorious over them because of our merit, we will never get the better of them because of our power. Do not say that our enemy is worse than us, and thus they will never be granted authority over us, for it is often the case that a people are put under the authority of someone worse than them. For example, when the Children of Israel committed disobedience, Allah put them under the authority of the disbelieving Magians, who entered the innermost part of their homes and it was a promise that was fulfilled.’

The purpose behind surveying these texts is so that you can clearly see the difference between being given honour and distinction and being given authority, and so that you understand that the West having the upper hand with its civilization, its power and its vigour over the Islamic Ummah is similar to the upper hand of a punisher holding a stick and using it to punish someone and make an example of them. It is not, under any circumstance, the upper hand of distinction and honour.

This means that what people imagine to be the flourishment of Western civilization is actually a reflection of the backwardness of Islamic civilization. The decline of the Islamic Ummah, in relation to its moral and social level, gives the impression that Western civilization is firmly established at the peak.

When the Muslims stop straying from the knowledge of their essence and become convinced of the meanings of their slavehood to Allah, Mighty and Majestic, and then turn towards dealing with the life that they enjoy and the world that surrounds them according to the approach that Allah has outlined for them in His Book, motivated by desire for His reward and fear of His punishment, it will then be possible for them to look and see Western civilization for what it truly is, for it will have changed and gone down in their estimation. They will see how its authority over them has contracted and that they have been liberated and freed from its orbit and gravitational pull.

However, you must know that regardless of how often this standard divine practice imposes itself upon people and nations, in different ages and eras, and however much the veracity of its application is manifest in the words that we have mentioned, having certainty in it cannot be complete unless it follows certainty in the existence of Allah, Mighty and Majestic is He, i.e. scientific, conscious certainty. It must also follow certainty that the Qurʾān, around whose axis our discussion has revolved, is nothing but the speech of Allah, Mighty and Majestic is He.

Whoever is lacking this certainty will not be convinced by anything we have said about this universal standard practice.

Who would affirm–from amongst those who do not believe in Allah, Mighty and Majestic is He, with true conscious faith–that the flourishment of Western civilization today, in our eyes, and the Islamic Ummah’s attraction to it is nothing but a manifestation of the humiliation that has surrounded this Ummah on account of its hypocrisy, which has worsened over time, and its abandonment of the responsibilities that Allah has imposed upon its neck, along with its claim–despite the aforementioned–that it believes in Allah and the Last Day and that it possesses the nobility of this civilizational heritage and boasts of its true connection to it?

There is no doubt that in everything we have discussed so far, we have only addressed those who have this certainty in Allah and have already looked into the matter of Allah being the Creator of the universe and that it is impossible for there to be a universe without a creator or an organized system without an organizer. As for those who do not yet have this, they must not waste their time discussing that which will not benefit them, regarding anything that we have finished elucidating. Rather, if they want to treat this matter seriously, they must go back and look at their conception of the universal structure from its foundations as well as of the greater issue, the foundation and starting point of the entire matter, which is none other than the issue of Allah’s existence and oneness, and His being the Creator of this universe. They must investigate and examine these matters impartially and devoid of whims and biases.


It remains for us to ask: how can the Muslims return to their praiseworthy state?

If Allah grants us success, this is what we will explain in the next chapter, which is the chapter that concludes this book’s issues and discussions.

[1] (tn): i.e. weakness
[2] Related by Abū Dāwūd and Aḥmad

[Translated from Minhāj al-Ḥaḍārah al-Insāniyyah fil Qurʾān (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 2009) p.157-159]

This advice is also found in the imam's book Man and Allah's Justice on Earth, the translation of which will also be published soon, if Allah so wills.

Friday, 13 September 2019

A Summary of the Rulings of Waqf (Part 1)

The Introduction to The Book of Waqf, to be republished soon, insha'Allah

The Chapter on Waqf from Shar al-Yāqūt al-Nafīs[1]


            In the Arabic language, the term waqf means ḥabs[3]. In the Revealed Law, it means to retain property that is specific[4] and owned[5] whose ownership is transferrable[6] and it can be benefitted from[7] while the property itself remains,[8] and this is by suspending disposal of it, while the financial proceeds go towards something that is permissible[9] and existent.[10]

            This chapter is the chapter on waqf, and waqf is one of the great acts of charity that have many, immense virtues, because it is a continuous, ongoing charity.[11]
            This has been mentioned in the ḥadīth of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, {When the son of Adam dies, his deeds come to an end except for three: ongoing charity…}[12] and he mentioned this first, then {or a righteous child who prays for him or knowledge that is benefitted from.} In another narration, knowledge is mentioned before the righteous child.
            They have said: Indeed Imam Al-Rāfiʿī explained the meaning of ongoing charity and said that it could only apply to waqf, and the scholars have agreed with him in this.
            Waqf took place in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and many of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made endowments out of some of their wealth and made it a retained, continuous charity. They include: Abū Ṭalḥah, who made an endowment out of Bayruḥāʾ[13] for the closest of his relatives, and our master, ʿUmar ibn Al-Khaṭṭāb, who made an endowment out of his share from Khaybar.[14] He made it a continuous endowment and permitted his son to eat directly from it and to feed passersby. He also wrote out a document stipulating what he had made as an endowment.
            Some of them said: Indeed our lady Fāṭimah, peace be upon her, made endowments and ordered for endowments to be written down. She made them for her relatives and the women of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him. The details of what she wrote have been related from some of the scholars.
            They have said: Indeed, most of the wealthy men of the Helpers[15] made endowments out of their properties, and most of their property was date palms.
            Likewise, our predecessors in Ḥadramawt; it is rare that you will find property, especially in Dūʿan, that does not contain an endowment. In Tarīm there were many acts of charity, and the endowments reached such a degree that they made endowments for the pigeons of the Sacred Precinct,[16] including the house of Jubayr.[17]  They say – back in the days that they were inhabited – that these included some patches of arable land that were made as an endowment for the pigeons of the Sacred Precinct. When the crop was harvested, the amount gathered from the endowment for the pigeons of the Sacred Precinct was transported to the Two Sacred Precincts to be given to them.
            Even stranger is that in Tarīm we have an endowment for foundlings,[18] whose parents are not known. One of the scholars has told me that in the Levant[19] there is a place that contains an endowment for every vessel[20] that is broken by a servant and that servant has to pay for it. He brings the broken vessel to the overseers of the endowment, informs them that it was broken by him and then they take it from him and pay him the equivalent price, after which he goes and buys a replacement.
            This is how our predecessors would diversify acts of charity, due to their intense enthusiasm to compete in acts of righteousness. The endowments were many and some still survive to this day while others have fallen into ruin, including those that have been taken over by oppressors.
            They have said that the value of the endowments of Imam Al-Sayyid ʿAbdullah Bā ʿAlawī for the Bā ʿAlawī Masjid reached 90,000 dinars in that time, and in a place called Nuwaydirah Tarīm they found twenty-one wells in some of the best places[21] and they were an endowment from the family of Munaffir Al-Ḥāmid for that masjid, and that’s why the imamate[22] was amongst them.
            As for endowments for guests, this exists in abundance in Islamic countries.
            In the Arabic language, waqf means to obstruct.[23] Thus, you can say, ‘We obstructed so-and-so from travelling.’[24] Similarly, the Exalted has said, {And call them to a halt. They will be asked.}[25]
            In the Revealed Law, it means to retain property that is specific and owned whose ownership is transferrable and it can be benefitted from while the property itself remains, and this is by suspending disposal of it, while the financial proceeds go towards something that is permissible and existent.

The Pillars of an Endowment

The pillars of an endowment are four: the endower,[26] the beneficiary of the endowment,[27] the dedicated article[28] and the form.[29]

The Pillars of an Endowment

The pillars of an endowment are four: the endower, the beneficiary of the endowment, the dedicated article and the form.

If Zayd were to have a plot of land containing date palms and he said, ‘I have made these date palms an endowment for the poor’[30], such a form of endowment comprises the four pillars; Zayd is the endower, he has made an endowment out of specific property, which is the plot of land, and the dedicated property is to be benefitted from while the property itself remains by suspending disposal of it. Rather, the spending is in the proceeds going to the poor. These poor people represent something that is specific and present, and at this point the four pillars emerge: the endower is Zayd, the dedicated article is the plot of land containing date palms, the beneficiary of the endowment is the poor and the form is Zayd’s statement, ‘I have made these date palms an endowment for the poor’, and each pillar has its own conditions.

The Conditions of the Endower

The conditions of the endower are two: free choice[31] and full competence to donate whilst alive[32]

The Conditions of the Endower

            The conditions of the endower are two:
            The first condition is free choice. As for the action of someone who is forced – as we have repeated several times – it is not considered. If an individual were forced to dedicate some property by someone who is able to implement his coercion, the endowment would not be valid.
            The second condition is full competence to donate the dedicated article, for it is not valid to dedicate that which one doesn’t own. Full competence to donate also means that the endower is sane, mature and not suspended from transactions, and it is a condition that is shared by both the endower and the dedicated article, i.e. the property that the endower is to dedicate must be something that can be donated.

[1] (tn): by Imam Muammad ibn Amad ibn ʿUmar ash-Shāṭirī (Jeddah: Dār al-Minhāj, 1427/2007), p.483 to 491
[2] (tn): Normally translated as ‘endowments’.
[3] (tn): i.e. to obstruct, shut off, confine or retain
[4] i.e. not something that is in one’s safekeeping (dhimmah) nor something vague, like one of two slaves.
[5] Ar. mamlūk, i.e. by the endower (wāqif), as it is not valid to make an endowment out of something that is rented.
[6] Ar. qābil al-naql, and this would exclude a slave woman who has a child by her master (mustawladah) and a slave who has a contract of manumission (mukātib), because their ownership cannot be transferred.
[7]Even if something that can only be benefitted from in the future, such as a young slave or small donkey, and what cannot be benefitted from is excluded, such as a chronically ill donkey that is never expected to recover.
[8] Even if only a short period of time, the minimum being the time in which it would be feasible for it to be rented out or hired. This excludes what cannot be benefitted from unless it is eliminated, such as a candle used for lighting, food for eating or basil leaves that have been cut off for their scent. It is not valid to make an endowment out of any of these.
[9] i.e. not unlawful (ḥarām)
[10] i.e. in the present time, as it is not valid to make an endowment for someone who will be born to the endower and then for the poor, and this is called munqatiʿ al-awwal (the first recipient of the endowment is cut out).
[11] Ar. ṣadaqah jāriyah
[12] The rest of the ḥadīth mentions knowledge that is benefitted from and a righteous child who supplicates for him, and it has been narrated by Imam Muslim in his Ṣaḥīḥ on the authority of Abū Hurayrah.
[13] (tn): a well-known garden, as mentioned by Imam Ibn Ḥajar in Tufat al-Mutāj bi Shar al-Minhāj (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 2011), v.2, p.488, and the most beloved of his properties, as mentioned by Al-Khaṭīb Al-Shirbīnī (Mughnī al-Muḥtāj, v.3, p.352)
[14] (tn): i.e. the Battle of Khaybar in 7 AH
[15] (tn): Ar. Anṣār
[16] (tn): i.e. in Makkah and Madīnah
[17] (tn): i.e. one of the families there
[18] (tn): Ar. laqīṭ, i.e. an abandoned or deserted child of unknown parentage.
[19] (tn): Ar. Al-Shām
[20] (tn): i.e. plate, bowl, glass etc.
[21] (tn): i.e. in terms of land value
[22] (tn): i.e. of the masjid
[23] (tn): Ar. ḥabs
[24] (tn): Ar. awqafna fulānan ʿan al-safr
[25] (tn): Sūrat Al-Ṣāffāt 37:24
[26] (tn): Ar. wāqif
[27] (tn): Ar. mawqūf ʿalayh
[28] (tn): Ar. mawqūf
[29] (tn): Ar. ṣīghah
[30] (tn): Ar. al-fuqarāʾ
[31] Ar. al-ikhtiyār, for an endowment is not valid from someone who is forced without right. As for with right, an example would be someone vowing to make an endowment out of part of his wealth and then refraining from doing so after making the vow, and thus the ruler can force him to do it, in which case the endowment would be valid. If he refrains from doing so, the ruler makes an endowment out of it according to where he thinks benefit lies.
[32] Ar. ahliyyat al-tabarruʿ fī al-ḥayāt, for it is not valid from someone who is suspended from transactions (maḥjūr ʿalayh) due to prodigality (safah), but his bequest (waṣiyah) is valid even if he dedicates his house, because such suspension is lifted after his death. 

Further Reading: