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Haseki Hürrem Sultan Vakfiyesi , 1st text page of the deed of foundation (waqfiyya) of the Takiyyat-Haseki-Hürrem-Sultan complex in Jerusalem from AH 964 / AD 1556–7

Waqf ( Arabic وقف 'Pious foundation', plural أوقاف auqāf , Turkish Vakıf , Bulgarian вакъф Wakaf , Serbo-Croatian  Вакуф / Vakuf , Albanian  Vakëf or Vakfi , in Maghreb Habūs ) is an institute of Islamic law comparable tothe foundation , in German also referred to as a pious foundation . The pious foundation of canon law is actually called in Arabicمؤسسة تقوية mu'assasa taqawīya , but waqf is also usedby the state and the church.

Legal basis

Religious foundations are divided into non-profit foundations and family foundations, which must have at least one non-profit end purpose after the beneficiaries have died out. The founder establishes the Waqf by determining a purpose recognized by Islam, declaring that he wants to establish the Waqf for all time, registering it with a Qādī and handing over the foundation property to an administrator, who he can also be himself. God is thought of as the owner of the endowment property, for whose creatures it is administered, it is therefore inalienable property of the dead hand .

The purpose of the foundation can be mosques , madrasa schools, Sufi convents ( Tekken ), hospitals or facilities for feeding the poor , but also mills, water wheels, irrigation channels and public wells as well as the maintenance of the poor at the holy sites of Mecca and Medina . A special charter called Waqfīya is made to establish the Waqf . It was registered in premodern times by a qad who also monitored compliance with the foundation's conditions.


An early example of Auqāf are the foundations, the Marjān, the favorite of the Umaiyad caliph ʿAbd ar-Rahmān III. built in Cordoba in the early 10th century . Auqāf then played an important role, especially from the 11th to the 19th century, under the Seljuks and in the Ottoman Empire . The endowment was donated by private individuals to serve or finance charitable institutions. This should be distinguished from the sultan's foundations , where certain taxes were earmarked for the maintenance of a mosque, to finance the pilgrimage, etc. The foundations for the benefit of the poor in Mecca and Medina were a special waqf form. Such foundations existed during the Ottoman period in Egypt, Anatolia and Rumelia and between 1850 and 1940 in Zanzibar . The foundation's income was transferred either with the pilgrim caravan or, as in the case of Zanzibar, via networks of scholars.

After the Ottoman rule was pushed back in the Balkans, the Vakufs were retained as a legal form. This also applies to Bosnia in the period after the Austrian occupation . Likewise, Vakufs existed in Yugoslavia and Albania until World War II. It was only the communists who expropriated and smashed the foundations after 1945. The family foundation institute was abolished in many Islamic states in the 20th century or the family foundations were placed under state control.

In 1952, Egypt created its own ministry for religious foundations . Other Arab states followed suit. The Jerusalem Waqf Authority administers the Islamic buildings on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the tombs of the Patriarchs in Hebron . The authority is now subordinate to the Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs in Ramallah .

Derived names

See also


  • John Robert Barnes: An introduction to religious foundations in the Ottoman Empire. 2nd imprint. Brill, Leiden et al. 1987 ISBN 90-04-08652-8 .
  • Doris Behrens-Abouseif: Egypt's adjustment to Ottoman rule. Institutions, waqf and architecture in Cairo (16th and 17th centuries) (= Islamic history and civilization 7). Brill, Leiden et al. 1994, ISBN 90-04-09927-1 (also: Freiburg (Breisgau), Univ., Habil.-Schr.).
  • Faruk Bilici (ed.): Le Waqf dans le monde musulman contemporain (XIXe - XXe siècles). fonctions sociales, économiques et politiques (= Varia Turcica 26). Actes de la Table Ronde d'Istanbul, 13-14 November 1992. Institut Français d'Études Anatoliennes, Istanbul 1994, ISBN 2-906053-36-8 .
  • Murat Çizakça: A history of philanthropic foundations. The Islamic world from the seventh century to the present. Boğaziçi University Press, Istanbul 2000, ISBN 975-518-151-2 .
  • Jan-Peter Hartung: The pious foundation (waqf). An Islamic Analogy to Corporate? In: Hans G. Kippenberg , Gunnar Folke Schuppert (ed.): The legalized religion. The public status of religious communities. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2005, ISBN 3-16-148432-0 , pp. 287-313.
  • Birgitt Hoffmann: Waqf in Mongolian Iran. Rašīduddīns concern for post-fame and salvation (= Freiburg Islam Studies 20). Steiner, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-515-06896-1 (also: Bamberg, Univ., Habil.-Schrift, 1995).
  • Esad Hrvačič: Vakuf - trajno dobro. (Sa posebnim osvrtom na vakufe u Bosni i Hercegovini). El-Kalem et al., Sarajevo 2001, ISBN 9958-23-079-8 .
  • Annette Kaiser : Islamic foundations in the economy and society of Syria from the 16th to the 18th century (= sources of Islamic studies and texts from German libraries 8). Schwarz, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-87997-107-2 .
  • Hasan Kalesi: Najstariji vakufski dokumenti u Jugoslaviji na arapskom jeziku. = Documentation më të vjetra të vakufevet në Jugosllavi në gjuhën arabe. = The oldest Waqf documents in Yugoslavia in Arabic (= Zajednica naucnih ustanova Kosova. Studije 23). sn, Pristina 1972, (source collection).
  • Andreas HE Kemke: Foundations in the Muslim legal life of modern Egypt. The Sharia law reports (fatwas) by Muḥammad ʿAbduh († 1905) on Wakf (= Heidelberg Oriental Studies 19). Lang, Frankfurt am Main et al. 1991, ISBN 3-631-43563-0 .
  • Arif Ali Khan (Ed.): Encyclopaedia of Islamic law. Volume 7: Law of Waqf in Islam. Pentagon Press, New Delhi 2006, ISBN 81-8274-197-1 .
  • Franz Kogelmann: Islamic pious foundations and the state. The change in the relationship between a religious institution and the Moroccan state from the 19th century to 1937 (= communications on the social and cultural history of the Islamic world 4). Ergon-Verlag, Würzburg 1999, ISBN 3-933563-25-9 (also: Bayreuth, Univ., Diss., 1997).
  • Safet Krkić: Uloga vakufa u razvoju gradova BiH. = The role of Waqfs in the development of cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (= Vijeće Kongresa Bošnjačkih Intelektualaca. Biblioteka Posebna izdanja 44). Vijeće Kongresa Bošnjačkih Intelektualaca, Sarajevo 1999, ISBN 9958-47-040-3 .
  • Richard van Leeuwen: Waqfs and urban structures. The case of Ottoman Damascus (= Studies in Islamic law and society 11). Brill, Leiden et al. 1999, ISBN 90-04-11299-5 .
  • Yaacov Lev: Charity, endowments, and charitable institutions in medieval Islam. University Press of Florida, Gainesville FL 2005, ISBN 0-8130-2869-8 .
  • Alejandro García Sanjuán: Till God Inherits the Earth. Islamic Pious Endowments in al-Andalus (9-15th Centuries). Leiden: Brill 2007.

Web links

Commons : Waqf  - collection of images, videos and audio files

supporting documents

  1. CCEO in Arabic , can. 1047 ff.
  2. Example: Catholic Personal Statute in Lebanon (1949), Art. 255 ff.
  3. Example in RR Dec. 103.2011 (2018) p. 209 ff.
  4. See Sanjuán: Till God Inherits the Earth. 2007, p. 95.
  5. Cf. Suraiya Faroqhi: Ruler of Mecca. The story of the pilgrimage . Artemis, Munich-Zurich, 1990. pp. 111-117.
  6. See Anne K. Bang: Islamic Sufi Networks in the Wester Indian Ocean (c. 1880-1940). Ripples of Reform. Brill, Leiden-Bosten, 2014. pp. 164-175.