Opinion Of Eminent Legal Luminaries On Controversial Issues

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Wakf and Religious Endowment

QUERY: Wakf and Religious Endowment
Please throw some light on "Muslim Wakfs" and "Religious Endowments under the Hindu Law" as one of the charitable purpose as there are no judicial decisions covering the said topic that have come to our notice.
ANSWER: Mulla's Mohammedan Law defines Wakf as "Wakf means the permanent dedication by a person professing the Mussalman faith of any property for any purpose recognised by the Mussalman Law as religious, pious or charitable."
Mohmmedan Law realises "religious, pious or charitable" purposes for a valid Wakf. The following have been held to be valid objects:
1. Mosques and provisions for imams to conduct worship therein;
2. Educational institutions;
3. Aqueducts, bridges and care caravansaries;
4. Distribution of alms to poor persons and assistance to poor to enable them to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca;
5. Celebrating the birth of Ali Murtaza;
6. Facilitating religious rites in the month of Muharram, and provisions for camel and duldul for religious of immambaras;
7. Repairs of immambaras;
8. The maintenance of a Khankah;
9. Celebrating death anniversaries (barsi) of the settler and the members of his family;
10. Performance of ceremonies known as Kadam Sharif;
11. Burning lamps in mosques;
12. Reading the Koran in public places and also at private houses;
13. Performance of annual fateha of the settler and of the members of his family. The ceremony of fateha consists in the recital of prayers for the welfare of the souls of deceased persons, accompanied with distribution of alms to the poor;
14. The construction of a robat or free boarding house for pilgrims of Mecca,
15. Maintenance of poor relations and dependents;
16. Payment of money to fakirs i.e. poor;
17. Grant to an Idgah;
18. A durgah or shrine of a pir which has long been held in veneration by the public.
Similarly, endowment is the dedication of property by gift or device to religious or charitable uses. An endowment has to be certain both to the subject and the object. A dedication of property to an endowment may be partial or complete when the property is dedicated absolutely and no person has any beneficial interest therein.
A religious endowment is one which has for its object the establishment, maintenance or worship of an idol or deity or any object or purpose subservient to religion. A charitable endowment is one which has for its object the benefit of the public or a mankind.
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