What If a Person Takes Back the Endowment (Waqf)?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

If a person takes back the endowment (waqf) he has given what is the legal ruling on him?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.

When the endowment has been made, the ownership of the article belongs to Allah Most High. Taking the article after that means that one is taking Allah’s property (Allah forbid), a heinous crime that makes the perpetrator legally sinful, and Allah knows best. [Misri, ‘Umdat al-Salik]

‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) wanted to give some palm trees of his in charity, so he consulted the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). He instructed ‘Umar to turn it into a waqf (endowment) and said: “Give it in charity as a waqf that is not to be sold, given as a gift or inherited, but its yield may be spent (on charitable causes).” [Bukhari; Muslim]

I pray this is of benefit.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.