Cash Waqf: Maliki Position

Imam Shafi’i’s ruling that endowment of any moveable is valid subject to the preservation and non-consummation of the corpus, has been accepted by the Malikis as well. Furthermore, it is well known that Imam Malik had approved the waqfs of horses and arms based on tradition. Two fatwas stated in the Mudawwana are even more directly related to the question of cash waqfs. Two cases have been put to Malik, the first concerns a cash waqf and the second, a simple donation. Malik has ruled that the annual return generated by the cash waqf should be subject to the payment of zakah while he has exempted simple donation from this obligation. The fact that he has not objected to the cash waqf, itself, but has merely specified its relation to the zakah, i.e., his silence, indicates that he has approved of this specific type of waqf. This has been confirmed in the Dardir, where it is stated:

“As regards money, there is no hesitation whatsoever, it being absolutely valid to make waqf of it as it is the express teaching of the mudawwana. By waqf here is meant waqf for the purpose of lending out. The replacing of it by money of the same value is considered as preservation of substance” (Suhrawardy, 1911: 357).

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It is important that the Dardir not only approves of cash endowments but also rules that unless this endowed cash is invested by loaning out and earns a return, it would not be valid as there “would be no legal advantage” in such a situation. Obviously, this condition refers to the Shafi’ite position. In short, the Maliki position is clear: the endowment of movables is approved.


Source: Murat Cizakca, A History of Philanthropic Foundations: The Islamic World From the Seventh Century to the Present. Republished with permission.