Waqf culture: the socio-educational impact of Auqaf on Muslim community

Noushad MK  (Research Scholar, Hyderabad University)


The term Waqf literally means "confinement and prohibition" or causing a thing to stop or stand still. It is an important ‘concept’ of Islam in its humanitarian nature and welfare of mankind. Its nature, characteristics and aims are unique in the sense of its dedication and commitment to mentioned beneficiaries. Waqf is a common phenomenon in the Muslim world as well as non-Muslim world. It is a permanent dedication and once Waqf is always Waqf. According to the Waqf Amendment Act, 2013, ‘Waqf’ means the permanent dedication by any person, of any movable or immovable property for any purpose recognized by the Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable and includes-
a Waqf by user but such Waqf shall not cease to be a Waqf by reason only of the user having ceased irrespective of the period of such cesser;
a Shamlat Patti, Shamlat Deh, Jumla Malkkan or by any other name entered in a revenue record;
‘grants’, including mashrut-ul-khidmat for any purpose recognized by the muslim law as pious, religious or charitable; and
A Waqf-alal-aulad to the extent to which the property is executed for any purpose recognized by Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable, and Waqf means any person making such dedication. In western world Waqf has categorized in different names but the nature is same such as religious Waqf, philanthropic Waqf and family Waqf. These kinds of Waqf can be converting in to management Waqf through a democratic way after taking the consent of all the members in their family when think that a committee can manage or look after Waqf better than a Muthawalli or person in the family. Ultimately, this must be for the development of Waqf instead of avoiding ‘risk’.
The trajectory of Waqf begins from the commencement of Islam in the world by the establishment of first building in the world ‘Ka’ba’ in the city of Medina by the first human and the first prophet Adam (as), which means the pre-era of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  From the Prophet (pbuh) time, the first Waqf was the mosque Quba in Medina built in 622 in the occasion of the arrival of Prophet in Medina. In later, when prophet arrived in Medina, a companion called Muhairiq made his will that his seven orchards in Medina be given after his death to Prophet. Prophet took holds those orchards after his death in the fourth years of hijra and made them as charitable Waqf for the benefits and welfare of poor and needy. Similar Waqf happened at the time the second khalifa of Islam, Hazrat Umar, he took hold the land in Khaibar. Auqaf have maintained in different ways in different places and countries in the world, dynasties and rulers by which Waqf widely enlarged and widely encroached. The country India is also a country of the severe Waqf encroachment and Kerala is the less encroached state in India in comparing with the other states. According to Waqf Amendment Act, 2013, “encroacher” means any person or institution, public or private, occupying Waqf property, in whole or part, without the authority of law and includes a person whose tenancy, lease or license has expired or has been terminated by Mutawalli or the board.
In protection of Waqf, government of India introduced Waqf act in 1954 and established Central Waqf Council in 1964, a statutory body under Waqf Act, 1954 (now sub section the Waqf Act, 1995) for the purpose of advising on matters pertaining to working of the state Waqf Boards and proper administration of the Waqf in the country. Waqf Act was first enacted in 1954 and it was replaced by the Waqf Act of 1995. At the same time, in the provisions in 1995 Act were found inadequate to facilitate the complete protection and fulfill the task of the preservation of Waqf properties for the good of the Muslim community. The Waqf (Amendment) Bill 2010 was introduced in Lok Sabha on April 27, 2010 and passed on May 7, 2010. The bill was, however, referred to a select committee when it came up in Rajya Sabha on August 27, 2010 amid vociferous objections to some of its provisions from some Muslim bodies including All India Muslim Personal Law Board. Earlier, a joined parliamentary committee had made recommendations for computerization of Wakf records, development of Wakf properties and proper administration. In the legal side, Indian Waqf act is relates to Indian Civil Act and Indian Evidence Act because of the nature of Waqf and the necessity of the support of these acts in case of any legal question arise related to individual or Waqf. In 2007, a commission was appointed by the LDF government to look into 'irregularities' in the functioning of the Kerala State Waqf Board. It filed its report in 2010 in which it stated that around 676 acres of Waqf land have been illegally sold or transferred to private parties. But since then, no action has been taken to cleanse the administrative functioning of the board. In another instance, according to the Report of M A Nissar Commission, 404 acres of Waqf land belonging to the Farooq College, Kozhikode, were sold off by the secretary of the managing committee of the college without the permission of the board. In the sale deed the deal was masqueraded as a gift property.  In the land deed of Farook College shows that the Waqf deed (document No 2115/ 1950 of the Edapalli sub registrar office) was executed by Mohammed Siddique Sait of Mattanchery, Ernakulam, in 1950. The property was sold off in 1992 and 1993 with no mention in the sale deed that it was a Waqf property.
In India, Separate Waqf boards have established for separate states for the protection and supervision of Auqaf and the Kerala Waqf Board has started in 1960. There are several graveyards, mosques, orphanages, lands, properties, building etc registered under this board.  Present time, there are more than 8200 Waqf have been registered under Kerala Waqf Board. This board doesn’t manage all these Waqf but manage by the management, Muthawalli, people elected by people, chosen by court or by Waqf deed as per the aim and objectives of Waqf. As per the registration, the first registered Waqf in Kerala Waqf board is Kadavath Mosque, Kasargode Taluk, Kasargode district. The main functions of the Kerala State Waqf Board are, general superintendence of all Waqf institutions and their properties in the state, to exercise powers under the Waqf Act so as to ensure that the Auqaf under its superintendence are properly maintain controlled and administered and the income thereof is duly applied to the object for which such Waqf are created or intended.
    There is no any specific thing that only can be a Waqf, Waqf can be a land, property, building, agriculture, library, books, machines, cattle, money, roads, bridges, education health services etc. Waqf is encouraged to register under appropriate boards to ensure proper administration and maintenance. The history of the registration of Waqf started from 1400s when judges in Egypt started to establish a special register and office to record and supervise Auqaf in their area. This culminated in the establishment of an Auqaf office of registration of control. Simultaneously, in ninetieth century, when the ottoman empire established a ministry of Auqaf for the same purpose of supervision and ensure proper utilization of Auqaf. At the time the establishment of Turkey republic in 1923, three quarter of the country’s arable land belonged to Auqaf. It is said that at one time, 70 percent of land in Delhi was owned by Auqaf which have encroached widelyand many Auqaf added to public property of government. Historians indicate that more than one third of agricultural land and half of building in major cities in Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Iraq and Palestine were Waqf properties prior to those political changes after and before first and second world wars. In many places, authorities took hold Auqaf to suppress religion and religious leaders who fought against them. At the time of French occupation in Algeria in 1831 French authority took hold the Auqaf and used it to suppress the opponents especially from the religious side.  In India, many Waqf have been encroached due to great historical blonder, the partition of India and Pakistan. Many of Muslim people moved to Pakistan especially from northern part of India and many people moved from Pakistan to India. When people flee from India to Pakistan many Waqf properties left behind without owner or protector.  Many of such Auqaf left without Mutawalli or any other protectors. The same thing happened in the other side, Pakistan. This can be a reason for comparatively less number of encroachments of Waqf in Kerala which didn’t affect the partition of India severely. Many of such Waqf couldn’t in the absence of its actual owner or Mutawalli or manager. The questionable management or Mutawalli is another reason for the encroachment of Waqf as well as the partiality, inability, ineligibility, groupism, Ignorance and irresponsibility of managements of Waqf property also lead to the greater encroachment of Waqf in our country. In many areas Waqf managements given Waqf lands to people to reside for temporarily but the ultimate result was the permanent loss of those lands. This has happened mainly because of the lack of proper keeping of Waqf documents. This document called ‘Waqf deed’. Waqf deed means any deed or instrument by which a Waqf has been created and includes any valid subsequent deed or instrument by which any of the term of the original dedication has been varied. The system of keeping Waqf deed was in practice in many places such as Istanbul, Faz, Cairo, Damascus, Isfahan etc. When Auqaf in Ottoman Empire were destroyed by centralization and transferring the properties to government agencies, in India the Auqaf were destroyed by transferring the management of pious Auqaf from government agencies to private Mutawallis. This effectively deprived Muslim education institutions of this money because the officials of the east India Company diverted the funds to an English style of education. This has specifically mentioned in the Indian Trust Act, 1882.
    In case of Kerala, encroachment of Waqf properties are comparatively less than other states in India such as New Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab and cities like Bombay, Hyderabad etc. The Piety and piousness of Muslim community on these Auqaf are one of the reasons.  Muslim community of Kerala was religiously very much aware and they seemed these ‘public’ wealth as pious even the non Muslims of Kerala. This can take in first place before the protection of law and order which is equally imposed and implemented all over the country and the protection of this law is equal in the country. It is not a question of criticism of the morality of other Muslim community of outside Kerala, but the geographical benefit and historical benefits of Kerala Muslim community played vital role in the creation of this Mappila culture that the Muslims of Kerala didn’t affect the partition of India as such the other north Indian part of the country where many of such properties couldn’t protect in the absence of its actual owners or mutawallis. In Kerala, the protection Waqf properties as a social responsibility rather than a personal responsibility of Mutawalli even people scare to those properties illegally. Another thing is that, most of the Kerala Auqaf are bequeathed or executed by individuals and in the cases in outside Kerala is something different that large number of Waqf properties bequeathed by rulers or emperors such as Nizamis in Hyderabad and Mugals in Delhi etc. when the rulers of emperors create Waqf, common people feel different than the private Auqaf. When rulers create Waqf, people see a part which is they also have a kind of right. When an individual create Waqf, it is purely personalizing and no one try to find such possession in those properties.  Here, the ‘individual property notion’ of Waqf worked in the case of Kerala and the ‘public property notion’ worked in the case of the counties outside Kerala. The state Kerala do not exempted from Auqaf from rulers, the first mosque of Kerala called Cheraman Mosque was a donation of a Kerala ruler called Samoothiri. Historians say, there are twelve such mosques in different coastal cities of Kerala. At early time, when rulers happy with any act of individual, they asked for any reward and many of former Muslims asked for lands for mosques or other useful endowments such educational institutions rather than for personal advantages. Waqf properties can be use or sold out in case of necessity of common purpose such as road or railway. But Waqf has to get proper market value whether it is a land or any other property. Because, the facilities like roads railways increases the market value of land or property and Waqf also can enjoy those benefits. We can see many roads in Waqf lands  in many places such as Koilandi, Calicut, Thikkodi, Kunjippalli, Thalasheri etc where the market rate of those  lands are comparatively very high than before.
    In 1957, the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru government enacted the Waqf act to the centralization of Waqf in India. This was in the same form of previously occurred in Ottoman Empire and other jurisdictions by the intentions of sound and effective administration of Auqaf in the country. In Ottoman Empire a separate ministry established for Waqf and constituted laws for its protection. The law of Auqaf of Nov. 29, 1863 was one of the important laws among them. And this law remained in many countries such as Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and Saudi Arabia and this law remained until the dismemberment of Ottoman Empire in 1918.  Later in 1964, government of India established Central Waqf Council, a statutory of parliament for the purpose of advice the government on matters pertaining to working of the state Waqf Boards and proper administration of the Waqf in the country. The Waqf ministries, councils and laws are not a uniqueness of Muslim countries but non Muslim countries also followed the same such as India, where every state has separate Waqf Boards which consists of eleven members. At the same time, a non Muslim can be a beneficiary or a well-wisher of Waqf and can claim for a Waqf in the court. As per the Kerala Waqf Amendment Act, 2013 ensure the presence of two women and a Shia member in eleven member of the board. The participation of Shia member requires because of many Shia Auqaf in Kerala as well as women executed Auqaf. Many women Auqaf can be seen in our country as well as other places, it is not a unique phenomenon of any particular country or any place. At a time, 40 percent of the total Auqaf in Istanbul,Turkey was executed by women.
    Waqf has certain characteristics as once a Waqf is Waqf forever. It is manly depend on the intention of the person who dedicating this Waqf called Waqif. Waqif has right to decide the beneficiaries, Mutawalli. And he/she has right to remove Mutawalli in his life time. He/she also can decide the remuneration of Mutawalli and can decide what should be a Mutawalli after his/her death. But, he/she cannot exclude his own children when waqif family becomes a social burden. According to the Islamic teaching if a person decide or indented to dedicate something as Waqf it is Waqf and once it is Waqf, the ultimate authority goes to the God and the Waqif can decide who has to look after or manage the Waqf after his time. There is no need of keeping any document to proof to be dedication as Waqf but it requires when the legal question comes. According to the teaching of Islam, there is no need of any documental proof to prove the Waqf other than the intention of Waqif which is happened in his mind. Then the authority and ownership of Waqf move from Waqif to Almighty God. Early time, many people they executed things for Waqf but didn’t keep any document which made thing difficult to claim the existence of Waqf and many of such Waqf has encroached especially at the time of land reform act in Kerala and so. Another characteristic of Waqf is that, Waqf should be use according to the intention of Waqif and in the objective stipulated by the founder unless it comes contrary to the basics of Islam. Waqf should be use according to the intention of the founder of Waqf whether it has better options to use. Here, Waqif has supreme power to decide what he/she has to be dedicates the Waqf and that will be the ultimate option of use unless it comes contrary to the basics of Islam. Simultaneously, Waqif can decide who has to be the manager or Mutawalli of the Waqf.  ‘Mutawalli’ means any person appointed, either verbally or under any document or instrument by which a Waqf has been created, or by a competent authority, to be the Mutawalli of a Waqf and includes any person who is a Mutawalli of a Waqf by virtue of any custom or who is a naib-Mutawalli, khadim, mujawar, sajjadanshin, amin or other person appointed by a Mutavalli to perform the duties of a Mutawalli and save as otherwise provided in the 1995 Waqf Act, any persons, committee or corporation for the time being managing or administrating any Waqf or Waqf property: provided that no member of a committee or corporation shall be deemed to be a Mutawalli unless such member is an office bearer of such committee or corporation. It is not mandatory that Mutawalli has to a man but a woman can be a Mutawalli for a Waqf. A non-muslim can also be a Mutawalli of a Waqf as he/she/they can be a beneficiary. A beneficiary means a person or object for whose benefit a Waqf is created and includes religious, pious and charitable objects and any other objects of public utility sanctioned by the Muslim Law. Mutawalli is the responsible person, administer for the best interest of the beneficiaries. He/she has the duty to preserve the Waqf and maximize the revenue benefit. And Waqif can decide a particular amount of remuneration for Mutawalli. Moreover, Mutawalli has certain legal duties such as keeping accounts of the Waqf, file returns, supply information or particulars time to time; allow inspection on Waqf properties especially on accounts, records, deeds and other documents.
    Waqf has its own unique nature and character which is differ from place to place in its various forms as it is a durable or non-durable thing, perishable good imperishable goods etc. Most Waqf are imperishable things such as buildings, lands, mosques, orphanages, libraries than the perishable things/properties such as food items because of its aims and motives. There were people in Kerala were given Auqaf for appointing someone to sing for the bed patients or for the Consoling treatment of those who are going to die or in saviour disease. Basically, it is a kind of worship of God, which is a pure dedication, intended to get reward from God without any eternal expectation. The basic concept of Waqf arises from the thought of the supporting system of poor or needy people they are the vulnerable section in our society. It is a kind of mechanism of eliminates poverty and deprivation from our society. Most of the beneficiaries of Waqf’s are the poor in the society and the purpose of Auqaf are feeding or supporting them. Simultaneously, many Waqf have been executed for educational purpose, health purpose and other kinds such as land, property, building etc. The dedication of Waqf for any charity purpose facilitates effective and permanent distribution of private wealth. This dedication cannot be use for any other purpose because of the Waqif intended to spend his own private property or wealth for a philanthropic purpose.  Here, Waqf derives through a dedication of privet property that normally has to be transmitted to the family members but, ‘an intention’ make it ‘public’ for a purpose through which the direction of certain wealth is changing from its nominal form of hereditary. Waqf cannot be simple define or describe as a dedication for a particular purpose, but it is an attention of a person on the vulnerability or vulnerable section of the society whether it is for their food, health or education. In Kerala the highest number of Waqf are generally for mosques and orphanages and educational institutions. This numbers are indicates the social commitment of common people or those Waqifs. These Auqaf are the symbols of the attentions of these people on the poor are weaker section of our society and they do concern the society as well as their family. The ultimate usage is not limited to a particular person as its nature of dedication. If a person executed for education or feeding, that will exist until the end of the Waqf. If a person educated from the Waqf then the next can be benefited the same time or later. This will remain as continuing process for the welfare and benefits of that section. At the same time, the concept of Waqf could promote a kind of social development in our society through helping or supporting people with someone’s personal wealth which will purposefully remain even after the death of the Waqif. The presence of Waqf in the society generate huge amount of income in our country. It is directly promoting the economic growth of India as well as other countries. The Sachar Committee had estimated that the Waqf board can generate up to Rs 12,000 crore annually by developing Waqf properties in the country.
    Waqf has certain conditions to be a property or a thing to consider a valid Waqf. The Waqf of an insane person not be a valid Waqf same as the legal norms of Indian legal act. Similarly, a minor cannot dedicate a Waqf and Waqf of a minor do not consider as valid Waqf. Waqf should be a charity and not to be a burden to the beneficiaries as it intention is to help people and support them rather than harm or hindrance. Waqf on the dead not permissible and not be valid as its aim is charity and philanthropy.
    Waqf has various socio, political, cultural and educational roles in our society irrespective of the geographical location of each Waqf. In India, especially Kerala, Waqf places vital role in the socio political life of Muslim in society. As its main concern is the poor and vulnerable section of society, it helps one to come close with his or her social responsibility and social commitment. In case of Kerala, many Muslim orphanages have good numbers of Waqf by most of them are meeting their day to day expenses. From early, many Auqaf have been executed for the purpose of supporting poor parents to marry off their girl children, helping girls and women etc. All of these Auqaf benefitted to needy orphans, girls, women in our society.
    Today’s world, Islamic civilization had a considerable effect on the valuation of Waqf and lots of non Muslim countries have obeyed the Waqf culture in Islam and have taken a long step in the field of property executed to goals for humanitarian and development. These kinds of Waqf dedication for education and developmental activities in the world for first time in the world has been in Islam. Waqf in western countries is known as an Islamic custodianship or piety foundation that Muslim citizen by allocating property in social welfare programs and support of their vulnerable religious obligations to attract attention and consent of God almighty. This embodied action and forgiveness of property shows the capacity of the Islamic faith and belief that Muslim with the aim of divine revelation and of god’s satisfaction doing this observance action and allocating a part of their properties for others welfare (Kuran, 2001). There are thousands of Waqf based educational institutions exist in the world. Even in Kerala, almost all the early religious educational institutions are established or ran or benefitted or associated with Waqf in any of its form. Very huge numbers of Derses were run by the revenue of Auqaf. Almost all the Arabic colleges, Islamia colleges and madrasas established by Waqf or associated with Waqf. Waqf has a greater role in the production of Muslim Ulamas in Kerala who lead the community for long. All the Ulamas and religious leaders in Kerala were the products of these Derses which are run by Waqf support.
    When the education of Kerala Muslim compartmentalise as religious and secular (for convenience), Waqf has greater role in the development of both. In the case of religious education institutions, all the early educational institutions or Derses, madrasas are supported by Waqf. In another sense, all the early Ulamas and religious leaders and Muslim scholars were the output of these institutions. Most of the early Waqf for education has executed/mentioned for ‘Ders’ purpose where the concept of Muslim community on education was ‘Ders’. Therefore, Waqf for education has given as Waqf for Ders. This also brought difficulties in the expansion of education of Muslims in Kerala. Hence, Muslim scholars stand in two sides in jurisprudence interpretation of Waqf for Ders. One interpretation argued that the ‘Waqf for Ders’ should be use only for the ‘Ders’ which Waqif seen. Another interpretation is that, Waqif had an intention of educating Muslim in general and Islam doesn’t distinguish knowledge as religious and non religious and the meaning of Ders is ‘to teach’ and they uses these Auqaf for other educational purpose such as Arabic colleges, Islamia colleges etc. Before 1940s, education among Muslims of Kerala was only the ‘religious education’ and ‘reading or learning’ means ‘reading kitabs or learning kitabs’. If a person consider as ‘read’ or ‘learned’ means he had been in any Derses and learned particular kitabs. Therefore, most of the Waqf for education can be seen as Waqf for Derses. At the same time, these Derses were not the same what exist today; these were highly ‘modernized’ in terms of its syllabus and subjects taught in those Derses. That was the reason for the Excellency of the graduates of early Derses. They could teach or communicated with Multilanguage and various subjects which come under the categorisation of today’s secular subjects. These students could teach religious subjects such as Qur’an and hadith and other secular subjects such as astronomy, mathematics etc in the same Ders according to the standards of their students. They were the leading figures in freedom fight movements and leading personalities in religious gatherings. Sometime, their writings and lectures didn’t get proper attention because of their language. Most of their works were in Arabic language or in Arabic Malayalam language which was not prevalent and known among the Kerala mainstreamed Medias. There were many philosophical works in Arabic languages, many of them were hand scripts and lost without preservation. Many of these books didn’t mention the name of the author but only mentioned the name of ‘katib’ (the writer). In the last couple of centuries, the central mosques of each place (Mahal mosque) had their own education system, Derses. Mosques or Mahal committee tried to bring eminent ‘muthalim’ to their Derses to attract students and increase goodwill of their place or mosque. These Derses didn’t stop but still continuing in these mosques in different forms and types. The main reason is the existence of these mosques is the existence of Auqaf which are executed for Ders. There are many such institutes were in Kerala and almost all those institutes are still alive but its nature has changed as the material requirements of the society. There are different Waqf institutes exist in the form of religious, secular and mixed of religious and secular in Kerala such as Vazhakkad Darul Uloom, Roulathul Uloom, Sullamussalam Areecode, MES Mambad, MES Mannarkad, MSM college Kayamkulam, Kalladi MES College, MES Asmabi College Kodungallur, Yatheemkhana school  Edathanattukara,  Jamia Nuriya Pattikkad, Al Jamia Al Islamia Santhapuram, Markazu Ssaqafathi Ssunniyya, Madeenathul Uloom Pulikkal etc. These institutes are the symbols of these places where they exist. Because of the presents of Sullamussalam Areekode played very good role in the development of the place where one cannot find one who doesn’t go to school up to graduation. These Waqf institutes were not merely institutes to diffuse religious or secular education but they were the milestones in the wakes of each place. For instances, because of the presence of Sullamussalam Areekode the people of that locality to study and the statistics says that the educational status of the place Areekode is very high and most of the ratio of students who quite their study before graduation is very comparatively very less that other places. And the role of the presents of Sullamussalam cannot be ignore in the creation of the revolutionary changes in the minds of people. The same thing can be seen in the case of Vazhakkad Darul Uloom, which established in 1871, there were no such educational institutions in Kerala as present. This institute has great role in the history of the place Vazhakkad and its development as the name itself says that the place was a jungle of banana trees. Darul Uloom Vazhakkad attracted students from different parts of the state and they provided free food and accommodation to their children and teachers. Teachers were given attractive remuneration and other facilities to work hard for the betterment of the student and the development of the institute. This institute is a symbol of Waqf which executed by the family member of Kozhappathody, called Mammad Kutty Sirasdhar. The role of Darul Uloom in Vazhakkad was not only in a form of an education institution but they fed people from years and still there is such provision to feed people who have been in Darul Uloom as a part of provision mentioned in the Waqf deed or the basic documents of Waqf. The case is in the case of most of these Waqf supported institutes. Auqaf of Muslim community of Kerala has very important in feeding Kerala Muslim community in Kerala in their thirsty times, especially at the time of Malabar Rebellion, Muslims of Kerala were in a critical condition where they didn’t have enough food and other basic requirements but these Derses ran smoothly because of the Auqaf bequeathed for those Derses. The revenue or rice from many of paddy field could fulfil the food requirement of many Derses of that time. When we look the geographical location of early mosques, most of these mosques are stand alone and kept a distance from city or from the crowd. One among many reasons, by keeping a distance from crowd or city, these mosques could provide better learning atmosphere for those students of Derses. Until the middle of twentieth century, spending money or money for education was under prime concern of Muslim community in Kerala and education of the individual or the community in general was not an agenda and this is a new tendency to open educational institutions widely. As a result, Waqf was the only source of income for education except few cases. The tendency of funding in education to start new endowments or education is a recent phenomenon among Muslim community after the gulf booming. Earlier, education was a concept free consumption. The main reason was the deprivation of people and Derses were the answer for their question of poverty and deprivation where the students provided free food and education. Even, the customs of the annual feast of mosques, shrines or mauled associated with Waqf are also a ‘tool’ to alleviate poverty from society or feed people at least in a day. Poverty and starvation was the one of the reason of the existence of ‘Dikr, Salat gatherings’ in mosques and in the houses of Muslim land lords where people got good food after particular practices.
    Auqaf of Muslim community in India is not effectively utilised and renovated in its ultimate way. Auqaf in Kerala, very less managements or Mutawallis didn’t tried in utilisation of Waqf effectively especially Waqf for education. The ‘unproductiveness’ may be ‘unwanted interpretation of jurisprudence’ and ‘cuddling of jurisprudence’ is a reason for this intentional ignorance. The utilisation of Waqf property is still remain as question among Muslims in Kerala, for instance, in the case of construction work of mosque and rebuilt it as concrete instead of bricks and wood, these bricks and wood won use for any other purpose or won sell out but keep in a place until perish it. This can be read as carefulness in jurisprudence or as the limitation of the reading of jurisprudence.  It is true some extant that the Auqaf in Kerala (not only in Kerala) not have been use effectively may be a good part other than the misuse of those Auqaf in the name of ‘effectiveness’ or ‘proper utilisation’. At the same time, the protection Waqf is very important as its benefit is not restricted to the coming generation as such.
    The economical growth of Muslim community in Kerala strongly affected the culture of Waqf. The availability of land may be a reason for this; the increased population of the inflexible nature of land also play in the reduction land Waqf. These days, educational institutions and educational endowments are not totally depending on Waqf or such contributions but depending on gulf possibilities. In some places, Waqf of plants such as coconut trees are do not encourage due to avoid the ‘risk’ of collecting coconuts and the availability of workers to collect nuts and encourage the money from the products of such Auqaf. Earlier, this was common in Kerala that every mosques, madrasas or orphanages had many Auqaf such as coconut, areca palm, cashew tree, jackfruit tree, black pepper etc. This was a common seen in every Muslim houses in Kerala that the families keep some trees apart as Waqf for any mosques, madrasas, colleges or orphanages, but this has taken away the mind of people. It is not mandatory that the Waqf has to be in the same geographical areas, many of mosques or orphanages in Kerala have Auqaf in Bombay and many other places.
    Waqf is one of the symbols of the social consciousness and humanitarian nature of Islam. It executes for various purpose which, one may feel silly by its nature but great in its conceptual ground such as Waqf for hanging cloths for washer man who don’t have place to hang their cloth to dry. A land Waqf for grazes of cattle of those who don’t have land to feed their cattle. These Auqaf are the answer for many questions of existence of many lives. There are many Auqaf are executed for common purpose of gatherings such as big congregations like Eid occasions or Ramadan talks or other sermons. This is a more generous way for humanity rather than the execution of many west people who dedicate their wealth for their pets.
    In history, Islamic civilization had a considerable effect on the valuation of Waqf and lots of non Muslim countries have obeyed the Waqf culture in Islam and have taken a long step in the field of property executed to goals for humanitarian and development. The country India, having big number of Waqf properties and the statistics says the Waqf properties of India can generate up to Rs 12,000 crore annually which can use for the developmental activities of Muslims in this country. There are many Auqaf encroached all over the country. Among these, the state Kerala has the less number of encroachments by various reasons.
    In the particular case of Kerala, Waqf has a greater role in the socio-educational life of Kerala Muslims. All most all the early educational institutions are the subscription of Waqf such many Othupallis, Derses, madrasas, orphanages, mosques etc. Even, the prominent educational institutions whether it is a religious institute or a secular institute, the role of Waqf is very visible. Waqf has a greater role in the creation of a bunch of in the history of Kerala who are the products of different Derses or other educational institutions. The long chain of eminent educational institutions such as Darul Uloom Vazhakkad, Roulathul Uloom Farooq, Madeenathul Uloom College Pulikkal, Al Jamia Al Islamia Santhapuram, Jamia Nooriya Pattikkad, Markazu Ssaqafathi Ssunniyya, MES colleges etc are the symbols of the socio-educational opulence of Kerala Muslim Community which built up with the share of Waqf by many people.


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AUTHOR: Noushad MK
  (Research Scholar, Hyderabad University)