By Benedikt Koehler

Property was first conceived of as a bundle of rights in early Islam. The legal instrument that crystallised this Islamic conception was the waqf, a legal entity delivering public welfare in accordance with the wishes of a benefactor. Trusts, which evolved in the thirteenth century, have a rationale analogous to that of waqfs, and in fact may have replicated the legal template of waqfs. The finding that waqfs are germane to Islam has ramifications for policies on waqfs in contemporary Islamic societies.

PUBLISHED IN: Economic affairs

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