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The family or private Ahbās

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Chapter Summary

Studying the institution of pious endowments entails drawing a distinction between the two types of donation that existed and which were determined by the nature of the final recipient selected by the founder: private or public. This distinction was, in fact, recognized by Muslim jurists. This chapter is intended to highlight the fact that, although they are legally a single unit, both represent completely different institutions socially and economically. This fact casts doubt on the possibility that private donations, or family donations rather, can be considered genuine pious endowments, the latter being understood as those whose aim is to provide a genera or public service. A significant aspect of family donations is that concerning the inclusion or exclusion as beneficiaries of the children of a founder’s daughters and their offspring. The chapter shows whether daughters, when included among the beneficiaries, could pass their share on to their descendants.

Keywords: family donations; institution of pious endowments; Muslim jurists; private donations; socio-economic reality



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