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Excursus Islamic Endowments

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Chapter Summary

Religious Endowments in the Islamic context have been of prime importance for a variety of issues, such as colonisation, urbanisation, education, and institutions like shrines. Basically, the idea of Islamic endowment is that the owner (mainly of real estate) gives up property rights by a formal act of endowment and assigns it to the legal ownership of God. The purpose of waqf and the identity of the beneficiaries are stipulated in a deed (waqfiyya). The Mughal rulers gave deeds to Hindus and Muslims alike, especially during the reigns of Akbar and Jahangir. In Pakistan, as in various other Muslim countries, awqaf have been the target of state intervention for a fairly long time. There were ulama and mystic divines in the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) whose well-being depended very much on endowments.

Keywords: Council of Islamic Ideology (CII); Islamic endowment; Mughal rulers; Pakistan; religious endowments; waqf

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