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The paper examines the institutional economic performance of the public good waqf with the intent of demonstrating the relevance of institutions to the momentous debate over Islamic backwardness and European progress and the waqf's role as supporter of learning institutions and promoter of social integration. Through the application of two sets of theoretical paradigms designed for measuring institutional behaviour, property rights and institutional arrangements, to legal cases supplied by fatwās from North Africa and Muslim Spain it will be possible to analyze and evaluate the impact of one of the major institutions of the premodern Islamic world on economic progress.

L'article étudie la performance économique du waqf fiduciaire public, (waqf khairī), en tant qu'institution économique. Le but est de démontrer la pertinence de cette performance quant au débat sur la décadence économique des sociétés musulmanes par rapport au progrès que connut l'Europe. Sera étudié le rôle de l'activité économique institutionelle du waqf en général, et particulièrement dans les fonctions qui lui étaient attribuées, comme le soutien des institutions scolaires ainsi que la promotion de l'integrité sociale. Par l'application de deux paradigmes théoriques conçues pour mesurer le comportement institutionel, les droits de propriété et l'adaptation aux changements dans les conditions économiques rapportés par les documents juridiques tels les fatwās de l'Afrique du Nord et de l'Espagne musulmane, il sera possible d'analyser et d'évaluer l'impact de l'une des plus importantes institutions du monde islamique pré-moderne sur le progrès économique.

Affiliations: 1: University of Western Ontario


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