Date of Award
Honors Bachelor of Arts
Dr. Serina Al-Haddad
Dr. Hannah Ewing
Dr. Richard Lewin
Historically, various systems and institutions across diverse civilizations have been established to meet the many needs that interweave the fabric of society. One, and perhaps the most significant of these institutions is the waqf/hubus system. Characterized by the designation of a property or revenue stream as mortmain and the investment of the usufruct for the benefit of (often predetermined) beneficiaries, this form of charitable endowment is hailed as a cornerstone of Islamic civilization. The objectives of this paper are threefold. Primarily, it examines the historical role of awqāf, with focus on their social and economic significance in two distinct Islamic civilizations: Al-Andalus & the Ottoman Empire. Moreover, it seeks to understand the importance of the endowment system in the preservation and continual function of a healthy society. Finally, it evaluates the modern capacity of awqāf and considers the potential for their implementation in the Western world.
Elalaoui, Nuh, "Workings of Theocracy: The Historical Function and Modern Applicability of Charitable Endowments" (2021). Honors Program Theses. 158.
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