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Aug 2015

With regard to the above news report it may be stated that disputes relating to Waqfs have now become all pervasive in the country.  The Government of India have never clarified for the information of the Public as to how the Waqf came into being in India; and where did it originate and the reasons therefor?  Waqf in Arabic literally means standing.  In the language of the Islamic law, it signifies the appropriation or dedication of property to charitable uses and the service of God.  There were no Waqfs in Arabia before the advent of Islam.  According to Muslims scholars, the first Waqf was created when a Jewish colony was conquered by Muslims.  Following this pattern, Muslim invaders established Waqfs all over India by confiscating Hindu lands and properties.  The British ruler abolished waqfs by a judgment of the Privy Council in 1894.  The waqfs were revived again by the Waqf Revalidating Act of 1911. 

It deserves to be mentioned that Muslims ruled over large parts of Eastern and Southern Europe for centuries.  In this period, Muslim rulers had established Waqfs all over.  No sooner, the Christians regained their lands, they asked the Muslims to go back or get converted to Christianity.  All Muslims institutions including waqfs were wiped out from the soil of Christian Europe.

Jawaharlal Nehru not only integrated Princely states but also abolished Jagidari / Zamidari on the morrow of Independence.  How come British rulers were asked to leave India but Wqaf a remnant of the Muslim rule was allowed to remain in tact?  It is time Government of India should consider nationalization of waqfs as early as possible before they become an impediment in the path of development.  Many Muslim countries had abolished waqfs decades ago.  


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