A young boy leans against the door of his house

Characteristics of Waqf

The main characteristics of Waqf are:

Irrevocable
The donor (or heirs) cannot revoke the endowment if it has already been declared a Waqf. This ensures that the Waqf is created solely for philanthropic purposes and that it will always benefit the community.

Perpetuity
According to four Islamic schools of thought (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali) the donation must be perpetual once it is created. This guarantees that it will benefit generation after generation and also prohibits it from being confiscated.

Inalienable
Although the benefits of the donation are beneficial to human beings, the property itself is considered to be returned to God. No person can ever become the owner, so the Waqf becomes a ‘common asset’. It cannot be sold, mortgaged, gifted or inherited.

For Waqf to be valid, certain conditions must also be met.