Endowment: Waqf and Sadaqah Jariah
Waqf refers to the gift of money, property or other items of charity, which have been held and preserved for the confined benefit of certain philanthropy. The waqf property is prohibited from being used or disposed of outside of the specific purpose for which it is held. Since the
definition of waqf implies a perpetual nature, waqf applies to non-perishable property whose benefit can be extracted without consuming the property itself. This type of property includes real estate, stocks, cash money, books, and chattel.
Waqf is a form of continuous charity (sadaqah jariah), and the rewards for this type of charity continue even after the donor’s death—for as long as people continue to benefit from the waqf.
The Prophet (PBUH) said in the well-known hadith, “When a human being dies, his work for God comes to an end except for three: a lasting charity, the knowledge that benefits others, and a good child who calls on God for his favor.” (Muslim)
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