Dedicating Oneself As Waqf
Fatwa No: 420547

Question

Assalamu Alikum. I have a question About waqf. Can person make himself a waqf or his children. If so what is ruling on that.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The jurists stated that it is invalid for a free person to dedicate himself as Waqf (endowment). Asna Al-Mataalib reads: “It is invalid for a free person to dedicate himself as Waqf because he does not have ownership of himself.” [End of quote] The Shaafi‘i scholar Ar-Ramli, when speaking about the conditions of the endowed property in Fat-h Ar-Rahmaan Sharh Zubad Ibn Raslaan, said: “It must be a specified alienable property owned by the Waqf founder, capable of being endowed and generating benefit while the property itself is reserved or its usufruct is often leased. It is invalid to endow the usufruct of a property without endowing its ownership. A fetus, an unspecified slave of a person, or a property that is not under his ownership are not valid subjects of Waqf, and a free person cannot dedicate himself as Waqf.” [End of quote] It is invalid to dedicate one’s children as Waqf with greater reason because he does not own them.

As long as a Muslim is diligent in obeying Allah, The Exalted, observes His Obligations, and avoids His Prohibitions, then he has dedicated his life (as Waqf) to Allah, The Exalted, and the following verse applies to him: Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.”} [Quran 6:162] Zaad Al-Maseer reads about the meaning of “my living and my dying”: “It means that none but Allah, The Exalted, has exclusive control over my life and death; my life is devoted to Him as manifested in my obedience to Him and my death is devoted to Him as I return to Him to receive my recompense.” [Briefly excerpted with modification]

If a Muslim engages his children in obeying Allah, The Exalted, as well, then he and his children are upon goodness, as if he has dedicated them as Waqf for the sake of Allah. It was said in the interpretation of the Saying of Allah (which means): {… when the wife of ‘Imraan said, “My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service]”} [Quran 3:35] that it means, “I have dedicated it to Your obedience, and I vow not to preoccupy it with anything from my affairs,” as mentioned in Mahaasin At-Ta’weel by Al-Qaasimi.

Allah Knows best.

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