Violations of Founders' Stipulations in the Sharīʿa Court of Jaffa During the British Mandate

in Islamic Law and Society
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Abstract

Claims submitted by beneficiaries concerning violations of founders' stipulations are motivated in part by normative differences between the Islamic inheritance rules and the stipulations of founders regarding the devolution of entitlements to family waqfs. In these claims, the beneficiaries interpret the founder's stipulations in a manner different than that enforced by the administrator of the endowment. My examination of such claims submitted to the sharīʿa court of Jaffa during the British Mandate reveals that the claims reflect two opposing trends: the desire of female agnates and cognatic descendants to be included in entitlement to the endowment's revenues, and the desire of agnatic descendants to deprive them of this right. Other claims derived from differing views regarding the principle of representation (tanzīl). I conclude that the prevailing consideration of the qādīs when adjudicating such claims was their perceived obligation to adhere to the written text of the founder, and not any social consideration.

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