Waqf in Zaydī Yemen

Legal Theory, Codification, and Local Practice


Islamic foundations ( waqf, pl. awqāf) have been an integral part of Yemeni society both for managing private wealth and as a legal frame for charity and public infrastructure. This book focuses on four socially grounded fields of legal knowledge: fiqh, codification, individual waqf cases, and everyday waqf-related knowledge. It combines textual analysis with ethnography and seeks to understand how Islamic law is approached, used, produced, and validated in selected topics of waqf law where there are tensions between ideals and pragmatic rules. The study analyses central Zaydī fiqh works such as the Sharḥ al-azhār cluster, imamic decrees, fatwās, and waqf documents, mostly from Zaydī, northern Yemen.

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Eirik Hovden, Ph.D. (2012), has worked on Yemeni history and ethnography with a focus on medieval and modern Zaydī history, Islamic law, endowments ( waqf) and local knowledge in water management.
List of Figures
 Personal Names and Imamic Titles

1 Introduction
 1 Waqf as Public Infrastructure and Welfare in Muslim Societies
 2 Field, Scope, and Focus
 3 Types of Data
 4 Fieldwork
 5 Archival Material
 6 The Structure of the Book

2 Representing Validity in Islamic Law
 1 Normative and Descriptive Models of Waqf
 2 Academic Debates on Islamic Law
 3 Arriving at an Analytical Framework

3 Central Waqf Administration
 1 Types of Waqf in Yemen
 2 Historical Overview of Centralized State Waqf Administration
 3 Waqf Administration Under the Qāsimī Dynasty (1045–1289/1636–1872)
 4 The Waqf Administration of Imam Yaḥyā and Imam Aḥmad (1911–62)
 5 The Ministry of Awqāf After the Revolution (1962–)

4 Main Texts of Zaydī Waqf Fiqh and Law
 1 Zaydism
 2 Zaydī Fiqh Texts and Authors
 3 Zaydī Validated Fiqh, Imamic Decrees, Yemeni Codification and Laws

5 Family Waqf and Inheritance
 1 Structure and Main Argument of the Chapter
 2 The Arrival of al-Hādī and His Waqf-waṣīya Model
 3 The Fatwās of Imam al-Manṣūr ʿAbdallāh b. Ḥamza (561–614/1166–1217)
 4 Instiṣār and Nūr al-abṣār
 5 The Views of Ibn al-Murtaḍā (d. 840/1436) and Ibn Miftāḥ (d. 877/1472)
 6 The Fatwa Collection of Imam ʿIzz al-Dīn (846–901/1442–95)
 7 Ikhtiyārāt of al-Mutawakkil Ismāʿīl (ca. 1060/1650)
 8 Al-Risāla al-Mahdawiyya from 1188/1774
 9 al-Shawkānī’s Views (1173–1250/1760–1834)
 10 Imam Yaḥyā’s Decrees
 11 Imam Aḥmad’s Decrees (r. 1948–62)
 12 Republican Waqf Laws on the Matter
 13 Exclusion of the Awlād al-Banāt in Other Law Schools

6 The Tenant’s Strong Hand
 1 Property and Lease Law
 2 The Genealogy and Trajectory of the Three-year Rule
 3 The Three-year Rule in Zaydī Fiqh: A Chronological Presentation
 4 The Three-year Rule in Modern Yemeni Codification
 5 The Three-year Rule in Other Law Schools and Legal Traditions
 6 Waqf Lease in Practice

7 Private Rights in Public Waqf
 1 The Waṣīya of Three Cisterns: Bayt al-Laḥafa (2008): An Ethnographic Description
 2 Four Waqf Documents of Public Sanaa Sabīl-waqfs with Private Benefits
 3 Theoretical Possibilities for Private Aspects of a Public Waqf
 4 Questions Concerning the Right to Guardianship in Combined Waqfs

8 Pure Law, ʿUrf, and Maṣlaḥa: Conclusions
 1 Sources of Validity
 2 Situating Legal Knowledge
 3 The Potential in Waqf

All scholars and graduate students interested in Yemeni legal and social history, ethnography of law in Yemen and development and codification of Islamic law in general.