Ruling on exchanging a Waqf land for a store that will be handed over to the Ministry of Awqaf
All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the last Prophet.To commence:The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has read (Part No. 16; Page No. 155) the question that was sent by His Excellency the Minister of Hajj and Endowments under Number (4830/W/M) and dated 26/10/1391 A. H. To His Eminence the Chairman of the Departments of Scholarly Research, Ifta', Da`wah, and Guidance, that was transferred to the latter by the Secretariat-General of Council of Senior Scholars under Number 31 and dated 13/01/1392. Studying the question and the attached papers, the Committee found that the text of the question as was declared by His Excellency the Minister reads as follows:`Abdullah ibn Sa`ud ibn Faysal Al-Hazzany sent us the attached letter dated 18/10/1391 A. H.
The letter relates to a land in the town of
called Zahwah. Such land is endowed to the Suwwam (those who observe Fast) but `Abdullah rented it twenty years ago from the attorney of the endowments of the town of
This was for a yearly rent of fifteen Sa`s (1 Sa` = 2.172 kg) of wheat.
Besides, a photocopy of the legally certified Waqf deed that ascertains the agreement between `Abdullah and the attorney of the endowments of Al-Hariq was attached. The concerned citizen requires that he buys the lease for a total sum to be paid only one time to the Ministry of Endowments. Moreover, he undertakes to buy a store in the town of Al-Hariq under the supervision of the Ministry and give it to the latter. Thus, it is perceived that the mentioned citizen would like to keep the land in exchange for the store. Because we are keen to keep the endowments and invest them properly, we hope that your Eminence will provide us with your beneficial opinion (Part No. 16; Page No. 156) in this regard.The following is one part of the wording of the deed:Attorney Ibrahim Al-Dihimy stipulated that `Abdullah ibn Sa`ud will bear all the costs that the concerned land needs for repairing its wells, buildings, or the damages resulting from floods etc. The Waqf people will not bear any cost of the foregoing. `Abdullah accepted it with no objection as long as the land is rented out to him for cultivating it. The rent which is mentioned above should be paid on time on a yearly basis as agreed whether the tenant cultivates it or not. However, in case the rent is not paid to the attorney of the Suwwam; the occupier of the land whether `Abdullah or any body else should give up using it along with all its plants, buildings, trees, etc. They are only allowed to use things they have already harvested. In this case, the tenant is not entitled to claim for any estimation of the plants, trees, buildings, or any of the other attachments. Rather, all are a part of the Waqf.End of quotation.This deed was certified by the Judge of
`Abul-`Aziz ibn Ibrahim ibn `Abdul-Latif in 10/08/1368 A. H.
After the Committee had studied the question and the deed, it wrote the following answer:
(Part No. 16; Page No. 157) It is impermissible to sell the concerned Waqf because keeping it in the current state is more beneficial and provides greater interests. This is because it is stipulated in its deed that the Waqf people do not bear any of the costs of repairing the damages thereof and that only `Abdullah Al-Hazzany will bear them and that in case the rent is not paid to the attorney of the Suwwam, the occupier of the land whether `Abdullah ibn Sa`ud or anybody else should give up using it along with all its plants, buildings, trees, etc. Except what they have already harvested and that the tenant is not entitled to claim for any estimation of the foregoing or any of the other attachments as these are all a part of the Waqf. On the other hand, if the Waqf is sold and a store is bought, for instance, instead of the land; the Waqf will be subjected to ruin. The Fatwa was signed to that effect. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.