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f:1134 -    Constructing commercial complex on graveyard land
Country : Mumbai, India,
Name : Muhammad Aleemuddin
Question:     A person gave a piece of land as an endowment for a graveyard.  Burials are going on in that piece of land.  Now some people want to sell away 500 sq. yards of land adjacent to road.  They want to make a commercial complex on that area.  What should the person who made the endowment do in such a situation?
Answer:     Once something has been given as an endowment, it ceases to be the private property of the person making that endowment.  Now, the person making the endowment is neither the owner himself/herself nor can make someone else as the owner.  Thus, selling away an endowment, giving it out on hire, mortgaging it, etc. are all not allowed.  It is not included in the inheritance as well and the heirs aren’t owners of that property.  As given in Durre Mukhtaar, Kitaab Ul Waqf, Vol. 3, Pg. No. 392:

Translation: The person who makes an endowment cannot cancel it (after making the endowment) and the endowment is not included in inheritance either.  The edicts are given on this.

It is also mentioned in Tanveer ul Absaar Ma’a Durre Mukhtaar, Vol. 3, Pg. No. 402:

Translation: When an endowment has been made as per all conditions, then the endowment doesn’t remain the private property of anyone and neither can it be given in someone else’s ownership nor can it be hired out nor can it be mortgaged.

Once the owner of that land has given away that land in endowment, it doesn’t remain the property of that person.  Thus, it isn’t permissible to sell away the strip of land which is near the road for the construction of a commercial complex or for any other purpose.

And Allah The Mighty and The Majestic knows best.

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri

[Shaykh ul Fiqh, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director, Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]
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