- Dilnawaz Pasha
- BBC correspondent
Karnataka High Court allows Ganesh Puja at Idgah in Hubli city. There was controversy about it. The Karnataka Waqf Board stated that this Idgah is owned by Muslims and no other religion can work on it.
But in its order, the Karnataka High Court said that this property is not registered as Waqf.
The court upheld the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) order allowing Hindu organizations to celebrate the Ganesh festival on the Idgah grounds.
Justice Ashok S Kinagi of the Karnataka High Court said in his order, “There is no dispute that this property belongs to the Municipal Corporation.”
In 2010, the Supreme Court in one of its orders had declared Hubli Idgah as the property of HDMC.
In another similar case, the Supreme Court had banned the celebration of Ganesh festival at Chamarajpet Idgah in Bangalore.
There is a dispute over the ownership of Chamarajpet Idgah and now the hearing is on in the Supreme Court.
What are waqfs?
A waqf is any movable or immovable property that any person who professes Islam gives in the name of Allah or for a religious or charitable purpose.
This property is made for the good of society and no one but Allah owns it and cannot be.
Advocate Ahmed Javed, Chairman of the Waqf Welfare Forum says, “Waqf is an Arabic word that means to stay. When a property is given in the name of Allah, it becomes in the name of Allah forever and forever. Then there can be no change. in this one.”
The Supreme Court of India had also said in its January 1998 judgment that “property once waqf remains waqf forever”.
Waqf property cannot be bought or transferred to anyone.
Describing the Islamic history of Waqf, Afzal Wani, Vice President of the Institute of Objective Studies, says: “When a Muslim wants to make good use of any property for the cause of religion, Prophet Muhammad has given a way in what this property can be given. It is.”
Afzal Wani says: “Hazrat Umar had a property and he had asked Prophet Muhammad that he wanted to make the best use of it, then he told him to stop this property (waqf do) that is, fix it and the benefit that will be of this should be brought to the use of the needy.
“Waqf a property means to pay it in the name of Allah and the profits from it, such as the harvest of the field or the rent of the shop, can be used for the neediest people.”
Afzal Wani says: “The person who makes the waqf of the property can also decide for what purpose the benefit derived from it is to be used. The property can be given through a deed or a will and is they can set their purposes. Huh.”
Know the special words related to him
- Waqf: Property made in the name of Allah
- Waqif: one who gives property
- Mutawalli: One who manages the property
- Waqf Boards: Autonomous boards that oversee the management of these properties.
How is the property a waqf?
According to Afzal Wani, “Under the Waqf Board Act, 1995, the Waqf can register a property by deed, survey or proof of its continued use.”
The waqf can be made for Idgah, cemetery, mosque, farm, building, garden or any type of property. Most of the waqf properties are mosques, idgahs and fields.
According to the law, if anyone has any objection to the registration of the property as a Waqf, he should submit it to the Waqf Court within one year of the registration of the Waqf, and then the Court will decide whether the property is Waqf or not.
Qaiser Shamim, a former member of the Central Waqf Board, says, “First, a waqfnama is prepared to waqf a property, which also determines the purpose of waqfing the property. Through the survey of the Waqf Board, this property is registered with the tax collector and then gets its notification in the gazette.This implementation is not complete until the property is also registered with the government revenue register as a waqf.
Advocate Ahmed Javed says, “For the protection of Waqf properties, it is very important that the property is first registered as Waqf with the Waqf Board and then it should also be filed as Waqf with the registry of state revenue”.
Although the law mandates it, the registration of any property in Waqf depends on the point of view in which the Waqf Board works.
Qaiser Shamim says, “Registering a property as a waqf also depends on what a state government’s policy is. The government’s policies are reflected in its institutions.”
Afzal Wani says, “Earlier the practice was to make a waqf of immovable property, but now movable property can also be endowed because now the concept of ownership has changed. Now any company or corporation or any other asset can also be endowed.”
How many waqf properties are there in India?
The Ministry of Minorities, Government of India has launched the Waqf Asset Management System of India (WAMSI) project to digitize the records of all Waqf properties in India.
According to the August 2022 report of this project, there are a total of 851535 waqf properties across the country.
Most of the waqf properties are located in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have separate Waqf boards to manage Shia and Sunni properties.
Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board has 210239 properties while Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board has 15386 properties.
After UP, West Bengal has the highest number of Waqf properties in the country where there are 80480 properties registered as Waqf. After that there are 70994 properties in Punjab. Tamil Nadu has 65945 waqf properties while Karnataka has 61195 waqf properties.
However, the actual number of Waqf properties in India may be more than this as there are many Waqf properties in the country which are not registered with the Waqf Board.
Qaiser Shamim, a former member of the Central Waqf Board, says, “Under the Waqf Act, the survey of Waqf properties should be done every ten years, but this work has not been done for a long time time. Until the survey of Waqf properties is completed, the actual number will not be fixed.”
Qaiser Shamim says, “Currently, the number of Waqf properties is decided on the basis of data from the Waqf Board. Although there are many properties that are used as Waqf but are not registered in the Waqf Board Until the work is completed, it cannot be said for sure how many properties there are in total.
How are waqf properties managed?
The Government of India has fixed the system of Waqf Board and Central Waqf Council for the management and maintenance of Waqf properties.
There is also the Waqf Act 1995 and the Waqf Amendment Act 2013 for the protection of Waqf properties.
For the protection of Waqf properties in India, there is an autonomous body at the central level called the Central Waqf Council. Apart from this, there are Waqf Boards for the management of Waqf properties at the state level. There are total 32 Waqf Boards in India.
Qaiser Shamim, who has been a member of the Central Waqf Board, says, “The role of the Central Waqf Board is to advise the central government on Waqf properties. After the amendment act of 2013, it was also added that the Waqf Board would supervise the Waqf Boards of the state. And also give them advice.”
The Waqf Board consists of selected members. The members elect a president. While the government appoints a chief executive.
Mutawallis are appointed to manage Waqf property. Direct control of the property is in the hands of the mutawallis and they give a fixed percentage of the total income of the property to the Waqf Board.
Why are there disputes over waqf properties?
Thousands of cases involving waqf properties are pending in Indian courts. There has been controversy over the Hubli Idgah for many decades.
Analysts believe that since the waqf properties are in the name of Allah and have no heirs, many times people also create disputes with the intention of taking possession of them.
Afzal Wani says, “Waqf is the backbone of the Muslim community. Waqf has supported Muslims of all ages. There are people who have malicious eyes on these properties.
Afzal Wani says, “Disputes are because it is property, where there is property, there will surely be disputes. Wherever people have the opportunity to violate the law, they do. Now moral values are also weakening in the society .” In this situation, whoever has the opportunity tries to grab the properties.
Qaiser Shamim says, “There is an English proverb To buy land is to buy litigation. Where there is land, there will be disputes. Generate.”
Afzal Wani says that attempts are made to capture Waqf properties even by using might and power. He says: “It is a serious matter to take possession of Waqf property or to intend to take possession of Waqf property using it or someone who has come to power or someone else has some influence.”
“If something is being used as Waqf for the last thirty to forty years and the same has appeared in the survey, then there should be no attempt to capture it or to dispute it. Disputes or disputes that are taking place are about power and influence. they are alone.”
Advocate Ahmed Javed says, “The most important thing is the mutation of the property, that is, the submission is rejected. The Waqf Board has registered the property and even after that it was not registered ( file-rejected) in the revenue register as a Waqf property Even so, there is still room for controversy.
At the same time, Qaiser Shamim says, “Properties are also waqf through use. If a property is used as an Idgah or mosque for a long time, it can also be registered as a waqf.
Qaiser Shamim says, “People often create disputes over these properties which are waqf but have not been registered as waqf for some reason.”
Financial difficulties of Muslims can be overcome with Waqf
In India, Waqf Boards have the highest assets after the Railways and the Defense Department. According to Islam, the profits earned from these properties should be used for the poor, orphans and the needy.
But analysts believe that due to the lack of attention and proper management of waqf properties, the benefits that can be derived from them are not reaching the Muslims.
Afzal Wani says, “If waqf properties are used transparently and developed, it can solve many problems of Muslims.”
At the same time, lawyer Ahmed Javed says, “Waqf properties can become a means of financial help for needy Muslims. But in the present system, they are not managed and maintained properly. The Government of India has started the digital registration of properties. is a great job. If done in the right direction, it can clear the way for further development of these properties.”
There is a figure of how many Waqf properties are registered in the records of Waqf Boards in India, but there is no clear figure of how much revenue is generated from them.