The Law of Waqf

Modern State Control and Nationalization

May 16-18, 2008
Pound Hall, Harvard Law School Campus
Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass.

The institution of waqf, the Islamic charitable foundation, has been the topic of intensified research since 1970. Increasingly, its historical, economic, and social implications have been highlighted and explored. Legal aspects of waqf—the rules, procedures, and institutions that govern its establishment and operation—have been relatively neglected, however.

In response to this situation the Islamic Legal Studies Program of Harvard Law School and Randi Deguilhem of the Institut de Recherches et d'Etudes sur le Monde Arabe et Musulman (IREMAM) in Aix-en-Provence are organizing a three-part conference on “The Law of Waqf.” The first part “Origins to Ottoman-Era Maturity” was held in May 2006. The second part “Modern State Control and Nationalization” is taking place May 16-18, 2008. The third part “Contemporary Regeneration” will be announced in due course.



Friday, May 16, 2008, Pound Hall 201

Welcome and Introduction, by Baber Johansen (Harvard University)         
Keynote Speech, by Rudolph Peters (University of Amsterdam)

4:15—6:00   PANEL I: The Ottoman Legal Regime and Its Legacy (Chair: Murteza Bedir, Sakarya University, Turkey)         
Tahsin Özcan
(University of Istanbul), The Centralization Process of the Waqf Administration in the Ottoman Sta
Konstantinos Tsitselikis
(University of Macedonia), The Waqf in Greece: A Case of Resistance to Civil Law          

Saturday, May 17, 2008, Pound Hall 107

9:15—12:15   PANEL II: North Africa (Chair: Bill Granara, Harvard University)           
Franz Kogelmann
(University of Bayreuth), Law Reform in Morocco Under the French Protectorate: The Example of Habous           
Maaouia Saidouni (University of Montreal), The Complex Evolution of French Waqf Legislation in Algeria (1830-1873)           
Mahmoud Abossawa (Fatah University, Tripoli, Libya), The Law of Waqf in Tripoli under Italian Occupation    
Claudia Gazzini (Oxford University), The Awqaf in the Courts of Colonial Libya (1911-1932)         

2:15—5:15   PANEL III: Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine (Chair: Beshara Doumani, University of California, Berkeley)
Uri Kupferschmidt (University of Haifa), The Illusions of British and French Waqf Control: Some Comparisons Between the Mandates for Palestine and Syria-Lebanon         
Max Weiss
(Princeton University), The Defense and Definition of Shi‘i Waqf in Mandate Lebanon          
Randi Deguilhem (CNRS/IREMAM, Aix-en-Provence), Colonizing Waqf Law: Istibdâl and the French Mandate’s Legal Program to Nationalize Waqf in Syria (1920-1946)       
Yitzhak Reiter
(Hebrew University, Jerusalem), “Shari‘atization” of Colonial Law: Shari‘a Court Accommodation of the 1926 British Mandate Land Expropriation Law in Palestine          

Sunday, May 18, 2008, Pound Hall 107

9:15—12:00   PANEL IV: South and Southeast Asia (Chair: Syed Khalid Rashid, International Islamic University, Malaysia)           
M. Mohsin Alam and Vivek Rathore (Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad), Judicial Dicta and the Role of the Judiciary in the Preservation of Waqf: The Indian Experience
Murat Cizakça (INCEIF, Kuala Lumpur), Malaysian Waqf Legislation During the Colonial Era
Ismail Mat (University of Brunei Darussalam), The Application of Waqf Law Under British Administration in Malaysia
Discussion and Concluding Remarks


For questions, email or call 617-496-3941.