A person distributed the majority of his wealth in his lifetime to his heirs.
He wants to know if he can leave what’s left in trust to an Islamic institution.
E.g. While he is alive he benefits from the assets even though he has made the institution the owner. But he had made a stipulation or condition that upon his death that it will be handed over.
Is that permissible?
Are there any conditions/situations where they will allow this?
This question is pertaining to Waqf. In Shariah it means to assign a property in the sole ownership of Allah Ta’aalaa and the benefits thereof are spent as designated.
It is permissible that a person assigns all his assets as waqf to an institute with the condition that he will benefit from it once he is alive.
In the question above, a condition for all the remainder assets to be considered Waqf is that the assignment has to be finalised before death. So he will say, “I have assigned all my assets as Waqf to so-and-so institute on the condition that I will benefit from it until I die.”
If the person says that, “I will use my assets and when I die, all of it will be given to the institute,” then this will be categorised as a Wasiyyah (bequest), which can only be executed from a third of the estate. In this case a third of his estate will go to the institute, while the remaining two thirds will go to the heirs.
A point to note is that it will be sinful to give away all of one’s assets in Waqf to an institute if the intention is to deprive his heirs. However, if his heirs are not in need, and he has no such ill motives, then there will be no sin. It is best to let the heirs also sign the Waqf document, so as to show they were pleased with it and so that no one claims inheritance in it after death. Once the Waqf was finalised before death, then the heirs will have no claim in it even if they were not pleased.
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Muhammad ibn Suleman Chothia
Checked and verified by Mufti Muhammad Mahdi
Fatawa Mahmoodiyah 14/233-235
Fatawa Raheemiyah 9/44
Fatawa Darul Uloom Zakariya 4/639-640
Ahsanul Fatawa 6/412-413