Wakf Administration in Tamil Nadu with Special Reference to MSS Wakf Board College

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Mr. A Habibullah
Dr.A.Akbar Hussain


‘Wakf’ or habs is an Arabic word which literally means “detention, to prevent, restrain”. In Islamic concept it connotes the tying up of property of a third person. The origin of Wakf is to be sought in the strongly marked impulse to charitable deeds which is characteristics of Islam. The Quran contains no specific provision concerning Wakf, but it abounds injunctions in the matter of charity. Further the Wakf is defined as a permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for religious, pious or charitable purposes as recognized by Muslim Law, given by philanthropists. The grant is known as mushrut-ul-khidmat, while a person making such dedication is known as Wakif.  Historically, the origin of Wakf is traced to the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad. This paper attempts to trace the historical background of Wakf Administration.

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Shibli Nanmaai, Seerat-un-Nabi, Vol.II, Azamgarh, Hijri 1352, pp. 129-130.

The trustee of a Wakf or a religious building, Mutawalli is an Arabic word which means one

entrusted with something.

Waqai Sarkar Renthanpore, Persian Manuscript (MSS) ff.30-32. The Copy of this manuscript is available in the Department of History, Aligarh Museum University, Aligarh.

Irfan Habib, The Agrarian System of Mughal India, p. 313.

Jaidunath Sarkar, Mughal Administration, Calcutta, 1952, p.96.

Hasan Ali Khan, S.A. Rashid, “Tawarikh-e-Dankf-e-Shehshahi in Medieval India, Quarterly, Vol.I, July 1950, No.1, pp. 62-63.


M.B. Ahmed, Administration of Justice in Medieval India, Aligarh, 1941, pp.23-27

Mirat-e-Ahmadi, translated by S.Nawab Ali, Baroda, 1928, p. 148.

Ain-i-Akbari, translated by Blockman, Vol.I, Delhi, 1927, p .281.

S.Khald Rashid, Wakf Administration in India, op.cit., pp.11-12.

Proceedings of the Home Department (Public), 23 September 1859, pp.45-46, the dispatch isdated 22 October 1812.

Ibid., The rely is dated 1 December, 1812

Ibid., dated 29th July 1814.

Proceedings of the Home Department (Legislative) 20 September 1845, p.884.

I.T.Prichard, The Administration of India from 1859 to 1868, Vol. II, London, 1869, p.148.

Section 14 and 15 of the Religion Endowment Act, 1863.

See Qazis Act II of 1864, which abolished the ‘Native’ Law Officers.

Proceedings of the Home Department (Public) March, 1903, Vol. 121, Part A.

Ibid., No.116, 115, Part A

Proceedings of the Home Department, (Judicial) March 1911, No.142, Part A, Ibid.,

May 1914, Nos. 260-61.

Proceedings of the Home Department (Watan), Lahore 22 August 1902, P.S. Col.1.

Proceedings of the Legislative Department, April 1902, Part B, No.58-60.

The Prominent among them were Nawab Abdul Majith Khan, Diwan Bahadur L.A. Govindaragava Iyer, SRM Ramasamy Chetty, Asad Ali Khan etc., See Also Proceedings of the Home Department (Judicial), July 1914, Part A, p.3.

Self Study Report, 2015, M.S.S, Wakf Board College