Fatwa: 43

Category: fatwas about prayer

Replacing the Waqf (religious endowment)

The question:

A young man has a copy of the Qur'an, but according to “Warsh” version and he needs a copy according to “Hafs” version. So, can he replace his copy of the Qur'an by another from the mosque? We hope that your answer will be detailed and may Allah reward you with good.

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Replacing a copy of the Qur'an by another, similar or better is lawful if the substitution is for a need or a preponderant utility. This is the view of Ahmad and other scholars, it is also the opinion of Ibn Taymiyya, contrarily to Mâlik and As-Shâfi`i. This view is supported by authentic texts, traditions and Qiyâs(1). Among these, what is established in the two Sahîhs (Al-Bukhâri and Muslim) that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said to `Âisha: “O `Âisha! Had your nation not been close to the (time of) unbelief, I would have demolished Ka`ba, and made it at a level with the ground. I would also have made two doors for it, one towards the east and the other towards the west, and added to it six cubits from (the area of) Al-Hijr”(2). Had it not been a preponderant cause that makes the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم rebuild the Ka`ba, he would have done it . Thus, it is permissible to change a Waqf from a certain form to another because of a preponderant utility. Among the traditions supporting this, the act of `Umar and `Uthmân رضي الله عنهما who rebuilt the mosque of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم and made some changes on it.

Hereupon, if the copy which is made a Waqf is no longer profitable or it is neglected in a way that the people of this region prefer the version of “Warsh according to Nâfi`” to that of “Hafs according to `Âssim” as it is the case of people of the Maghreb, or because the copy has ripped papers or is worn out and kept in bookshelves or alike, in this case, it is permissible to replace it with another copy like it or better.

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers, Dhu Al-Hijja 7th, 1417H.
Corresponding to: April 14th, 1997.

(1) Qiyâs: analogical reasoning.

(2) Reported by Muslim, chapter of Hajj (hadith 3308) from the hadith of `Âisha رضي الله عنها.

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