Waqf of Intellectual Property: A Critical Review of Contemporary Literature
Islam teaches that wealth should be circulated in society to minimize the gap among the units (members) of society. “What Allah has bestowed on his Messenger from the people of the township- belongs to Allah- to His Messenger and to kindred and orphans, The needy and the Wayfarer, in order that it may not make a circuit between the wealthy among you” (Al-Quran). To achieve this goal Islam prescribed too many tools e.g. Zakat, Ushr, Fafarat, Waqf etc. to help mankind. That is why Islam is called a welfare based economic system (Ullah, 2016). Waqf is one of the best tools in minimizing poverty level which played a vital role throughout Islamic History. It is a fact that over the entire history of the world and especially in this modern era new cases of mal (property) are being introduced continuously. Copyright is one of these new cases which has been proved to be a property (Usmani,1988). Application of Ahkam (rulings) like sale & purchase of copyright, its gift and Waqf etc. to such assets are very much challengeable. This study tried and proved the legal status of waqf of copyright. The study proved based on collected data that copyright can be made Mauquf (waqf asset) through Urf (practice) by solving the issue of perpetuity of copyright. It is concluded that it's waqf is permissible with condition of registration and urf of its Waqf according to Hanfi school of thought while according to Jumhoor (Majority Jurists) it's Waqf is permissible without condition of urf. Urf means current practice in society is one of the sources in Islamic Jurisprudence used to make new rules and has great importance in developing legal opinion.