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Tuesday 05 March 2024  
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Retracting Endowments

A man donated a very large piece of land when he was in good health in order that it be made into a graveyard. No one has been buried in it as yet. The person who donated the land has been retired since the year 1386 A.H. and he has no land other than this, except a house for him and his family. Is it permissible for him to go back on it, or a part of it, or not?

It is not permissible to go back on (the promise of) land which he donated, nor a part of it, because it ceased to be the property of the donor once it was given as an endowment, it may only be utilised for the purpose for which it was given. So if it was needed for the purpose of burials in that area (then it must be used so), and if not, it must be sold and its price used to buy a graveyard in another area. It should not be disposed of without a Judge knowing about the area in which the piece of land endowed lies. And the weakening of your (financial) situation following retirement does not allow you to take back an endowment; and Allah, Most Glorified, Most High will reward you and recompense you with goodness for what you have spent. And may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
Fatawa Islamiyah, volume 5 / page 43-44
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