West Bengal Auqaf Board consists of elected and nominated members from various categories which are mentioned in the Waqf Act. The West Bengal Auqaf Board came into existence in the year 1936 following the Bengal “Waqf” Act, 1934.
ABOUT WAQF :-
1.1 Waqf – the religious background:-
The word “Waqf” (Arabic: وقف) also known as habous has its origin in the Arabic word “Waqafa” meaning thereby to detain or to hold or tie up. It is said that once second Khalifa Omar acquired a piece of land in Khaibar and asked the prophet Mohammed as how best to make the most pious use of it. The prophet said “Tie up the property and devote the usufruct to the welfare of human beings, and it is not to be sold or made the subject of gift or inheritance , devote its produce to your children , your kindred and the poor and in the way of Allah”.
1.2 Waqf- the legal background:-
During the administration of Mughals in the later stage, Aurangazeb codified the Muslim Laws including the Laws on Waqf through, “Fatawai-E- Alamgiri” which was valid till the period of the Privy Council in the British age.
In India, the Musalman Waqf Validating Act, 1913, the Musalman Waqf Act. 1923 were in vogue in the British period during the Privy Council.
The Bengal Waqf Act, 1934, came into existence and thereafter , the Waqf Act, 1954 (Central Act) was in force except in West Bengal where the Bengal Waqf Act, 1934 was in force till the Promulgation of the Waqf Act, 1995 (Central Act).
1.3 Waqf- what it is ? :-
The Waqf Act 1995 defines the Waqf as the permanent dedication by any person of movable or immovable property for any purpose recognized by the Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable. The properties so dedicated are called Waqf .The person who so dedicates his or her property is known as Waqif and the person who manages such property is known as Mutawalli (manager and administrator).
Waqfs are of three kinds. (i) Waqfullillah i.e. other than waqf-al-al-aulad (i.e. Public Waqf), (ii) Waqf-al-al-aulad (Waqf for children) & (iii) Waqf by user such as Mosque, Madrasah, Dargah, Graveyard, Piroshtan, Idgah etc.
The public waqf is meant for religious and charitable purposes covering the public at large and Waqf-al-al-aulad is a waqf meant for welfare of one’s children/relatives. Waqf by user means where any piece of land or portion of building has been used permanently for any religious or pious purpose example Mosque, Madrasah, etc.
Who is Mutawalli ?
A person who manages the Waqf property is called "Mutawalli". The legal position of Mutawalli is that of the Manager or Superintendent of the Waqf properties.
Mutawallis are again of two categories; appointed and recorded. The Mutawallis recorded as per version of the deed of conveyance, executed by Waqif having specific rule of succession are called recorded ones and in other cases where there is no specific rule of succession or having no waqf deed Mutawalli is appointed by the Board for a certain period.
Who is Waqif or Donor ?
Waqif or Donor means any person making dedication of any movable or immovable property in the name of the Almighty for any purpose recognised by the Muslim Law as pious, religious or charitable. Once a property is dedicated the Donor loses his entire rights and such property can never be alienated, mortgaged or transferred.