Muslim mortmain of land or property for religious, educational, or charitable use.
Hamas believes the land of "Palestine" is an Islamic waqf - territory once ruled by Muslims that must never be relinquished.
Zvi Heifetz, The Guardian, 5 April 5 2006. Guardian
Universities in the Muslim world are often less well-endowed than in the west. "Historically they have received waqf (Islamic charity) funding but many of these funds have been abolished over the years," Mr Sherif said.
Brian Whitaker, The Guardian, 27 March 2004. Guardian
A practice in Islamic history that has been traced back to the practice of Prophet Muhammad, creation of the charitable trust, or waqf (plural: awqaf), serves as another means of implementing Islamic socio-economic principles through the productive transfer of private wealth or idle state property to the public domain (Kahf 1995; Wilson 1995; Ali1989). Awqaf may include real estate, livestock, machinery, shares and stocks, or, according to some views, cash (Kahf 1995; McChesney 1995).
Andrzej Bolesta, Forced Migration and the Contemporary World - Challenges to the International System. (Unesco document)
The ownership claim comes from the Sunni Waqf Board, a Muslim trust. The Waqf claims it has a legal title to the Taj because the Indian government granted it ownership of all Muslim tombs and graveyards in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the Taj is located.
Following an uproar over the sale of prime Waqf property in the posh Malabar Hill locality of Mumbai, the Maharashtra government has declared the sale as illegal and ordered the Maharashtra Waqf Board to take possession of the property.
Shahid Raza Burney, Arab News, 5 July 2007. Arab News