Benefactresses of Waqf and Good Deeds
Type
journal article
Year
2017
Benevolent women from different cultures and different periods of the Ottoman Empire established waqfs (charitable endowments) in order to help the needy, sick, and unfortunate. In addition to the respect the women earned from society, waqfs gave women legal support and protection for their property, and allowed them to manage and benefit from their property while they were alive and to pass it on to designated heirs. On the other hand, shari'a law and local traditions defined the areas of action for women concerning property rights and personal status, which brought a gender dimension to philanthropy. Women in philanthropy were not singled out for pressure; rather culture and law itself were gendered. 
This article focuses on women's practices of charitable endowment in Ottoman Jerusalem during the eighteenth century to examine waqf practices in a context of discrimination against women in male-dominated society and society's control mechanisms. To do so, it draws on endowment deeds (waqfiyyas) recorded in the registry (sijill) of the shariʻa court of Jerusalem and the decisions (ahkam) recorded among the Damascus ahkam registers. The first part of the article will discuss women's ability to establish waqfs in terms of Islamic law and traditions, and to serve as these waqfs' managers, foundation officers, and beneficiaries. The second part deals with women establishing waqfs in Jerusalem during this period. Lastly, women as administrators (mutawallis) of waqfs in Jerusalem will be examined in relation to their endowment deeds, concluding with an assessment of the role of shari'a law and local tradition in shaping Jerusalem women's practices of endowment.

Citation
Memis, Serife Eroglu. "Benefactresses of Waqf and Good Deeds Charitable Women in Ottoman Jerusalem, 1703–1831." Jerusalem Quarterly 2017, no. 72 (Winter 2017): 48-57. http://www.palestine-studies.org/sites/default/files/jq-articles/Pages from JQ 72 - Memis.pdf.
Authorities
Collections
Copyright
Şerife Eroğlu Memiş/The Journal of Palestinian Studies
Language
English
Keywords
waqf