A Shariah Analysis of Ownership and the Concept of Trusts

This short treatise analyses the concept of ownership in Shariah and considers the concept of a trust under Shariah. Ownership is described as a relationship between a legal person (human or non-human), the corporeal entity of the property and its benefits. The paper expounds on the different types of ownership recognised in Islamic law with examples and proofs for each. Ownership can be complete or incomplete depending on how many elements of ownership one possesses. Islamic law also recognises the concept of splitting the elements of ownership as practiced today in trusts. It is concluded that the concept of a trust is valid under Shariah and that the Shariah compliance of a trust depends on the objectives of the trust and the terms of the trust deed.

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A Shariah Analysis of Ownership and the Concept of Trusts


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