Waqf and The Urban Housing Question : a Study on Islamic Land Donations For Housing in Bangkok

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Title: Waqf and The Urban Housing Question : a Study on Islamic Land Donations For Housing in Bangkok
Author: Kahraman, Sefer Faruk
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Sosiaalitieteiden laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för socialvetenskap
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2016
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202007093682
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Yhteiskuntapolitiikka
Social and Public Policy
Abstract: This thesis studies the case of waqf land in the Islamic tradition, investigating waqf land use in Bangkok. This thesis takes the form of a case study involving the Islamic charitable practice known as waqf and its influence on the social issues around land and access to affordable housing in Bangkok, Thailand. The point is to find out how the waqf land use on housing address the urban housing question. Waqf is a permanent dedication of ones property for any charitable purposes. It is a form of charity that generally applies to non-perishable properties such as land and buildings. These properties held in trust are meant to serve the public good as well as the social welfare and the empowerment of the local community. Rent theory is the theoretical framework of this thesis. Fundamentally, rent theory is understood as the social relation between the landlord and the tenant. The main feature of rent theory is that private landownership becomes much more detrimental compared to land ownership in rural land. Simply a title of that land on an urban setting gives the landowner the power and ability to extract extreme rents from the residents who make their lives on the land. This means that rent plays a coordinating role in the development of the built environment. Private land ownership privileges power for landowners in validating and determining land use that would benefit them solely, often at the expense of users. Empirical data is collected by semi-structured interviews with mosque committee members who administer and manage donated waqf lands in four separate cases. The main findings are as follows: waqf lands are being used in four ways: mosque, school, cemetery and housing. Among these, waqf lands are most reserved for the use of housing allocated for the poor community. When a land is endowed, it is to be used for the public benefit of the community under the management of the mosque committee as the trustee. The mosque committee considers and evaluates the best possible use of the land to serve the community. The residents are evaluated and selected based on the urgency of their housing need, prioritizing the homeless, disabled and the orphaned. The mosque committee collects little to no rents from the residents. The rents are well below market rates and the money is used to cover utilities or pooled back in to the community functions. The waqf land cases that are investigated in this thesis prove the importance of social relations and communal values.
Subject: Waqf
land tenure

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