The waqf-endowment strategy of a Mamluk military man: The contexts, motives, and purposes of the endowments of Qijmās al-Ishāqī (d. 1487)

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This study analyses the original waqf documents belonging to Qijmās al-Ishāqī, an amir who lived in late Mamluk Egypt and Syria, from three perspectives: first, the types of assets possessed or endowed by Qijmās and the creation of these assets; second, the contexts and purposes of establishing waqfs by comparing the data obtained from the documents and the life history of Qijmās, which was reconstructed from literary sources; and third, how his personal relationships reflected the character of his waqfs. Further, this study reveals how he selectively and strategically used the waqf system for personal and/or public benefit at different stages of his life and according to the prevalent social circumstances. This case study proves that the waqf system had multi-dimensional and complex functions: in addition to realizing its universal purpose of enabling the performance of charitable deeds, the waqf system fulfilled the founder's particularistic secular intentions and expectations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-53
Number of pages29
JournalBulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1



  • Egypt and Syria
  • Islamic philanthropy
  • Life history
  • Mamluk sultanate
  • Waqf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

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