wakf - the Religious Background :
The word "wakf" has its origin in the Arabic word "Waqufa" meaning to detain or to hold or tie up. It is said that once second Khalifa Omar acquired a piece of land in Khaibar and asked the prophet Mohammed as how best to make the most pious use of it. The Prophet said "Tie up the property and devote the usufruct to the welfare of human beings, and it is not to be sold or made the subject of gift or inheritance, devote its produce to your children, your kindred and the poor and in the way of Allah".
wakf- the Legal Background :
During the administration of the Mughals in the later stage, Aurangazeb codified the Muslim Laws including the Laws on wakf through, "Fatwai-E- Alamgir" which was valid till the period of the Privy Council in the British age.
In India, the Musalman wakf Validating Act., 1913, the Musalman wakf Act.. 1923 were in parlance in the British period during the Privy Council.
The Bengal wakf Act., 1934, came into existence and thereafter, the Central wakf Act. ,1954 was enAct.ed except in West Bengal where the Bengal wakf Act., 1934 was in force till the promulgation of the Central wakf Act., 1995.