Masters, their freed slaves, and the waqf in Egypt (eighteenth-twentieth centuries)

Ron Shaham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The study seeks to clarify - on the basis of shari'a court decisions - the exact forms in which freed slaves benefited from waqfs founded by their former masters. The essay also analyses the ways in which gender and color of the freed slave affected his or her entitlement, and the ways in which freed slaves functioned as administrators of waqfs established by their former masters. The main finding of the study is that most of the founders, who were members of the Ottoman-Egyptian elite, were childless. For most of the founders, therefore, there was no real dilemma in deciding how to divide the usufruct of their waqfs among their children and their freed slaves. It was clear to them that, subsequent to their death, their freed slaves would be the sole beneficiaries of their waqfs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)162-188
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2000


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