Might the Trust, a Creature of English Equity, Actually be a Variant of the Waqf, an Ancient Islamic Legal Construct?


The English trust is a unique legal device whose origin has been the source of much debate among legal scholars. There are three theories concerning the origin of the English trust: the Roman, Germanic, and Islamic. Until the nineteenth century, it was believed the trust was modeled on the Roman fideicommissum. By the nineteenth century, the accepted theory was that the trust was modeled on the Salic law of the Salmannus. The latest theory is that the trust is based on the Islamic waqf. Charles E. Rounds, Jr. elaborates in Section 8.37 of Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook (2012), which section is reproduced below.

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Charles E. Rounds, Jr.
Suffolk University Law School

Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School. Tenure granted: 1990. Author: Loring and... View Profile »

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