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Abstract

Over the past fifty years, the corporate waqf has emerged in Turkey, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. Corporate waqf hybridizes the Islamic trust (the waqf) and the modern Western corporation to create a charitable endowment whose asset base consists of shares in a company. The corporate waqf has gone virtually unnoticed in Western scholarship, and, until now, comprehensive theorization and mainstreamed models of the corporate waqf have not been developed. Such an effort would benefit from comparative reference to the foundation-owned firms of Northern Europe, which have attracted scholarly attention in the past decade due to their favorable economic performance and apparent contravention of mainstream agency theory. An account of the structure and features of the corporate waqf can contribute to this growing literature and offer the beginnings of institutional knowledge transfer between regions with differing cultural, legal, political, and economic contexts. This article offers the beginnings of such a venture, by introducing the corporate waqf to Western legal academia and outlining its main features.

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