The Gawhar Shād Waqf Deed Public Works and the Commonweal

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Shivan Mahendrarajah



This article is about the 829/1426 charitable trust deed (waqfiyya) of the Gawhar Shād Mosque and its social and economic implications. The deed was for a public-private trust (waqf-i mushtarak): the private (waqf-i khāṣṣ) aspect advanced Gawhar Shād’s family interests, while the public (waqf-i khayrī) aspect promoted the commonweal (maṣlaḥa), being (1) income for the Shiʿi shrine-complex of Imām Riżā, the Gawhar Shād Mosque, and the Sunni shrine-complex of Aḥmad-i Jām; (2) funding for the maintenance of hydrological systems; (3) increasing agricultural production and employment; and (4) increasing revenues to the Timurid fisc. The Persian text, an annotated translation, and a map of certain endowed blocks are included.

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