البرمجيات الحُرة والمفتوحة المصدر

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

"Waqf" General Public License

This is the informal English translation of Waqf General Public License. Anything but the Arabic version of the license has no value except for convenience of our English speaking users. When we talk about the License we refer to the Arabic version, which is the only one we officially offer, we will try our best to make other translation as accurate as possible but because of the nature of human languages we use one single reference language.


Publishing any intellectual work (including but not limited to books and Computer Software) is not done by selling even if it appeared to be so, but it's about getting an implied license that has no enforcement without the concept of intellectual property granted by man-made laws which was acquired as they claim to promote the publication of science and the useful arts. The concept of the so called “intellectual property” is centered around giving ownership to the first one who register the work (called owner or copyright holder and we will refer to him/her/it as holder) then the holder practice his rights on the work in it's intangible form on any media it's carried, and thus using the intellectual work without explicit prior permission is according to them ethically equivalent to hijacking ships or “piracy” as they call it. This permission is called License and it's aimed to give the holder (usually the publisher) an advantage in the market against other publishers through monopoly on providing that work by imposing restrictions on the users not the publishers. Such works are called “Proprietary”.

We see that such agreements (proprietary licenses) are evil, but we also acknowledge that making an agreement with a prior intention to violate it is another immoral evil 1). We don't solve problems with problems, we offer an alternative.

We have a different vision, we offer our work (like computer software) to please Allah, and this is the pillar of this license which distinguish it from proprietary licenses. Any other intention (like spreading knowledge or getting profits) should be accomplished in ways that does not go against our primary moral aim.

According to our beliefs (which we don't enforce on any one, and you may or may not share it with us) that Islam certainly forbids monopoly and concealing knowledge in general, and this comes from:

  • The sound Hadith (saying of prophet Muhammad PBUH): “Who conceal any type of knowledge will be bridle with a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection.” 2)
  • Islamic Jurisprudence has specified what can be owned, and the rules does not apply to ideas as it's not a bounded tangible object and almost all the terms of proprietary agreements fall in ruling of forbidden Gharar3) (a kind of fraud that use uncertainty to fool the customers) as we see in Imam Muslim Sahih description of that term {and below that term we classify so many actions like selling negligible objects or unknowns or what can't be delivered or things that are not fully owned by the seller} and such view is also shared by the four major scholars.
  • The laws of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) have been perfected in the good centuries and no new rulings are allowed to be brought except for newly discovered things and this does not apply ideas as they did exist in the past centuries and Muslims massively spread them without owning them. FYI: Almost all the Islamic literature is freely available on the internet.
  • Concealing useful knowledge from those who need it impose damage to people for temporal gains to few individuals. This can not be justified by Shari'a (Islamic Law), it's only justified by individualist capitalism 4)
  • Even bringing interests to software publishers is not a valid excuse because there are some companies produce and publish software without owning them (proprietary software) and yet they gain profits.
  • the so call “Intellectual Proprietary” is all about giving owners the right to forbid what Allah had made lawful to gain money, not by providing service nor goods.
  • The uncertainty and intangible nature of the claimed owned product is the source of “protection money collecting” where some company threaten some smaller company by copyright infringement lawsuit on some purposely ambiguous product which the later can't afford so they go safe and pay.

If the good intentions made excuses to introduce “intellectual proprietary” by the Machiavellists who wrote the American constitution as an acquired right (at least they admit it's not a natural right), they serve their own way of life which is not international. We don't take that. We have our own high moral standards. We introduce Waqf General Public License to place it among the anti-copyright licenses. This license is designed to grant rights to users not to restrict them, it's uses the concept of copyleft/copy-wrong as opposed to the concept of copyright.

Computer software, Medicine formula or even poems are considered to be intellectual works and thus can be covered by “Waqf”. An intellectual work is any useful idea that can be delivered or utilized by people. “Waqf” is not meant for ideas in general, but for intellectual work which is beneficial to people if published. As we support protecting privacy for example one shouldn't publish names of his customers, bid prices, government military or political secrets because those are not intellectual works.

We should clarify two things:

  • First: The favor and ethical rights of the holder are preserved and acknowledged
  • Second: original author and any other party (if they have the intention and the ability) have the right to get fees on enhancing the work or developing it or to provide paid services or paid courses …etc. but not the work in its intangible form. There is not contradiction between getting fees on services because what is covered by “Waqf” is the source form of the work not the media nor the service (the same way one can take fees on shipping fruits for a charitable Waqf fruit field or make juice)


The following terms would have the corresponding meanings in this license

  • The intellectual work (or The work for short): is any useful intangible intellectual product that can be passed on to others or replicated at no cost imposed on the original author or the one who pass it on before.
  • The holder: is the creative author or the party which carried the process of developing the work and make it available (and the one who holds the copyrights on the product before the governmental offices).
  • the licensee or the user: any one or party who uses the work (runs, copies, modifies or otherwise takes benefits provided by the work).
  • The license: this agreement (the Arabic version of “Waqf”) between the two parties (the holder and the user) covering the usage of the second party on the work provided by the first party. The usage of the product is with accordance to the terms of this license. And because of the intangible nature of the work, this agreement applies by using the product (in any way) without signing the agreement. One do not accept the terms looses the rights given by this license and his/her usage of the work is considered illegal and will be sued.

The Terms

Waqf General Public license (or “Waqf” for short) covers intellectual works (including but not limited to Software and paper publications, scientific theses, art works) and have many common features with FLOSS licenses. Waqf is distinguished with its moral intentions behind the work and usage limits.

As the name suggests, with “Waqf” 5) the holder announce his/her work was produced and made available to the public for the sake of Allah aimed to please Allah by providing people with useful works. It's a form of “Sadaqa Jariah” 6).

“Waqf” gives users (regardless of their nationality, color, race, religion) the right to benefit from the work with running, copying, redistribution, or even develop and only with according to the following

  • First - Usage :

The user may use the work for any good purpose and he may not use it to harm others or violate the permissive principles of Islam 7). Notice that any work that is most likely harmful can't be put under Waqf in the first place.

  • Second - Redistribution :

The user have the right to redistribute the unmodified work in any quantity to any third party under the terms of this license, acknowledging the favor and ethical rights of the holder to the third party.

  • Third - Modifications :

The user has the right to get the source form of the work and make modifications enhancing or adopting to the user's needs to the limits given by this license.

  • Fourth - Redistribute modifications:

The user can redistribute modifications only under this license provided that he points to previous original work (the unmodified work) and its author and the nature of modification clearly to the third party to whom the modified work is presented in a way that no one may reasonably get confused between it and the original unmodified work of the previous author.

  • Fourth - Disclaimer of responsibility :

The holder does not take any legal nor moral direct or indirect responsibility nor liability on the good or bad usage or damages caused by the work to the farthest level allowed by the law. THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED AS IS AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED BY THE HOLDER.

The entire responsibility is on the user and the only warranty given to him is the source of the work.


Applying Waqf public license help to spread the awareness of dangers caused by intellectual property. And provide people with a legal alternative even though we don't believe on the validity of such man made laws.

This is an authentic sound/Sahih as it's narrated by Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawood, AlTirmithi and Ibn Majah. Refer to “Hoisting the Lighthouse : A synopsis of the Various narrations of the Hadith: Whoever conceals knowledge, Allah will bridle him with a bridle of fire” or in Arabic “رفع المنار بطرق حديث من كتم علماً ألجمه الله بلجام من نار”.
Some information about Ghrar is available at http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gharar.asp
Although Islamic economy is a kind of liberal capitalism economy but it's regulated with so many moral rulings that guarantee social justice
The name Waqf means to prevent the source or assets from being consumed while giving away for charity the proceeds.
Sadaqa Jariah means sustainable charity which is a kind of charity that continue to be beneficial to people even after the death of the one who give it like giving the fruits of a field but not the field, more over prophet Muhammad PBUH specifically named useful knowledge as a form of that kind of charity.
Some scholars use the term Maqasid Alsharia and summarize them by saying that it aims to protect people rights in religion, lives, sanity, breed, and properties.


kamel derouiche, 2009/05/24 00:51

Allah ou Akabar, Baraka allah fik ya Mon frere

هشام هواري, 2009/11/14 21:21

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله تعالى و بركاته،

Before trying to submit hijra, I exposed this license to #fedora-devel on irc, and it was seen as being non-free, the reason is this excerpt : “The user may use the work for any good purpose and he may not use it to harm others or violate the permissive principles of Islam 7). Notice that any work that is most likely harmful can't be put under Waqf in the first place” The definition of “good” must be clear.

I hope that you will take that into consideration.

في أمان الله

و السلام عليكم و رحمة الله تعالى و بركاته

مؤيد السعدي, 2009/11/15 17:52

بالناقص! مستودعاتنا موجودة. نحن لا نهتم بتعديل الرخصة لتلائمهم. الشيء الوحد الذي يدفعني لتعديلها هو أن نجد ما يخالف مفهوم الوقف في الدين أو من أجل تحسينها.

zakki, 2010/12/23 04:01


I was surprised when i read this word in your license page “Waqf License ”. It is like why i never thought about it. Because since beginning i have been fed up with open source term. I wish all moslem developer adapt this license. Regarding objection from fedora-devel i think, you can come to a lawyer for fixing some word to make it accepted in the 'free' ter

Abdellah Chelli, 2011/09/22 08:11

Assalamu 3alykom,

1st Thank you for this work, some thing in hand is not =ZERO

I have some POINT's OF VIEW, Because I'm not a lawyer, but I would like to discuss them:

  1. I read the Arabic version in first time, the license mentions Islam as condition in its first term. I go to English copy same thing just there an addition of footnote (#7). However in my thinking, Islam is a huge thing and it is not well defined for all users. So if there no other legal document (As reference) that define & summarize Islam as very clear & well defined simple rules that users can follow them. I think those rules should be added to Waqf license.
  2. Is there any lawyer who reviewed this? FSF was build with many lawyers supporting FOSS with licenses (applicable in USA, EU, ..). So if someone breaks the Waqf license, could I raise a lawsuit and where?


Abdellah Chelli, 2011/09/22 08:39
  • Another thing comes to my mind (Wakf is not compatible with GPL) as

Waqf=Islamic use only

GPL=Islamic plus non_Islamic use

So no Waqf licensed software could be extended to GPL license

and no GPL licensed software could be limited to Waqf license

Then I could not modify a software and release it using the other license neither I could copy some code lines released under one license to the other one.

Kind Regards, Salam

إدخال التعليق من هنا:
waqf/license.txt · آخر تعديل: 2015/04/23 03:21 (تحرير خارجي)