Eminent Domain for the Public Interest
11 February، 1988

In the Name of Allāh,

the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

Praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, may the blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the last of prophets, on his family, and all his companions.

Resolution No. 29 (4/4) Eminent Domain for the Public Interest

The Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, holding its 4th session in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 18–23 Jumādā al-Akhira 1408h (6–11 February 1988),

Having examined the research papers submitted to the Academy concerning

Eminent Domain for the Public Interest,

In light of the well established Shariah principle about the sanctity of indi- vidual property, which has become a necessary legal foundation of the religion,

Having considered that preservation of property is one of the five purposes of Shariah which it endeavors to preserve and that it has several references in the Quran and the Sunnah,

Having recalled the conclusive proofs provided by the Sunnah, the practices of the Companions RA and that of subsequent generations, concerning the expropriation of real estate for the sake of public interest; in implementation of the general principles of Shariah which require safeguarding public welfare, regarding general needs as a necessity and sustaining personal damage to avoid public damage,


First: Private property must be protected from any aggression. It is not permissible to narrow the scope of protection or to limit it. The owner is the absolute master of his property. He has full right to exploit it as he wishes, by legitimate means and benefit from all its lawful fruits.

Second: No property should be confiscated for the public interest, except with due respect to the following Shariah conditions:

  1. Expropriation of real estate is done by providing immediate and fair compensation, determined by qualified experts, and such compensation is not less than the market value of a similar property.
  2. The expropriation should be carried out by the public authority or its representative in this field.
  1. Expropriation is made for public interest, in response to public need, such as building mosques, roads or bridges.
  2. The expropriated real estate shall not be exploited for private or public investment projects and expropriation should not be carried out prior to its justifiable time.

If all or some of these conditions are violated, the expropriation of real es- tate will be regarded as an act of injustice and seizure prohibited by Allāh the Almighty and His Prophet SAW.

If the property subject to expropriation for public interest is no more needed for that purpose, the original owner of the property or his heirs have a pre-emp- tion right to repurchase it for a fair compensation.

Indeed, Allāh is All-Knowing.
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