Whereas on November 9th 1920 a Conference of the Muftis, Ulema and Moslem Notables was summoned for the consideration of questions relating to the control of the Moslem Religious Courts and the administration of Moslem Wakfs; and the Conference appointed a committee in consultation with which a Regulation was drawn up which was approved by the High Commissioner on the 12th of March 1921 and published in the Official Gazette of May 15th 1921;
And Whereas subsequently certain modifications were proposed to the said Regulation and an Assembly of Moslem representatives was elected and appointed a general Committee to draw up a fresh Regulation for the constitution of a Supreme Moslem Sharia Council and for the administration of Moslem Wakfs and Sharia affairs;
And Whereas the said Committee have approved the Regulation attached hereto;
Now I, the Right Honorable Sir Herbert Louis Samuel, Member of His Majesty’s Privy Council, in virtue of the powers conferred upon me as His Britannic Majesty’s High Commissioner for Palestine hereby enact the said Regulation attached hereto and declare that it shall be in force as from the date of this Order and shall be substituted for the Regulation published in the Official Gazette of May 15th 1921.
December 20th, 1921
Supreme Moslem Sharia Council
Art. 1. A Moslem Body shall be constituted for the control and management of the Moslem Awkaf and Affairs in Palestine to be known as the Supreme Moslem Sharia Council, having its Headquarters in Jerusalem.
Art. 2. The Council shall consist of a President to be known as Rais Ulema and 4 members. Of the four members, two shall represent the Liwa of Jerusalem and the remaining two shall represent the Liwa of Nablus and Acre respectively.
The Rais el Ulema shall be the permanent President of the Council. The members shall be elected for a period of four years.
Art. 3. No person receiving a salary shall be a member of the Council (other than a Mudarris or a Mouallem of a High School).
Art. 4. The Rais el Ulema shall be elected by General election the method of which shall be prescribed by the Council in a special law that shall also lay down his functions, status and precedence.
Art. 5. Each member of the Council shall be elected by the secondary electors elected by the inhabitants of the Liwa, which the member is to represent in accordance with the Ottoman Law of Election to the Chamber of Deputies, provided that in that Law the “Municipal Council” shall be substituted for the “Administrative Council”.
Art. 6. The Rais el Ulema shall in the present circumstances be elected by the General Committee elected by the secondary electors who were asked by His Excellency the High Commissioner to attend the meeting held at Government House on the 24th August, 1921.
Each of the members of the Council shall for this time be elected by those members of the said Committee called to the said meeting on the 24th of August, 1921, who represent the Liwa from which a member is to be elected. The members so elected shall present their Mazbatas of election to the President of the Council.
Art. 7. The Rais el Ulema and members of the Council shall receive salaries from the Government in consideration of their services in connection with the affairs of Sharia Courts and they shall also receive allowances from Wakf Funds for their work in other Moslem affairs.
(1) The duties of the Council shall be:
(a) To administer and control Moslem Awkaf and to consider and approve the annual Awkaf Budget, and after the approval to transmit theBudget to the Government for information.
(b) To nominate for the approval of the Government and after such appeal to appoint Kadis of the Sharia Courts, the President and members of the Sharia Court of Approval, and the Inspectors of Sharia Courts. If the Government withholds its approval it shall signify to the Council within 15 days the reasons therefor.
(c) To appoint Muftis from among the three candidates to be elected by the Special Electoral College in accordance with a special regulation to be passed by the Council provided always that the election of Muftis in Beersheba District shall be made by the Sheikhs of the Tribes.
(d) To appoint the Director and Mamours of Awkaf and all Sharia officials.
(e) To control the General Wakf Committee and all other committees and Wakf Administration.
(f) To dismiss all Wakf and Sharia officials and all officials employed in any Moslem Institutions maintained from Wakf Funds. When any official is dismissed notice thereof shall be sent to the Government with the reasons for dismissal.
(g) To inquire into all Moslem Awkaf and to produce proof and evidence establishing the claim to these Awkaf with a view to having such returned to them.
The Council shall enforce the conditions of the dedicator in regard to the manner in which the revenues of such Awkaf should be expended.
(2) The Sharia Courts shall not take any action affecting Awkaf of the nature of Hikr, Ijaratain, and Istibdal, expect with the unanimous consent of the Council.
(3) The Council shall publish an annual report on its works together with a statement of its accounts, in a special publication.
(4) The Council, if they think fit, may modify or amend or supplement any instructions relating to the administration of Awkaf or publish new instructions relating thereto. Such instructions shall be submitted to the Government for information.
If, however, a law or regulation is to be amended or supplemented the Council shall submit the same to the electoral college, and an absolute majority must be obtained for passing the proposal, provided that no amendment to the provisions hereof shall be made unless it be passed by a majority of two-thirds of the electoral college and approved by the Government.
Art. 9. The Moslem Community has the right to supervise the actions of the Council through the Electoral College. Should the Council do anything that calls for enquiry, one-third of the electoral college may, on their own motion or in consequence of a complaint, call, through the President of the Council, a meeting of a whole college. Should two-thirds of the members present of the college deem the dismissal of a member of the Council to be necessary, a successor shall be elected in accordance with the provisions hereof and his name shall be submitted to the Council so that he may take up his duties. The member so elected shall remain in office for the unexpired term of his predecessor.
Art. 10. A General Wakf Committee shal be established and shall consist of the following members: - The Mufti of Jerusalem, who shall act as Chairman; the Director General of Awkaf; all Mamours of Awkaf. It shall also include one member of each local Wakf Committee.
Art. 11. This Committee shall prepare the annual Budget of Awkaf and shall submit it to the Council.
Art. 12. The General Wakf Committee shall meet when required to do so by the Council in addition to the meeting for the purpose of the preparation of the Budget.
Art. 13. Local Wakf Committees shall be constituted in such Kazas and Nahias that have Wakf as the Council may declare. A local Wakf Committee shall consist of the Mufti, where such an appointment exists, or, in the absence of such an appointment, the Eldest of the Ulema, the Mamour of Awkaf and two Moslem notables, who shall not be in receipt of a salary from Awkaf Funds who shall be elected for a period of two years in the following manner, that is to say by the Mufti and the Moslem members of the Municipal Council or Councils, in Markazes and Nahias attached to the district or sub-district where there is a Governor or sub-Governor, and the Moslem members of the electoral college of the area concerned, provided always that in Beersheba District the two notables shall be elected by the Sheikhs of the Beersheba Tribes.
Art. 14. The functions of the Local Committees shall be those specified in the Ottoman special law dated 11th June, 1320, No. 53973 General, No. 32 Special.
The Committees shall also replace the Administrative Council referred to in that law.
The local Committees shall further have power to appoint, dismiss and punish Awkaf clerks, Mamours of collection and accountants, subject to the approval of the Council.
Art. 15. The Mutewallis shall administer Mulhaka Wakfs in accordance with existing laws, and they shall be under the orders of the Wak Administration and shall submit their accounts annually to the local Committees for examination.
(1) The Government having undertaken to help the Moslem Community in its financial matters, the collection of Wakf Tithes shall be left to the Government who shall retain the fees for collection as hitherto.
(2) Mudarriseen of the Moslem religion are of two categories:-
(i) such as are appointed by the Wakf Administration drawing their salaries from Wakf Funds,
(ii) Mudarriseen who draw their from the Government.
The Government of Palestine following the practice of the Ottoman Government shall continue to pay Mudarriseen of the second category now holding positions the salaries they were drawing before the British Occupation. When the present Mudarriseen have retired the Government shall not appoint successors: Every new Mudarris appointed by the Awkaf Administration shall be considered one of its officials and shall be paid out of Wakf Funds.
20th, December, 1921