Al-’ard al-mawat

Dictionary term

Definition of "Al-’ard al-mawat"

Those lands located away from habitation whose owners are not traceable or the lands, which were never occupied by anybody. Such lands become property of the person who develops and tills them. Al-mawat do not include: (i) the common lands of a community, such as meadows, woods, fuel, etc.; (ii) the lands having known deposits of minerals such as salt, coaltar and petroleum and are required by the people at large; and (iii) the lands declared as state pastures (hima). According to some jurists, for avoiding disputes, the person developing and possessing such lands must obtain permission from the state.

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