Ownership and Operation of Oil and Gas Resources in Place in Islamic Jurisprudence

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Abstract

The discussion about possession of oil and gas resources in Islamic jurisprudence may be inquired along with ownership of mines. It is deduced from total votes of the jurists about possession of mines that there are various comments in this regard whether such a possession is apparent and/ or latent and it will differ if it is assumed as public properties or joint ownerships so these are concerned with ‘Anfal’ and ‘public ownerships. Unlike the well-known impression, through inference from the current criteria for classification of mines in Islamic jurisprudence, oil and gas are deemed as latent mines in terms of change in their substance and application of the subject at present time. The jurisprudential system of exploitation from oil and gas mines will be different whether they are considered as public properties or the joint ownerships. With respect to the interpretation from concept of possession in public properties, such a difference will be further downplayed in this investigation. The mines will be included in administrative possession of Islamic ruler whether they are assumed as public properties or the joint ownerships. And the Islamic ruler may also delegate the mines as copyhold to the competent entities within the framework of the stipulated systems and regulations based on public expediency and interest. Of course, copyhold of mines is employed for permission for use and not for possession. The copyhold of oil and gas mines is maximally beneficent for appropriation in exploitation within definite period of time with possible request for returning them in the case of non- exploitation.

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