Manuscript No. (13): Abdullah Bin Saif Al-Ateeqi’s Will and Masjid Al-Souk Endowments in Kuwait
A document from the Adasani family issued in Kuwait that includes Abdullah Bin Saif Al-Ateeqi (Atiqi)’s will as well as a statement of authorization he granted to his son, Muhammad.
A deed confirming the authenticity of both the will and the statement of authorization in the handwriting of Judge Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al-Adasani, saying: “It has been confirmed as stated before me. –[Allah’s] mortal servant, Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al-Adasani.”
The stamp of the judge who authenticated the endowment, Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al-Adasani;
The stamp of the registry of the local Awqaf Authority dated 11/2/70 – No. 162.
3 Rabi’ Al-Thani 1301 AH (January 31, 1884 AD)
This manuscript confirms the existence of several endowments and properties belonging to the Al-Ateeqi family that were under the care of Abdullah Bin Saif Bin Hamad Bin Saif Al-Ateeqi, including the following:
1. An endowment belonging to “Al-Hajj Saif,” as he was called. This was a shop that had been endowed to Al-Hajj Saif for the purpose of serving dinners and performing the ritual sacrifice of animals on Eid Al-Adha. The endowment is located south of “Dukan Hazim” (another shop) and lies on a corner in the long market in the center of Old Kuwait, with roads to both the southern and eastern sides of the shop.
We believe that Al-Hajj Saif could be Saif Bin Muhammad Al-Ateeqi, as this is how his name appeared in an estate distribution document belonging to the late Saif Bin Al-Hajj Saif Bin Muhammad Al-Ateeqi. This document was written in the hand of Muhammad Bin Abdullah Bin Faris, and dated 1298 AH (1876 AD). More than one document mentions Saif Bin Al-Hajj Saif, thus confirming his name. Also, the shop endowment belonging to Saif Bin Hamad Al-Ateeqi was not the same shop. The location of that shop was in Souk Al-Tujar, as indicated in a manuscript dated in 1341 and written in the hand of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalid Al-Adasani, a former head-judge of Kuwait. Another possibility is that Al-Haj Saif could be Saif bin Abdullah bin Saif, whose name also appears in some documents. If this would be the case, then he would be the maternal grandfather of Aishah, wife of Abdullah bin Saif of this deed, from her mother: Luluwa bint Saif.
2. A shop near Masjid Al-Souk, centered between the mosque and the road. The shop faces north and is an endowment in which Muhammad (the brother of Abdullah, whose will is mentioned above) and Abdel-Rahman Bin Sheikh Saleh Al-Ateeqi both participated.
Abdel-Rahman Bin Sheikh Saleh Al-Ateeqi was the father of Munira Al-Ateeqi, the owner of the famous endowment in Makkah Al-Mukarramah known as “Ribat Kuwait.”
3. Another shop near Masjid Al-Souk, also centered between the mosque and the road, next to the other shop on the eastern side. The door of this shop faces east and is an endowment established by Abdul-Latif Bin Abdullah Bin Sheikh Saleh Al-Ateeqi.
Abdul-Latif Al-Ateeqi was the famous merchant known for his charitable activities, including feeding the poor during the Great Gulf Famine known as “Al-Hailak” (Utter Destruction), which took place between the years 1285-1288 AH (1868-1871 AD), and resulted in many people emigrating from Persia to Kuwait. During this period, Kuwait’s most charitable citizens, including Yusuf Al-Badr, Yusuf Al-Sabeeh, Abdul-Latif Al-Ateeqi, Salem Bin Sultan, the Ma’refi family, the Bin Ibrahim family, and others (1), provided meals to the needy.
4. Other homes and shops owned by Abdullah, over which he granted authorization to his son Muhammad. The locations of these endowments were not specified, but the most well-known among them was their home (known as “Bayt Al-‘Awd”) in the Al-Ateeqi district, near the present-day school known as Al-Mubarakia.
As you can see, this rare manuscript shows the importance of Masjid Al-Souk to the Al-Ateeqi family in Kuwait, as Sheikh Saleh’s son, grandson, and nephew owning property and establishing endowments around Masjid Al-Souk in order to feed the mosque-goers certainly has great significance. We should also not forget that this mosque was established by Muhammad Bin Hussein Bin Rizq Al-Najdi, who lived in Harmah before he emigrated from Kuwait to Al-Ahsa in the year 1188 AH (1774 AD).
At the start of the following year, Sheikh Saif Bin Hamad Al-Ateeqi, who was the imam of Al-Sulaimiya Mosque in Harmah, went to Kuwait and is known to have settled close to Masjid Al-Souk and led the people there in prayer. The mosque is close to the area known as the Al-Ateeqi District or Neighborhood. Later, the area was called Al-Ateeqi Street and is currently known as Al-Mubarakia Street. Saleh Bin Saif Al-Ateeqi was a friend of Ahmed Bin Muhammad Bin Rizq Ibn Al-Awwal, the famous merchant whose wealth was so abundant that he established cities and towns. Sheikh Saleh was the imam and preacher of Masjid Al-Zubara, a mosque in Qatar built by his friend, Ibn Rizq.
This manuscript and others also indicates that Abdullah Bin Saif Bin Hamad Bin Saif was the trustee responsible for the above-mentioned endowments. When he later became old and began to feel that death was imminent, he appointed his son, Muhammad Bin Abdullah Bin Saif, to take over his duties so that the endowments would not be lost or neglected. This favorable arrangement allowed people to continue benefitting from the endowments. This new trustee, too, was a charitable individual in his own right, as in the year 1309 AH (1892 AD), he is the one who built his famous mosque called Al-Matran due to its presence in a district associated with the tribe of Al-Matran in Al-Murqab. We would also point out this family’s continuous disposition towards charitable deeds, as Muhammad’s son, Abdullah, also endowed many homes to his father’s mosque, as indicated in legal documents we reviewed.
Written by: Dr. Imad Muhammad Al-Ateeqi
Updated in Thu Al-Qiidah 1441 – June 2020 AD
(1) Yusuf Bin Esa Al-Qina’i “Safhat min Tarikh Al-Kuwait” (multiple printings).