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Begging and almsgiving in Ghana: Muslim positions towards poverty and distress
The Nordic Africa Institute.
2007 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The vast majority of Muslims in Africa generally do not 'objectify' concepts such as poverty and religion in discussion. Poverty is a situation for 'ordinary' poor people in rural or urban poor areas where people seek to make marginal gains in income to avoid ever-threatening destitution and social disintegration. Most of these 'ordinary' poor people, especially poor and illiterate women, do not really believe that things can change. There exists, however, in all Muslim societies and communities in Africa a minority that criticize social and political conditions in society with the stated aim of striving for an Islamic solution to poverty and injustice. The common denominator for this group is that they are urban educated Muslims, having both a traditional educational background and, usually but not always, a modern, secular one, too. For them, the concept of poverty more readily forms part of a religious discourse involving feasible strategies for change. Their basic idea is to highlight the possibilities of generating new forms of financial resources by combining Islamic ethics and norms with a modern development-oriented outlook. Their vision is the usability of obligatory almsgiving in a modern context, namely that, instead of the traditional individual-centred 'person-to-person' charities, zakāt or obligatory almsgiving should be directed to become the source of communal and collective societal improvement. This study focuses on the conditions of poverty and the debate among Muslims in Ghana, a West African country with a substantial but largely economically and politically marginalized Muslim population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet , 2007. , 175 p.
Series
Research report, ISSN 1104-8425 ; 133
Keyword [en]
Muslims, Islam, Economic conditions, Marginality, Poverty alleviation, Social welfare, Social security, Political islam, Ghana
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-142ISBN: 978-91-7106-598-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nai-142DiVA: diva2:240664
Note
CONTENTS -- I.Introduction -- Almsgiving within the ‘Muslim sphere’ -- Social capital and wealth -- Muslim positions towards poverty alleviation -- Investigating the ‘Muslim sphere’ in Ghana: sources and previous research -- II. Islam and Muslims in Contemporary Ghana -- Accommodation or rejection? -- Muslim political activity from the colonial to the present period -- Contested loyalties: Muslims, the civil society and the secular state -- Undercounting the Muslims? The census debate of 2002 -- Increased manifestation of Muslim presence in Ghana -- III. Poverty, violence and the Muslim community -- Poverty in Northern Ghana -- Beggars and Poor People in Tamale -- IV. Economic and societal marginalization of Muslims – imagined and real -- 'Muslim beggars’ and ’poor Northerners’: the view from the South -- Declaring begging to be illegal -- ‘Ordinary peoples’ perceptions: Lazy people making money out of begging -- The beggar’s voice -- Muslim voices: break the circle of poverty through modern education -- V. The expansion and activities of Muslim NGOs in Ghana -- VI. To reinterpret zakât or not? -- Zakât and Poverty Alleviation: Voluntary or Organized? -- Zakât institutionalized: A local, regional or national Zakat fund? -- Assistance to the poor, hospitality towards strangers -- Almsgiving in a global age -- VII. Concluding reflectionsAvailable from: 2009-09-29 Created: 2009-09-29 Last updated: 2009-09-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • ieee
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More styles
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