Zakat and its Socio-Economic Merits: A Holistic View towards Eradication of Poverty

Zakat and its Socio-Economic Merits: A Holistic View towards Eradication of Poverty

Mohammed Abdul Karim Al-Banna (Heriot Watt University, UK) and Ian Michael (Zayed University, UAE)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8139-2.ch013
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Abstract

The chapter investigates the role Zakat (alms giving) in eradicating poverty around the world. It (Zakat) is one of the five main pillars of Islam; it is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth and is expected to be paid by all practicing Muslims having the financial means. As part of the study, a questionnaire that consisted of five questions to enquire about how Zakat can eradicate poverty was administered to 200 Muslim people living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Further, the questions were designed targeting the core goals of a Zakat institution that also reflected the Muslims psychometric behavioural aspects. Islam has 1.57 billion followers, making up over 23 percent of the world population (Pew Research, 2011). With such a vast population, the role of Zakat in alleviating poverty is an achievable objective.
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Background

Aims of this Study

This study aims to define the role of Zakat in the Muslim world, not merely as a divine one-off charity giving, but as a holistic economical fiscal stream that could shape-up a healthy fiscal model. The legality of Zakat investment will also be depicted not only by an implied meaning; but a more holistic approach whereby the underlying values for the law will be highlighted (Maqasid-al-Sharia).

Hence the aims of this research and chapters are as follows:

  • 1.

    To understand Zakat and its rewarding paradigm,

  • 2.

    To discuss the role of Zakat and its underlying values,

  • 3.

    To portray Islamic economics and the religions values, and looking at Islamic Law,

  • 4.

    Shed light on the Zakat institution in UAE, and how (if at all) to improve its administrative planning, governance, and efficiency,

  • 5.

    A glimpse on the historical background of zakat, and building a constructive argument about its socio-economic gains,

  • 6.

    And finally, this study conducted empirical research to find the best contemporary ways to improve the efficiency of Zakat institution most of which echoed respondent’s feedback.

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