Poverty Alleviaton through Zakah and Waqf Institutions: A Case for the Muslim Ummah in Ghana
28 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2010
Date Written: September 20, 2009
The institutions of Zakah and Waqf are among several instruments instituted by Islam to combat poverty and enhance welfare in the society. While Zakah helps generate a flow of funds and recruit the necessary manpower, Waqf provides the material infrastructure and creates a source of revenue for use in, among others, social welfare enhancing activities both at family, community and state levels. This paper discusses the role of Zakah and Waqf institutions in poverty alleviation. The paper is analytical with presentation based on survey of relevant literature with a view to adding to existing literature and synthesizing opposing views on the socio-economic role of Zakah and Waqf and the process of their revitalisation in the modern time. The paper posits that Zakah serves as a unique mechanism of compulsory transfers of income and wealth from the haves to the have-nots in the community. Through Zakah, every individual in the society is assured of minimum means of livelihood, which provides social security system in an Islamic society. Waqf on the other hand, has been used to provide the material infrastructure and create a source of revenue for use in, among others, social welfare enhancing activities both at family, community and state levels. The paper concludes that to activate and revitalise the Zakah and Awqaf systems in Muslim societies and communities, there is dire need for reform in their management formulars and to address the unsettled issues inherent in the institutions.
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