A fresh view on zakah as a socio-financial tool to promote ethics, eliminate riba and reduce poverty
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Current statistical data shows that almost all Muslim countries are facing economic and social problems such as the spread of poverty, mounting outstanding external debt due to compound interest and widespread unethical behaviour. Some contemporary scholars relate these problems to the oppression and the crippling policies of former colonial administrations, while others point to the governmental incompetence and corruption that triggered the last Arab spring. However, this paper contends that although the above mentioned issues may have served as catalysts that led to the worsening of socio-economic situation in many countries, the main reason for the overwhelming problems plaguing Muslim countries is their neglect of many Islamic financial and socio-financial duties, including zakah (alms) which is conceived to spread ethical behaviour, eliminate riba (interest), empower the poor and needy and so reduce and may even end poverty. This study aims to demonstrate how zakah, as a socio-financial tool, can help promote sound standards of ethics, generate funds to counter external borrowing endorsed by anti-poverty programmes, empower the poor, and eradicate poverty in Muslim societies. This paper uses a secondary source based meta-analysis of books, articles, journals, annual reports, and websites, besides referring to the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) whenever necessary. The findings show it is imperative that zakah to be recognised as an effective sociofinancial tool to counter the ills currently plaguing Muslim societies. Adequately managed and distributed zakah can help to promote good ethics, overreliance on external borrowing, empower the poor and end their poverty hence, resulting in a just and a caring society.
Zakah , Socio-finance , Ethics , Riba , Poverty alleviation , Caring society
A. Mohsin, M. I. (2020). A fresh view on zakah as a socio-financial tool to promote ethics, eliminate riba and reduce poverty. International Journal of Management and Applied Research, 7(1), 55-71. https://doi.org/10.18646/2056.71.20-004
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