Islam and Social Policy
225 pages
English

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225 pages
English
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At a time when more nuanced understandings of Muslim countries and their legal and social practices are urgently needed in the West, the appearance of this collection is especially welcome. In these illuminating and accessible essays, the contributors explain how Islam sees itself in terms of social policy, how it treats women, and how it encourages charity, education, and general social welfare.
 



The essays encompass many regional cultures and draw on court records and legal debates, field work on government ministries, and an extensive reading of Islamic law. In his overview of waqf (similar to the Western idea of a foundation, in which an endowment is set aside in perpetuity for specified purposes), Ahmad Dallal explains how charity, a central organizing principle in Islam, is itself organized and how waqf, traditionally a source of revenue for charitable purposes, can also become a source of tension and conflict. Donna Lee Bowen, in her essay on the position of women in Islamic law, points out the crucial differences between the Islamic principles of family equity and the Western notion of individual equality. In a subsequent essay, Bowen addresses the problems surrounding family planning and the dilemmas that have arisen within the Muslim world over differing ideas about birth control. The two final essays look at specific instances of how the modern state has treated Islamic social policy. Gail Richardson examines zakat, an Islamic tax used to assist the poor, and its administration in Pakistan. Carol Underwood, meanwhile, explores public health policy in Iran, both before and after the Islamic revolution that deposed the Shah.
 



Addressing some of the most profound misunderstandings between Islamic and Western societies, Islam and Social Policy will be of vital interest not only to scholars and policymakers but to anyone concerned with Islam's critical place in the modern world.


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Publié par
Date de parution 30 juillet 2004
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780826591791
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 3 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1750€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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ISLAMIC STUDIES / INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Islam and Social Policy
At a time when more nuanced under-standings of Muslim countries and their legal and social practices are urgently needed in the West, the appearance of this collection is especially welcome. In these illuminating and accessible es-says, the contributors explain how Islam sees itself in terms of social policy, how it treats women, and how it encourages charity, education, and general social welfare.
Addressing some of the most profound misunderstandings between Islamic and Western societies,Islam and Social Policywill be of vital interest not only to schol-ars and policymakers but to anyone con-cerned with Islam’s critical place in the modern world.
Stephen P. Heynemanis a professor of in-ternational education policy at Vander-bilt University. From 1976 to 1998, he helped design and implement education policies for the World Bank.
Cover photos by Stephen P. Heyneman.
Vanderbilt University Press Nashville, Tennessee 37235 www.vanderbilt.edu/vupress
 Introduction  Stephen P. Heyneman 1 e Islamic Institution ofWaqf: A Historical Overview  Ahmad Dallal 2Law and the Position Islamic of Women  Donna Lee Bowen 3 Islamic Law and Family Planning  Donna Lee Bowen 4 Islamic Law andZakat: WaqfResources in Pakistan  Gail Richardson 5and Health Policy: A Study Islam of the Islamic Republic of Iran  Carol Underwood
ISBN 0-8265-1447-2 ™xHSKIMGy514479z
Heyneman
Islam and Social Policy
Edited byVANDERBILT Stephen P. Heyneman
Islam and Social Policy
Islam and Social Policy
Islam and Social Policy
Edited by Stephen P. Heyneman
Vanderbilt University Press Nashville
© 2004 Vanderbilt University Press All rights reserved First Edition 2004
is book is printed on acid-free paper. Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Islam and social policy / edited by Stephen P. Heyneman. 1st ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-8265-1446-4 (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN 0-8265-1447-2 (pbk. : alk. paper)  1. Sociology, Islamic. 2. Islam-Social aspects. 3. Islam-Charities. 4. Islam and social problems. I. Heyneman, Stephen P. II. Title. BP173.25I738 2004 297.2’7-dc22 2003017648
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Contents
Introduction1Stephen P. Heyneman
e Islamic Institution of Waqf: A Historical Overview13Ahmad Dallal
Islamic Law and the Position of Women Donna Lee Bowen
Islamic Law and Family Planning Donna Lee Bowen
Islamic Law and Zakat: Waqf Resources in Pakistan Gail Richardson
156
118
Islam and Health Policy: A Study of the Islamic Republic of Iran Carol Underwood
Glossary of Arabic Terms
Contributors213
Index215
207
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181
Introduction Stephen P. Heyneman
ese essays constitute a conscious effort to explain how Islam sees itself in terms of social policy. By social policy, we mean how Islam treats women, how it encourages charity, education, and general social welfare. By “Islam,” in this context, we mean many things. We mean the historical precedents of Islamic religious law and how it is organized currently. We include the many regional cultures in which Islam is situated and which influence its social policy. And we include too, examples of state policies, past and present, that help determine how Islamic law is treated. We mean all these things.  e point of this volume is to give the readerun tour d’horizon, an overview of some of the most delicate issues that societies need to face: how to treat the poor, promote charity, and establish fair relations among communities and within families. e essays at-tempt to provide an explanation for some of the more poignant sources of misunderstanding between Islamic and Western cultures: Is it true that females bear the brunt of discrimination? Why are there so many different charitable and educational foun-dations, and why do some become legally controversial, bypassing their stated charitable objectives? e volume points out both the similarities between Islamic and Western cultures in terms of social aspirations and basic religious principles and the significant differences in their cultural assumptions.
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Islam and Social Policy
 We commissioned these essays originally for use by staff of development assistance agencies with responsibilities in Muslim countries, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (ï), and other organizations under the auspices of the United Nations—ÛÉŚÇÔ,ÛïÇÉ,Ô,ïÔ, and so forth. We hope that they will benefit staff of bilateral (country-to-country) organizations and international nongovernmental organizations that seek to offer assistance in terms of social welfare, human rights, education, and gender equality.  Each author utilizes a wide range of skills and scholarly experi-ence. Donna Lee Bowen employs her deep understanding of Mo-rocco and her training in both political science and anthropology, Ahmad Dallal his knowledge of Islamic history, Carol Underwood her understanding of public health and her long field experience in Iran, and Gail Richardson her skills at exploring the complex operational mechanisms of public social welfare bureaucracies.
Synopsis From the essay,“Waqf: An Historical Overview,” one might derive several lessons. In that all social classes, races, and ethnic groups are treated equally, Islam is a religion of absolute equality. But, as importantly, because inheritance from one generation to the next is carefully prescribed, one can say that Islam also represents a system of wealth redistribution.  Essential to all religions, charity is also a central organizing principle in Islam. What Ahmad Dallal teaches us is how charity is organized. e closest analogy to the system of Islamicawqaf(plural ofwaqf) might be the Western concept of a foundation, in which an endowment is set aside in perpetuity for certain specified purposes.  e concept of awqaf was created by Abraham in 1860.Ç.É. and was common well before Islam was founded. What makes the system of awqaf so interesting is that it was often utilized to cir-
Introduction
cumvent the restrictions on intergenerational inheritance. Ahmad Dallal describes this nefarious (but understandable) tradition and uses this part of the story to introduce the reader to the system of Islamic courts in which such problems were adjudicated. His essay includes references to court findings concerning the condi-tions for becoming a legitimate founder of a waqf, the role of an administrator, and the legitimate uses for waqf revenue—mu-nicipal public works, religious education, food for the poor, and assistance to the infirm, the aged, and the mentally handicapped. He traces the legal history over a thousand years and points out how important awqaf traditions have been for women to pass on their wealth to charitable causes, how important the system has been simply in terms of size. In the eighteenth century, over half the population of several Ottoman cities were fed by awqaf revenues, over 20 percent of Egypt’s arable land was set aside for awqaf endowments and significant projects in support of cathe-dral mosques, markets, and other forms of urban revitalization.  e essay also traces how the tradition of awqaf was treated first by European colonial authorities, then by Islamic colonial authorities (such as the Ottomans), and, lastly, by the post-ïïnation-states. In each instance, having a considerable level of resources independently allocated became a source of tension and conflict, and in each instance, there were attempts to control, guide, and outright expropriate.  ough problems across the ages and geographical regions were not identical, many were common: the use of awqaf to avoid state taxes, circumvent laws on inheritance, and, on occasion, support heretical ideologies.  In her essay, “Islamic Law and the Treatment of Women,” Donna Lee Bowen takes up the discussion of Islamic courts where the previous essay left off. As a preamble, she introduces the reader to the sources of Islamic legal opinion (revelations, words and actions[Sunna]and the compilation of texts[hadith]; the five levels of Islamic action (obligatory, recommended, per-
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