Table of Contents

Handbook on Islam and Economic Life

Handbook on Islam and Economic Life

Edited by M. Kabir Hassan and Mervyn K. Lewis

Handbook on Islam and Economic Life is a unique study, one of the first of its kind to consider Islam within a broader economic sphere. Covering a wide breadth of topics and research, it explores how Islam impinges upon and seeks to shape major aspects of economic life including economic organisation, business and management, finance and investment, charity, mutuality and self-help, and government. It concludes by analysing the link between religion and development, the present economic situation in Arab countries and the causes of underdevelopment in Muslim countries.

Chapter 22: Poverty and social security in Islam

Abdul Ghafar Ismail and Bayu Taufiq Possumah

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, economics and finance, asian economics, islamic economics and finance


Poverty is a complex socio-economic problem that has existed as long as mankind has existed, and is unlikely to be solved soon. It has a direct effect not only on the life of the individual concerned but also on the community and on the level of material progress and civil development (Usmani, 2000). Many countries, international organizations and non-government bodies have introduced many programs to alleviate poverty, such as by promoting infrastructure development, constructing good roads to make transport and communication easy, promoting agriculture and farming, which are the main sources of income in rural areas, creating employment opportunities by constructing small-scale industries to enable people to get access to jobs, opening market opportunities to enable the rural population to sell their goods at favorable prices, and attempting to establish good governance and effective administration (Singh, 1999). The World Development Report 1990 (World Bank, 1990) recommended a dual approach to reducing poverty involving: a) efficient labor-intensive growth based on appropriate market incentives, physical infrastructure, institutions and technological innovations; and b) adequate provision of social services, including primary education, basic health care and family planning services. In fact, the reality proved that all programs were only temporary, casuistic and not significant.

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