Maqāṣid Al-Zakāh and Poverty Alleviation: A Case Study on the Western Cape Muslims

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M. Wahib Abdul-Jabaar


This article endeavours to explain how the Muslim practice of zakāh (almsgiving) is a viable model  for poverty alleviation in the Western Cape. This paper will briefly examine the origin and history  of zakāh, how it has developed over time, the relevant Sharī’ah aspects, its rulings, and the  spiritual rewards relating to the practice, including those liable to pay and who are eligible to  receive zakāh. A selection of the organisations in the Western Cape and their principal objectives  to alleviate poverty will also be discussed. A holistic view will be presented explaining the  epistemology of poverty. The consequences of poverty will be described, and then an assessment of  what the State is doing regarding the reduction or alleviation of poverty in South Africa will be  undertaken. This paper will also highlight both historical and contemporary views on the issue of  zakāh. The conclusion provides some solutions, recommendations, and alternatives that could improve  Muslim communities socially, economically, and spiritually.

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