Islamic philanthropy and rural poverty alleviation: the case of Mtwara region

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


This is a exploration study done in Muslim community in southern coastal of Tanzania. deliberately selected because represent the home to a wide contrast on income between the rich and the poor and being areas of large Muslim communities. Muslim communities seem to be one of the extreme contrasts in regards to rich -poor dichotomy. There are members that are considerably rich living in the midst of their brethren Muslims who form the bulk of the deprived members of the Tanzania's society despite the insistence in their Islamic precepts for both equitable distribution of wealth such as obligatory giving, and philanthropic institutions like Zakat, Sadaka and Waqf. The study starts from viewing conceptual relationship deduced from two inextricable pillars of fundamental articles of faith and that of action i.e five pillars of Islam as the way of considering the ideology how it serves the interest of benefactors as well as being the sources of moral imperatives. It is found that areas populated by Muslim majorities are likely to be most backward, with least developed physical and social infrastructures and deteriorating indicators of wealth. Unlike Christian communities, the rudimentary Islamic philanthropic institutions in Tanzania operate at primitive interpersonal level or at best perform a few developmental activities in urban areas. This has left vacuum among the vast rural community generating a disenchanted society unhappy with itself and very angry against the others. The study through light whether Muslim community could accept philanthropic best practices that resemble to the current and contemporary situation of the present era. The study findings suggest that values created by modern society have generated avenues for the emergence of large number of faqir and meskeen who are not taken care by the institution like family or Mosque.


MA.- Dissertation in Rural Development


Islamic philanthropy, Poverty alleviation, Mtwara region