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Islamic charity and the life beyond - Islamische NGOs und Motive muslimischer Akteure in Ost-Afrika

Ph.D. student: Sebastian Müller

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Project description

Institutionalised forms of charity in Islam are nearly as old as Islam itself. Contemporary representations are the so called Islamic faith-based (FBOs). While generally relating to values and institutions grounded in Islam, specific forms of Islamic charity such as pious endowments or trusts (waqf/auqāf) and of alms-giving (zakāt and ṣadaqa) might be integrated into a broader provision of social welfare services and development aid activities by these organisations. Islamic FBOs, especially Islamic NGOs in East-Africa have so far attracted little research. The project aims at contributing to close this gap by 
a) developing an overview of the diversity in organised Muslim charity in Tanzania
b) examining the stakekolder's sources of motivation for their engagement in Islamic FBOs as well as
c) analysing the organisations’ and stakeholders’ embeddedness in the (trans-)national historical as well as contemporary contexts of Tanzania. Secular as well as religious factors will be considered as well as negotiation-processes between organisations, donors and potential supporters in their surrounding community. Based on this contextualisation, the project
d) clarifies the role of Islamic FBOs within Tanzania’s civil society. This allows
e) to contribute to the analysis of Islamic FBOs between inner-Islamic debates, the globalized model of non-governmental organisations and the social and political role of Muslims in East-Africa. The project thereby transgresses the limitations of the NGO debate which generally focusses on Western or Christian organizations and their narratives of the future.

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