Cover

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pp. i-v

Contents

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pp. vi-vii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

These 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...

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1. The Islamic Institution of Waqf: A Historical Overview

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pp. 13-43

As mentioned in the introduction, to the extent that all social classes, races, and ethnic groups are treated equally, Islam is a religion of absolute equality. But because inheritance from one generation to the next is carefully prescribed, one can say that Islam also represents a system of wealth redistribution. Essential ...

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2. Islamic Law and the Position of Women

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pp. 44-117

The question of women’s status is one of the most sensitive areas in contemporary Islam. Asymmetry between men and women traditionally has been an integral part of Islam and has emerged as a dynamic social issue in the twentieth century. The Islamic world does not face this tension on gender issues alone...

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3. Islamic Law and Family Planning

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pp. 118-155

The relationship between Islam and family planning is not clear cut. Religion often has a critical influence on a given culture’s natality. Since the majority of the population of the Middle East and North Africa are Muslim, does Islam influence social mores that promote high birth rates and militate against use of family planning measures? If so, what beliefs, teachings...

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4. Islamic Law and Zakat: Waqf Resources in Pakistan

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pp. 156-180

Zakat is the obligatory transfer of a prescribed proportion of property by a Muslim who owns more wealth than the limit dictated under Islamic Law (shari’a). It is a pillar of faith and an act of worship that involves monetary and fiscal action. Literally, zakat is a 2.5 percent tax levied on certain assets, including savings accounts, gold, and silver. The funds collected are used

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5. Islam and Health Policy: A Study of the Islamic Republic of Iran

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pp. 181-206

The Iranian revolution of 1979, inspired by Islamic precepts and presided over by Muslim religious figures, brought Islam to the forefront of social, political, and economic discussions. Subsequent events around the world, in which tragedies have far outweighed triumphs, have kept discussions and debate about Islam and development very much on the global agenda. Political pundits were forced to reformulate some of their conjectures about the Muslim world, while scholarly social...

Glossary of Arabic Terms

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pp. 207-212

Contributors

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pp. 213-214

Index

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pp. 215-218