Social Welfare in Muslim Societies in Africa

Social Welfare in Muslim Societies in Africa

Social Welfare in Muslim Societies in Africa

Social Welfare in Muslim Societies in Africa

Synopsis

In recent decades there has been an increasing attempt by Muslim intellectuals to reflect on the provision of social welfare in Muslim societies in Africa. One reason for this is the few, if not non-existent, possibilities of the states to provide for the basic needs of their subjects, a situation that has become painfully evident in most African states not only the Muslim ones. However, public as well as private provision of social welfare is not a new phenomenon in the Muslim world. "This book deals with a most important and previously largely overlooked theme. In the current situation, when economically weak African states have great problems providing social amenities for their people, the welfare activities of Islamic -- and other -- non-governmental organizations have become especially important. This book provides a number of theoretically and, in particular, empirically interesting and valuable discussions on various kinds of Muslim social welfare in a number of African countries." -- David Westerlund, Associate Professor, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala University, Sweden

Excerpt

Sulemana Mumuni

Ghana has witnessed an upsurge in organisations, associations and clubs in recent times. Whilst the orientations of some of these bodies are socio-economic, some are politico-religious and others too are environmental. Within the Muslim community in Ghana in general and Accra in particular, religion has played the key role. Some of the Islamic organisations in Accra are of ethnic origin whilst others have a clear doctrinal background. However, they all have similar aspirations as deduced from their aims and objectives, being the furtherance and well-being of the Muslim population. a survey conducted at the Deeds Registry in Accra, responsible for the registration of the trustees of non-profit making organisations revealed that over sixty Islamic organisations are registered. in addition, there are quite a number of organisations that have not been registered with the Deeds Registry. Due to lack of information on most of these organisations, I will concentrate on the formation of migrant and indigenous organisations, women associations and on the eight Islamic councils that have operated in Ghana since independence.

The Composition of the Muslim Community in Accra

Although belief and observance of Islam bound Muslims into a brotherhood, Muslims in Accra do not form a homogeneous group. Accra, which has been the political and administrative capital of the country since 1877, has today a population of about 1.5 million among which Muslims constitute about eleven per cent. Accra is associated with three major religious traditions, which are the Ga Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam. the origins of the Muslim community in Accra are clearly different at least geographically and ethnically. As Muslims, they do not function as an amorphous group but are organised along certain lines to satisfy the religious, social, economic and political needs. Two major modes of organisation stand out as the earliest modes of Muslim organisation in Accra, namely organisation along ethnic lines and organisation along doctrinal lines. the ethnic organisation of Muslims in the Accra metropolis can be classified into migrant Muslim settlers and indigenous Ga Muslims. the migrant Muslims can again be sub-divided into three classes: 'alien' African migrants, national migrants and non-African migrants. It is significant to note that the migrants constitute the majority in . . .

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