By Yaacov Lev

During this first comparative therapy of charity and charitable associations in Islam and Muslim societies of the center East, Yaacov Lev mines quite a few fundamental resources, together with Arabic chronicles, dictionaries, waqf (pious endowment) deeds, and epigraphic proof. The e-book is not just large in scope, overlaying a variety of sessions in medieval Islam--including the Fatimids, Abbasids, Ayyubids, and the early Ottoman period--but can also be correct to a number concerns and associations, resembling statecraft and political authority, city society, legislation, schooling, health and wellbeing care, and gender.            Charity is deeply embedded within the spiritual suggestion and teachings of the 3 monotheistic religions. This dialogue, whereas concentrating on medieval Islam, is decided in a much broader framework with many references to either Jewish and Christian parallels. Lev argues that medieval charity will be mentioned in the context of monotheistic sacred charity, which means redemptive alms-giving. As such, it transcends time and position and exhibits impressive uniformity all through altering old circumstances.Lev examines 3 major subject matters: the that means of charity to the person, the social and political ramifications of alms-giving, and the impression of the institutionalized varieties of charity (the awqaf process) on city and rural societies. He analyzes the reasons and attitudes of the donors (the caliphs, sultans, emirs, and the wealthy); the recipients of charity (the negative and the proficient class); and the charitable associations and providers that supplied the framework for conveyance (hospitals, Koranic faculties, and legislations schools, the ransom of captives, and aid of orphans and widows). 

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19 There is a striking similarity between what the Fatimid rulers did as individuals and the public conduct of the Fatimid state. In 1123, the Fatimid regime foiled a plot by a rival Ismaili group in which five agents were caught and executed and the money in their possession was seized. Although extensive deliberations took place over what should be done with this money, the way the regime chose to mark its triumph is more significant. There were no celebrations but only pious deeds and the dispensing of charity, including the Charity, Piety, and Politics / 27 granting of 10,000 dirhams to three congregational mosques in the capital and to the poor Ismailis at the gates of the royal palace.

Rather surprisingly, in only a few reported cases were the charities of Mamluk emirs devoted to their fellow soldiers and comrades-in-arms. 43 Courtiers at the courts of the Fatimid, Abbasid, Ayyubid, and Mamluk rulers were great philanthropists. In Cairo during the first half of the twelfth century, two slaves of al-Amir, Barghash and Hizar al-Mulk, were known for their charities. ” Each Friday he distributed 4,000 dirhams among 1,000 people in the Qarafa according to a list of names. In this particular case we can try to estimate the possible economic value of Hizar al-Mulk’s charities.

52 Rarely are Safadi’s ac- Charity, Piety, and Politics / 37 counts more personal, going beyond the standard conventions of biographical dictionaries when reporting on charitable people who typified piety and righteousness. The obituary note on a Shafi i jurist, Mubarak ibn Nusayr, who died in 711/1311–12 is exceptional in this respect. 53 In contrast to the rich evidence that exists about the involvement of royal women in philanthropy, information on women of the civilian class is scarce, and Safadi’s large biographical dictionary only contains three pertinent biographies.

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Charity, Endowments, and Charitable Institutions in Medieval by Yaacov Lev
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