SOCIAL SECURITY AND ZAKĀH IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
While the West was first acquainted with the laws of social security only at the beginning of the last century the concept of social security was already introduced by Islam fourteen centuries ago as it articulated a number of institutional frameworks for inclusive and fair development with the institution of zakāh being one of the most important ones. This study aims at analyzing the common features and differences between the zakāh system and the social security system of the modern welfare state of today. To this end, this article attempts to compare some of the theoretical and administrative aspects of both institutions. The principal objective is to highlight the primary principles underpinning each system, which formulate the objectives each system sets out to achieve and the stance of both institutions on some values and common objectives such as social solidarity and equality. The article also discusses the conceptual framework of the two institutions, their implementation models, as well as their economic effects. The overall analysis suggests that one distinct feature of the Islamic approach to social security is that it puts more emphasis on the role of the whole society in easing social ills and providing social security than on the role of the State as is the case in the social security systems of today's modern welfare state. The article argues that the zakāh system aims at attaining different objectives and by nature has different emphasis compared with social security systems of today’s modern welfare state.
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