Addresses the ideals and institutions through which Middle Eastern societies have confronted poverty and the poor.
Offering insights and analysis in a field that has only recently come into existence, this book explores the ideals and institutions through which Middle Eastern societies—from the rise of Islam in the seventh century C.E. to the present day—have confronted poverty and the poor. By introducing new sources and presenting familiar ones with new questions, the contributors examine ideas about poverty and the poor, ideals and practices of charity, and state and private initiatives of poor relief over this extensive time span. They avoid easy generalizations about Islam and the Middle East as they seek to set the ideals and practices in comparative perspective.
Michael Bonner is Professor of Medieval Islamic History at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He is the author of Aristocratic Violence and Holy War: Studies in the Jihad and the Arab-Byzantine Frontier. Mine Ener (1965–2003) was Associate Professor of History at Villanova University. Amy Singer is Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University. She is the author of Palestinian Peasants and Ottoman Officials: Rural Administration around Sixteenth-Century Jerusalem and Constructing Ottoman Beneficence: An Imperial Soup Kitchen in Jerusalem, both also published by SUNY Press, and Charity in Islamic Societies.