Giving to God

Islamic Charity in Revolutionary Time

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Amira Mittermaier
  • Oakland, CA: 
    University of California Press
    , February
     2019.
     248 pages.
     $29.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780520300835.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

Giving to God examines the everyday practices of Islamic giving in post-revolutionary Egypt. From foods prepared in Sufi soup kitchens, to meals distributed by pious volunteers in slums, to almsgiving, these acts are ultimately about giving to God by giving to the poor. Surprisingly, many who practice such giving say that they do not care about the poor, instead framing their actions within a unique non-compassionate ethics of giving. At first, this form of giving may appear deeply selfish, but further consideration reveals that it avoids many of the problems associated with the idea of “charity.” Using the Egyptian uprising in 2011 and its call for social justice as a backdrop, this beautifully crafted ethnography suggests that “giving a man a fish” might ultimately be more revolutionary than “teaching a man to fish.”

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Amira Mittermaier is Associate Professor of Religion and Anthropology at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Dreams That Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments