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Combating Poverty Through Self Reliance: The Islamic Approach

Ahmad Bello, Dogarawa (2006): Combating Poverty Through Self Reliance: The Islamic Approach. Published in: Journal of Business Administration , Vol. 1, No. 1 (2006): pp. 64-79.

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Poverty comes at the head of man’s present plight hence, the need to combat it. Self-reliance as a mean of eradicating poverty has become a concept central to Nigeria’s policy in recent years. The major problem of the policy however, is that its approach lacks ethics, juridical elements, divine regulations, and ability to shape and direct the attitude and behaviour of the people toward it, which make it difficult for them to embrace it with deserved seriousness. Many Nigerians do not recognise their religious and moral obligation to become self-reliant and economically independent. The objective of this paper is to examine the Islamic approach to self-reliance as a means of combating poverty. The paper is a literature survey and data is presented based on direct deductions from the Qur’an and Sunnah (the sayings, deeds and approvals of the Prophet) and on the writings of prominent scholars. The paper confirms that self-reliance, as a means of combating poverty is embedded in the Islamic economic system. It also posits that dependence of any able effortless person on somebody else for a livelihood is a religious sin, social stigma and disgraceful humility. The paper further identifies work and strives as the first weapon for alleviating poverty. The paper finally recommends that the Islamic approach to self-reliance as a means of eradicating poverty be implemented as an alternative to the secular approach as that will go a long way in eradicating poverty in Nigeria.

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