Title: Improving Livelihood at Household Level with Zakat Based Conscious Financing.

Lyla Latif (Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick and CEO of Lai’Latif & Co.)

This paper explores spending zakat to support the financial improvement of women from low- or no-income households. It assesses the feasibility of remitting zakat over the m-pesa platform. M-pesa is a Kenyan mobile banking app that allows subscribers to send and receive money through their mobile phones without the use of the internet. The theory underpinning the paper’s analysis on the use of zakat to support the economic improvement of women is based on tax justice and social extraction. Taken together these theories suggest that redistribution can also be facilitated by non-state actors who apply their own norms in regulating how to spend their collective revenue towards improving lives. As such, the paper therefore, starts the discussion by highlighting the need for redistribution using taxes, extends the conception of conventional tax to include zakat and justifies this position by interrogating whether the Kenyan fiscal space and its constitution can recognise zakat as part of tax system that supports the state to promote social and economic wellbeing. Whether zakat contributes to the social and economic improvement of people is examined by inquiring into a specific case study of Mama Riziki. The paper employs the discursive approach and is based on a mixed methods approach. The findings reveal that zakat based conscious financing can improve livelihoods at a household level.

Keywords: economic improvement, Kenya, non-state Muslim actors, women, zakat

Read full article: https://doi.org/10.51377/azjaf.vol3no1.91

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