Theological and sociological aspects of the practice of zakāt
: a case-study of Qatar 2017-2020

  • Ola Alkahlout

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis makes an original contribution to the literature on the sociology of Islām, and in particular, to the practice of zakāt. Its attention to the lived experience of Muslims in Qatar provides a window onto the motivations and actions of individual zakāt-givers and their relationship with religion and wider society.

    Through a combination of surveys and interviews the research participants (both Qatari citizens and residents) reveal how the practice of zakāt is shaped by religious motivations, tribalism, different cultural backgrounds, Muslim scholars’ interpretations, governmental and non-governmental charitable organisations’ behaviour, and political intervention. The findings suggest that, Qatari zakāt-givers’ decision-making is influenced by their relationship with Allah, their self-evaluation, and their consideration of society as a whole. Qatari zakāt-givers’ lived religious experiences are reflected in their choices: practice, denial, avoidance, or ignorance (ignoring) zakāt. The important and distinctive contribution of this research is its attention to lived experiences. It demonstrates that both theological and sociological influences shape the motivations that inform individual decision-making regarding the practice of zakāt. This research develops a model that privileges everyday experiences of theologically-determined religious the practice of zakāt. This model can be used to study additional aspects of Islām in other geographical contexts. To complete the understanding of the lived experiences of zakāt in Qatar, and to strengthen the practice of zakāt, further complementary studies are required, which focus not only on the zakāt-givers but also on the lived experience of beneficiaries.
    Date of AwardAug 2021
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorPatricia Sellick (Supervisor), Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (Supervisor), Marwan Darweish (Supervisor) & Alpaslan Ozerdem (Supervisor)

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