More than a matter of record

Amy Singer

Documenting the historical practice of Muslim philanthropy shines a light on the moral values of humanity that can illuminate the past, present and future

What does an historian of the 15th-16th century Ottoman Empire have to say to scholars and practitioners of Islamic philanthropy in the early 21st century? Is there a cogent message for philanthropy managers, financial advisers, fundraisers, and programme personnel of the present and the future from those who focus on the past? The answers are, respectively, ‘quite a lot’ and ‘yes!’.

The Ottoman era is uniquely well-documented among Islamic societies of the past, yet there is still so much lost from the Ottoman and other eras that we have an incomplete notion of how powerful an engine philanthropy was for sustaining Islamic culture and societies over the centuries.

Ottoman document held in the National Library of Bulgaria.Ottoman document held in the National Library of Bulgaria. Credit@

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