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Wealth as an immorality symbol in the Qur'an : a reconsideration of the mal amwal verses.

Turner, C. (2006) 'Wealth as an immorality symbol in the Qur'an : a reconsideration of the mal amwal verses.', The journal of Qur'anic studies., 8 . pp. 58-83.


Historically, academic research on the Qur'anic approach to wealth and ownership has been carried out largely from two disciplinary perspectives: jurisprudence and economics. Similarly, outwith the Islamic tradition, much has been written on the anthropology of wealth accumulation and the history of man's obsession with money and private ownership. On the symbology of wealth in the Qur'an, however, little if anything has been written. In one singularly enigmatic verse, Q. 104:3, the Qur'an interprets the lure of material possessions as nothing less than a symptom of man's desire to live forever. Using as our theoretical basis the principle of ‘immortality striving’ developed by cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, and taking this verse as our conceptual starting point, this paper aims to explore the notion of wealth as an immortality symbol, with particular reference to the ‘rejection narratives’ in the Qur'an which detail the negative encounters between the prophets and their addressee communities.

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Record Created:02 Mar 2009
Last Modified:10 Aug 2011 16:37

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